When Charisse gave me the Taste of Home Holiday Recipes it was the beginning of the dreaded headache cycle. That seems like so long ago. I made several recipes from it but not nearly as many as I’d wanted to. One recipe from the mag that’s never left my radar was Cheddar Cheese bread. I was hoping that this would be the one to help me conquer my yeast anxieties. Armed with a new fancy schmancy mixer, complete with dough hook, this should’ve been a piece of cake, er cheddar cheese bread I meant. Any-hoo, trying to figure out the kneading/mixing time almost through me for a loop. I didn’t take the time to do any online research to do any comparison, just thought I’d wing it.
This was the softest, soupiest looking dough I’d ever seen. As I put into the greased bowl making sure to turn it and grease the top, I made mental plans to take a run to the store for more yeast and flour. There was no way this was going to turn out well. I used the right amount of flour so that wasn’t an issue. The only thing left to do was wait. I allowed the to rise about 20 minutes past the recommended time and that was a good thing. It looked almost doubled so maybe there was hope.
After punching the dough down I found out that the dough was still super duper soft. Hope was fading fast. Still I had to knead in the cheddar cheese. It was a hot sticky mess, but I did it. Shreds of cheddar cheese were dispersed in every direction and I’m during clean up I may have missed a couple that landed in the space between the counter and the oven. Once the cheese was kneaded in I shaped it into two 6” rounds, covered them and let them rise again. Why oh why does making bread take so doggone long? I know I can go to the bakery or the store, but I’m determined to make a decent loaf of bread.
Finally the dough rose. There is nothing like the smell of bread baking. I wonder if the Yankee Candle people have captured that scent? It baked. I sliced some and spread it with a smathering of butter. We ate it. I did the happy dance. Thank you guardian angel of yeast recipes! The Mr. went back for seconds and that’s a good sign. I know I should have waited until I’d completed the obligatory photo shoot, but I still have one uncut loaf that will fit it with the cut one. I wrapped up my slightly warm golden loaves of cheddar cheese bread, confidently patted myself on the back, and took off to dance class with the pint size diva.
While sitting in class a chill ran up my spine as I realized that I shouldn’t have wrapped my perfect loaves of bread. Drats, darn, shoot, %$#*&! The tops were going to be soggy. Aaarghhhh! Now What?
When I got home I brushed them with some melted butter and popped them back in the oven for a few minutes. They are good to go. Woo-hoo!!!
Cheddar Cheese Loaves – from Taste of Home, Agnes Ward, Stratford Ontario
3 tsp active dry yeast
½ cup warm water – 110° to 115°
2 cups warm 2% milk – 110° to 115°
2 TBS butter, melted
3 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
6 – 6 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 cups (8oz) shredded cheddar cheese
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, butter, eggs, sugar, salt and 6 cups flour. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface, knead cheese into the dough. Divide in half; shape each portion into a 6-inch round loaf. Place on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 35-40 minutes. Bake at 350° or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Refrigerate leftovers.