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Serves : MAKES 1 LARGE LOAF

How to Make It

Step 1    

In a bowl, combine the water, yeast and sugar and let stand until foamy, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.

Step 2    

In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt; make a well in the center. Pour in the yeast mixture and stir well with a wooden spoon. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and satiny, about 7 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl; turn the dough ball to coat it evenly with oil. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.

Step 3    

Punch down the dough and knead it briefly while it is still in the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead again until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Return the dough to the bowl and let rest, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Step 4    

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, 1 to 2 minutes; set aside. In a small bowl, combine the parsley, scallion greens and rosemary.

Step 5    

Generously grease a 2 1/2 -quart round cast-iron casserole or a 10-inch skillet. Cut off a 1/2 -cup-size piece of dough. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the small piece of dough into a 10- to 12-inch round. Fit the dough round in the bottom and 1 inch up the side of the prepared casserole. Roll out the remaining dough to a 22-by-15-inch rectangle.

Step 6    

Spread the garlic evenly over the dough rectangle, leaving a 1-inch border. Sprinkle the herb mixture on the dough and spread the cheese evenly on top. Starting with a long side, roll the dough into a log. Cut 1 inch off each end of the log and discard. Cut the log crosswise into 8 equal slices. Set 1 slice on its side in the center of the dough-lined casserole and arrange the remaining 7 slices around it. Let the dough rise, uncovered, until it is about 3 inches high, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Step 7    

Preheat the oven to 350°. Bake the bread for 50 to 60 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Run a knife around the edge of the casserole to loosen the bread, then turn it out onto a rack. Using a clean kitchen towel, turn the bread right side up and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.

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