Roasted Garlic Cheddar Bread
This is a no-knead bread. It makes 4 one-pound loaves. You can double it or halve it, and the bread dough will keep for about a week in the fridge.
You need to roast the garlic before baking the bread.
The roasted garlic recipe can be scaled up to as many bulbs as you have.
The bread dough, the roasted garlic, and the fully baked bread can all be frozen.
1 bulb of garlic = about 1 ice cube of frozen roasted garlic = about 1 tablespoon of roasted garlic
Baking stone (could substitute a greased bread pan, I haven’t tried it, but should work fine)
Stand Mixer with dough attachment
Clean cotton dishtowel
The usual collection of bowls, measuring spoons and cups, spatulas, etcetera.
3 bulbs garlic
1 tablespoon of olive oil, divided into 3 teaspoons
3 cups lukewarm water. If you have whey available, substitute 1 cup water with 1 cup whey.
2 tablespoons roasted garlic (about 2 to 3 bulbs worth)
1 2/ tablespoons of granulated baking yeast. (2 packets)
1 ½ tablespoons Kosher salt.
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
1 cup rye flour
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese. I used the “medium sharp orange stuff” that comes pre-packaged at the grocery store, but you do you. I imagine this would be amazing with a good sharp white cheddar.
Cornmeal for dusting the pizza peel
Instructions – Roasted Garlic
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Cut the top off of each garlic bulb to expose the bulbs. Leave the rest of the peel in place. If you make your own soup stocks, reserve the tops to add to your stock.
Place each bulb on a piece of aluminum foil that is big enough to wrap the garlic bulb.
Drizzle each bulb in about a teaspoon of olive oil and wrap it in the aluminum foil.
Place the wrapped garlic bulbs on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
Open the aluminum foil wrapper to expose the garlic bulbs and bake for another 15 minutes, until tender.
Let cool, then squeeze the garlic and olive oil out of the skins into a bowl, or into ice cube trays if you are going to freeze it.
Instructions – The Bread
Preparing the dough
Mix the yeast, salt, sugar, garlic, and water in your mixer or a large mixing bowl.
Add the cheese and flour, mixing until the flour is completely mixed in and the dough has formed into a nice ball. Do not overmix.
Remove bowl from stand mixer, cover with dishtowel, place in a warm spot, and let rise until the dough has doubled in size (about 2 hours or so).
Lightly dust the dough with flour to make it easier to handle.
With the knife, cut the dough into 4 equal sections. This makes it easier to separate it into loaves for baking. If you have halved or doubled the recipe, adjust so that the sections are each 1 pound (about the size of a grapefruit).
Take each section one at a time and shape it into a ball or a baguette.
You can bake the same day or keep the dough in the fridge for about a week. If you refrigerate, put a loose cover on the container. If you decide to freeze, what I do is wrap the loaf in freezer paper, place that in a Ziplock freezer bag, and put it in the freezer, it will keep fine at least six months, probably longer.
When ready to bake:
Place the baking stone in the oven and preheat the oven to 450. Put an oven safe pan (like a broiler pan) on the shelf below the shelf with the baking stone.
Place the dough on a cornmeal dusted pizza peel. Dust the loaf with flour, then with a sharp knife, slash the top of the loaf in a pretty pattern. I usually use either a branching leaf design (like Vs over a central vertical slash) or a ladder cut. You can also wait and do the slashes right before baking, it mostly just changes a little how it looks after baking.
You can fit two loaves on one pizza peel if you want to bake two loaves at a time.
Let the loaf rise for about an hour.
Slide the loaf off the pizza peel onto the hot baking stone. (If it sticks, use a scraper or spatula to help unstick).
Pour a cup of hot tap water into the pan on the bottom shelf and quickly close the oven door.
Bake for about 25 minutes, until the loaf is nicely browned and a tap on it feels firm and sounds hollow.
Let cool to “just warm enough to melt butter” before slicing and eating.
*Recipe inspired by the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois.