Hot Cheese Bread

  • Serves: 4 mini-loaves or 2 standard-size loaves
  • Baking Temp (degrees F): 425
  • Views: 7096
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This recipe makes wonderful chewy and crusty loaves filled with melted aromatic cheese.

1 1/4 cups unbleached bread flour; spoon into measuring cup and level to rim
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon instant active dry yeast
1/2 cup cool water

1 Starter
1 cup + 2 tablespoons to 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water*
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour; spoon into measuring cup and level to rim
1/2 teaspoon instant active dry yeast
*Use the greater amount of water in winter, when conditions are dry; and the lesser amount in summer, when the weather is humid.

2 1/2 cups grated Gruyère cheese, or the grated/shredded cheese of your choice, such as sharp cheddar, or a mixture of provolone and mozzarella
1 tablespoon Kelly's Garlic Oil or olive oil mixed with 1/2 teaspoon crushed fresh garlic

1. To make the starter: Mix the 1 1/4 cups flour, salt, yeast, and 1/2 cup water in a medium-sized bowl. Mix until well combined; the starter will be very dry. Cover and let rest overnight at room temperature; it'll become bubbly.

2. To make the dough: Combine the risen starter with the water, salt, flour, and yeast. Knead by hand, mixer, or bread machine set on the dough cycle to make a smooth dough.

3. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let it rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until it's nearly doubled in bulk.

4. Gently deflate the dough, and pat and stretch it into a 3/4-inch thick rectangle, about 9-inches x 12-inches. Spritz with water, and sprinkle with the grated cheese.

5..Starting with a long side, roll it into a log, pinching the seam to seal. Place the log, seam-side down, on a lightly floured or lightly oiled surface.

6. Cover it and let it rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until it's puffy though not doubled in bulk.

7. Towards the end of the rising time, position the oven shelf in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

8. Gently cut the log, straight down with a bench scraper, into four crosswise slices, for mini-breads; or simply cut the dough in half, for two normal-sized loaves.

Place them on one (for two loaves) or two (for four mini-loaves) lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheets, cut side up. Spread them open a bit, if necessary, to more fully expose the cheese. Spritz with warm water, and immediately place them in the preheated oven.

8. Bake for 20 minutes (for the mini-loaves), or 35 minutes (for the full-sized loaves), or until the cheese is melted and the loaves are a very deep golden brown. Remove them from the oven and cool on a wire cake rack.

This recipe is adapted from King Arthur Flour.

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