Thursday, November 4, 2010

Gruyere Loaves

If there is anything better that could possibly be better than bread dipped in melted cheese, it's bread with melted cheese baked inside.  And if there is a cheese out there that's better than fontina, it might be Gruyere.  Now I couldn't possibly say which one is better - they are like children:  impossible to choose a favorite (though as a side-note, Caroline is going to be hard to beat.  Our next child had better bring their A-Game).

Anyway, lately I've really gotten into baking with yeast.  There is just something so gratifying about kneading the dough, watching it rise, and finishing up with delicious, doughy bread.  As I was perusing the King Arthur Flour site, these loaves just jumped right out at me.  Seriously - Gruyere, rolled up into a crusty loaf of bread?  I'm sure you could use another cheese, or a combination of other cheeses, but I'm going to have trouble branching out when Gruyere is so delicious.

Although I have become pretty comfortable working with yeast, I was a little nervous about this bread.  For one thing, it requires an overnight starter.  While mine didn't rise and bubble as much as the recipe claimed it would, I went ahead and used it anyway, without any ill affects that I know of.  The dough itself was pretty easy to work with - not to soft or sticky, and it held its shape nicely. 

My favorite part of this bread was the outside.  The melted cheese with the crusty exterior of the bread really makes for a great combination.  I opted to make 4 "mini" loaves, but they are definitely big enough to split with at least one other person.  Though I did eat almost a whole loaf all by myself straight out of the oven.  How could I not? 

One Year Ago:  Chicken Chili

Gruyere-Stuffed Crusty Loaves
adapted from King Arthur Flour
makes 4 mini loaves, or 2 standard loaves

  • 1 1/4 cups bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup cool water
  • all of the starter
  • 1 cup + up to 1/4 cup warm water (105-110 degrees F)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  •   2 1/2 cups grated Gruyere cheese
To make the starter, combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl, and cover with plastic wrap.  It will be very dry, but resist the urge to add more water.  Allow to sit at room temperature overnight, and it will become bubbly.

To make the dough, combine the risen starter with the bread flour, water, salt, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Once it is combined, switch to the dough hook, and knead for several minutes, until a smooth dough has formed.  Turn the dough out into a lightly greased bowl, cover, and allow to rise 1 1/2-2 hours, until it has nearly doubled in bulk.

Punch down the dough, then stretch it out onto a lightly floured surface into a 3/4-inch thick rectangle, that is about 9x12 inches.  Spritz with water, then sprinkle evenly with the grated cheese.

Starting with the long end, carefully roll the dough into a log, pinching the seam to close.  Place the log seam-side down, cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel, and allow to rise 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until it is puffy, but not doubled in size.  Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Gently cut the log crosswise into 4 even slices, and transfer them to the baking sheet.  Spread the dough open a bit at the top, to better expose the cheese.  Spritz with warm water, and place in the oven.  Bake 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly, and the bread is golden-brown.  Transfer to a rack to cool completely.


Kimberly Peterson said...

You got me at "bread and cheese"... yuuummmm!!

the blissful baker said...

yum, this bread looks so tasty! i want some right now!

Jenn said...

omg this looks gorgeous. Totally drooling right now....

Katie K. said...

The cheese posts are totally getting to me. I have a sudden urge to run to Harry's Farmers Market and buy a bunch of wedges..and then make these recipes :)

Angela said...

So decadent. It reminds me of my favorite part of French Onion Soup. I'm scared to bake bread from scratch, but this has me wanting to give it a try. Thanks for sharing!

Eliana said...

I don't see anything tasting better than this. And being the gruyere is my FAVORITE cheese I see myself making this in my near future.

Annie said...

Dude! I *just* cut this recipe off the back of my bag of King Arthur bread flour. It was literally half way into the trash can when I saw the title, pulled it out and cut it (except the one I cut is cheddar crusty loaves, but I bet it's the same thing). Seriously, we have one mind! Looks soooo yummy.

Unknown said...

This sounds amazing!! I absolutely love Gruyere and there really is nothing better than melted cheese and bread.

Il Duche said...

This is a thing of beauty. I know what I'm making tomorrow night. God help me and my hips.c

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