I have never been able to make a good homemade bread, and this time was no exception! The original recipe came from www.williams-sonoma.com, but I got the idea from Amber. I wanted something fairly simple, but not plain. I really think this is normally a really good bread, I just put too much flour and it was very flaky and heavy.
Use freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, preferably imported, for the best flavor. And you will achieve better results in bread making if you buy one of the professional-quality active dry yeasts, such as Engedura from Holland or SAF from France. You can also make the dough by hand: Stir together the ingredients in a bowl and then knead the dough on a lightly floured board until smooth and elastic, about 15 minutes.
3 3/4 cups unbleached bread flour, plus more as needed This is where I added too much
1 Tbs. (1 package) active dry yeast
2 tsp. salt
1 1/3 cups warm water
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese I used a mix of romano and parmesean
Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
In the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer, combine the 3 3/4 cups flour, the yeast and salt. Next time I will start with 3 cups and add from there. Add the warm water and stir with a wooden spoon until just mixed together. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the cheese over the dough. Fit the mixer with the dough hook and begin mixing and kneading on very low speed. When the mixture pulls away from the sides of the bowl, increase the mixer speed to medium-low and continue to knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, 12 to 15 minutes, adding more flour if the dough is too sticky. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead by hand for 1 to 2 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, brush it with a little olive oil and return it to the bowl. Cover with a towel and let rest in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 425°F. Brush a 9-inch round pan with olive oil. Place the remaining 1/4 cup cheese on a plate. Punch down the dough. Return it to the floured work surface and knead a few times. Then, using your palms, roll the dough to form a log about 12 inches long. Cut the log in half crosswise, then cut each half crosswise into 6 equal pieces. Knead each dough piece a couple of times, roll it between the palms of your hands into a ball, and then roll it in the cheese to coat lightly and evenly, shaking off any excess. As each ball is coated, place it in the prepared pan, resting it against the rim and pressing down slightly to form a 2-inch disk. Arrange 9 balls around the rim and 3 balls in the center. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise again in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 30 to 40 minutes. Sprinkle the top with the cheese remaining on the plate. I mixed in the basil and garlic power with the cheese before doing this step. I thought it needed a little something else. Using a razor blade or sharp knife, cut a slash 1/4 inch deep in the top of each ball. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F and continue baking until brown and crusty, 20 to 30 minutes more. I left mine in for 12 minutes and I think it was overcooked even then. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the rolls rest in the pan for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove them from the pan; the rolls will come out in a single loaf. Serve the loaf warm, breaking off the rolls at the table. Or let cool, top side up, on the rack. Makes 12 rolls.