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Asiago Cheese Bread Recipe

This Asiago Cheese Bread recipe comes to you from my friend at Bella's Breadbox. It's full of flavor, soft on the inside and has the perfect crisp crust.

*Please note that about 90% of the prep time is inactive, and please read through the entire recipe to get a sense of timing before you begin.

Course Snacks and Sandwiches
Cuisine American
Keyword great for brunch, great for sandwiches
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Rising & Resting Time 21 hours
Total Time 22 hours 10 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 180 kcal
Author Bella's Breadbox, Adapted from Jim Lahey's, My Bread

Ingredients

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 2 cups Asiago cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon table salt (not kosher salt)
  • ¾ teaspoon instant or other active dry yeast
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1⅓ cups cool water
  • wheat bran or cornmeal for dusting

Instructions

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the flour, cheese, salt, yeast and pepper. Add the water and use a wooden spoon, or your hand, to mix until you have a wet and sticky dough, about 30 seconds. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature until the surface is dotted with bubbles, and the dough is more than doubled in size,12 to 18 hours.

  2. When the first rise is complete, generously dust a work surface with flour. Use a bowl scraper or rubber spatula to scrape the dough out of the bowl in one piece. Use lightly floured hands to lift the edges of the dough in towards the center. Nudge and tuck in the floured hands to lift the edges of the dough in towards the center. Nudge and tuck in the edges of the dough to make it round.

  3. Place a tea towel on your work surface and generously dust it with cornmeal  flour or wheat bran. Gently place the dough on the towel, seam side down. If the dough is tacky, dust the top lightly. Fold the ends of the tea towel over the dough to cover it. Place in a warm, draft-free spot to rise for 1 to 2 hours. The dough is ready when it's almost doubled in size. (If you gently poke it with your finger, if should hold the impression. If it springs back, let it rise for another 15 minutes.)

  4. Half an hour before the end of the second rise, preheat the oven to 475 degrees F with a rack in the middle. Place a covered 4 to 5 quart heavy pot on the rack to preheat. (I use a 5-quart Dutch Oven.)

  5. Use pot holders to carefully remove the preheated pot from the oven and uncover it. Unfold the tea towel and quickly but gently invert the dough into the pot, seam side up. Use caution -- the pot will be very hot! Cover the pot and bake for 30 minutes.

  6. Remove the lid and continue baking until the bread is a deep chestnut color, about 15 to 30 minutes. Use a heatproof spatula or pot holders to gently lift the bread out of the pot and place it on a rack to cool thoroughly, about 1 hour.