Monday, December 1, 2014

Cheese Ball Bread with Virtual Potluck

You want this bread.
I'm so excited that my friends from Virtual Potluck agreed to help promote my book. And that so many generous sponsors offered up such terrific prizes.

While the bloggers were busy working on recipes from the book, I went into the kitchen and whipped up a new recipe just for this promotion. This is made in the Make-Ahead style, with all the work done the day before, and the bread baked later.

I waffled on what to name this, since it's made sort of like a monkey bread or a pull-apart loaf, but I intended it to be a sliced bread. The balls of dough are coated with cheese before they're placed in the pan, so each slice has random ribbons of cheese running through them.

So, they're balls ... coated with cheese. Not like balls of cheese.

The cheese will show up better if you use a yellow cheese, but use whatever you like. Or grate up all those leftover nubs of cheese you have on hand. Add more or less, to taste. The only thing I'd suggest is that you try not to get too much cheese on the bottom of the pan, since it tends to brown the most there, and could verge on burning. If a little bit falls to the bottom, it's not a big deal, but you don't want to coat the bottom of the pan with cheese.

Cheese Ball Bread

The bread is looking moody here. Can you see the lines of white cheese? 
1 1/4 cups water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (Red Star yeast is preferred, otherwise let it proof for a few minutes before mixing)
2 tablespoons sugar
3 cups (13 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1/4 cup instant mashed potato flakes
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup grated cheese (or more, as desired)

Combine all ingredients (except the cheese) in the bowl of your stand mixer (or mix in a bowl, then knead by hand) and knead until it's smooth and elastic.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside until the dough has doubled in size, about an hour. This is the important rise. If it rises faster, then continue sooner. If it needs more time, then let it wait longer.

When the dough has doubled, flour your work surface and turn out the dough. Flatten it gently. We're not kneading, and there's not need to pull out a rolling pin. Just use your hands to flatten the dough for easier cutting.

Need to grate cheese? 12 winners are getting this Microplane cube grater. I reviewed it here

If you're using a hard cheese, you could also use the zester, also from Microplane, that all 12 winners will receive.

Have a 9x5 bread pan standing by, sprayed with baking spray for foolproof bread removal.

Pretty pan, right? We're giving away a whole set in the winner's choice of red or blue!

Use a sharp knife, like this one that I received from WÜSTHOF ...

... Or pizza cutter, like this one I received from Microplane, to slice the bread into at least 24 pieces. More is better. They don't need to be even - random is just fine.

Place your grated cheese in a shallow bowl, or if you prefer, sprinkle it on your work surface. Dip the bread lumps (you could make actual round balls, but it's not necessary) into the cheese so that it sticks to one surface, and start placing the dough into the bread pan, cheese side up.

Alternatively, you could just put a layer of dough balls into the pan and sprinkle the cheese on top. Whichever you prefer. Continue placing cheese-coated dough lumps into the pan - or sprinkle cheese on top as you add uncoated dough. The distribution of the cheese doesn't need to be perfectly even. This is all about the randomness, so if you have some spots with extra cheese, that's perfectly fine. Unleash your inner child, and be messy.

Attempt to place the dough into the pan in a loaf-shaped formation, but again it doesn't need to be perfect. It's going to be lumpy.

The finished bread is lumpy, but in an interesting way!

Sprinkle any extra cheese on top of the loaf, then cover it with plastic wrap (or you can put the whole pan in a large plastic bag) and let it rest in the refrigerator. It will rise overnight. Magically. See, you don't have to wait around for a second rise. Just let it take a chill-nap, and it will be ready for baking when you want it.

When you're ready to bake - at least 8 hours later is good, 24 hours later is great, and you're probably safe up to 48 hours later - heat the oven to 350 degrees (let it have about 30 minutes to warm up) and take the pan out of the refrigerator.

When the oven is heated, remove the plastic from the pan and place the pan in the oven. Bake until the top is nicely browned and the loaf is fully cooked. You can use a thermometer to check internal temperature (195-200 degrees), or thump the loaf, or use whatever method you're comfortable with. It should take about 50 minutes.

Remove the loaf from the oven and let it cool completely on a rack before slicing.

See that knife? We're giving one away!
Want more breads like this? My book, Make Ahead Bread, is available for sale on Amazon. If you'd like an autographed copy, you can order one from Barbed Wire Books.

