Making bread is something that I love doing; the rewards of breaking into a warm yeasty loaf after the labour intensive process of kneading and waiting for the dough to rise into a soft pillowy cloud just to be knocked back down again. The reward that comes from making your own bread isn’t just the sense of accomplishment that comes from the process, economically speaking it just makes sense to DIY instead of spending several dollars on artisan bread from your local bakery. That being said, knowing very well that most people don’t buy bread from a bakery, I can guarantee that you will find making your own bread to be better than any pre-sliced supermarket “wonder-whats-in-it” loaf. Give it a try, and have the patience of a ninja, bread doesn’t take kindly to rushing it.
This bread makes 2 x 1.5 litre loaves or you can do what I did an make a loaf plus six buns using muffin tins. Make sure to oil your baking devices well, as the cheese has the tenancy to adhere to even the best nonstick surfaces. This bread would be great with a salad at lunch or could be used to make a really intense sandwich with slices of thick cut smoked bacon, fresh tomatoes and spicy grainy mustard.
I recommend starting a second batch immediately, I’m sure the first won’t last very long!
Cheddar Cheese and Onion Bread
Adapted from Robinhood.ca Canadian Cheddar Cheese Bread
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 1/3 cup oil ( I used safflower oil but melted butter would probably make this recipe even more delicious)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 3 1/2 – 4 1/4 cups unbleached white flour
- 2 cups shredded aged sharp cheddar cheese, reserving 1/2 cup for sprinkling on top of the loaves
- 3 green onions, finely sliced
In a large bowl, dissolve honey in warm water and add the yeast. Let it sit for ten minutes until it starts to foam.
Beat in eggs, cayenne pepper, oil and salt.
Stir in two cups of flour and Parmesan cheese, add flour 1/2 cup at a time until the mixture becomes too stiff to stir, and the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.
Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface and begin kneading, adding more flour as necessary to form a soft dough. Keep kneading for about ten minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until the dough doubles, approximately an hour.
Punch the dough down, and place on a lightly floured surface, knead 1 1/2 cups of cheese and the green onions into the dough until they are well incorporated. Cut the dough into two equal pieces and form into loaf shapes.
Place the dough into the well oiled pans and let the dough rise again until the dough rises about an inch above the top of the pan. Bake the loaves at 375°F for 30-35 minutes in the lower third of the oven. After the first 15 minutes of baking, rotate the loaves to ensure even baking and sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese.