Friday, April 09, 2010

Cheese Bread

Last weekend we went on an impromptu trip to Chester and I went berserk shopping specialty food. Now that’s the thing I like about getaways. You’d be surprised by how tiny little shops store amazing specialty food. I always make it a point to buy goodies wherever we travel. So my first stop was at Hotel Chocolat..Just couldn’t get enough of chocolates displayed there and  ended up buying a big jar of dark & white chocolate buttons and good cocoa powder. I was eyeing the chocolate pasta…(yes such things do exist and it’s not a myth) when my hubby interrupted my thoughts (I was already imagining the things I could do with it ;-)) and said “you are not buying that are you?”. Ughhh! Might have to make a secret trip to Chester again and buy a pack or two of that pasta.
Next stop, an amazing Italian deli.  I had to buy a bottle of Lemon-Olive oil and a block of Pecorino Romano cheese. I already pictured myself making my favorite cheese bread with a combination of Pecorino Romano, Vintage cheddar and Parmesan. If you are not happy to use my eclectic mix of cheeses use all Cheddar or any other cheese. I also like a combo of Cheddar and Gruyere. The sharpness of cheddar works very well with the nuttiness of the gruyere.
Adding cheese to the dough gives it a rich, soft texture and I love to make burger buns with the same dough. The resulting bread has a gorgeous golden exterior with a soft, rich interior. This bread toasts really well and is great for grilled sandwiches. I make grilled Paneer scramble or caramelized onions and peppers grilled sandwiches.
3 cups bread or AP flour (I used a mix of both)
3 tbsp butter (can substitute this with oil)
1tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
¾ to 1 cup warm milk, scalded
1 egg+1 for brushing
1 tbsp instant yeast
1 cup grated cheese (cheddar or any combination)
Extra flour for dusting
Combine milk, butter, sugar and salt. Add warm milk, yeast and egg. Add flour slowly 1 cup at a time and add the cheese. Knead the dough for 10 min or so adding 1 tbsp of flour if the dough gets sticky. Knead until the dough springs back if you press it. Place into a greased bowl and let it rise undisturbed for 11/2 hours or until doubled in bulk. (I keep it in a microwave or oven as its warmer here). Dust the work surface and punch down the dough. Shape into a ball if using a round sandwich tin like I did or long roll if using bread tin and place it in a greased tin and let it double in bulk for 11/2 hours. Bake at 190C till the bread is well risen and golden brown for about 25-35 min. Allow to cool completely and then slice.


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