Cheddar cheese bread that is soft on the inside, and crusty on the outside with all the goodness combo of cheddar cheese and sugar sprinkled on top.
There is a sense of comfort associated with bread. Its smell, its soft texture and its warmth seem to me a very reassuring blanket that reminds me always that I am home, being loved. Being fed.
Back in the Philippines, we used to live within walking distance from a family owned bakery. That bakery is nothing less than a part of my life, my childhood. I grew up eating their goodies for breakfasts and snack. Each day when I wake up for school, my father has already walked to the bakery in our streets that are lit up by the lights of the passing vehicles in the early hours of the morning. He would buy our favorite bread (pandesal), and since they sold butter and cheese by the slice, my father usually would throw in a couple of slices with our hot bread. Half awake, I eat my bread with a mug of hot chocolate.
And now as an adult, baking bread at home to me seems therapeutic. I don’t even have to mention that the smell alone sends me happy vibes. The sight of bread, that first bite into the warm and soft pillow of carbs reminds me of childhood and the simplicity of life back then.
Now alongside the most beautiful part of my life that is motherhood, I am happy to have found my way to baking as my passion. My kids don’t have the slightest clue now, but each time I bake bread, I get reminded of beautiful memories and as they grow up years from now, it would be enough for me that the smell of bread will remind them of their own childhood and of days they spent in the kitchen baking with me.
On a lighter and less mushy note, this cheddar cheese bread will have you swoon over its soft crumbs. This recipe makes use of a starter dough, which is simply an overnight dough made by mixing hot water and flour.
Kneading is done by the mixer. It usually takes about 8-10 minutes from the time you add the butter. The bread dough is the same one I used for the sugar buns recipe. Similarly, you look for the stretch of the dough when you pull it apart with your fingers. If it stretches thinly into a translucent film in the center, you have kneaded it enough.
To see how I made the braid, you can check out my braided brioche post. It is a bigger braid but the process is the same. This recipe makes two braided breads. After the first rise, divide the dough into two equal portions. Each portion will make about an 8-10 inches circular braid.
Most time here is spent waiting for the dough to rise. There isn’t any physical labor involved if that is what you dread in making homemade bread, well unless you decide to knead by hand. I always choose the easy route and that is letting the mixer do the job.
The outcome is a moist, soft bread that is topped with cheddar cheese and sugar. It has delicious notes of salty and sweet. This breakfast or snack bread is sufficient on its own. Its cheesy and sugary top make it a complete stand alone package. So, I really wish that you give it a try.
Enjoy the bread and happy baking!
Cheddar Cheese Bread
For the Overnight Dough
- 100 grams all purpose flour
- 70 grams boiling water
For the Dough
- 175 grams warm water 110 F
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 400 grams all purpose flour
- 80 grams sugar
- 20 grams milk powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 60 grams softened butter
- 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
- egg wash 1 (egg beaten with 1 tbsp milk)
- granulated sugar for sprinkling on top
Prepare the Overnight Dough
- Combine the flour and boiling water in a bowl and mix it using a spoon until a dough forms. Wrap this in plastic and refrigerate overnight.
Make the Bread Dough
- Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let sit for 5 minutes. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, sugar, salt and milk powder. Whisk to incorporate. Add the yeast mixture, followed by the egg and beat using the dough hook until a shaggy dough forms.
- Add the overnight dough and continue to beat until it is incorporated. Add the softened butter bit by bit. Once all the butter has been incorporated, continue beating for about 8-10 minutes. The dough is ready when it can stretch thinly when you pull it apart with your fingers. Take a small portion of dough, use your fingers to pull and spread it wide. A thin, translucent film should form in the center.
- Gather the dough into a ball and place it in a greased bowl. Cover it with kitchen towel and set it aside to let it rise for an hour, when it has doubled in size.
- Gently deflate the dough and divide it into two equal portions. Divide the first portion into 3 equal portions and roll each portion into a log of about 18-20 inches long. Braid the logs and form a circle by connecting and sealing the two ends. Repeat the same procedure with the other half of dough. Place both braids in a large baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper.
- Let the assembled dough rise for another hour. Preheat oven to 350 F. Brush the dough with egg wash, top with grated cheddar cheese and sprinkle sugar over the cheese. Bake in the baking sheet at 350 F for 17-20 minutes.