Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Garlic Parmesan Pot Boile

So after the success of my first bread baking experiments, I wanted to make some when my family said they were having dinner. They always like bread--so while the menu wasn't set I planned to take a garlic Parmesan pot boile. Typically for me the second time I made stupid mistakes, demonstrating my need to follow directions ALWAYS, but especially when baking.

1 head garlic
1 tbs olive oil
1/4 c grated fresh Parmesan, plus extra for garnish
15 oz bread flour
5 oz whole wheat bread flour
2 tsp table salt
1 1/4 tsp instant fast rising yeast
2 c plus 2 tbs ice water

This is pretty similar to my first loaf of bread I made from this Kneadlessly Simple Book, with some added extras to make it more of a dinner bread. Before I could even get started on the bread, I needed to roast the garlic and grate the Parmesan. I usually do multiple heads at once because they are so delicious and go in so many dishes! The book's directions calls for using more oil and a custard cup than I usually use--I just cut off the tips, spray with cooking oil, and wrap in foil. The packets go in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes. It is important that they cool down ALL the way before you put them with the Parmesan or it will create a greasy mess. I may have learned this the hard way. Once it is all cooled, take the garlic out of the skins and mash them really well with a fork to form a paste. Then add it to the grated Parmesan. This can be done in advance.

So in a big bowl whisk together all of the flours, salt, and yeast. Then in a measuring cup I mixed the water and the garlic mixture really well, and then added it to the dry ingredients. It takes a bit of stirring to combine, and you want to make sure you get all the garlic and cheese mixed through.  Once the dough is together, spray the top with cooking spray (olive oil would be nice). I stuck it in the fridge for about 6 hours, though as much as 10 hours. Then the dough raises in a cool space for between 12-18--I set it out around 9 or 10 before bed.

After the first rise, the dough is gently deflated with a rubber spatula and allowed to rise again for another 2 1/2 hours in a warm place. The real advantage to doing the first rise at night and the second in the day is that my apartment is normally cooler at night and warmer in the day--so it can actually stay in the same place.

Here's the part I messed up--the dutch oven goes into the oven and it all preheats to 450 in the last 20 minutes before the end of the final rise. Then the dough is gently turned out into the screaming hot pan, a little water is drizzled on top, and the remaining Parmesan is sprinkled on top. The lid goes on the pot and it gets shaken to settle the dough. Then (and this is the part I forgot) the oven is turned down to 425 degrees, the pot is returned to the oven, and it bakes for 45-50 minutes. I didn't turn down the heat, so it baked for the first 45 minutes at 450. At this point, the lid can come off if the bread hasn't browned--either way it cooks for another 10-15 minutes until it is done.

Verdict: It is a bit hard to see, but it got a little over browned, the crust was extra crusty. The garlic flavor was super strong, not as much the Parmesan. I thought it was good, though I think that the pesto version might balance out the garlic. Also we ended up eating it with a dinner of quesidillas and quinoa, which was strange. But my sisters nibbled away at the bread, and said they thought it was delicious. Even my picky niece ate a bunch of the soft garlicy center.

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