Parmesan Cheese Bread

Recipe from Le Petit Pierogi

This was my second attempt at using yeast, and it worked out really well for me in this recipe.  However, I did use quick rise instead of active rise yeast, because that's all I had.  I figured I'd just go for it and it worked.

Maybe I need to just use that for everything. 

This recipe made 12 small rolls.  I made them for J and I to have with soup, then took the leftovers to my sister and brother-in-laws the next day and they were a hit there! :)

I also definitely used more Parmesan cheese than the recipe states.  I really don't know how much, but 1/2 cup just didn't seem like enough.

3 3/4 c unbleached bread flour
1 T (1 package) quick rise yeast - my change
2 t salt
1 1/3 c warm water
1/2 c (or more) freshly grated Parmesan

In the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer, combine the flour, yeast and salt. Add the warm water and stir with a wooden spoon until just mixed together. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the cheese over the dough. Fit the mixer with the dough hook and begin mixing and kneading on very low speed. When the mixture pulls away from the sides of the bowl, increase the mixer speed to medium-low and continue to knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, 12 to 15 minutes, adding more flour if the dough is too sticky. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead by hand for 1 to 2 minutes.

Form the dough into a ball, lightly coat a bowl with EVOO and place the dough in the bowl, turning once to lightly coat with oil. Cover with a towel and let rest in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 425°F. Brush a 9-inch round pan with olive oil.

Place the remaining 1/4 cup cheese on a plate. Punch down the dough. Return it to the floured work surface and knead a few times. Then, using your palms, roll the dough to form a log about 12 inches long. Cut the log in half crosswise, then cut each half crosswise into 6 equal pieces. Knead each dough piece a couple of times, roll it between the palms of your hands into a ball, and then roll it in the cheese to coat lightly and evenly, shaking off any excess. You may need to lightly roll each ball of dough in oil so that the cheese will adhere.

Place each in the prepared pan, pressing down slightly to form a 2-inch disk. Arrange 9 balls around the rim and 3 balls in the center. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise again in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 30 to 40 minutes.

Sprinkle the top with the cheese remaining on the plate. Using a razor blade or sharp knife, cut a slash 1/4 inch deep in the top of each ball. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F and continue baking until brown and crusty, 20 to 30 minutes more. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the rolls rest in the pan for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove them from the pan; the rolls will come out in a single loaf.

Serve the loaf warm, breaking off the rolls at the table. Or let cool, top side up, on the rack. Makes 12 rolls.


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