From my story, “White (Bread) Christmas”
Yield: One Loaf
One envelope Active Dry Yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 cup warm water
3 ½ cups All Purpose Flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried Oregano
1 tsp dried Sage
1 tsp dried thyme
½ tsp fresh chopped Rosemary
2 ½ oz grated cheddar cheese (approximately 2 cups)
1 tbsp Olive Oil
Prepare one loaf pan by greasing thoroughly or spraying with non stick spray.
In a small bowl combine the chopped herbs and the cheddar cheese, and olive oil. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water. “Proof” for about five minutes to make sure the yeast is active. You’re looking for just a little bit of foam to form on the surface of the liquid, and that familiar yeasty smell.
- Add the flour to the water and yeast, and mix at low speed until combined using the mixer’s dough hook. When the flour has thoroughly combined with the water, add the salt.
- Let the mixer continue kneading the dough for about 15 minutes. Take a peek every now and then. You may find it necessary to add a spoonful or two of flour. The idea is to have the dough gathered on the dough hook, not sticking to the side of the bowl.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm place for the dough to rise until roughly doubled in size, approximately one hour.
- Divide the dough into 10 (approximately) even portions. Spread a bit of the mixed herbs and cheddar cheese on each portion of dough, and stack each filled portion on top of the next. Squeeze the stacked portions into the prepared loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
- Brush the top of the loaf with a bit of milk or cream. Bake in an oven pre-heated to 400˚F for 30 minutes, or until the top of the loaf is golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
Allow the loaf to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then serve warm.
(Also good toasted the next day. Toast on a sheet pan or cookie sheet in the oven. Do not toast in a toaster.)