Monday, February 8, 2010

Loaf of the Week Continues

To be honest -- most of Jim Lahey's recipes (at least in the "Specialties of the House" section of his cookbook) are very similar, slight variation in proportions or types of flour, or flavorings added. The cheese bread is simply cubes of cheese folded into the dough at the beginning and left to rise with the flour and yeast. To the usual 3 cups of bread flour Lahey instructed to mix 1 tsp of salt (slightly less than usual), 3/4 tsp yeast (slightly more than usual), 2 1/2 cups of cubed cheese (1/2" cubes), and a sprinkling (1/2 tsp) of pepper with 1 1/3 cups of cool water. From there the method is the same as his famous no-knead bread. Leave the dough to sit for 12 to 18 hours for the first rise. Scrape the dough onto a floured surface, shape into a ball and cover with a kitchen towel (dusting the dough with flour to keep from sticking) and let rise for 2 hours. After the second rise the dough is turned into a 4 1/2 - 5 quart dutch oven that has been heating in a pre-heated 475ยบ oven for at least 30 minutes and baked -- with the pot's cover on, for 30 minutes. Another 30 minutes uncovered and your bread is rich golden brown and crispy. No fail perfect every time no effort home made bread.
I'm slowly working my way through Lahey's My Bread cookbook. So far I've made his classic no knead bread, the Italian style baguettes he calls Stecca, Pizza with cauliflower, this light tasting cheese bread, and our favorite so far the no knead whole wheat loaf.
The testing continues.

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