There are a lot of steps to this bread but it is simple and worth it. The bread comes out of the oven crispy on the outside and fluffy soft on the inside.
I took what was left of the loaf to work the next day and it was gone in minutes! Instead of Parmesan, I used the Pecorino Romano I have on hand all the time. You have to love Costco for their great cheese and awesome prices!
Rustic Cheese and Rosemary Bread Ingredients:
1 ¼ cups lukewarm water
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp instant or active dry yeast
1 ¾ cups flour
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp salt
1 ¾ to 2 cups flour
1 ¼ cups shredded Asiago cheese, divided
¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- In a large mixing bowl, combine water, sugar, yeast, and 1 ¾ cups of flour; mix well, cover, and set aside for 1 hour.
- After an hour the sponge will be nice and bubbly. Now add the olive oil, rosemary, and salt to the starter. Add the flour, ½ cup at a time, mixing until you have a soft dough.
- Add 1 cup of the Asiago and all of the Parmesan to the dough, kneading it in until fully incorporated.
- Grease a large bowl and put the dough in it; cover and let rise for 1 hour.
- When the dough has doubled, deflated it and shape into a football shape (or divide it into two smaller loaves).
- Sprinkler the surface lightly with flour and place on a parchment-lined or lightly greased baking sheet.
- Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise for 45 minutes or until the bread(s) have almost doubled in size.
While the dough is rising, set up your oven. Move the racks to the lowest and middle positions. If you have a baking stone, set it on the middle rack. Preheat the oven to 450. Place an ovenproof pan on the lower shelf.
- When the dough is puffy looking, add 1 ½ cups hot water to the pan in the hot oven. Spray the loaf lightly with water, and slash the top ½ inch deep lengthwise down the center of the loaf.
- Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of Asiago into the slash.
- Place the loaf in the oven and set the timer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 375 and bake for 20-25 minutes longer, until the crust is deep golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and cool on a rack before slicing