Recipe from Cook Like a Champion

My mom is going to be so excited to see that I am finally blogging this recipe.  I made this for Christmas dinner and it was a huge hit, and she has been asking for the recipe ever since. 🙂  It was the easiest and most flavorful bread recipe I’ve made.

Seriously – it rises for 15 minutes and finishes rising in a humid oven.  All the ingredients get thrown together in the mixer, knead, form a ball, 15 minute rise, hot water in oven and cook for 40 minutes.  Love it!  And the smell is amazing!

The original recipe makes two loaves of bread, but I cut it in half to make one.

Ingredients:
3 c AP flour
3/4 c plus 1/3 c Asiago cheese, shredded
1 T instant yeast
1 T sugar
1/2 T salt
1/2 T dried Italian seasoning
1/2 t dried rosemary
1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes (more or less according to taste)
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t minced fresh garlic (I definitely used more, but I love garlic!)
1 c hot water (120-130 degrees)
EVOO, for the bowl and drizzling

Directions:
In a stand mixer, mix together flour, 3/4 c cheese and the seasonings.  Add the hot water and use the dough hook to mix on low for 2-3 minutes.  Turn it up and knead for about 4 minutes, until dough pulls away from the sides.

Remove from bowl and form a rough ball. Lightly coat the inside of the bowl with oil, and return dough to the bowl, turning to coat both sides. Cover with a tamp towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 15 minutes.

Punch the dough down and pull the top of the dough down over the sides, tucking underneath to form a tight ball.

Place on an ungreased baking sheet, and, using a sharp knife, cut a 1/4″ deep ‘x’ on the top of the dough.  Drizzle with about 1-2 T of olive oil and then sprinkle on the remaining cheese.

Place a cake pan filled with hot water in the oven on the bottom rack, and place the baking sheet on the rack above.  Turn oven to 400 degrees (do not preheat the oven) and start the timer for 40 minutes.

When bread is a deep golden brown remove from oven (may need another 10 minutes or so to reach this point).  Let cool for a few minutes before slicing.

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