Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Cheese and Chive Loaf

What's your signature dish?

Mine is probably bread, although I'd have a hard time deciding what kind of bread I like the best.

Bread. Buns. Yeast-risen baked goods. I love them all, and they're usually what people ask me to bring, if an extra dish is needed for a dinner.

You'd think that we eat nothing but toast, breadcrumb sandwiches, breaded bread cutlets, and bread pudding.

Okay, I'll admit it. I do bake a lot of bread. But I make other things, too.

This time, though, I've got another bread recipe for you.

Cheese and Chive Loaf

1 cup water
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/2 cups (11 1/4 ounces) bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup instant potato flakes
1/2 cup* grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup* grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon dry chives
2 tablespoons olive oil
Egg wash: 1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Sesame seeds, as needed

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine all of the ingredients except the egg wash and sesame seeds. Knead until the dough is smooth (relatively - it will have lumps from the cheese and chives, but the dough itself should be smooth) and elastic.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

When the dough has risen, flour your work surface lightly and turn out the dough. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x5 loaf pan with baking spray.

Form the dough into a a log about 8 inches long and place it in the pan, seam-side down. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until the dough rises slightly above the rim of the pan, about 40 minutes.

When the dough has risen, remove the plastic wrap and brush the top of the loaf with the eggwash, sprinkle with sesame seeds, then slash as desired.

Bake at 350 degrees until the loaf is nicely browned, about 45 minutes. (timer)

Remove the loaf from the oven, and remove it from the pan. Let the loaf cool completely on a rack before slicing or storing.

*It's impossible to accurately measure grated cheese by volume, since it starts out fluffy, then it can be compressed. In recipes where it really matters, I measure by weight, then grate. In this case, I grated, then piled into a prep bowl to get a ballpark amount. That's good enough. If you like cheese, go ahead and add a little more. I won't tell.