Tuesday, February 11, 2014

sharp cheddar & parmesan bread

a few weeks ago i came across a recipe from shutterbean for a simple cheesy bread loaf that was just calling my name. imagine how pleased i was to discover that i had all the makings for it!

the recipe looked dead easy and delicious from the get-go, but i knew i could amp up the flavor even more by adding some good parmigiano reggiano. 

the results were a fat, squat, dense little loaf that was full of cheesy, buttery flavor and perfect for eating warm straight out of the oven or dipping in soup. it was also just the right canvas for some garlicky butter, popped into the oven and toasted up to a light golden brown. i'm pretty sure these could easily be cubed and toasted in the oven to make some amazing croutons.

there are a handful of ways i can think of to jazz this recipe up next time-

*fresh rosemary
*fresh thyme
*chipotle puree
*bacon (of course)
*sundried tomatoes
*fresh bits of spicy jalapeno

the bread comes together super fast and is so easy that i made another batch of it the very next day. i shared a few fat slices with our favorite neighbors and they loved it.

cheddar cheese bread 
recipe via shutterbean 

makes 2  5 x 9 loaves
recipe slightly adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine 
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 5 ounces sharp orange cheddar, coarsely shredded
  • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees . Grease two 5-by-9-inch loaf pans. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda. Using your fingers, mix 2 tbsp. butter into the flour mixture until well incorporated (it should look like sand). Add the cheese; toss to coat. Add the buttermilk and stir until the dough just comes together. Divide between the pans; smooth the tops.

Cut a shallow cross all the way across the tops of the loaves. Thinly slice the remaining 1 tbsp. butter. Place the butter in the cuts in each loaf. Bake until the top is browned and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan at least 30 minutes before slicing.

 ***i melted the couple tablespoons of butter and just drizzled it over the top of the loaves and it achieved the same golden, crisp crust as when i dotted the tops with pats of butter. i added 1/4 cup of good parm-reg to my loaves and it was seriously delightful.***

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