A delightfully rich and soft bread packed with pockets of cheese. Cheese-lovers will certainly enjoy this Chunky Cheese Bread!
Since we are already on the topic of cheese, I thought I’d keep the flow going by talking about this Chunky Cheese Bread I made a while back. I had contemplated about whether or not I should write about it because I made a mistake with my choice of bread pan. As you can see, I ended up with a flatter and wider bread rather than a more attractive tall one.
But that just feels like a bad excuse. This recipe is a good one. Not to mention, it’s a very customizable one too. I’m pretty sure a lot of people could easily come up with add-on’s to level up this easy but delicious loaf! Seems there are plenty of reasons for this Chunky Cheese Bread to deserve a place on my blog after all.
This Chunky Cheese Bread reminds me a lot of pizza, minus the sauce and toppings. I like the idea of dipping this into an equally chunky salsa, like a monkey bread. It’s just cheesy enough to complement a fresh burst of tangy tomatoes! I reckon you could end up adapting this into a chunky pizza bread though. Like I said, it’s the sort of bread dough that can be filled with anything your heart desires.
Like most of the recipes I come across on the Seasons & Suppers blog, I bookmarked this recipe to try because of how delicious it looked. My family is a fan of cheese breads of different kinds, and I thought this would perfectly fit into our breakfast table. It’s too bad mine doesn’t look quite as attractive as the original. Each time I see my photos for this, I keep regretting my use of that big-ass pan to create the squattest loaf of bread ever.
But then I think about the crumb on this Chunky Cheese Bread and I can almost forgive myself. Almost. Ya’ll don’t know how unforgiving I can be with myself when I make these kinds of avoidable blunders.
Using cheddar in this recipe doesn’t yield a melty sort of cheese pocket, but one with bite to it. I love how it adds this texture contrast to the fluffy bread. After all, it’s not called a Chunky Cheese Bread for nothing! I really love this bread freshly toasted and that’s how I recommend you enjoy this bread too.
The flavor of this Chunky Cheese Bread will highly depend on the cheese you use. You can mix up two kinds. I used a mild cheddar for the shred and some Jalapeño Jack for the cubes. The taste of the cheese came out a bit light in the bread I made, but I really love the texture of the cheese alongside the soft crumb. It had some flashes of pepper and jalapeño at least. Feel free to go ahead and add flavored cheeses here. Rosemary Cheese would probably go perfectly.
Originally, this recipe makes two 9-inch loaves but I decided to halve the recipe to make only one loaf. Next time, I will make two loaves with two different pizza-inspired filings for this recipe. This dough is super easy to handle, and it yields such a nice fluffy bread. As long as you avoid adding too much flour too fast, you should be fine. Add flour in increments as you let the machine knead. You want a dough that is elastic but still a bit tacky or damp when you look at it and touch it.
Make sure to transfer your kneaded dough into a lightly greased bowl for proofing. I usually just place a clean dish towel to cover my bowl, but cling wrap is fine. This dough rises up really nicely, by the way. The magic of yeast is truly amazing.
With the help of a little bit of flour, it should be easy to roll this dough out. You just scatter the shredded cheese on top of the flattened dough and roll it up, then slice into random chunks. These chunks are then layered in a pan (the biggest you should use is a 9×5-inch one!) in two batches, with the cubed cheese scattered in the middle and on top. I was unsure about this part at first but the dough expands into each other as it bakes and becomes whole. You see it start coming together during the second rise actually, when the chunks start sticking against each other.
As a final touch, I recommend a brush of melted butter on top for that golden crust. Add a generous sprinkle of mixed dried herbs for a great scent and additional flavors to the bread. Now all you need is to let your bread bake. Once it’s done, let it cool for about 20 minutes to set. Finally, unmold and serve immediately with some salsa or tomato jam on the side. It’s the perfect canvas, I must say.
Leftovers of this Chunky Cheese Bread can be reheated in the toaster, but let’s face it: nothing beats freshly baked bread! Realistically though, it might be hard to finish the entire loaf in one sitting because bread can be fairly heavy in the tummy. Nonetheless, please do try to finish this in 3 days to maximize freshness.
Chunky Cheese Bread
For the dough
- 2½ to 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
- ½ + ¼ cup warm water, about 110°F
- 1 large egg
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, somewhat packed
- 1 cup cubed cheddar cheese, portioned into 1/2-inch chunks
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil or melted butter
- Sprinkling of garlic salt or dried herb mix
- Sesame seeds
- 1. Generously grease one 8x4-inch or 9x5-inch loaf pan. Set aside.
- 2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, use a spatula to mix together 1½ cups of flour, the yeast, sugar, salt, mustard powder, water, egg, oil, and butter. You will get a very wet mixture. Attach the bowl to the stand mixer and fit the dough hook.
- 3. Turn on the mixer to low and begin adding more of the flour, in small increments, until you have a moist, slightly tacky, and elastic dough. (I ended up using a full 3 cups of flour.) Transfer the dough to a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise until doubled, 45 to 60 minutes.
- 4. Once ready, punch down the dough and transfer to a floured surface. Shape the dough and roll out into a rectangle about 10 x 16-inches. Scatter the shredded cheese evenly over the top of the dough.
- 5. Starting with the long side, roll up the dough. Using a sharp knife, cut down the middle of the roll lengthwise. Then, using the knife, cut the dough into smaller irregular pieces of about 1 to 2 inches in size.
- 6. Scatter half the dough pieces onto the bottom of the prepared loaf pan. (Don't worry if it looks sparse as the dough will still rise and fill up the pan later on.) Scatter half the cheese cubes evenly, the top with the rest of the dough pieces. Sprinkle the last half of the cheese cubes on top.
- 7. Drizzle on melted butter and sprinkle with a pinch of garlic salt or dried herb blend, plus some sesame seeds. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 30 to 45 minutes, or until puffy. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- 8. Once bread has sufficiently risen, bake until well browned, 35 to 40 minutes. Check bread at the 30-minute mark to see if the top is browning too much. If so, tent loosely with aluminum foil to stop additional browning and continue baking.
- 9. Allow bread to cool in pan for about 20 minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the pan. Remove bread to a cooling rack. Slice and enjoy warm!