Florentine Parmesan and Rosemary Bread

florentinebread

I’ve been (slowly but surely) baking my way through World Breads: From Pain de Campagne to Paratha by Paul Gayler.  I chose this book to bake through 1.) it’s small, so I won’t be discouraged that I’m never going to get through it, 2.) I love the idea of baking my way around the world in bread, 3.) everything in the book looks delicious (and has been so far).  Last night, I had the biggest craving for bread. I went straight to this book and chose this recipe, which made two loaves. Husband and I devoured one last night- hot out of the oven- with sides of butter and olive oil with coarse salt and cracked pepper. The other was equally good for breakfast (since it does not have garlic) smeared with crabapple jam.

Florentine Parmesan and Rosemary Bread

4.5 cups strong white bread flour (500 g)

1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus a little extra for dusting (100 g)

1/4 oz (1 standard packet) active dry yeast or 15g fresh yeast

1 tsp fine sea salt

1 large egg, beaten

3 tbsp virgin olive oil

1 cup warm water (220 ml)

2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary, plus 2 springs rosemary sprigs

1. Place the flour, cheese, dried yeast and salt in a large bowl.

2. Add the egg and olive oil and, using one hand, bring together with the water to form a dough.

3. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes to a smooth, elastic and pliable dough.  Add the rosemary and mix well.  Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film or a damp cloth and leave to rise in a warm place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

4. Turn out the dough again onto a floured surface and knock back to expel the air.

5. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180ºC). Lightly grease a baking sheet with a little oil. Shape the dough into 2 long batons, slash a cut down centre of each with a sharp knife, and place on the baking sheet.  Cover with a damp cloth, return to a warm place to rise again for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

6. Spray or brush with a little water, dust lightly with the Parmesan and arrange the rosemary springs down the center  of each loaf. Bake on the center shelf, about 30-35 minutes or until the bread is golden.  Transfer to a cooling rack.

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