Very Good Home-Made Bread

Discussion in 'Food & Wine' started by Adam's Apple, Dec 20, 2004.

  1. Adam's Apple

    Adam's Apple Senior Member

    Apr 25, 2004
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    1 pkg. active dry yeast
    1-1/4 cup warm water
    2 teaspoons sugar
    3-3/4 to 4 c. all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons salt
    1 teaspoon dried rosemary
    ½ teaspoon dried thyme
    ½ teaspoon dried basil
    ½ teaspoon oregano
    ¼ teaspoon dried sage
    ¼ teaspoon black pepper
    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (I use canola oil)
    1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
    1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water

    Sprinkle yeast over ¼ cup of warm water in a glass measuring cup. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Let stand for 10 minutes. Mixture will be foamy.

    In a large bowl stir together 3-1/4 cups of the flour, salt, rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano, sage, pepper and remaining 1 teaspoon sugar.

    Pour yeast mixture into flour mixture. Add remaining 1 cup warm water and the olive oil. Stir to form a ball. Mix in ¾ cup of the cheese.

    Turn onto a well-floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes, adding additional flour as needed until dough is smooth and elastic.

    Grease a large bowl with a little additional olive oil. Place dough in bowl and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place for 1-1/2 hr., until doubled in size. Punch dough down.

    Roll out dough into a 20x8” rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Roll up from a short side. Fold ends under loaf and place seam-side down in a greased 8-1/2x4-1/2x2-5/8-inch loaf pan. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for an additional hour.

    Heat oven to 400 degrees. Brush top of loaf with the egg wash. Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup cheese. Bake at 400 deg. for 35 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from the pan to wire rack and cool.

    (To present as a gift, wrap the cooled loaf in a pretty patterned dish towel and place atop a cutting board. Enclose everything in colored cellophane and tie with a decorative ribbon.)

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