Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Soft Cheese Bread

I've still not recovered from my jetlag enough to pull out my new mixer and bake (I haven't slept a full night since I've been back-ugh!) so I'm going to keep catching up on older posts. Hope y'all don't mind too much. 
I made this Soft Cheese Bread the weekend before I left (same time as the Struan) in honor of S who loooves  cheese. This bread was my tribute to her. Once I knew I wanted to make a cheese bread, I had to decide what kind of cheese to put in it. Considering I don't like cheese or know anything about selecting them for bread, I figured this would be a tough one. I went in to the supermarket and asked the cheesemonger for his recommendation. He told me to avoid all of the strong French cheeses as he thought they'd overpower and overwhelm the bread. So Parmesan was out. Disheartened, I bought some sliced yellow cheese and a log of Mozzarella. What else could I do? I was definitely not about to buy blue cheese. (Tried eating that once; let's just say it did not go over too well.) I made the dough the night before and so assembly the next day was a breeze. The bread itself is delicious, with such a soft texture; the onions add the most delicious flavor- reminiscent of the onion rolls we used to get in the summers from the Heimishe bakery. Definitely have to experiment with adding onions to bread! I tried to avoid the cheese parts but S loved the bread, so in her honor I declare this bread a winner. Thankfully, this loaf made the room smell very good instead of... well, like  stinky cheese. This loaf is headed off to Yeastspotting!
Soft Cheese Bread
from Artisan Breads Every Day

6 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp salt
5 tbsp sugar
1 cup water
1 cup plus 2 tbsp milk
1 1/2 tbsp instant yeast
1/4 cup oil
1 3/4 cups diced onion
2 1/2 cups grated cubed or shredded cheese

The night before baking,
place all of the dry ingredients into the bowl of your mixer. Whisk them together.
Add the dry ingredients, and using the paddle attachment mix on low for two minutes. Let rest for five minutes.
Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium low for about three minutes. Adjust the flour or liquid as needed. The dough will be soft and tacky, but not sticky.
Add the onions,
and mix on the lowest speed until the onions are evenly distributed.
Place in an oiled bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, remove the dough about two hours before you're ready to bake. That's what my dough looked like. I made half the above recipe, but if you make the whole recipe then,
working with one half of the dough at a time, roll it out into a rectangle.
Top with the cheeses. Roll it all up jelly roll style.
I coiled my log. Place it in a lightly greased cake pan.
Allow to proof until well risen. Towards the end of of proof time, preheat the oven to 350. Bake for a total of about 50 minutes, rotating halfway through for an even bake.
There it is, golden and delicious!

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