07 May 2008

Cheese Bread

Madison, Wisconsin: Home of Bucky, State Street, Ella's Deli, and the Wisconsin Capital. Aside from being known for these things, it is also home to a pretty stellar Farmers Market.

One of the highlights at that Farmer's Market, most attendees would agree, is Stella's Bakery's Hot & Spicy Cheese Bread. Many people buy it and it never makes it home - no, instead they munch down on the hot loaves while perusing the rest of the market. The bread is a basic white, but with molten chunks of spicy cheese inside. Amazing, best treat ever I would imagine.

I have never had it myself, but from what I hear it is not to be missed. I've been thinking about this odd little loaf of bread a lot lately because, well, for one I always miss my home state and these things creep into my little brain. But for another, I've been terribly excited that our own town's Farmers Market has fired up finally. Farmers Market + some random image of home relating to Farmers Markets = cheese bread. Get it? They don't have the fancy cheese bread at our Farmers Market, unfortunately. But hey, why not give it a shot at home, right?

The recipe I used as a base for this can be found here, it's a basic Amish sweet bread. It's a good basic bread recipe, and very easy to follow. The original recipe linked actually makes a very sweet bread, almost like the Hawaiian Sweet Bread you can buy in grocery stores. But: I wanted less sweet and more cheese (CHEESE!), so I made several changes. Less sugar, more kneading, a bit more rising time, and the cheese (which I chunked rather than shredded, so that the chunks would still be visible and tasty in the finished loaf instead of melting into the dough).

I think it turned out quite well. Hubs and I tore into it while it was still hot, and I like to think it had many of the same characteristics I've heard about Stella's cheese bread: warm, soft bread with gooey chunks of melted cheese studded throughout. Yum! So if you want a bit of a treat, I recommend you give this a shot. Or fly into Madison to hit up their Farmers Market on a Saturday morning, I guess there's that option too...

Cheese Bread

2 c. warm water (~110 F)
1/4 c. white sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1 1/2 tsp. salt 1/4 c. vegetable oil 6 c. bread flour, sifted
1 c. cheddar cheese, cubed
2 c. Monterey Jack cheese, cubed
2 Tbsp. chopped jalapeno

In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water, and then stir in yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam (about 10 minutes).

Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Mix in flour one cup at a time. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth, about 10 minutes. Place in a well oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 90 minutes.

Punch dough down. Add cheese and jalapeno to dough and knead for about 5 minutes, until the cheese chunks are dispersed throughout (you will have some seriously bumpy dough!). Then divide dough in half. Shape into loaves, and place into two well oiled 9x5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes.


Brilynn said...

That oozy cheese looks fabulous!

Ginny said...

gooey yumminess!!! what more do i need?

Patricia Scarpin said...

Nemmie, I love adding cheese to bread like this. Fresh from the oven, there's nothing better!
Your loaf looks delicious.

Sarah said...

Oh, my gosh, Nemmie--this just looks so tasty. I want some to nibble on right now!

Bia said...

amazing blog.

Anonymous said...

I don't like cheese bread but for some reason this appeals to me, must be the lovely photos :)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Yikes! That looks outrageously good, Nemmie! One of my favorites is Italian bread filled with Asiago cheese. Mmmm....

Anonymous said...

I'm so excited! I love Stella's bread at the Farmer's Market. I can't wait to try this recipe! Thanks!

Ashley Korda said...

Could you freeze one laid before the second rise?