All month long, I am reposting Thanksgiving recipes on Tuesday, and sharing a new recipe on Thursday. This week’s re-post is Asiago Cheddar Cheese Bread!
Great meals deserve a great bread, and Thanksgiving is no exception. My favorite thing on Thanksgiving is to dunk an amazing bread into gravy. Honestly, if I could, I would mostly eat bread and gravy, but alas there is so much more food that needs to be eaten. Of course, I tend to indulge this desire the day after Thanksgiving 😉 For me, I want to have a delicious homemade bread with my Thanksgiving meal. After all, it is Thanksgiving! I actually stay away from white bread on a daily basis, so I am ready to enjoy a special and yummy bread on special occasions. I came up with this recipe last year, so that I could bring something a little different to my family’s Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone loved it, and I have made it for several events since then. The flavor combination of the cheddar and Asiago is just amazing. It has the texture of a brioche and is filled with the sharp flavors of Asiago and extra sharp cheddar cheeses. Part of the cheese is grated to provide the flavor throughout the bread, and the other part of the cheese is cubed, so you get that delicious bite of cheese from time-to-time. When I eat cheese bread, I want to bite into cheese. The recipe is below. I hope you include this bread in your Thanksgiving spread. Happy continued Thanksgiving planning 🙂
Also, try my upgraded homemade green bean casserole. It is a delicious homemade version, with a couple of changes.
Cheddar-Asiago Cheese Bread
Prepare the cheeses first. Grate 3 oz. of the cheddar and 2 oz. of the Asiago cheeses. Cut up the remaining cheeses into small cubes. Keep the cubed and grated cheese separate and set aside.
Sift the flour and then add salt and sugar, and mix well with a whisk, and set aside. In a warmed mixing bowl, add the warm water and sprinkle the yeast on top. Let sit for 3-5 minutes and then swirl around if needed to completely dissolve the yeast. Warm the milk over the stove top or in the microwave (it should be warm, but not hot). Add the milk, olive oil, and flour mixture to the mixing bowl (in that order). With a dough hook, mix on low for about 1 minute until it comes together. Add the shredded cheese and mix for about 15 seconds until incorporated. Knead for 3.5 minutes. Add the cheese cubes and mix for about 10 seconds. You may also want to use your hands to ensure that the cheese cubes are incorporated. Place in an oiled bowl, lightly oil on top and cover. Let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk, in a draft-free place.
Punch down and turn out the dough on a scantly floured surface. Cut dough in half, and cut each half into three equal pieces.
For the braid:
Roll out three pieces of the dough into 14 inch ropes, and place side-by-side. Begin braiding as if you were braiding hair, and try to keep it relatively tight without damaging the dough. Tuck each side under and press together to keep from unraveling. Place on a greased baking sheet and cover and let rise for 45 minutes, in a draft-free place.
For the crescent-like rolls:
Roll each piece into a 12 inch rope, and then cut into 2 inch strips. Take each strip and roll out about 7 inches long, making one side smaller at the end than the other. Form the crescent-like shape and place the larger side over the smaller side and press down. You will have a small hole, which should fill in when baking. Place the rolls on greased baking sheets with space in between to allow for rising. Cover and place in a draft-free place for 45 minutes to rise.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the bread in the oven and set a timer for 25 minutes. Prepare your egg wash by beating one egg white and one Tbsp. of water. Start watching once the timer has completed 15 minutes. Once the bread starts to turn golden brown (usually at 20 min), remove from the oven and pause the timer. Brush evenly with your egg wash and place back in the oven to finish baking (about 5 min). When ready, remove from the oven and place on racks to cool. Enjoy!
3 1/2 cups and 1/3 cup all purpose flour (I use unbleached)
2 1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. sugar
4 tsp. active dry yeast (2 packets less 1/2 tsp.)
1/2 cup warm water (not hot)
1 cup warm milk (not hot)
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (and more for greasing bowls)
4.5 oz. extra sharp cheddar cheese (see instructions below for preparation)
3.5 oz. Asiago cheese (see instructions below for preparation)
1 egg white
1 Tbsp. water
#1 Make the flour mixture ahead of time, and store in a sealed container. You can also grate and cut your cheese a day or 2 ahead.
#2 Make the bread the night before and wrap tightly in food-safe cloth. Warm up before eating, by wrapping in foil and placing in a 400 degree oven.
#3 Serve alongside Zoale’s Upgraded Green Bean Casserole.
#4 Use the left-overs for delicious turkey sandwiches the day after Thanksgiving.
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