No-Knead Garlic Cheese Bread
This no-knead technique for making bread should really be in everyone's repertoire.
With only 10 minutes actual work (which includes washing dishes) you can have warm homemade bread on the table. This is an important life skill as far as I'm concerned. The basic recipe lends itself well to experimentation, so feel free to get creative. For example, this Bloody Mary bread made with seasoned tomato juice. No-Knead bread has become a weekend ritual around here. If I mix the dough on Friday night, form the loaf before I hit the farmers market in the morning then throw it in the oven when I get home, we have homemade warm bread with brunch. The weekly market haul dictates the rest of the menu. I always seem to find something inspiring at the farmers market, depending on the season, maybe squash blossoms, an Emu egg, or some wild mushrooms.
Since I'm enjoying an abundant supply of garlic scapes just now, I thought I'd try a no-knead garlic cheese bread. I added some grated smoked gouda from That Dutchman and a few tablespoons of garlic scape pesto, the combination was stellar.
In a big bowl whisk together the dry ingredients
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 3 tablespoons of garlic scape pesto
- 1/4 cup finely grated smoked Gouda
Stir to combine, the dough will be wet and shaggy. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot to rise. After 12-18 hours, the dough will have doubled in size. Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface, and form into a ball. Cover with a floured tea towel and let it rise again for another 2 hours.
The loaf is best baked in a cast iron Dutch oven. Put your pot in the oven, preheat to 425F, once the oven has come up to temperature, carefully take the pot out of the oven and remove the lid. Roll the dough into the hot pot, replace lid, and return to the oven. Bake with the lid on for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for another 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven, and set loaf on a wire rack to cool.
This recipe did require some tinkering. Initially, I added too much cheese, and the loaf didn't rise very well. I tried adding the cheese after the first rising, but that just created big air pockets in the final loaf. Finally, I adjusted the cheese from 3/4 cup to 1/4 cup, that seemed to work. The coarseness of the grater makes a difference in the results as well. I got the best results using finely grated cheese in the dough.