Rosemary Cheese Bread
Serve this pretty loaf of pull-apart bread whole at the table and let your guests serve themselves. Don’t be surprised when everyone goes back for seconds—and thirds.
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 2 1/4 tsp. (1 package) active dry yeast
- 3 3/4 cups (19 oz./590 g) unbleached bread flour, plus more as needed
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g) grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 2 cups (8 oz./250 g) shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
In a small bowl, combine 1 1/3 cups (11 fl. oz./330 g) warm water and the sugar and sprinkle with the yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes, then stir to combine.
In the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the 3 3/4 cups (19 oz./590 g) flour and the salt. Add the yeast mixture and mix on very low speed until thoroughly combined. Sprinkle half of the Parmesan cheese over the dough. When the mixture pulls away from the sides of the bowl, increase the mixer speed to medium-low and continue to knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, 12 to 15 minutes, adding more flour if the dough is too sticky or 1 Tbs. of water at a time if the dough is too dry. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead by hand for 1 to 2 minutes.
Form the dough into a ball, brush it with a little olive oil and return it to the bowl. Cover with a towel and let rest in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 425°F (220°C). Brush a 4 1/4-quart (4.25-l) Le Creuset chef’s oven or a Dutch oven with a similar capacity with olive oil.
Place the remaining half of the Parmesan cheese on a plate along with 1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g) of the mozzarella.
Punch down the dough. Return it to the floured work surface and knead a few times. Then, using your palms, roll the dough to form a log about 12 inches (30 cm) long. Cut the log in half crosswise, then cut each half crosswise into 6 equal pieces. Working with 1 piece at a time, knead a piece of dough with 2 Tbs. of the mozzarella cheese until the cheese is thoroughly combined. Roll the dough between the palms of your hands into a ball.
Roll each dough ball in the Parmesan and mozzarella mixture to coat lightly and evenly, shaking off any excess. As each ball is coated, place it in the prepared pan. Arrange 9 balls around the perimeter of the pan and 3 balls in the center. Drizzle the balls with the 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) olive oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise again in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 30 to 40 minutes.
Sprinkle the top of the dough with any cheese remaining on the plate, the remaining 1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g) mozzarella and the rosemary. Using a sharp knife, cut a slash 1/4 inch (6 mm) deep in the top of each ball.
Bake the bread for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C) and continue baking until the bread is brown and crusty, 20 to 30 minutes more. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for a few minutes before turning the rolls out of the pan; the rolls will come out in a single loaf.
Serve the loaf warm, allowing diners to break off the rolls at the table. Makes 12 rolls.
Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen