Friday Recipe: Whole-Wheat Cheese Bread

>> Friday, November 14, 2008

You haven't really been to the Madison Farmer's Market until you've had the hot, spicy cheese bread. That bread is a challah-like egg bread with hot-peppered mozzarella braided in. This recipe is not that bread -- it's a whole wheat dough rolled with cheddar -- but it's pretty close in deliciousness. You could always adapt it by subbing in mozzarella and hot pepper flakes for the cheddar. Serve it with soup and salad or eat it all by itself. One loaf will not last very long.

Whole-Wheat Cheese Bread

Makes 1 loaf

1 pkg active dry yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp yeast)
1 cup lukewarm milk [I use skim]
2 tbsp butter
1 c. whole wheat flour
2 c. white flour
2 tsp salt
1 c. (or more!) grated sharp cheddar

1. Combine yeast and milk. Stir and let sit for ~15 minutes.
2. Melt butter. Let cool, and add to yeast mixture.
3. Mix flour and salt in large bowl. Make a well in the middle.
4. Pour yeast mixture into well.
5. With a wooden spoon, stir until you have a rough dough (you can add a few drops of water if the dough seems dry -- it will depend on the weather).
6. Transfer to a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic.
7. Return to bowl, cover with a damp towel, and leave to rise in a warm place until it doubles in size (~ 2-3 hours).
8. Punch down the dough. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a large oval.
9. Spread cheese on the oval.

10. Roll the dough up into a jelly roll/loaf and place in a greased loaf pan. [You can use water to "seal" the roll.]

11. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until the dough rises above the rim of the pan (~ 1-2 hours).
12. Preheat the oven to 400. Bake for 15 minutes at 400. Lower the temperature to 375, and bake for about 25 minutes more.
13. Enjoy!

*As you can see, I made two loaves at a time. It's a very easy recipe to double and the bread freezes well (but it will be eaten before you can freeze it).

*I mixed white cheddar and orange cheddar. Use whatever cheese you prefer. Sometimes I grate it myself and sometimes I buy it pre-grated.

*This is a very easy basic bread recipe. You can make the bread without the cheese if you want. It's good too.

*Rising takes the longest of any of the steps. Aside from the rising, it's a fairly quick bread to make. I've started it 4 hours before dinner and it works. Sometimes I get up in the morning, start it, let it rise all day, and then finish it. It's flexible like that.

*The flecked bread in the pictures results from using Washington Island Stone-Ground wheat flour (thanks Joel!). When I don't have that, I usually use King Arthur flour (available at Trader Joe's, among other places).

*I would have a picture of the final product if it hadn't been eaten so quickly. Use your imagination or make the bread and see for yourself.

*Thanks to Abby for first introducing me to this delicious bread, showing me how to make it, and giving me the recipe.


csr November 15, 2008 at 10:55 AM  

I'm glad to hear you are enjoying our flour. Frank from KAF, baker/blogger

Anonymous March 3, 2009 at 6:38 PM  

I made the dough for this in my bread machine and it turned out great. I had to add about 2 extra tablespoons of milk after the first mix cycle because it was too dry. Also, the baking time listed on the recipe was too long and too hot. We all really enjoyed eating it and I shared some with my neighbor!

two hippos March 6, 2009 at 10:49 PM  

Hi Anna. I'm glad you made and enjoyed the bread. Sometimes different elevations, different weather, and different ovens make bread-making more of an art than a science. I sometimes have to add more milk or alter the cooking time depending on my oven as well.

Anonymous November 20, 2010 at 11:24 PM  

Amazing bread!! I used gouda and cheddar and found the bread a bit salty so I will cut down on the salt to 1 tsp. next time - and there will be a next time!! Thanks for this delicious recipe!

Janet July 9, 2011 at 8:51 PM  

I have never made wheat bread, so this was a good and easy intro for me. Like how quick it is. My husband loves cheesy breads, so this worked out nice. Thanks

Janet July 9, 2011 at 10:43 PM  

I added a thin layer of Marmite and then the cheese to make it a tiny bit more savory for my English husband...:))

Anonymous July 23, 2011 at 2:30 PM  

..and this was a huge hit, so I am making more today. Back by popular demand over here.

Anonymous November 19, 2011 at 8:00 PM  

And yet more, today lol It is by far the most popular bread I make, and it tastes like grilled cheese sandwiches when you toast it.

Len February 14, 2012 at 3:18 PM  

And you don't use any sugar when you proof the yeast in the milk? Most all bread recipes I do call for sugar.

When I did yours, the yeast just kinda sat there and got soft. No "mount vesuvius" foaming action.

I'm waiting for it to rise now so can't comment on the final results.

two hippos February 15, 2012 at 9:31 AM  

Hi Len. This recipe doesn't call for any sugar. There are natural sugars in milk so that when the yeast is added to water + milk, it should still proof just fine. It's possible that the yeast was older and needed a touch more sugar. I hope this helps.

Anonymous February 10, 2013 at 4:45 PM  

My family's favorite bread recipe! I add about 2 tbsp minced garlic to the dough and some chopped jalapenos with the cheese. Always a hit!

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