I’ve made this bread twice in one week. It’s that good.
The recipe was inspired by our daughter and son-in-law who love the Parmesan pepper bread that they buy at a favorite Italian restaurant and retail sore. They had brought us a sample of that bread this past summer and I wanted to see if I could recreate for them when they came for dinner this past week.
I decided on using a hearty, no knead, crusty bread for my experiment – the kind of bread that you bake in a covered dutch oven. After the dough had risen for the specified amount of time, I patted it into a rectangle and spread a good half cup or so of finely diced Parmesan cheese and sprinkled on a good dose of freshly ground black pepper. I rolled it up into a log and allowed it to rest under plastic wrap until the oven and cast iron dutch oven were heated and ready to use.
I was very pleased at the look of the bread when I removed it from the oven! But would it taste as great as it looked?
The answer came when my son-in-law asked to take the uneaten portion of the bread home with him 🙂 I made it again two days later when our other daughter and her boyfriend came for dinner and certainly it won’t be the last time!
Autumn is in full swing here in the Midwest! My fall crocus is blooming and the leaves on the trees are turning red and gold and falling in a carpet on the lawn which makes great fun for two little boys to enjoy, especially with the beautiful week of weather we’ve enjoyed.
Makes one loaf
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups luke-warm water
1-2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon regular yeast
1/2 to 3/4 cup finely diced Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons freshly ground black peppercorns (more or less depending on your taste)
Special equipment: A large dutch oven with lid, preferably enamel-covered cast iron
Tip: Use a coffee bean grinder to grind larger amounts of peppercorns
a large bowl, blend together the flour, salt and yeast. Add the warm
water stir together. The mixture will be wet and shaggy looking.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and place on the kitchen counter at room temperature for 8-18 hours.
After dough is ready to use, preheat the oven to 450 F.
the dough onto a well-floured surface. Flour your hands and pat the
dough into a rough rectangle about 8″ x 14″. Spread the diced parmesan
cheese and ground black pepper over the dough and roll up into a log
from the narrower side. Cover with the plastic wrap and let the dough
rest for about 30 minutes or so.
While dough is resting, put a dutch oven with lid into the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
At this time, I cut three very shallow slashes across the top of the bread with a serrated knife (don’t cut too deep or the cheese will ooze out).
carefully remove the dutch oven with hot pads and, using floured hands,
place the bread dough into the dutch. Your may need a large, floured
spatula to assist you. If your dutch oven doesn’t have an enamel coating
have a piece of parchment paper already cut to size and place that
under the dough first.
Place the dutch oven into the oven,
replace the lid and bake for 30 minutes. Then, remove the lid and bake
for an additional 15 minutes uncovered.
Remove to a rack and cool.