Parmesan Wheat Bread

November 12th, 2007

As I was making this bread, I kept thinking to myself, “this is such a pain in the butt. There is no way this will be worth the effort.” Then it came out of the oven. Now, I think I’ll be making this recipe at least once a week! It was amazing — light and full of air and not at all grainy. The parmesan taste is really subtle, but it gives the bread’s flavor a really nice kick.

Now, let me explain why this recipe was a (worthwhile) pain. Using whole wheat flour alone (as opposed to all purpose flour, or a mix of the two) means that the dough will take a long time to rise. In order to get the dough to rise, I had to crank up the heat in my apartment, while the oven was preheating, and leave them on my kitchen table in the hot sun with the shades open. At one point, my thermometer read 102 degrees on the table! Needless to say, kind of a pain. Plus, the water has to be 120 to 130 degrees when you add it to the dry ingredients — my sink can’t get water that hot, so I had to microwave it and then test the temperature again. Again, annoying. But, I swear, one bite of the finished product was enough to make me swear by this recipe. I’ve put some tips into the directions to make it easier, if others want to try it!
Parmesan Wheat Bread

2 1/2 cups of 100% whole wheat flour
1 cup of hot water (120 to 130 degrees)
1 package of yeast (11 grams)
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Mix flour, salt, sugar, and yeast.
3. Turn on faucet until water is as hot as it gets. Measure temperature. If temperature is below 120 degrees, measure a cup of water and pour into a microwaveable bowl. Microwave on high for 40 seconds, and take temperature again. Repeat if water is not 120 degrees.
4. Add water to the flour mixture and knead until blended. Add parmesan cheese and knead for 2-3 minutes more, or until blended.
5. Place the dough in a greased bowl, coating all sides of dough. Cover bowl with saran wrap, and let rise somewhere warm for 30 minutes, or until dough has doubled in size.
6. Punch down dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough flat into a 12″x18″ rectangle. Cut dough in half to form two 12″x9″ rectangles. Roll up each half of dough tightly, creating a 12″ log. Continue to roll until log is16″ long, and cut in half. Repeat for both halves of dough (creating four 8″ rolls).
7. Place each roll 3 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Make deep diagonal slashes across loaves every 2 inches. Cover with saran wrap, and let rise in a warm place for 40 minutes, or until doubled again.
8. Pour one cup of water into a second baking dish, and place in preheated oven.
9. Bake bread for 20 to 25 minutes, or until tops of loaves are just starting to brown.

Makes four 8″ mini-loaves.

Tags: breads · food

10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Susan // Nov 15, 2007 at 12:52 am

    This looks great! The combination of whole wheat with parmesan is very appealing. (BTW, how much parmesan did you use?)

    You left a comment on my blog asking for suggestions. The only thing I would offer is that in general I have not found it necessary to use water that hot, nor to warm the dough while it is rising. Using water that is around body temperature (or cooler if I am mixing in a mixer) and fermenting at normal room temperature will mean a longer rising period, but this will give more flavor to most breads.

    I’m looking forward to seeing more of your breads!

  • 2 Katy // Nov 15, 2007 at 1:39 am

    Ha!  I totally left the parmesan out of the ingredients list.  I used a (generous) half cup.

    Thanks so much for the advice!  Very helpful — especially on the water, because the yeast package said to do it!  But both those tips make the recipe SO much easier!

  • 3 Stacey // Nov 16, 2007 at 7:19 am

    Oh WOW.  This looks phenomenal!  And 100% whole wheat too — bonus!  It can be really disheartening being a whole wheat baker because even “whole grain” books use mostly white flour.  There is hope for us after all!  I can’t wait to try it!

  • 4 Katy // Nov 16, 2007 at 4:42 pm

    Pretty much every time I try a non-dessert recipe that calls for all purpose flour, I make the same recipe with whole wheat flour pretty soon after, to see if the substitution works.  Most of the time it does!  I have SO much trouble finding acceptable fresh whole wheat bread in bakeries/supermarkets, so this was a very satisfying project for me!

  • 5 Stacey // Nov 17, 2007 at 11:07 pm

    I’ve found the same thing when it comes to substitutions.  I’ve also starting using white whole wheat flour in dessert recipes and the flavor results usually come out quite well too.  If you’re looking for a good 100% whole wheat bread book, I’d recommend Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book.  Great instructions for the whole wheat method and delicious, healthy recipes… this book is the real deal.  One of my favorite features of the book is that it talks about how to adapt temperature and yeast to adjust fermentation times.  I personally find that 24-hour whole wheat breads are far superior to standard 4-hour recipes and weirdly enough, it’s much easier to fit them into my schedule.

    I’m battling right now to decide what bread to serve with Thanksgiving and am thinking about using your Parmesan loaf.  Do you think this would fit into a Thanksgiving menu well, and do you think it could be adapted into rolls?

  • 6 Katy // Nov 18, 2007 at 12:37 am

    I think they could definitely be adapted to rolls — they would probably make about 8-12 rolls, you would just have to shape them into balls, and not roll them into loaves, when you baked them!

    I’m definitely going to have to experiment with 24-hour breads — it would definitely be nice to be able to make them during the week without staying up until 2 am. 🙂

  • 7 Judy // Aug 25, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    This is my first time at your website.  I was searching for recipes for making whole wheat pasta, and I found one here that I will definitely try. Then I saw your recipe for Parmesan Wheat Bread that I will also try.  I read the comments about the ease of 24 hour bread.  My suggestion for easy bread recipes is “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” by Hertzberg/Francois.  The 100% Whole Wheat Bread recipe is superb, as is their master recipe (though it only uses white flour.)

  • 8 When It Works « Pippa Patchwork // Mar 29, 2010 at 5:26 am

    […] The rest of my day was a haze of crafting bliss, but this is the post that I’ll be sharing in a couple of days. Fast forward to Sunday evening: I was back in the kitchen making Sugarlaws whole wheat parmesan bread. […]

  • 9 Derick // Apr 19, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Thanks for the recipe. It’s delicious. I ended up having to use closer to a cup and a half of water to get the dough to come together, used honey instead of sugar, added some olive oil to the dough, and had to kneed it closer to 10 minutes, but it turned out great.

  • 10 Rosemary // Aug 24, 2010 at 7:00 am

    You should buy some gluten at a health food store or some supermarkets and add an equal amount of gluten as you do yeast and it will help with rising.  The processing of grains removes the gluten which helps bread to rise.  JMHO

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