Foodie & Her Feast

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There comes a moment in every bakers life when they decide to bake bread for the first time! Mine was a few weeks back. One afternoon, I opened “the joy of cooking” and found myself face to face with “Cheese Bread”. With a hammering heart and trembling fingers I decided to go ahead. I couldn’t believe it myself. Nor could my family members, the bread was so beautiful and golden that I dint want to eat it! I have often heard that baking bread is really difficult. I don’t know if I have had a lucky streak so far, but the four times I tried it, it was wonderful. I am never going to have store bought bread ever again.. Ummm.. hopefully! The recipe below gave me 3 big loaves.  

Ingredients
  • 1½ cups Milk
  • 2 tbsp Honey
  • ¼ cup Butter, softened + 3 tbsp melted.
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • ½ cup Warm water
  • ½  tsp sugar
  • 1½ tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 5-6 cups Flour
Cooking time: 210 mins Serving: 12 people

Adapted from: Cheese Bread, The joy of Cooking.

Method

  • In a small saucepan, heat milk until warm. To it add the softened butter, honey  and salt. Stir until the butter melts and remove from fire. Leave to cool.
  • In a large bowl, combine the yeast, sugar and water. Set aside till the yeast dissolves and raises, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Stir in the milk mixture.  Beat in the egg and cheese. Add 3 cups flour and beat well.
  • Now knead and add the rest of the flour slowly, till the dough comes together and begins to leave the sides of the bowl. Knead well for another 10 minutes.
  • Grease a large bowl with the olive oil. Transfer the kneaded dough into this and turn it to coat with oil. Cover the bowl with a wet cloth and let it rise until double in size about (1-1½ hours).
  • Grease the baking pans. Punch down the dough and shape as desired. I have braided the loaves. Place in the loaf pans and let rise again until doubled.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F 15 minutes prior to baking. Brush the loaves with melted butter and bake for about 30 minutes. The crust should be golden brown and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from the pans and cool on a wire rack.

Notes

  • The amount of flour required depends on the quality and moisture content of the flour. It can be anywhere between 5-7 cups. Always add a little, check and then add more, if required.
  • The milk mixture should not be too hot while when mixed with the yeast.
  • Brushing the loaves in between baking gives a more buttery taste and softer crust. But be careful as the oven can be extremely hot.

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