Roasted Garlic Cheddar Loaf
After my sorry attempt at shaping my Pain de Campagne loaves I was itching to try again. After a suggestion from a fellow bread baker, I watched Jeffrey Hamelman  and Ciril Hitz  in video tutorials on how to make basic shapes. This helped more than looking at a series of pictures in a book! So this time, instead of tackling 3 different shapes, I just stuck to 1....the Batard.
I also stuck with the same recipe for Pain de Campagne but I made my own version by adding some roasted garlic and cheddar to the dough....for something a bit different (and because I had these items in the house and wanted to use them up!).
The day before baking, I made a preferment as follows:
- 5 oz AP flour
- 5 oz unbleached bread flour
- 1/2 tsp instant yeast
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 c water
I mixed and kneaded for about 4 minutes and then let it rest on the counter for 1 hr. Before...
I then punched it down, gave it a quick knead and put it in the fridge overnight.
The next day I took out the preferment 1 hr before mixing the final dough.
During this time I roasted 2 small heads of garlic at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
I must say the aroma in my kitchen was phenomenal! Until recently I had never roasted garlic before, just sauteed it and I have to tell you....it gives garlic a whole other dimension that is best described through the smell of it than words alone! So seriously...try it sometime...or maybe you have and I've just fallen way behind.
Anyway....back to my lovely bread. I let the garlic cool on the counter, then mashed it up and set it aside.
I then put together the final dough as follows:
- all of the preferment (about 16oz)
- 8 oz unbleached bread flour
- 1.5 oz rye flour
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- 3/4 c water
- all of the mashed garlic
- about 1/3 to 1/2 c shredded cheddar (about a handful)
- Cut the preferment into 12 pieces.
- In a bowl, mix together the flours, preferment, water, yeast, garlic and salt until a rough dough ball forms. Let rest for 15min.
- Knead or stretch and fold for about 10 minutes. Towards the end of kneading, add in the cheddar until it's all uniformly incorporated.Let rest in an oiled bowl for 30 minutes.
- Perform 2 stretch and folds and return it to the bowl and let it rise for about 30min to 1 hr or until it's doubled in size.
- Preshape the loaves by cutting in half and then forming these halves into 2 boules. Let rest for 20 minutes before the final shaping.
- Shape into batards and let proof seam side up for 1 hr.
- Flip onto a baking sheet dusted with cornmeal, score, sprinkle with cheddar cheese and bake at 500 degrees for 2 min with a steam pan at the bottom of the oven.
- Reduce the temperature to 450 and continute baking for 10 minutes. Rotate the loaves and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Let cool completely before devouring!
Truely, this is garlic bread at it's best without all the butter. The flavor also matures over time so it was heavenly the next day! I was pleased with both my shaping and flavor profile of the bread....the garlic was there but not overpowering and the cheddar paired beautifully with it....although it may have used a bit more for color throughout the loaves, but you could at least still taste it. And the crumb.....well, light and creamy and OH! so delicious!