Thursday, February 24, 2011

No Knead Parmesan Bread

I haven't tired of Jim Lahey's method since first trying it out last year. It's so easy to make and there's so many possibilities.

This time a 1/4 cup of rolled oats found their way into this bread simply because that was all that was left in the tin and I wanted to finish it. I have no idea if the oats were responsible, but this loaf seemed moister to me than the previous ones (and the grain was finer), but I also used a smaller baking dish.

I was using a Le Creuset cast iron dutch oven for this which really is ideal, however I bake everything in a counter top convection oven and noticed the lid was getting scratched because it was barely fitting into the oven. I purchased a smaller ceramic dutch oven (2 quarts) the other day primarily for baking this bread. This smaller size created a rounder and fuller loaf; I was quite pleased with the result. 

Adapted from Jim Lahey's Recipe
1/4 cup rye flour
1/4 cup rolled oats, (not the quick kind)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 1/2 - 3 cups unbleached flour
1/4 tsp dry yeast
1  tsp salt
1 1/2 cups spring water
1 tbsp olive oil

Combine the rye flour, rolled oats, parmesan cheese, 2 1/2 cups unbleached flour, yeast and salt in a large glass bowl. Make a well in the centre and  add the water and olive oil. Stir until well combined. Cover the top with a cheese cloth and set in a draft free place in a room with a temperature of about 70-75°F. for about 18 hours.

Sprinkle a small amount of flour onto a piece of baking parchment paper. Sprinkle a small amount of flour over the dough. Flour your hands and place the dough onto the parchment paper. Shape the dough into a ball, tucking the ends underneath it. Make a few cuts on the surface, if you wish. Cover it with the cheesecloth and allow to rise 2-3 hours, or until it looks like it's doubled in volume. 

Place a Le Creuset cast iron dutch oven (this seems to work best from what I've read) or a baking dish with a tight fitting lid into your oven and turn on the heat to 450-500°F. (My Breville counter top convection oven will only allow me to go to 450°, but the bread turned out fine).

When the pot is good and hot, carefully pull it out and place the parchment paper with the dough into pot and cover with the hot lid taking care not to burn yourself. Bake for about 25 minutes.

Remove the lid and bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until the crust is a nice brown.

Allow the loaf to cool at least an hour before cutting into it.

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