Crunchy Whole Wheat Parmesan Bread

To make this pull-apart-style loaf, the dough is cut into squares but left intact before it’s baked. Parmesan cheese sprinkled over the top provides a savory-salty note in every bite. Make the dough by hand, as instructed, or prepare it in a stand mixer with a paddle or dough hook.

BREAD

1 1/4 cups lukewarm water (85°F. to 95°F.)
1 (1/4-oz.) pkg. active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups bread flour, divided
1/4 cup (1 oz.) freshly shredded Parmesan cheese

TOPPING

1 egg white, beaten until foamy
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup (2 oz.) freshly shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Place water in large bowl; sprinkle with yeast. Let stand 30 seconds; stir until blended. Let stand 5 minutes or until yeast is foamy. Stir in whole wheat flour, 2 tablespoons oil and salt until batter is smooth. Slowly stir in 1 cup of the bread flour and 1/4 cup cheese to form soft dough. (Dough will be sticky.) Cover; let stand 15 minutes.

2. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface; knead 8 minutes or until dough is smooth and springy, using additional 1/2 cup bread flour as needed to keep dough from sticking.

3. Lightly oil clean large bowl. Place dough in bowl; turn to coat with oil. Cover; let rise in warm place 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Or cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.)

4. Lightly grease baking sheet or line with parchment paper. Gently punch dough down; place onto baking sheet. With greased hands, pat into 12-inch flat round loaf. Cover with clean towel; let rise in warm place 45 to 60 minutes or until loaf is almost doubled in size.

5. Meanwhile, place oven rack in lower third of oven. Heat oven to 375°F. With sharp knife (dip knife in flour to avoid sticking), cut dough all the way through into 32 pieces. (Leave loaf whole; do not separate.) Lightly brush top with egg white.

6. Bake 35 minutes or until light brown on top and pale brown on bottom. Brush with 1 tablespoon oil; sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese. Bake 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and bottom of bread is light brown. Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack.

1 (32-piece) loaf

PER PIECE: 65 calories, 2 g total fat (.5 g saturated fat), 2.5 g protein, 9 g carbohydrate, 0 mg cholesterol, 155 mg sodium, 1 g fiber


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