Cheese and Herb BreadCourse: BreadDifficulty: Medium
This is best accompanied by my Chicken and Barley Soup. Now I’m a bit of a cheater. I own a bread machine and I love it. It is the most delightful appliances for creating luscious breads and pastries without all the work. I NEVER actually use it for baking the bread. I find you get a much superior loaf by removing it and allowing it to rise a second time in a pizza or loaf pan. It is the most wondrous thing for cutting out all the arduous kneading and proofing involved when hand making bread. The machine does it all in an hour and a half which I love and YES it is easy to make your own bread. Simple and wholesome. So get out your ingredients, put on that apron and GO all Grandma in the kitchen!
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp olive oil (any vegetable oil will work)
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 cups of unbleached flour (you can substitute 1 cup of white flour for wholewheat flour or oatmeal)
1 cup old cheddar, grated
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp yeast (bread machine yeast if you are using machine)
1/4 old cheddar, Parmesan or other sharp cheese for garnish
1 tbsp melted butter for glaze
- Set oven to 400 f.
- Combine warm water and sugar.Stir until sugar has dissolved. Add milk to the mixture.
- Sprinkle yeast over warm water and milk mixture, set aside and allow to activate. Do not stir.
- Mix together all dry ingredients including cheese.
- Once the liquid starts to foam yeast is activated.
- Slowly add liquid to dry and incorporate well.
- Turn dough onto well floured board and knead until smooth and elastic.
- Cover and allow to rise.
- Once dough has risen punch it down, knead again and form into egg shape.
- Set aside and allow to double in size.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when tapped with finger.
- Bread Machine Method
- Add ingredients to bread machine in order above.
- Set machine to appropriate setting and allow to process until complete.
- When baked open lid and brush melted butter over surface of bread then sprinkle additional cheese on top of loaf and press down lightly so cheese sticks to top.
- Close the lid for 5 minutes to allow the heat to melt the cheese.
- I often add 1 or 2 fresh chopped green scallions and a 1/2 tsp garlic to this bread as well. It adds loads of depth to the flavour.