Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Cheese Bread

I baked bread this past weekend...a few loaves of different kinds that I wrapped up and stored in my freezer for those cold winter mornings when I feel like some warm homemade bread with a cup of coffee. My Mom was a bread baker and I have always followed her recipes as well as her methods and techniques. They are easy and delicious....especially this homemade cheese bread....I love this with scrambled eggs!

Cheese Bread

1 tablespoon active yeast
1 cup lukewarm milk (about 110 degrees)
2 tablespoon butter, melted and cooled
3 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided

Combine yeast ,sugar and milk, stir and leave for 15 minutes to dissolve. Add the melted butter to the mixture after it has cooled.

Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir until you form a rough dough. You want the dough to be soft and tacky but not too sticky. If the dough seems too dry, add 2-3 tablespoons of warm water.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead for 1 or 2 minutes to make any final adjustments, then form the dough into a ball.

Place the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. I usually spray my plastic wrap with non-stick cooking spray before I cover the bowl. Let it rest at room temperature for 60 to 90 minutes or until it doubles in size. Punch down the dough with your fist and then knead in 1 and 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese, distributing it as evenly as possible.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9 x 5 inch bread loaf pan. Fold the dough, form into a loaf shape in the pan, tucking the ends under. Leave in a warm place until the dough rises above the rim of the pan. Sprinkle top with the remaining half cup of shredded cheese. Bake for 50 minutes on center rack in oven.

Remove from the pans and cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving.

NOTE: If you don't plan to bake your bread the same day, make sure you allow it to rise in the refrigerator overnight. The dough should double in size in the refrigerator.

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