Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Parmesan-Romano Cheese Bread

I have learned that very often the 'easy way' is really the hard way.

One of the reasons I work out every day is because it's so fucking painful to go back to working out after a layoff. It's really easier just to get up early every day and 'do it.' It's actually easier to put in the effort

The same principle is true with healthy eating. Instead of going on a crazy 300-calorie juice fast for a quick fix so you can 'pig out' on the weekend, it's actually much more pleasurable to eat a moderate, healthy diet every day.

In middle school, I'd usually begin my book reports the night before they were due.  By graduate school, I was keeping up with the reading, taking notes on my computer when researching the papers I knew were due later in the semester, and getting up early to review the reading material before class. It wasn't that I was fanatically disciplined, but I had discovered that it was indeed easier to work a little bit everyday than binge on work for two miserable weeks during finals.

So why did I begin my ventures into yeast with no-knead bread?

My friend Aimee, who had made many loaves of bread before, got sucked into trying the famous no-knead bread that started the trend.  Her verdict: 'meh.'

I liked my no-knead challah dough coffee cake, but what with all of the waiting and the stickiness, I wouldn't call it easy.

After trying the no-knead variety, Aimee headed back to her print version of the Joy of Cooking, rose at 5am on a Saturday morning to make bread for her daughter, and by breakfast time she had two perfect loaves. Her only complaint: "two people don't need two loaves of bread!"

Aimee inspired me to make my own traditional kneaded bread.

I do have to warn you about one slightly fussy aspect of this recipe--it does have 1/2 of an egg as an ingredient. Personally, I'm 'okay' with that, but if you're not, it's very easy to double this recipe. Like Aimee, I only needed one loaf.

Other than dividing the egg, I actually think this recipe is much easier than no-knead bread. I'm sure I'll  attempt other no-knead breads, but I won't do so in the hopes they will be easier.


Parmesan-Romano Cheese Bread

Ingredients

3 cups-3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup grated fresh Parmesan-Romano shredded cheese (not the kind in the canister)
1 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 package (1/4 ounce) instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm milk
1/2 beaten egg (4 teaspoons of both egg and white beaten together)

Directions

1. Mix 1 1/2 cups flour, cheese, sugar, yeast, and salt.  Add milk and egg.  Add 1 1/2 cups more flour.  Add more flour if necessary until you can knead the mixture into a soft dough.

2. Knead on a flat, floured surface for 5-8 minutes.  Place in a bowl greased with butter, turning loaf so entire dough is greased. Cover and let rise until doubled for 1 hour.

3. Punch down dough, shape into a loaf.  Place in greased, parchment-lined 9x5 loaf pan.  Cover pan and let rise until doubled again for 45 minutes.

4. Bake at 375F for 25-30 minutes until the top is golden brown.

5 comments:

  1. I totally found that out the hard way--I used to do hours of cardio so I could big out. Now that I'm older, my joints like me much more when I just eat sensibly.
    Though I'd do hours of cardio for this bread, joints be damned.

    ReplyDelete
  2. @Blond Duck--I SO agree. I used to just do running,but now I try to balance that out with other activities like yoga and riding. I feel much fitter that way, too.

    And thanks for the compliment on the bread! If I could send it, I would have made two loaves!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love your mentality! And it's so true...putting in a little effort at a time is usually WAY easier than putting in a TON all at once. That bread is gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Half an egg! Ha. I'd probably use the whole thing and say, "oh, but it was a small egg" (and then later say, "why is this bread so eggy?"). I saw a recipe recently that called for 5/16 tsp of something. Since I eyeball everything under a tablespoon, I doubt I'd come close.

    ReplyDelete
  5. @Joanne--that means so much, coming from a fellow runner! And I know that you know what I mean, given that you are in med school!

    @flurrious--yes, I see 3/8ths of a teaspoon quite often in measurements and think that's crazy. And 5/16ths? At that point, I would just give it a pinch and hope for the best. You might be able to get away with the extra egg, though, by adding more flour. I do wish my dog liked eggs, since it would be so convenient to put half-eggs in her food.

    ReplyDelete