Saturday, January 2, 2010
I'm unsure where I found this recipe. The original recipe was actually for a jalapeno cheese bread, but I didn't want to use the peppers for my bread. I have tweaked it to be my own recipe, and am super-excited to serve this with my Italian roast tonight.
There are several steps to this, but the actual preparation of the bread dough only took about 20 minutes. Don't be afraid to make this!!
1 1/2 tablespoons dry active yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water
4 cups flour
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 egg (let it sit out for a bit so that it's room temperature)
1 cup milk (warmed in the microwave for about 50 seconds)
2 1/2 cups cheddar cheese (chopped into about 1/2-inch cubes)
In a small bowl, proof yeast in water with 1 teaspoon of sugar for about five minutes, or until foamy. While it is proofing, heat your milk in the microwave.
In a large bowl, add in the flour, salt, sugar, egg, and warmed milk.
After the yeast has proofed, add to the flour mixture and begin kneading, adding in more flour as needed to create a soft smooth semi-sticky dough. It starts out really sticky, so it will take quite a bit more flour to get to a less-sticky consistency. Keep kneading for about ten minutes.
Towards the end of the kneading add in the cubed cheddar cheese, and mix until combined. Feel free to take the dough out of the bowl and really get your hands into it.
After the kneading, let the dough sit out on a board or counter top to rest, covered with a clean towel for 8-10 minutes. Take the dough and knead it gently for another 30 seconds.
Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl, and let rise until doubled in size, which may take 90 minutes or more. Punch down the dough and tear or slice into two even pieces. Shape the dough into two large balls, and place on a cookie sheet that has been lined with foil.
At this point, you may want to preheat your oven to 375.
Cover with a towel and rise again for another hour, or until doubled again. Brush the tops with an egg white that has been mixed with 1 teaspoon of cold water. Sprinkle on grated Parmesan cheese or sesame seeds.
Bake for 25-35 minutes or until the crust is a dark golden brown.
**If you'd like to make this a jalapeno cheese bread, coarsely chop two peppers and remove the seeds. Place it in the flour mixture before you begin kneading.