Garlic Cheese Bread

These days my inbox is barraged with all the food related newsletters.  I admittedly send many to the trash before reading them but something about the August 16th issue of Tasting Table caught my eye.  It was a recipe from Slice Pizza and Brew in Birmingham, AL for Garlic Cheese Bread.  My love is baking and there is no denying how amazing this looks, right?

I tried the recipe tonight and was thrilled with the results.  I make a lot of homemade pizza, using a version of the Chez Panisse pizza dough, made with regular all-purpose flour.  This dough is made with bread flour, higher in gluten which creates a more elastic dough.  A touch of honey and a pinch of oregano were nice in there too.  It kneads itself in the electic mixer with a dough hook, rises an hour, then rests in the fridge for four hours more.  The result is a beautiful dough that stretches easily into the elongated rectangle shapes you’ll want.  Mine was a touch sticky so I made sure to dust it with flour before I wrapped it for the fridge, and dusted my board a bit more before stretching it out.

The only tricky part is transferring the very long rectangle of dough to something like a pizza peel.  It needs to end up on your pizza stone in the oven, so the peel seems like the natural vessel to get it there.  Problem is the rectangles are about twice as long as my pizza peel.  Here’s how it looked before it went into the oven (I originally had it on a long wooden cutting board but it wouldn’t slide onto the stone, hence the transfer to my cornmeal dusted pizza peel):

I ended up making one just barely fit on the peel and had to cut my second one in half.  Didn’t matter, they got to the stone just fine and baked quickly and perfectly.

The dough had the perfect chew-thin but not cracker-like with lots of bubbles around the golden crust.  It’s topped simply, with olive oil, garlic, thyme, and grated mozzarella-I sprinkled salt around the edges too.  I’m won over by the crust and will be using it for pizzas..a  lot. 

Thanks Tasting Table-glad your note broke through the clutter.

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