I have something to admit. I think that I can finally say that I’m no longer frightened at the prospect of using yeast and making bread. As of this loaf, making bread has become something I look forward to doing. I’ve had a few successes with my last couple of loaves and I officially enjoy making bread which I never thought I would.
This month for Twelve Loaves the theme is cheese. What’s not to like about that? I found myself immediately full of ideas and had a hard time narrowing it down. As always, our fearless leader Lora showed us the way with her savory pull apart bread filled with salami and Gouda. I wanted to make that right off the bat! I adore everything in and about that bread. Then Barb went and made my mouth water by making cheesy herbed waffles for what may very well be the world’s best BLT! I stink at making waffles and killed my waffle iron a long time ago, so no cheesy herbed waffles for me. But just as soon as I get a waffle iron again, I will make that my first attempt. Last but definitely not least, Lisa made a stromboli but not just any stromboli. She packed that bad boy with not one, not two, but three different cheeses, prosciutto, broccoli rabe AND roasted red peppers! Having never made stromboli I really wanted to give that a try. And not to be forgotten, (which I initially did! Sorry!!) Jamie made a lovely cheese and bacon focaccia that had my mouth watering.
As I thought more about what I wanted my cheesy loaf to be, I found myself thinking about a bakery I used to go to. They’re long gone but I wish they were still around. They only sold bread. Any kind of bread you could imagine, they made it. That was the home of the perfect sourdough loaf. I often mourn the loss of that store because I’m still on the hunt for a sourdough loaf that will come even close to that one. They also sold a pepperoni cheese bread that was insanely good! Each and every bite you took was filled with pepperoni, cheddar and garlic. The combination made you unable to resist eating more of it despite the fact that you knew you shouldn’t. This month I set out to recreate that loaf.
I’m pleased to report that what I ended up with was a pretty close match! The only thing I would have liked to be different is I wish it had a crustier crust. I’ll have to work on that. Despite the crisp crust not being quite as crusty as I would have liked I found myself having a hard time putting the bread down, bite after bite so I took that as a good sign. This bread is easy to make and will fill your entire house with warm, savory, cheesy, garlicky smells that will have you waiting by the oven for the timer to ding.
I’ve also submitted this bread to Wild Yeast!
One Year Ago: Orange Honey Ginger Ale
A tender bread with swirls of cheddar, a hint of garlic and pepperoni pieces in every bite.
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 1 packet instant yeast (rapid rise)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/3 cups very warm water (115-125 degrees)
- 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
- 1 cup pepperoni, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, whisk the flour, yeast, sugar, salt and baking powder.
- With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the water into the flour mixture and mix until the flour is fully incorporated.
- Increase the speed to medium and beat until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the bowl, about 5-6 minutes.
- Add 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, pepperoni, black pepper and minced garlic. Knead until distributed throughout the dough.
- Brush a clean bowl with some of the melted butter. Form the dough into a ball and place it into the buttered bowl.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
- Punch down the dough and let it rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Roll the dough out into a rectangle about 10"x6"
- Sprinkle the dough with remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.
- Roll the dough up firmly into a cylinder, starting from the short side. Press to seal the seam and sides.
- Using some of the remaining melted butter, coat the bottom and sides of a 9"x5" loag pan.
- Place the dough into the loaf pan and brush the dough with melted butter.
- Let the dough rise again until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake until well browned, about 45 minutes.
- Removed from the oven and let the bread cool for 5 minutes.
- Tip the bread out of the loaf pan and cool on a wire rack.
Time does not include 45 minutes for first rise and 30 minutes for second rise.