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Cheese Bread

Every weekday, we cook an old-fashioned midday dinner for our farm and cheesehouse staff. This cheese bread is an old family favorite!


1 tablespoon (1 package) yeast

1 tablespoon sugar

1¾ cups warm water

5 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon hot sauce

¼ cup (½ stick) butter

4 oz (approximately 1 cup) Appalachian, Mountaineer, or Grayson

Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water and allow to proof. In a large bowl or bowl for your mixer, mix the flour and salt. Make a well in the center and add the yeast mixture, butter, and hot sauce. Stir until the dough is well mixed and stiff, forming a solid ball; knead, by hand or by machine, until dough is smooth, elastic, and satiny -- usually 5-10 minutes. Add flour as necessary to prevent sticking and achieve the correct texture. Let rise in oiled bowl until doubled, approximately 1½ to 2 hours. The dough is ready when it does not "spring back" when pressed with a finger but instead keeps the indentation. It is better at this stage to overrise the bread than to shape it before it has sufficiently risen. Grate the cheese. (If using Grayson, dice the cheese instead of grating.)

Punch down the dough, turn onto a board, and stretch into a rough rectangle. Sprinkle cheese across the surface then roll up the bread. Knead until cheese is evenly distributed. Cut dough in half then let it rest ten minutes. Shape into loaves (round, French, or loaf pan all work well with this recipe), and let rise again until doubled in size.

Lightly slash the tops of each loaf with a razor or cut with scissors. Bake in a preheated 375 oven for approximately 30 minutes, until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

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