I won’t bore you with some random story about the origin of a recipe; hence, here’s the recipe for glorious cheese bread! Adapted from Seasons and Suppers‘ Soft Cheese Bread recipe.
- 6 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
- 1 Tbsp. coarse kosher salt
- 5 Tbsp white sugar
- 1 cup lukewarm water at about 95F-110F
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp lukewarm buttermilk
- 1 1/2 Tbsp instant yeast
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup of minced fresh thyme
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, salt and sugar together.
- In a large bowl, combine the water and buttermilk and whisk in the yeast until dissolved.
- Add this mixture, along with the vegetable oil, to the dry ingredients. Mix with the dough hook of a stand mixer, until the mixture is combined, about 2 minutes. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
- Continue mixing the dough, adding more flour or water, as needed, until the dough becomes soft, smooth and tacky, but not sticky.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes, then form dough into a ball. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temperature until doubled in size (about 60-90 minutes).
- Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Dust each with a bit of flour and then, using a rolling pin, roll into a rectangle approximately 10 inches wide and 16 inches long.
- Spread shredded cheddar and herbs evenly over the surface of the dough. Starting with the shortest side, roll the dough up, starting on small side, and pinch the seam together.
- Grease two 8-inch by 4-inch loaf pans and set aside.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the roll of dough down the center, lengthwise. Rotate each piece so that the cut sides are facing upward and place them side-by-side. Pinch together the farthest end. Keeping the cuts sides facing upwards as much as possible, place the right-side piece over the left-side piece. Straighten it up and then repeat, pinching together the end closest to you. If any cheese escapes, just place it back on top. Using a bench scraper or spatula, carefully lift the dough into the greased loaf pan. Repeat with the other dough log, then cover both with a greased piece of plastic wrap and allow to rise until the dough rises to about 1-inch above the side of the pans in the middle.
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Bake for 45-50 minutes total, but after 25 minutes of baking, rotate pans front-to-back in the oven and loosely cover with a piece of aluminum foil if necessary (if bread is already well-browned), to prevent the top from over-browning. Bread should reach about 185° internal temperature in the center.
- Remove the bread from the oven and allow to cool in the pans for a couple of minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the bread and carefully remove the loaves to a cooling rack. Allow to cool for 1 hour before slicing.