Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Camembert Bread

Ingredients for marinated Camembert:
2 unpasteurized small wheels of Camembert
chopped sun-dried tomatoes
chopped kalamata olives/tapenade
fresh thyme, basil and whole bay leaf
cracked garlic
extra virgin olive oil

Ingredients for cumin seed topping:
cumin seeds
fresh thyme and bay leaves
sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
flour for dusting

Ingredients for basic bread dough:
1 lb. bread flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 ounce unsalted butter
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 quart warm water (made from 1 part boiling, 1 part chilled)
1 pinch of sugar

Preparing the Camembert:
Prepare the cheese by piercing the top and bottom rind with a fork. Remove any hard rind with a knife. Marinate overnight, if possible, with olive oil, salt, pepper, fresh herbs, tomatoes, olives and garlic etc.

Preparing the bread:
In a large bowl mix together the flour, salt, butter and yeast.

Stir in the water and mix into a soft dough.

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead well for 10 minutes by hand or 5 minutes in an electric mixer with a fitted dough hook.

Shape the dough into a ball and place in a floured bowl. Cover with damp cloth and leave in a warm place until doubled in size.

Once doubled turn out onto the table and gently press out the excess gas from the dough.

Knead a couple of times to smooth out the dough. Divide into 2.

Roll each piece out 1 times bigger than the cheese.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Place the cheese in the center, add some of the ingredients from the marinade, and fold the dough over the top and turn over onto a floured baking sheet so that the folds overlap and are tucked underneath (pinch the edges together to secure). Brush the top with olive and finish with sprigs of thyme, bay leaves, cumin seeds, salt and pepper. Finish with a dusting of flour.

Leave to double in size in a warm, non-drafty place.

Just before placing dough in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, spray the inside of the oven with water. Spray again 5 minutes before the end of cooking.

Remove to a large serving board and allow to cool before serving.

Makes 2 loaves


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