|Braided Cheese Bread|
This recipe is a twist on the Czech Christmas bread that is such a tradition in my family. I figured that since that bread always comes out so perfectly delicious, I am sure using the base ingredients and changing it up a little will yield all sorts of new recipe ideas. I have always been fond of cheese and olive breads that you can buy in a bakery, but being health conscious, I have always been upset that they are almost always made using white flour. But not this one. Like the Vánočka, this recipe takes a bit of time, but it is fairly easy and yields an amazingly moist, flavorful and decorative loaf. I made these over Thanksgiving as a centerpiece for two separate family meals and they were almost completely devoured each time. If you do happen to have left overs, they are great as a base for a savory sandwich.
Braided Cheese Bread
Makes 1 large or 2 medium braids
5 – 6 C. organic white whole wheat flour
1 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 packages Active Dry Yeast
1 C. organic 1% milk
2/3 C. water
1/4 C. extra virgin olive oil
2 organic eggs (at room temperature)
2 - 3 C. shredded cheese
1 C. chopped olives, optional
In a large bowl thoroughly mix 1½ cups flour, sugar, salt, black pepper and yeast.
Combine milk, water, and oil in a saucepan. Heat over low heat until liquids are very warm (120°F.-130°F). Gradually add to the dry ingredients and beat 2 minutes at medium speed of an electric mixer, scraping the bowl occasionally. Add eggs and ½ cup flour. Beat at high speed 2 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally. Stir in cheese, olives (if using) and enough additional flour to make a stiff dough. Turn out onto lightly floured board and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap, then a towel. Let rest 60 minutes.
To make large braid: Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll 3 pieces into ropes 14 inches long. Braid together on greased baking sheet. Tuck ends under to seal. Divide remaining piece into 3 equal pieces. Roll into ropes 9 inches long. Braid together. Place small braid on large braid. Tuck ends under to seal.
To make medium braids: Divide dough in half. Shape each half as above.
Cover loosely with a towel and let rise 60 minutes. Bake at 375°F for about 35 minutes for the large braid, 25 minutes for medium braids. Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire rack.
|dough ready to knead|
|kneaded dough ready to rise|
|after an hour rising|
|rolled out and ready to braid|
|close up of rolled dough|
|braided and ready to rise again|
|ready for the oven|
|cooling... ready to eat soon!!!|
I am going to try this cheese bread. Bet it smells delicious when baking.ReplyDelete
It certainly does!! You won't be disappointed!! :)Delete
Looks awesome! Love braiding bread, so pretty. Saw your card in the locker room and glad I did. Great blog!ReplyDelete