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Easy Cheesy Bread

September 8, 2011

I’ve been on a huge bread making kick lately…

Muesli Bread (super fantastic to toast up for breakfast)

Deli Rye

and my most favorite, delicious Cheddar and Garlic Bread.

All of the above recipes are from the book “artisan bread in 5 minutes a day”

This bread pretty much makes itself, there’s no kneading, just mix, rise, toss it in the fridge for up to 7 days and bake as desired!   The method for all of the recipes are the same, just new ingredients, so to start off, I’m going to share the recipe and the method for the cheddar bread.  This recipe yields 4 -1 pound loaves of bread!

To begin, you’ll need a large bowl with a lid (not air tight)  I use my largest tupperware bowl for this and it works great.  If all you can find is an ice cream pail, that’ll work too but you’ll need to half the recipe.  This recipe is easily halved or doubled

The Recipe Vermont Cheddar Bread from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day

  • 3 cups of lukewarm water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of granulated yeast (2 packages)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sugar (I sub agave nectar)
  • 6 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • garlic powder, or garlic seasoning of choise (optional)

You can mix this up in a mixer if you have one, but I prefer to do it all by hand in my big bowl so I don’t dirty any extra dishes.

Combine the yeast with the water and the sugar in your bowl and whisk.  Give the yeast 3-5 minutes to hang out or until you begin to see it bubbling up.  Add the dry ingredients into the bowl.  (Be sure to measure the flour by scooping a heaping cup full and them sweeping the extra flour off the top)

Grate the cheese on top of the mixture and gently toss it with the flour so it doesn’t clump together.

Using a wooden spoon, mix it all together and once it gets too tough to mix with the spoon, wet your hand with water and mix the dough until there are no dry spots.  You may have to wet your hand a number of times to accomplish this.  Remember that you’re not kneading, just mixing in all of the flour.

You will end up with a fairly loose, wet dough.  Cover with the lid and let rise on the counter for 2 hours or more…you want the dough to rise and fall so it’s flat on the top.  2 hours always works for me.

At this point you can form your bread and bake or you can put the dough in the fridge for up to 7 days, using only as much as you need and saving the rest for later!

Forming and Baking

Dust the surface of your refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1 pound piece of dough (the size of a grapefruit)  You can really make this any size you want, you’ll just need to adjust your baking time accordingly.

Dust the piece with more flour, and working quite quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating a quarter turn as you go.  Pinch to seal the bottoms and then shape the dough by gently rolling into a large oval.  I like to flatten mine out a bit as well.

Place the loaf on a parchment lined baking sheet (or if you have a baking stone,  place your parchment and bread on a pizza peel or the back of a cookie sheet so it can easily be slid onto the baking stone in the hot oven)

Allow the bread to rest for 1 hour (or 40 minutes if you’ve not refrigerated the dough)  It may not rise very much during the resting period but will expand a lot in th oven.

20 minutes prior to baking, heat the oven up to 450.   Have the baking stone on the lowest rack of the oven.  Put an empty pan or broiler tray on any other shelf that won’t interfere with the bread (you’re going to use it to create steam in the oven and give your bread a great crust)

*You can also use an upside down cookie sheet in place of a baking stone, let it heat up in the oven and slide your bread onto the hot pan

Give the rested dough a liberal dusting of flour and use a serrated knife to make slashes across the top of the bread  about 1/4″ to a 1/2″ deep.

Slide the bread (parchment and all) onto the hot baking stone (or if just using a baking sheet, place in he lower section of the oven) Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the boiler tray or empty hot pan and quickly shut the oven door.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until the crust is browned and the  bread feels quite firm.

Cool, slice, EAT!

remember that forming a good loaf of bread takes some practice, I still end up with some funky looking shapes sometimes but it gets easier with practice!  Once you have the hang of it, this will seem like no work at all!

Enjoy!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 13, 2011 1:45 pm

    This bread looks like the perfect loaf to have as a side for all the fall soups, stews and chili. I can’t wait to try this.

Trackbacks

  1. Artisan Cheese Sticks…In 5 Minutes a Day! « Betchacanteatjustone's Blog

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