Thanks to the great bloggers who are helping me send my book into the world in a big way. You'll find more bread recipes here:

Theresa from Foodhunters Guide to Cuisine
Rachel from Rachel Cooks
Marnely from Cooking with Books
Jay from Bite and Booze
Shelby from Diabetic Foodie
Heather from Farmgirl Gourmet
Milisa from Miss in the Kitchen
Vanessa from Groovy Foody
Matt from Thyme in Our Kitchen
Tara from Foodie
Susan from 30a Eats
You are here now on Cookistry
AND! One more recipe from my book HERE, straight from the pages of my book!

For the giveaway, we'd like to thank our sponsors who generously offered some fantastic prizes:

  • Taunton Press, the publisher of my book, is supplying a total of 12 copies of Make Ahead Bread, one to each winner.
  • Magimix is giving one winner a Magimix 3200XL 12-Cup Food Processor in Brushed Chrome. I have this same model, and it's a BEAST. And the brushed chrome is really pretty. I reviewed it here. The winner is going to be very very happy!
  • WÜSTHOF is giving one winner a CLASSIC 9-inch Double Serrated Bread Knife. I absolutely LOVE this knife. It really makes a difference, particularly when slicing challenging breads.
  • SilverStone is giving one winner a 5-piece set of bakeware (11x17 cookie pan, 10x15 cookie pan, 9x13 covered baking pan, 9x5 loaf pan and 9-inch cake pan) in the winner's choice of red or blue. I received two of these pans to work with, and I love them! And the colors are so pretty!
  • King Arthur Flour is giving one winner a rye bread baking kit. I'm a big fan of King Arthur Flour, and I love their rye flours. And you get a pan!
  • Duralex is giving one winner a 9-piece set of mixing bowls. I don't have these bowls in particular, but I have other Duralex products that I love. This is a really nice set of nesting bowls, and since they're clear glass, you can see how your rising bread is doing without having to peek in from above.
  • Harold Import Company is giving three winners a made-in-the-USA hardwood baker’s rolling pin (It's the baker's pin, with no handles.) I adore this pin, and I'll probably buy it for myself soon - it's so perfect for baking, and it's made in the USA, which is always a plus.
  • Microplane is giving each of the 12 winners an Elite Zester, Cube Grater, and Spiral Cutter. These are totally fun products, and I really love the new design of the zester.
  • GIR is giving each of the 12 winners a silicone scraper. I got a chance to test this before they were released to the public, and it's a really nice scraper with a lot of curves, contours, and edges for scraping bowls of just about any shape.
  • King Arthur Flour is giving each of the 12 winners a coupon for a bag of flour of your choice (good at your local supermarket) and a plastic bench scraper. If you're going to bake bread, you're going to need flour. And you need a bench scraper, too. I've accumulated a few of them, and they're handy to have on hand.
  • Walker's Shortbread is supplying cookies to three winners. Because you need something to munch on. Besides, cookie crumbs can be used for baking. Use them with cinnamon and sugar inside your swirl loaf to add texture and make the cinnamon layer more substantial.

    There are more details (and larger photos!) of the giveaway items here.

    An Extra Thanks to Our Sponsors
    In addition to supplying items for the giveaway, a special thanks to Taunton Press, SilverStone, Microplane and WÜSTHOF for supplying products for all the bloggers to work with.

    Each blogger was given a choice of one of several knives to use (because we wanted to make sure they got one they didn't already have) including the totally awesome bread knife that we're giving away.

    Besides a choice of knives, each blogger received a SilverStone loaf pan and covered 9x13 baking pan, as as well as an Elite grater, cube grater, and pizza cutter from Microplane. Each blogger also received a copy of my book, Make Ahead Bread.

    Yup, when you come to my party, you go home with party favors!

    Do you want to know more about the sponsors? You can find them on their websites and social media, here:

    Taunton on Twitter and Facebook.
    Magimix on Twitter and Facebook.
    WÜSTHOF on Twitter and Facebook.
    SilverStone would like you to follow Pots and Pans on Twitter and Facebook.
    Duralex on Twitter and Facebook.
    GIR on Twitter and Facebook.
    Harold Import Company on Twitter and Facebook.
    Microplane on Twitter and Facebook.
    King Arthur Flour on Twitter and Facebook.
    Walker's Shortbread on Facebook.

    This event is sponsored by multiple companies, all listed above. I want to sincerely thank them for their amazing generosity.

    Note: It might take a while for the Rafflecopter to load, so give it a chance! It's worth it!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway