Cheddar Cheese Bread
Recently, my friend Miranda over at An Austin Homestead debated over whether to buy a bread machine or a pressure canner. I sang the praises of my bread machine, but, alas, I was outnumbered by the Dern Hippies who claimed that bread machine bread isn’t as good as the stuff you shove your dirty little fingers into. You’re wrong, Hippies! And I shake my fist at you and your wrong-ness!
Seriously, I LOVE my bread machine. Making bread without one is a messy pain in the what what? You have to totally sanitize your counters, then get flour and sticky bread dough all over them. The bread machine makes homemade bread easy. Generally, I do not actually bake bread in my machine. I use the dough setting, and then shape and transfer my dough to a bread pan, give it a final rise and bake in the oven. I also always keep an eye on the dough through the first kneading cylce to make sure all of the ingredients get blended in nicely, and that my doughball is the right consistency. Then I walk away and let it do all of the hard labor because, let’s face it, I wasn’t built for hard labor.
This is my recipe for Cheddar Cheese Bread. I adapted it from another recipe that had powdered milk and no egg in it, but I prefer to put “real” ingredients in my bread so I altered it. This bread, by the way, made the best sandwich bread for a grilled cheddar cheese sandwich I have ever had! Onward to the recipe!
Cheddar Cheese Bread
Bread Machine to Oven
1 1/4 cup milk, preferably whole milk
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 Tbs. butter, softened
3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. white sugar
1 (.25 oz) package active dry yeast
1 egg white lightly beaten with 1 Tbs. water
Warm milk in microwave 30 seconds – 1 minute, until warm to the touch, but not hot. Combine all ingredients in the bread machine according to manufacturer directions (usually wet ingredients, then dry, then form a well and add yeast). Set to “Dough” setting. Check dough during first knead to make sure doughball is the proper consistency. It should hold together well and roll around nicely in the machine. If it is too sticky, add flour one tablespoon at a time. If it is dry and flaky, add water or milk one tablespoon at a time.
When the cycle is complete, punch down the dough, pull it out and shape it to fit into 2 greased loaf pans. Cover and leave dough to rise in pan until doubled in volume, about 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 375F.
Lightly brush dough with egg wash. Bake in 375F oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown and bottom sounds hollow when you tap it.
Eat two loaves of warm bread in one sitting. Mmmmmm.