Whole Heard Garlic Cheese Bread
8-20 Hourstotal time
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dry yeast
1 ½ cups water
2 Heads of garlic peeled, cloves left whole (approx. 20 cloves)
1 block Kerrygold Aged Cheddar (or any hard cheese) diced (7-8 oz)
¼ cup flour for dusting
¾ cup flour for coating cutting board
Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Slowly add 1 cup of water while mixing. Add both heads of peeled garlic and diced aged cheddar. Add remaining water and mix/knead dough until combined.
Dough should be very sticky. Add more water if flour is still dry. Once mixed, lightly dust with an additional ¼ cup of flour. Cover/seal bowl with plastic wrap and a dish cloth so that no light is on the dough. Let sit for 8-20 hours. Despite what people tell you baking is not an exact science so don't worry too much about time or even the amounts of the ingredients.
Once dough has risen, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place a Dutch oven w/lid in oven during preheating process. Remove dough from bowl and place on a large cutting board or surface with ¾ cup flour coating the surface of the cutting board. Knead dough for 3-4 minutes until it forms a tight ball. The surface of the dough should be stretchy, but not wet or sticky. Place dough back in bowl and let rise for another hour before re-kneading (Honestly, while this will make the bread retain it's shape better when baking, I usually skip this step as it doesn't do anything to improve the flavor. Skip this step). Score the top of the dough with an X using a wet knife.
Remove Dutch oven from oven (it will be really hot). Brush some of the remaining flour from the cutting board into the Dutch oven, coating the bottom, to prevent the bread from sticking. Drop kneaded dough into the center of the Dutch oven. Put the lid on the Dutch oven and bake for 30 minutes at 450 degrees. Remove lid. Bake for another 5 minutes until bread is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for a minimum of 45 minutes. Eat.
**One point of note: Do not use a Dutch oven with a plastic handle on the lid. It will melt at 450 degrees.
8-20 Hourstotal time