I made a Polska Kielbasa Stew last week and made this Cheddar Garlic Bread to go with it… it was delicious! This bread is not a “rustic loaf” but has a crusty exterior and a finer inner texture… cut it while warm and slather a bit of butter on it and all I can say… if you love bread… this will be the ticket to a terrific winter night’s meal.
This recipe for Cheddar Garlic Bread is adapted from one I found somewhere (I can’t seem to find it again) that listed its source as the Purity Cookbook circa 1967… unfortunately that’s the only information I have… I made quite a few changes…
First, the original recipe says to scald the milk… scalding is basically ineffective in the US and most western countries due to pasteurization… however, heating the milk does add to the texture of the bread… making it finer…..and since the directions simply melt the shortening in the milk then allow it to cool…. I simply heated the milk to very warm, enough to melt the shortening.
I also added garlic powder because I wanted a cheddar garlic bread….
I added a lot more very sharp cheddar cheese because I wanted a very strong cheese flavor… the bread ended up cheesy but not over-powering.
I always “proof” my yeast… in this case… ¼ cup warm water in a measuring cup… warm tap water is fine… make sure it’s not hot… just warm…. 1 teaspoon sugar and the yeast… let stand 10 minutes to make sure a “head” developes… that way you know the yeast is good.
I highly recommend you use Fleischmann’s Rapid Rise Yeast… the “rising” steps will take about ½ the time listed…. I had to use regular yeast because I had gotten it by accident and that’s all I had…and unfortunately it did take the time listed…
I used Crisco’s Butter flavored shortening… you can use regular shortening if you prefer.
Dough should be smooth and elastic when you are finished kneading it… if it feels sticky… it needs a bit more flour… add a tablespoon at a time… if the dough feels dry and crumbly… add water, a tablespoon at a time and continue kneading with the dough hook. It should feel smooth and the consistency of chewed bubble gum (I know it sounds gross.. but it’s the best description I know of).
I know some of you are intimidated by making bread… don’t be... it really is easy… just follow the steps… and you will be fine… honest!
The rest of the instructions are basic bread making instructions…. so without anymore chat… let’s get down to some bread making…
Recipe: Cheddar Garlic Bread
All you need:
½ cup warm water, divided
1 teaspoon sugar
1 package dry yeast
½ tablespoon shortening
½ cup whole milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 ¼- 2 ½ cups flour, divided
1 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
All you have to do:
Combine ¼ cup warm water, yeast and sugar in a measuring cup… stir gently and allow to sit for 10 minutes … the water should develop a “head” on it showing the yeast is active.
Meanwhile, heat milk to very warm and put in a large mixing bowl for a mixer with a dough hook.
Add the shortening, ¼ cup warm water, salt, garlic powder and 1 tablespoon sugar… allow shortening to melt.
After you have left the yeast mixture to stand for 10 minutes… add it to the milk mixture.
Add 1 cup flour and cheddar cheese to the milk mixture.
Using the paddle attachment, beat to mix ingredients well.
Remove the paddle attachment and put the dough hook on the mixer.
Add the remaining flour in increments of about ½ cup up to just less than 1 ½ cups while the dough hook works the dough.
Knead with the dough hook for about 5 minutes.
If dough is sticky… add about 1 tablespoon of flour at a time…. manually with your hand kneading the dough until it’s smooth.
Shape into a ball.
Lightly grease a bowl and place the dough ball into the bowl.
Rotate the ball so it gets greased too.
Cover with plastic wrap and put in a warm draft free place…. I warm my oven for about 5 minutes on the warm setting and then turn it off BEFORE I put the bowl in the oven. You don’t want it hot just warm… about 80-100 degrees F.
Allow dough to double in size…. about 1 hour if using regular yeast… about 30 minutes using Rapid Rise yeast.
When it’s doubled in size, punch the dough down and turn it onto a lightly floured board…. The dough will be sticky.
Roll the dough around in the flour with your hands… until it’s smooth again.
Form a ball and cover with plastic wrap and let dough rest for 15 minutes.
After allowing the dough to rest, shape it into the shape bread you want… I shaped it into a round.
Place the dough on a greased baking sheet (I used Reynold’s Wrap Non-Stick foil on the baking sheet).
Oil the top of the bread and cover again with plastic wrap and allow to rise again until doubled in bulk… about 45 minutes for regular yeast and about 20 minutes for Rapid Rise yeast.
Bake in a 400 degree F preheated oven for 25 minutes… top should be golden.
Cool briefly on a rack… serve warm with butter.
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