Sunday, May 12, 2013

Chive Cheese Bread

 Chive Cheese Bread

I continue to experiment with the No Knead recipes in Jim Lahey's book --- mostly making variations with whole wheat, rye and buckwheat.  But our chives in the garden are going crazy this Spring, so I decided to add them to his basic cheese bread.  

This bread is quite good --- the mild onion flavor of the chives goes well with the Fontina cheese. Black pepper adds a spicy element. 

 You can make the recipe without the chives and it would be excellent, too.

Chive Cheese Bread
(adapted from Jim Lahey's No Knead Bread cookbook)

400 grams bread flour
200 grams 1/2 inch cubed Fontina cheese
1 t. salt (taste your cheese and if it is salty use a little less)
3/4 t. yeast
1 1/3 cup of 55-65 degree cool water
lots of chopped chives --- 1/2 cup
lots of black pepper, at least 1/2 t.
extra flour, cornmeal or oat bran for dusting

20 hours before you want to bake the bread, mix together the flour, cheese, chives, salt and yeast in a large bowl.  Add the water, and mix to form a wet dough.  Add more water if needed, if you have low humidity. I added about 2-3 T.  more. 

Cover it with plastic wrap, so it doesn't dry out, and place in a warm room overnight to develop grow and develop flavor.  It will get bubbly. 
Generously flour a surface, and turn it out, and grab the edges into the center until you have a ball and can turn it over.  Use a flat scraper if needed. 
Place the dough on a very generously coated cotton kitchen towel --- use lots of  flour, or cornmeal, or oat bran --- otherwise, your dough will stick to the towel. 
Cover it loosely and place it in a warm place to rise.  I put it in a gently warmed oven (i.e., I turn it on for a minute, then turn it off) and place a tray of water in the bottom of the oven, to create a moist atmosphere. 

It will take at least an hour and maybe two to double and keep an impression when you touch it.  Remove it about a half hour before you think it will be ready so you can preheat the oven to 475 degrees.

Half an hour before the end of the last rise, place a clean dry covered dutch oven in to preheat. 

Carefully remove the hot pot, carefully remove the cover, and carefully place the dough into the pot. 

Cover it again and return to the hot oven.  Bake for 1/2 hours.

Remove the cover and bake again for 10 -15 minutes until dark golden brown.

Remove from oven and remove cover and let it cool enough so you can get the bread out with a spatula.  (My stuck to the bottom -- due to the cheese --- but after it cooled down a little it popped out.)

Let it cool on a rack for at least hour before slicing.

The inside will be loaded with cheese and have the mild taste of onions --- similar to a onion bagel but not quite as strong.  It will be chewy and moist. 

Tom loved it. It's on the make-again list.


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