Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Garlic Asiago Cheese Pull Apart Bread

I don't know what caused me to try to make bread of any sort. My last few encounters with bread weren't that great. I made an olive bread before and it was dense... I mean REALLY dense. Apparently the yeast never rose, so it was like eating a flavorful brick with olive pieces... Yum?!.. My last attempt was pizza dough. I wanted it rise so I figured more yeast... more rise in the dough. Wrong! It tasted completely like yeast even after I decided to use it and put a bunch of sauce and toppings on it. 

After these couple failures, I steered clear from anything doughy. But when I saw this recipe, I HAD to try it. I didn't care if I had to re-do the process a million times.. I was making THIS bread!!.... Luckily for me, it only took me two times. I probably would have had it right the first time, if I read the recipe right. I measured the flour with the measurement of water... I was wondering why it was so runny and got frustrated and threw it out. Right when the runny dough hit the trash, I realized I read the ingredients incorrectly. So back to beginning I went. 

Anyways, the end result was delicious! It was moist and cheesey and I could have eaten the entire loaf by myself in one sitting. I liked eating it with marinara sauce, but Sean ate it plain. 

Here's the recipe:
(Adapted from Pastry Affair)
Yields 1 Loaf

2 teaspoons active dry yeast 
1 1/3 cups barely warm water 
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
2 teaspoons salt 
3 1/2 cups all purpose (or bread) flour 
1/4 cup butter, melted 
1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs 
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1/2 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the yeast and water. Let sit 5 minutes until yeast is foamy. Mix in the olive oil, salt, and flour. If you have a stand mixer, attach the dough hook and knead the dough for 5-6 minutes, or until elastic. If you are doing this by hand, knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until dough is elastic, 7-10 minutes. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Allow to rise for 1 1/2 or until dough is doubled in size.
In a small bowl, combine melted butter, parsley flakes, and minced garlic. Set aside.
Punch down the dough. Tear off small pieces of dough (roughly the size of the bowl of a medium spoon), coat in the butter mixture, and place in the bottom of a loaf or bundt pan. Repeat this process until you have one layer of dough balls. Sprinkle on 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese. Continue layering the dough balls and cheese until you have 3 layers (Make sure your dough doesn't go over the rim of the pan, or else it may fall off and cook to the bottom of the oven.. Not a fun mess to clean up and you lose pieces of this yummy bread). Cover the pan with a clean towel and allow to sit until dough has doubled in size, 20-30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until bread is golden brown. Serve hot with a side of marinara or tomato sauce.

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