Thursday, July 7, 2011

Soft Cheese Bread

Yay ! another bread recipe from Peter Reinhart...Soft Cheese Bread. I so love this man and his wonderful technique in making artisan bread.  Love the soft skin and flavorful inside :)  And they are so easy to make too.  I love the cheesy and onion fragrance of this soft bread.  He uses chives and onions and cheese but since I do not have chives at home, I substituted chives with spring onions and you know what  ? spring onions and cheese actually do go well together.  Perfect match ! 

Peter gave some variations which I shall list out at the end of the post.  I followed one of them which is to replace some of the bread flour with an equivalent amount ( by weight ) of  whole wheat flour :) The wheat grains mean more fibre from this bread :)  and I halved the recipe so I got a fluted loaf and one small heart shaped bread :p for our wedding anniversary !   This recipe calls for either lukewarm water or BEER , but since I do not have beer at home, I used lukewarm water instead for this time but the next time I shall try using BEER !  I want to find out and see the difference in flavor and in texture. Peter says in his book that we can use any kind of beer in this recipe, as both light and dark brews add subtle flavors that will complement the cheese :))

I went around the whole town to search for a fluted bread mold and to my disappointment my search was futile. The people at the shops told me that they are not selling anymore coz it is an old fashioned mold  which is not popular anymore  :(  But this Momsie is the persistent type. I wanted a fluted shape bread !!  Squeezed my brains to its maximum, finally I got an idea !!   I went and bought two half fluted jelly molds  instead and guess what.....I managed to bake one fluted soft cheese bread after all !   I placed the dough into one half fluted mold and cover it with the other half.   Tied it very tight together with a a twisted parchment paper on both end and left  it to proof for 35-40 mins.  Baked it following the instructions from the book and whoa ! I finally got my round fluted shape bread.  Clever Momsie ! :p    Nothing special about the fluted shape bread just that I fancy a bread with fluted designs for this once....LOL!  I can use the molds for making jelly later on , so it won't be a waste buying the half fluted mold :)

A small portion of the dough went to 
making this heart shaped bread :p

my  round fluted shape bread...hahaha ....:p

the texture is soft and I love the cheesy and onions flavor !
I sliced the bread following the fluted lines :)  This
Momsie just wanna have fun......* wink

I did not heed his advise to poke a few spots on the top 
of the crust before baking thus I have many air pockets in my loaves...but 
nonetheless it tasted GOOD !  
it is the appearance that is not so good :p

I have a bad habit that is I will be repeating and repeating again on how good the bakes are and for the last time LOL!  this is a great bread to have ...full of nutrients and full of flavors !!!  I will make this again using beer this time and I want to see the difference in flavor and texture :)

Soft Cheese Bread  - Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day
( Printable Recipe )

6 1/4 cups (28oz/ 794 g) unbleached bread flour
2 tsps ( 0.5 oz/ 14 g ) salt or 1 tbsp coarse kosher salt
5 tbsps ( 2.25 oz/64 g) granulated or brown sugar or 3 1/2 tbsps honey or agave nectar
1 cup  ( 8oz/ 227 g)  lukewarm water or beer (95 ºF or 35º C )
1 cup plus 2 tbsps ( 9oz/ 225g ) lukewarm buttermilk or any other milk (95 ºF or 35º C )
1 1/2 tbsps ( 0.5oz/14 g) instant yeast
1/4 cup ( 2 oz/56.5 g ) melted unsalted butter or vegetable oil    * I used olive oil
1 3/4 cups ( 7 oz/198 g ) diced onion ( about 1 medium onion )
or 1 small bunch of fresh chives ( 1 oz/28.5g ) minced ( optional)
2 1/2 cups ( 12oz /340g ) grated, shredded or cubed cheese

Do Ahead :

In a mixing bowl, whisk the flour, salt and sugar together ( if using honey or agave nectar, dissolve it in the lukewarm water instead ). Separately, combine the water and buttermilk, whisk in the yeast until dissolved, then pour the mixture and the melted butter into the dry ingredients.  If using a mixer , use the paddle attachment and mix on the lowest speed for 2 minutes. If mixing by hand, use a large spoon and stir for about 2 minutes. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.

Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium-low speed, or continue mixing by hand, for 3 minutes, adjusting with flour or liquid as needed. The dough should be soft , supple and tacky but not sticky.  Add the onions and mix on the lowest speed or continue mixing by hand for 1 minute, until the onions are evenly distributed.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead for 1 or 2 minutes to make any final adjustments, then form the dough into a ball.

Place the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and immediately refrigerate overnight or for up to 4 days. ( if you plan to bake the dough in batches over different dats, you can portion the dough and place it into two or more oiled bowls at this stage )  The dough should double in size in the refrigerator. If you want to bake the bread the same day you mix the dough. don't refrigerate the final dough; just let it rest at room temperature for 60-90 minutes until it doubles in size.

