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January 22, 2015

Dutch Oven Cheddar Cheese Bread



I am not great with being a team player, I never have been. Growing up I was naturally drawn to running, swimming, and dance. If I did well it was me doing it, not me relying on numerous other people to have success. Yes, they were team sports, but only in the larger sense, your team could lose and you could still medal. Awesome. My lack of ability to play well with others was readily apparent when I started work. At first I thought it was all in my head, until we had one of those horrible team building days. One of the activities was to find your personality type and break into groups based on them. I was the only one in my group. All the other groups had bunches of people. Not me, my personality type was just me. While many people would be upset by this finding, I was ecstatic. It wasn't all in my head, I really am not great working with others. So I blame my lack of cooperation on my personality, and I blame my personality on my mother who was the oldest of 12 kids. Being a natural born leader is in my blood, I learned quickly growing up to get out ahead of the pack before the chaos ensued. Sometimes being in front isn't so bad, even if it means you aren't part of the group.



Before I got married I had never made homemade bread. My mother never made it and I had no idea where to start. It took me many failed attempts until I learned that making bread has to start with a  great recipe. Over the last 10 years I have tried so many recipes that failed to live up to my expectations. The following recipe has worked every single time I have made it. I make it at least once a week to go with soups and it is delicious!


Dutch Oven Cheddar Cheese Bread

Ingredients
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 3/4 cups water (70-75 degrees)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 4 ounces diced or shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Cooking Directions
  1. Dissolve yeast in the warm water.
  2. In another large bowl mix the flour and salt.
  3. Add the yeast/water to the flour.
  4. Using a plastic spatula or wooden spoon mix dough until smooth (do not knead).
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature for 1 hour.
  6. Uncover and punch down dough.
  7. On a lightly floured surface pat the dough into a 9 inch square.
  8. Fold the dough into thirds creating a 9 by 3 inch triangle.
  9. Fold the rectangle in thirds to form a 9 inch square.
  10. Turn the dough over (so the seam is on the bottom) and place into a greased bowl.
  11. Cover and let rise at room temperature for 1 hour.
  12. Punch dough down and repeat folding process above.
  13. Return dough to greased bowl, cover, and place in fridge overnight.
  14. Oil the bottom of a dutch oven and dust with 1 tablespoon cornmeal.
  15. Sprinkle cheddar cheese over dough and knead until incorporated (8-10 times).
  16. Shape the dough into a 6 inch round loaf and place into the greased dutch oven.
  17. Cover and allow to rise at room temperature for 1 1/4 hours.
  18. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
  19. Make a 1/4 inch slash across the top of the loaf.
  20. Place lid on dutch oven and bake for 25 minutes.
  21. Turn oven down to 450 degrees F, remove lid, and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes.
  22. Let completely cool before slicing.
Tips: 
  • This bread can also be made with dried cranberries. Omit the cheddar cheese and in step 15 add 1 cup dried cranberries and 4 teaspoons grated orange peel. The cranberry bread is great for turkey or ham sandwiches, my family loves it! 
  • The cheese bread makes delicious grilled cheese sandwiches. The cheese in the bread makes for a cheesy and gooey sandwich! 
  • This recipe can look a little intimidating with all the steps, but trust me it's actually pretty easy. Most of the time involved is when the dough is resting, the actual hands on work is minimal. 
  • This is a good base recipe to experiment with different mix ins. Just add whatever combination you desire in step 15 or leave out the cheddar cheese completely for a great plain rustic bread. 

23 comments:

  1. I am not a team player, either. I don't like most people in general.....

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    Replies
    1. I'm pretty much the same way :) Glad I'm not alone!

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    2. My husband always says he doesn't like people. He generally doesn't play well with others either. ;) In ways I'd have never even considered, it's a really good thing to be married to someone so no-nonsense!!

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  2. Oh yum! Cheese and Bread! Does it really get any better!?! I am going to have to give this a try!

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    Replies
    1. Cheese and bread are the best! Plus this is one of those recipe that always works, which is nice!

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  3. YUM! I love that golden brown crust a lot. Well done, Ann.

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    Replies
    1. The Dutch oven is great for making brown crust, I love it!

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  4. This bread looks so delicious. Too bad I'm on this low carb thing right now. Actually, I'm just trying to eat healthier, so maybe I'll give this a go. Sounds delicious with soup.
    I think it is great that you were in a group all by yourself, and you loved it. I'd like to have that kind of self esteem.

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    Replies
    1. I eat low carb most of the time too :) I can't eat gluten so most of my low carb eating is from necessity. This bread I make for the rest of my family, who haven't inherited my dairy and gluten issues (luckily!).

      I've always had great self esteem, my parents did a great job of instilling it in me :)

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  5. This looks really delicious, too bad you can't get to taste it. BTW, my client is trying this therapy with her son who has ADHD. She doesn't believe in medication. It is called Interactive Metronome therapy. http://www.interactivemetronome.com Have you heard of this? I'm think about getting a certification in it took work with stroke victims.

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  6. I have gravitated away from team sports to things like weight training and running myself. Mud Runs can be done as a team or individual. I'd rather do it on my own!

    Also, bread and cheese together sounds like heaven to me!

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    Replies
    1. I need to do a Mud Run, they sound like a blast! I love running, I haven't done a marathon in forever though! Maybe I should sign up for one this summer to get back into it :)

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  7. Pinned it to try it. I love homemade bread. My will power isn't so great though, when there is some in the house so I make it rarely!! I'll make this one.

    I lead or lag. That's my personality. All or nothing. It's annoying to those who love me. I see my oldest following the same path in some ways. Interesting when the kids grow up and you SEE your traits in them.

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    Replies
    1. My husband is the same way :) One of my kids takes after me and the other my husband, its funny how it works out!

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  8. Your cheddar bread is mighty pretty. I would enjoy it. I cant say I have taken on making bread. I typically shy away from baking (sigh).

    I play well with people-its just my personality type :-)

    Velva

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    Replies
    1. I am a better baker than a cook :) I learned to bake first and taught myself to cook. I'm good at both, but when I'm stressed I bake. It relaxes me!

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  9. Ann I just realized that I haven't seen a post from you in a while. I hope you're doing ok. Just checking up on you.

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    Replies
    1. I'm fine, it just has been a crazy year with my youngest. I am finally going to try to get back to blogging in the next couple of weeks, hopefully :) Expect a new post soon!

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  10. This looks so yummy and amazing. It is making me hungry just looking at the pictures. With the weather here getting colder your suggestion to have with soups will work a treat and also with stews and casseroles. Love the post and detail.

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    Replies
    1. I'm so ready for the weather to get colder here. I am sick of all of the heat :) I'm much happier in the fall and winter. Soups, stews, and chili are the best!

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  11. This looks really yummy, I love a great piece of bread with soup and salad. I do not have a dutch oven yet, but I will be pinning this so I can try it when I do!

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    Replies
    1. You could make it in a pot with a good fitting lid. The dutch oven is nice since it gives it a great crust, but you could adjust and use an oven safe pot with a good fitting lid. The inside would turn out the same.

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  12. With the creation of digital control a toaster oven are now able to undertake numerous additional things. http://toasterandoven.com/black-decker-tr1478bd-4-slice-toaster/

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