I tend to go through homemade bread cycles. There are times when I just crave the whole process – from the making to the eating. And then there are those times where the whole idea of baking bread just gets pushed to the side in favor of other things. I really need to get better at that and consistently make a loaf of homemade bread of some type at least once a week. We all enjoy it so much and I’ve found that it’s so much easier when I’m “in practice.”
Another reason I need to stick with making homemade bread more consistently is my yeast buying habits. I like to buy the bulk packages of yeast from Sam’s Club. You can buy a set of two 1 lb. packages of active dry yeast for a ridiculously low price. But unfortunately, when you get out of the bread making habit, an opened bag of yeast doesn’t last forever. I speak from experience here since I have a 3/4 full pound bag of yeast that is completely dead. And there’s no reason for that. So, I’m vowing to not let that happen again and to get back into the habit of weekly bread making.
This Cheddar Garlic Bread was incredible. The combination of tangy Sharp cheddar with a mild garlic undertone was perfect. The outside of the bread turned out nice and crusty while the inside was moist and chewy, exactly the way a loaf of bread should be in my book.
Cheddar Garlic Bread
- 3 1/2 – 4 1/2 c. flour
- 1 T. yeast
- 1 c. milk
- 2 T. butter or margarine
- 2 T. sugar
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1 1/2 c. shredded Sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 c. flour and yeast.
2. Add the milk, butter or margarine, sugar and salt to a small saucepan. Heat until warm and the butter is completely melted. Add to mixing bowl and stir by hand or beat with an electric mixer until combined. Slowly add remaining flour until the dough comes together and is no longer sticky. Add 1 1/4 c. cheese (reserve remaining cheese) and garlic until combined. Knead for 5-8 minutes.
3. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and allow to rise for at least 1 hour.
4. Punch dough down and remove from bowl. Form dough into an oval-shaped loaf and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
5. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-35 minutes, until golden and hollow sounding when tapped.
The garlic in the bread is purely a matter of taste. Feel free to add more, less or omit all together. You could also cut it into slivers instead of mincing it if you prefer chunks of garlic.
This bread was great with our dinner and just as great the following day when we toasted it in the oven and spread it with some butter.