Asiago Cheese Bread. A crispy crust, soft inside with an awesome Asiago cheese flavor. So good with soup, salad, or on a sandwich.
Ok, friends. I know it is summertime. I know it is getting hot. And I know none of us like to heat up our house by turning the oven on when it is hot and muggy outside. I’m here today to try to persuade you that this Asiago Cheese Bread is absolutely worth it. Trust me.
The first time I ever tried Asiago Cheese Bread was the first time I ever stepped inside a Panera Bread. It was probably 13 years ago or so…I can’t remember for sure. We were newly married and they were opening up a Panera Bread near our house. At that time, I didn’t know all the wonderful-baked-goodness that was held behind Panera’s doors. All I knew was that I had a coupon for a free loaf of bread. And I’m all about free food.
I stepped inside the restaurant and gawked at all of the freshly baked breads and sweet treats sitting out. My eyes went to the wall of bread. How do I ever choose just one to try? Then my eyes hit “Asiago Cheese Bread”. I had never had “Asiago” before, but I knew what “Cheese Bread” meant, and I immediately knew what loaf of bread would be coming home with me that day.
This was pre-kid years, so I’m pretty sure Matt and I just had bread and butter for dinner. And we probably ate the entire loaf in one sitting. It was that good. And we have that little of self-control.
Fast forward 13 years or so to a few weeks ago when I happened across a recipe for Asiago Cheese Bread. Those memories of my first taste of Panera were fresh in my mind. After a quick trip to the store to buy Asiago cheese, I had this loaf rising in the oven. Wondering where to buy Asiago cheese? I found it in the deli section of Meijer where they have chunks of specialty cheeses.
Oh man…is this bread ever good. I didn’t go through the trouble of doing a side-by-side comparison with Panera’s Asiago Cheese Bread, but I know that this bread is excellently full of flavor and all kinds of wonderful.
If you’ve made homemade bread before, this is pretty straightforward. And if you haven’t made homemade bread before, this is a great one to try first. It takes time to knead and it takes time to rise, but if you follow the directions closely, you’ll have two loaves of fresh bread in no time.
If there’s any leftovers after you “sample” it fresh from the oven, serve it with a summer salad or with your favorite chicken salad or lunch meats. And when fresh tomato season comes? You can bet I’ll be eating a BLT sandwich with this bread!
- 3¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 packet Red Star Platinum yeast
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1¼ cups milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1½ cups shredded Asiago cheese, divided
- 1 egg, beaten
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 1½ cups flour, yeast, sugar, salt and pepper. Put the milk in a microwave safe bowl. Add the butter. Heat the milk to 120-130 degrees so that the butter starts melting. Make sure the temperature is just right so that it is warm enough to activate the yeast, but not kill it. Stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture and mix on low speed using the paddle attachment until smooth. Add in 1¼ cups shredded cheese and mix just until combined.
- Gradually add in 1¾ cups flour to make a soft dough. Knead in the stand mixer with the dough hook for 5 minutes.
- Spray a bowl with cooking spray. Add the dough to the bowl, then turn the dough over so the cooking spray coats both sides of the dough. Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise in a warm place until it is double (anywhere from 1-2 hours).
- After the dough is doubled, punch it down and form it into two loaves. Place the loaves on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Cover the loaves and allow them to rise again until doubled, which will take 30-45 mintues.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Make 3-4 cuts in the top of the loaves with a serrated knife. Brush the tops of the loaves with the beaten egg adn then sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Bake for 30-35 minutes until lightly browned.