On Baking Day :

Remove the dough from the refrigerator about 2 hours before you plan to bake. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and divide it into 2 equal pieces, each weighing about 2 pound (907 g). Dust each piece with flour, then use a rolling pin to roll them into rectanbles about 8 inches wide and 12" high.  Spread half of the cheese over the surface of one rectangle and roll the dough up like a rug, from the bottom to the top, to form a log. If any falls out, tuck it back in or save it for the second loaf. Seal the seam with your fingertips.

For a sandwich loaf, proof in a greased 4 1/2 by 8 inch loaf pan ( or a 5 by 9" pan if using onions, which increase the volume of the dough )

For a freestanding bātard or rolls, proof on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Another option is to cut the log into 1 1/2 inch slices to make spiral rolls; place spiral rolls about 1 inch apart in greased round pans or on a parchment lined sheet pan. Mist the shaped dough with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap, then let the dough rise at room temperatures for about 90 minutes, until increased to about 1 1/2 times its original size. In loaf pans, the dough should dome about 1 inch above the rim.

About 15 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to  350 ºF or  (177º C ) or 300 ºF or  (149º C ) for a convection oven.  Because of the cheese, there may be air pockets or tunnels in the risen dough that could cause it to separate in the spirals ( cubed cheese creates fewer air pockets than grated or shredded cheese ). To minimize this, poke through the top crust in a few spots with a skewer or toothpick.  The dough may fall a bit, but it will recover in the oven.

Bake loaves for 20 minutes, then rotate the pans; rotate rolls after 10 minutes. The total baking time is about 50 minutes for loaves, and only 20 to 25 minutes for rolls. The bread is done when it's a deep golden brown and the internal termperature is about  185 ºF or  (85º C ) in the center.

Remove from the pans and cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes for rolls and about 1 hour for loaves before slicing or serving.

Variations :

You can substitute potato water ( leftover from boiling potatoes ) for the water or beer, which will make the dough even softer. The milk provides some tenderness and color, but if you prefer a leaner bread you can replace it with an equal amount of water or potato water.

Feel free to replace some of the bread flour with an equivalent amount (by weight) of whole wheat flour or rye flour. If you do so, increase the amount of water by about 1 tablespoon ( 0.5 oz/14 g) for every  7 tablespoons of whole grain flour you use.

If you would like to avoid the air pockets caused by the melting cheese, you can knead cubed cheese into the dough after the overnight rise, just before shaping, rather than rolling it up in the dough.  This will create little cheese bursts throughout the loaf instead of a spiral.

Enjoy and have a great day !

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  1. Hey Elin, I like the shape of your bread..hehe! I almost and taste it by looking at your pictures, nice bread! Good to go with my coffee..haha!

  2. Looks great Elin! Although I think the holes are due to the cheese chunks melting? If you did this with grated cheese next time, I don't think you will get the holey problem! :)

  3. This looks superb, Elin. Love the idea with spring onions and adore these molds, too; We love cheese with holes here, so lovely in the bread as well. Would be interesting to hear the difference between the water and the beer. Fabulous!

  4. You pandai sangat, at first I just wonder where you buy this fluted pan, hehehe...I have only one fluted pan, have yet to use. This bread sound great and healthy.

  5. Haha, Elin, you are so creative. I love the round fluted shape bread too. Next time I want to learn from you, buy two and tie them together :)

  6. Hi Elin, you are very obviously enjoying yourself, I love the creative way you went about getting your fluted bread:D Nicely done!

  7. Wow - that bread looks amazing! I would love to try this with beer! I don't poke holes in rolled breads, either....but I love the big bubbles! Now following you on Google Follow!

  8. Elin, you're so smart! I can still find the non stick fluted bread mould in SG but I never own one as I seldom make bread. But after seeing your nice bread, I might want to reconsider :)

  9. Can you say drool? Because that's exactly what I'm doing right now!! YUM

  10. omgoodness, this is the one post of the day I truly wish I had in front of me.

  11. bread and cheese in the same sentence... yes, I'll take a loaf of that, please!

  12. Everything about this bread is making me smile!

  13. Just the name 'soft cheese bread' sounds good, doesn't it? I love the fact that you baked it in a heart pan.

  14. Hi Elin
    You know I have a weakness for yeast breads, but right now I don't know what I want first : a slice of this delicious bread or a baking pan just like yours. I'm going to search for one on amazon. wish me luck!

  15. My tummy is rumbling right now. It was not a good idea to read and look through this post on an empty stomach ;-) The bread looks so spectacular! I really should start making bread more often. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  16. elin, didnt realise i missed 2 of your posts! YOu very hardworking, blogging and baking! ha! I can almost imagine the aroma from baking this bread, love the cheese flavour here, thanks for another PR's recipe!