Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cheese Bread

Hamelman's recipe for Cheese Bread produces a lovely, crackly, soft white cheese bread with loads of flavor. This is definitely a keeper.

The first time through I followed the recipe for boules, pretty much, as it was written. I did make one change. In forming the loaf, I first mixed in the grated cheese in the mixer as directed. But then I flatten the dough, placed the cubes on top and rolled the dough up. My goal was to get an even distribution of the chunks and to avoid having exposed cheese. This approach worked quite well. I am very pleased with Hamelman's recipe.

Still, I wanted to see just how versatile (or forgiving) the recipe is. So when I went back to make the recipe a second time, I altered the the recipe is several ways.

First, I decided that to see if the recipe would work with as a transitional loaf so I replaced some of the bread flour (32%) with whole-wheat flour. Next, while I used parmesan as the grated cheese, I used Jarleberg for the chunks, cut roughly 1 inch by 1 inch by 1/4 inch. I folded in the chucks as before. Finally, I made a loaf-bread with the recipe. Since I was baking the bread in a dark (Chicago Metallic) pan, I reduced the temperature. I found the bread did very nicely with 15 minutes at 435 degrees followed by 20 minutes at 400 degrees. As you can see from the picture, if a piece of cheese pokes through, this give a ugly blister, but rolling the dough largely avoids this problem.

Overall, I like the altered recipe even better. I thought the combination of cheeses less biting, I liked the whole-wheat, and, for me at least, loaf bread is generally more useful than boules.

Another great bread!

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