2 tablespoons bread flour, plus 2 teaspoons
½ cup whole milk
2 ½ cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
½ cup whole milk
1 tablespoon milk powder
2 large eggs, divided
3 tablespoons Cabot unsalted butter, softened
nonstick cooking spray, for greasing
4 ounces Cabot Vermont Sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
4 ounces Cabot New York Extra Sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
Get the ingredients you need at a convenient nearby location.
To make the roux:
WHISK together the bread flour and milk in a small saucepan.
COOK over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to prevent the mixture from burning, until it begins to thicken into a paste and creates streaks across the bottom of the pot, about 5 minutes.
TRANSFER the roux to a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly against the surface. Let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
To make the dough:
WHISK together the flour, sugar, kosher salt, and yeast in a medium bowl.
WHISK together the milk, milk powder, 1 egg, and the roux in a large bowl.
STIR the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, using a wooden spoon, until the dough begins to come together in shaggy mass.
ADD the butter and knead with your hands until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
SHAPE the dough into a ball and place in a large bowl greased with nonstick spray and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let proof until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
PREHEAT the oven to 350°F (180°C).
GREASE a 9×5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.
PUNCH down the dough, then turn out onto a floured surface. Roll the dough into a 9×9-inch square.
SPRINKLE the Cabot Vermont Sharp Cheddar cheese and Cabot New York Extra Sharp Cheddar cheese evenly across the dough. Starting from a long end, roll the dough up, and place seam-side down on the surface. Using a sharp knife, slice the roll in half lengthwise to expose the filling. Twist the halves together into a braid.
PLACE the loaf in the prepared pan and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let proof until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
BEAT the remaining egg, then brush over the loaf. Sprinkle the sea salt on top.
BAKE the bread until the cheese is bubbly and the top is deep golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly, about 15 minutes, then slice.
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