Mmmmmm…Homemade Parmesan Bread
My Mom always talked about making bread “in the old days” when she was a kid. Coming from the beginning of the convenience era, it really never occurred to me to make my own bread from scratch. After all, if you didn’t want grocery store bread, in Ann Arbor you had Zingerman’s, Great Harvest, Ed’s bread, to name a few, so why make it yourself? But then my husband bought me a Kitchen Aid mixer (remember, I featured it in a post about tools I couldn’t live without), and I decided to try some bread recipes. I have had some success with wheat bread and pizza dough, but I usually make bread in the fall or winter.
While looking for some new recipes, this recipe caught my eye because a dear friend has a weakness for two things: bread and Parmesan cheese. I could make her lava cakes, rich tortes, gooey candy, any kind of luscious dessert and she would turn it down. But put some fresh Parmesan cheese and homemade bread in front of her and she can’t resist! So when I saw this recipe, I thought, “hmmmmm…best of both worlds…gotta try it.”
If you don’t have a mixer, you can still make this bread…I’ve included both instructions.
This bread is really delicious and it makes two loaves. So next time I make it, one loaf will be delivered to my friend.
Homemade Parmesan Bread
- Two envelopes active dry yeast
- 1 ¼ cups lukewarm water
- 2/3 cup nonfat dry milk *
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 ¾ – 4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 large egg white, lightly beaten, for glazing the bread
Delicious, homemade, Parmesan bread
- Dissolve the yeast in water in a large bowl. Stir in nonfat dry milk, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, 1 whole egg, olive oil, sugar, salt, cayenne, and 3 cups of the flour. Beat well with a wooden spoon (or, if you have a mixer with a dough hook, mix it on speed 2 or 3). If using the mixer, add the flour gradually if you don’t want it to “snow” flour in your kitchen!
- When mixed well, gradually add enough of the remaining flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
- If making without the mixer, turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it until the dough is smooth, elastic, and only slightly sticky. (If using the mixer, knead it by running it on speed 2 until you get the results described above.)
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning the dough to coat, and cover with plastic wrap or a thick towel. Let it rise in a warm place (out if the way of air conditioning vents, windows, or other drafty areas), until doubled in size, about 1 ½ hours.
- Punch down the dough (literally punch it in the middle to take the air out of it), and turn it out onto a floured work surface.
- Divide it in half and shape each half into a ball.
- Place balls of dough on an oiled baking sheet, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled, 30-40 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Brush the risen loaves with egg white.
- With a sharp knife, make three ½-inch-deep slashes in each loaf.
- Sprinkle loaves with the remaining tablespoon of Parmesan cheese.
- Bake until the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom, about 25-35 minutes.
- Cool on a wire rack.
- *Non-fat dry milk is usually sold in big boxes that may last you a lifetime, if you aren’t going to make bread every week. But I did find a one-cup or so package at Meijer’s. I’m sure other grocery stores also carry these small packs. I read that the dry milk works better for breads of all kinds, so I’m not including a liquid milk substitute, although I am sure one exists.
- If you have never kneaded dough, allrecipes.com has a good video that should help.
I couldn’t wait and I cut into my bread when it was warm. It’s delicious with regular butter…would also be delicious with herb butter, but I didn’t want to mask the taste of the Parmesan.
This is a pretty easy recipe…so give it a try. It’s worth the effort!