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cheese-stuffed crusty loaves

December 21, 2010
tags: ,

Cheese-stuffed. Crusty loaves. Need I say more? This recipe made for some perfectly crusty bread, and the cheese obviously made it even more perfect.

Some notes: The cheese on my batch ended up in one big clump in the middle, rather than spread out evenly amongst the layers, so I might roll it out a little thinner next time so there are more layers for the cheese to spread out amongst. Maybe more like into a 12” by 12” square, rather than 9” by 12”? Also, do not do not DO NOT, whatever you do, use waxed paper under the loaves. Please, please, please use parchment paper. This recipe reaffirmed for me how much I really really hate waxed paper, as I picked tiny scraps of it out of the bottom of the bread. USELESS, I TELL YOU.

Cheese-Stuffed Crusty Loaves
1 1/4 cups unbleached bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1/2 cup cool water
1 cup plus 2 to 4 tablespoons lukewarm water
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
2 1/2 cups grated cheese [the original recipe called for Gruyere and also suggested sharp cheddar—which is what I used—or a provolone/mozzarella mix]
1 tablespoon pizza seasoning (optional)

1. To make the starter, mix the 1 1/4 cups flour, salt, yeast, and 1/2 cup water in a medium-sized bowl. Mix until well-combined; the starter will be very dry. Cover and let rest overnight at room temperature.
2. To make the dough, combine the risen starter with the water, salt, flour, and yeast. Knead by hand or by mixer to make a smooth dough.
3. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until nearly doubled in bulk.
4. Gently deflate the dough and pat and stretch it into a 3/4”-thick rectangle, about 9” by 12”. Spritz with water and sprinkle with the grated cheese and pizza seasoning.
5. Starting with a long side, roll it into a log, pinching the seam to seal. Place the log, seam-side down, on a lightly floured or lightly oiled surface.
6. Cover and let rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until it’s puffy but not doubled in bulk. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
7. Gently cut the log into four crosswise slices for mini-breads or in half for two normal-sized loaves. Place them on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, cut side up. Spread them open a bit, if necessary, to more fully expose the cheese. Spritz with warm water and immediately place in the preheated oven.
8. Bake for 20 minutes for mini loaves or 35 minutes for full-sized loaves, or until the cheese is melted and the loaves are a very deep golden brown. Remove them from the oven and cool on a rack.

Source: Pink Parsley

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