When I was in college I was nowhere near the cook that I am now. I dabbled around a little, making things like lasagna, but I was never really in love with food. It was years later that a single fried egg made me figure it all out. I look back on the non foodie time in my life and wonder what the heck I ate. I was shuffling through my old old recipe book, and happened upon a version of this recipe. I remembered that I had liked it and it was good, but I'd never been happy with the cheese I used.
Since my cheese drawer is still stuffed from my birthday, I took a peek and figured that this was the perfect recipe for a Tuesday afternoon. I set to work and soon made two delicious crusty loaves. You should make this too. It's really simple and really tasty.
Parmesan Cheddar Bread
Seriously, this recipe is so easy. It takes a total of about three and a half hours with rising time, especially good if you are pottering around the house one afternoon. It freezes beautifully. Use good quality cheese if you have it, and so long as you use a cup or just over a cup, feel free to mix up the ratio.
2 1/4 Teaspoons Yeast (1 package)
2 Teaspoons Salt
1 1/4 Cups Warm Water
4 1/2 Cups Flour
1/2 Cup Cheddar Cheese (fresh grated)
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese (fresh grated)
In a large bowl, mix the yeast with 1/2 Cup of the warm water. Stir the salt into the rest of the water and pour that in also. Stir in the flour. Knead the dough for ten minutes, either on a flat surface or using the dough hook of a mixture. You need to be sure to work the dough a lot because this is what makes the texture great.
Grease a large bowl with some oil, butter or cooking spray and set the dough in there.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap so it doesn't dry out. I usually grease the plastic wrap a little so it doesn't stick. Let it rise for two hours or so until it has tripled in size.
I had to transfer it to a bigger bowl. This is after two hours sitting in a 78 degree room.
Punch the dough down. It will sound and feel incredible satisfying.
Next, add your cup of cheese and work it in. This takes some effort to get it evenly distributed, but it is totally worth it.
Split it into two greased loaf pans, cover again, then let it rise for another 45 minutes.
Grate some parmesan on top, then place it in a 450F oven for 20 minutes. Turn the over down to 350F then bake for another 5 minutes. Check if it's down by carefully pulling out a loaf and knocking the bottom of it. If it makes a hollow sound, it's done. If not, give it five more minutes.
There you have it. It's really that simple.
Butter up a slice. Eat. Makes 2 Loaves.
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