Before I made this yesterday, I was a bread-making virgin. I don't know what the drive in me was to make bread, but I seriously needed something to go with yesterday's stew. Of course, I had sourdough baguette in the fridge, but I really wanted to try my hand at making bread.
For my first attempt, I really wanted to make the Parmesan Ciabatta from Amber's Delectable Delights, but didn't realize that it had a 12-20 hour wait period built in. I did some searching and found this recipe for Asiago Bread from That's My Home. My changes are noted in Italics.
1 Tbsp (.25 oz) dry active yeast (or one of the small packets)
5 - 6 C white unbleached flour - I used 5.5 cups of AP flour
1 Tbsp salt
1-1/2 C chopped red onion - 1/2 of a medium-sized red onion yielded AT LEAST a cup (without actually measuring) so that's how much I used.
2 cups lukewarm water, 95-100°F.
2 T. rosemary - I substituted 2 Tbsp. dried dill weed
1 1/2 C. Asiago cheese, grated - I chose to finely chop it instead. I used about 5 oz.
Dissolve 1 tbsp. dry active yeast in 2 cups of lukewarm water. Stir. Let sit 5 - 15 minutes.
In a separate bowl mix 5 - 6 cups flour with 1 Tbsp salt and the dill (or other herb).
Mix flour mixture with yeast water. Knead for 5 minutes. Add 1-1/2 cups chopped red onions. Knead for 5 minutes. Cover with a towel, let rise in warm spot for 1 hour, or until double in size. Pound down.
Add grated Asiago Cheese. Knead until mixed. Cut into 2 loaves. Dough can be put into loaf pan or shaped into loaves, round or oblong. Place on parchment paper (non-waxed) on or in a pan. Bake at 400°F. for 40 - 50 minutes.
I took mine out after 45 minutes. The outside was a bit crusty, but it worked out well when paired with the stew.
Overall, I was thoroughly impressed that I didn't screw up this bread! Being my first time, I had feelings that I would cut into the fresh bread and it would be totally uncooked. I can't wait to try more bread recipes, once I figure out the lingo. I have no idea what 'biga' is...