This is one of the “fancy” takes on a basic artisan bread recipe I found on Pinterest (link at the bottom). My mom thought it sounded great when she came to visit, so we gave it a try. And, I can say that while this wasn’t as much my cup of tea, it got RAVE reviews from my co-workers the next day.
I wanted to try this recipe because I’m still trying out different bread recipes, so wanted to see how this turned out. And the flavor combination was really intriguing as well—what’s not to like?!
It also made me realize how badly I need to invest in some good knives. Chopping rosemary shouldn’t be so hard…my mom had to work hard!
I’ve apparently been on a huge lemon kick, between the cheesecake, this, and the lemon/goat cheese pasta I made that weekend (post pending). But it’s just such a great, versatile flavor.
And together it looks like some country’s flag. A country founded on deliciousness.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and yeast.
Next you’ll prepare your add-ins. First, zest a lemon. I wasn’t paying close attention so I zested two…my bread was VERY lemon-y.
Grate the cheese—fresh is always preferable versus the pre-grated store-bought stuff. It bakes with a much better texture and flavor overall. The recipe called for gruyere, which is delicious (but also expensive). I had half a block of sharp Irish cheddar on-hand, so that’s what I used. It was also delicious, but had a much more intense flavor.
Chop up the rosemary really fine.
Add all three ingredients—the lemon zest, rosemary, and shredded cheese—to the dry ingredients.
Add the water and mix just enough to where a shaggy dough forms. It’s not pretty.
Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 12-18 hours. I was around 18 for us. This is the hardest part, scheduling this to where you’ll be around to bake it when it’s done rising.
Here’s what it looked like when it was done rising.
Turn the dough out onto a *heavily* floured surface. Seriously, however much flour you think you need, you probably need like three times that much. It is really wet dough.
Work that flour into the dough and knead just a little (not even really kneading, just working the flour in). Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 450. When it’s ready, place the enamel cast iron pan (including the lid) in the oven. Let it heat for 30 minutes while the dough is sitting. Make sure the pan you have can stand that heat. It doesn’t have to be enamel cast iron, but it needs to be able to take the heat.
Place the dough (carefully, so as not to burn yourself) in the heated pot. I put down parchment paper first, because it’s magical and keeps everything from sticking. Also note, wax paper is NOT the same as parchment paper, and will catch fire.
Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on. Then remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes.
Golden, crusty, delicious bread.
Let it cool before serving.
It had a nice thick crust on the outside, but was soft and chewy on the inside, great texture overall. The original recipe link below has other ideas for add-ins, like cranberries and nuts, that kind of thing. Definitely let me know if you try any great ones!
Lemon, Rosemary, & Irish Cheddar Bread
- 3 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 3/4 teaspoons of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of yeast
- 1 1/2 cups of water
- Zest of one lemon
- Chopped rosemary (no exact amount)
- Shredded Irish cheddar or gruyere (probably around a cup or cup and a half)
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt and yeast. Stir in the zest, rosemary, and cheese. Add water and mix until a shaggy mixture forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12 – 18 hours. Overnight works great.
- Heat oven to 450 degrees. When the oven has heated, place a cast iron pot with a lid in the oven and heat the pot for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, pour dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball, working some flour into it so it’s not so wet. Cover with plastic wrap and let set while the pot is heating.
- Remove the hot pot from the oven, line with parchment paper (if you have it), and drop in the dough. Cover and place in the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack.
Original recipe here: http://simplysogood.blogspot.com/2010/03/crusty-bread.html