#23, Cheese-ish White Loaf
I was requested to do some bread baking this past weekend to go with a Chicken Dumpling Soup family dinner. Didn’t feel like doing anything special, just a simple fresh baked, hot loaf Milk Bread would be AWESOME, so I never even thought I’d do a blog post on it. But then the idea got in my head to make it a bit different, try a little experiment if you will. See what happens if I add some cheese in the bread, both directly and sprinkled in before rolling. Sounds tasty, still fits the occasion, and IF it works out well enough then I have an excuse to do some writing. Clearly it didn’t backfire so immensely, so here I am. Didn’t use any special cheese, just some mass-produced shredded ‘monterey-like’ thing we keep in the fridge on hand, but it worked for now.
2 tsp/0.22oz Yeast
1 5/8 cups/13oz Milk, Lukewarm
4¾ cup/21.5oz Bread Flour
1½ tsp/0.38oz Salt
¼ cup/1.33oz Powdered Milk
3¼ Tb/1.66oz Sugar
2 large Eggs
3¼ Tb/1.66oz Butter, room temp or melted
½-1 cup Shredded Cheese
- Bloom Yeast in the Milk at least 5 minutes, until soft a starting to lightly foam/bubble
- In a stand mixing bowl, mix together the Flour, Salt, Powdered Milk, and Sugar, followed by the yeasted milk, 1 Egg, and Butter
- With a paddle attachment, stir on low speed [may want to pulse initially] until it all comes together in a ball
- Switch to dough hook, increasing mixing speed to medium, letting it go for about 4-5 minutes until almost completely kneaded, adding any extra flour to make sure the dough clears the sides while sticking just slightly to the bottom of the bowl
- When it ALMOST clears the windowpane test, add in about half or more of your shredded cheese, letting it go until fully incorporated
- Transfer to lightly-oiled bowl, covering tight with plastic wrap and leaving to ferment 1½-2 hours, or until doubled in size
- Remove and shape into a nice, tight, smooth Boule. Mist lightly with spray oil, loosely cover, and let rest on the counter 20 minutes for glutens to relax and more fermentation
- Start to shape this into a loaf by pressing and pushing into a large, rectangular shape, pressing down with fingers to de-gas as one does so. Sprinkle thoroughly with most of the rest of your cheese
- Roll up, pressing the edge tightly with each turn to stretch the dough taught. Once rolled completely and tightly sealed, transfer to your loaf pan. Spray with oil, loosely cover, and proof one to one and a half hours or until doubled once more
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Vigorously beat your other egg with a teaspoon of water to make an Egg Wash. Brush this over the top of your risen dough, sprinkling with some more cheese to top
- Transfer to oven, baking about 35-45 minutes, turning halfway through, or until deep golden brown all around and gives a hollow sound when thumped on the bottom
- Leave to cool for an hour or more on a rack before slicing and serving as desired
That my prediction of what would happen with the cheese-sprinkled-before-rolling technique was spot on; I figured there was a good chance it would create a little gap, so I’m glad I controlled the final amount like I did. That said, MORE CHEESE needed; it sadly didn’t come out as much as I wanted, so I need to add more INTO the dough. It seems like it could easily take more, as the final result even with the ¼-½ cup I had in there didn’t really affect the texture. Obviously a better, stronger flavored cheese would work better too.
There ARE notable results to forgetting the salt… which yes, I accidentally did here. Structure and quality wise it’s just as good, the same. But I did notice that the dough seemed to be ready with its fermenting/proofing periods earlier than stated. Not to mention the bread TASTED rather plain and ‘underseasoned.’ Still good of course, especially with butter and while warm.
Found a decent way to keep the bread warm for an extended period if needed [such as waiting for dinner]. Loose aluminum foil wrapping and inside the warm oven, actually didn’t negatively affect the product, at least not in any significant way that I noticed.
And finally, there actually IS such as a thing as too much dough in these recipes for my loaf pan; I probably should have cut a bit off for a separate bake like I usually do. Clearly one can see the overextending sides, which still baked up nice and well, but interestingly enough I found issues removing it from the pan for the first time. Some of it stuck to the sides and bottom, thus I didn’t care as much about cutting into it while still hot as the solidity was already ‘compromised,’ though questions still about as to how much this issue had to do with the cheese inside. Either way, good to know that I SHOULD ensure it keeps to the similar limit as I’ve randomly done before.
The crust was awesome. Even after sitting it out for a while it stayed nice and crunchy. And the cheese sprinkled on top! Truthfully it was sort of right at the edge of ‘too much,’ and certainly wasn’t like ‘extra cheese’ and more like ‘cheezit/baked cheese cracker’ flavors, which is fun as a crust.
Does the Dough Like Me Yet?
Seems to prefer the comfortable ‘safe zone’ in this relationship and isn’t quite ready for kinky experimentation… YET.