I adapted this recipe from Saveur.
The original recipe called for Parmesan and Gruyere cheese, but since I didn’t have those cheeses I used what cheese I had on hand which was two Mexican cheeses. Chihuahua and Cotija cheese. The chihuahua cheese I used on the inside of the bread, and after baking for 20 minutes, I added the cotija cheese on top and baked it for another 10 minutes.
Here is the recipe:
2 1/2 tsp. of active dry yeast
1 tablespoon of sugar
3/4 cup of finely shredded Parmesan cheese (or any other cheese combo you like!)
1 1/2 cups of coarsely grated Gruyere cheese (or any other cheese you like!)
5 1/2 cups flour, divided
4 tablespoons of butter, melted and cooled
1 egg white, beaten
1. In a small bowl, stir together yeast, sugar and 1/4 cup warm water; set aside for 10 minutes or until foamy. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup of the Gruyere cheese in a small bowl (this will go on top of the bread later).
2. In a large bowl, combine 5 cups of the flour and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the yeast mixture, 1 1/2 cups of warm water, and the butter. Turn dough onto a work surface dusted with flour and knead bread until smooth about 15 minutes. (I have a mixer with a dough hook, so by all means use that instead!). Transfer dough to a bowl coated with cooking spray and cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in about 1 1/2 hours.
3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently knead remaining cheeses into dough. Halve the dough, shape the two halves into balls and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll out the dough balls with a rolling pin into 6″ x 11″ rectangles, then roll each up starting with the short side. Transfer each dough, seam side down into loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Cover pans again with plastic wrap and set them aside to allow the dough to rise until doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 hours. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
4. Bake loaves for 20 minutes. Brush tops with egg white and sprinkle with reserved cheese. Continue baking until loaves sound hollow when tapped on top and bottom, about 10 more minutes. Tip loaves out of pans and return them to oven for 5-7 minutes to firm crusts (I didn’t have to follow that step because they were already had a nice crust).
The bread turned out fantastic! I think the next time I do this, I will make a cinnamon/sugar mixture which I will add after rolling it out in a rectangle, before rolling it up. So I think I have officially conquered my fear of using yeast! I’ve made homemade pizza dough, English muffins and now the cheese bread, the skies the limit! If you have never used yeast very much before, its not that scary!