Sunday, January 6, 2013

Peppered Cheese Bread

3 1/2 - 4 c. unbleached flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 packet)
3/4 tsp freshly ground black peppercorns

1 1/4 c. milk
3 TBS butter

1 1/4 c. shredded cheese of your choice (cheddar, cheddar blend, asiago or 5 cheese Italian blend)

In large bowl, combine 1 1/2 c. unbleached flour, salt, sugar, yeast & pepper. Blend well.

In small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add milk, stir to combine & heat until very warm (120 - 130 degrees). Add warm liquid to flour mixture; blend by hand until moistened. Beat with wooden spoon for 3 minutes. Stir in 2 cups flour to make a stiff dough. Add 1 cup of the shredded cheese & stir until well combined.

On floured surface, knead in about 1/4 - 1/2 c. unbleached flour until dough is smooth & elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl; cover loosely with greased plastic wrap & cloth towel. Let rise in warm place until light & doubled in size, about 45-60 minutes.

Punch dough down several times to remove all air bubbles. Grease large baking sheet. Shape into 2 loaves & place side by side several inches apart on pan. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover; let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 30-45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375. Uncover loaves and bake for 20-25 minutes or until light golden brown & "hollow" sounding when thumped. Remove from pans & cool on wire rack.