Delicious Cheddar Cheese Chive Bread from scratch! Nothing beats the smell of homemade Cheddar Cheese Chive Bread!
I’ve really been challenging myself lately with baking bread. I’ve battled with yeast and I think I finally understand it and get it. If you’re a first time baker, I’m here to tell you, give it a try! If you keep at it, you’ll get it. And you’ll have delicious bread to devour. The smell alone should be enough to convince you . . or better yet. . the actual eating and enjoying part rocks.
I don’t know how long I’ve been waiting to bake a bread like this one. . cheddar cheese and chives in a bread? What could be better? I felt like a real baker when I woke up at 6am to get started on this bread. Or wait, real bakers get up at like 4am huh? Close enough, right? For me, a perfect bread is soft and slightly puffy on the inside and firmer and crispier on the outside. With this bread, you also get the cheesy goodness and chives. . ah, it’s so delicious! And I nearly fell over while these were baking in the oven. They smelled so good.
We just ate this plain and dipped a little in some olive oil. Delicious. My husband was so impressed and asked me to start baking bread more often. I think I can do this! So, I’ve baked rolls, and bread in a loaf pan but I think there is something so beautiful about a free-form bread. At least that is what I am calling this one since I shaped it with my hands and just baked it on my new Silpain non-stick baking mat.
So, you heard me right. Silpain, not Silpat. Silpat has a non-stick baking mat specifically for breads, the Silpain! “Dough contains about 60-80% of water. When baking with dough it is important to use a SILPAIN® because of its perforated qualities. The water seeps through the mat, leaving a perfect crusty finish. Use this for your homemade biscuits, pizza and bread.” I can attest to this perfect crusty finish!
I’ve now used my Silpain baking mat 3 times in a week. I love it. My baking friends might shudder but I think I love my Silpain more than my Silpat. If you bake bread, this is definitely worth the investment!
I hope you enjoy and give this bread a try.
My tips for this bread:
- Use bread flour; will make a difference. I used King Arthur’s unbleached bread flour.
- Use your favorite cheddar cheese for this recipe. If you can, shred your own cheese instead of buying the cheese pre-shredded.
- ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk (+ more if needed)
- 1 (1/4-ounce) packet active dry yeast (2½ teaspoons)
- 4 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting (I highly recommend using bread flour)
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick) + more for greasing
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ cup fresh chives, finely chopped
- egg yolk for egg wash
- In a small saucepan, heat ¾ cup of the milk until warm to the touch but not hot (about 105°F to 115°F on an instant-read thermometer). Transfer the warm milk to a large mixing bowl and sprinkle the active dry yeast on top. Set aside for about 10-15 minutes to activate the yeast.
- Sift the flour, sugar, and salt together into a large bowl; set aside.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Let the butter cool, then transfer to a medium bowl. Add the eggs and beat together. Using your electric mixer, stir the egg mixture into the yeast mixture until combined. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix on low speed. (At this point, if you feel like the dough is too dry, you can add a ¼ cup milk. You want the dough to be somewhat sticky). When well combined, gently fold in the cheddar cheese and chives. You can do this with your mixer or by hand.
- Remove your dough from the mixer and turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead the dough for about 2-3 minutes only.
- Grease a glass bowl with butter and place the dough into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. You can also coat the plastic wrap with butter (on the side that faces the dough if desired. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
- Prepare a parchment lined baking sheet or use your Silpain non-stick baking mat for breads on a baking sheet. After the dough has doubled in size, remove the plastic wrap and set it aside. Remove the dough from the bowl and set on a lightly floured work surface. It will deflate a little but that is fine. Using a knife or dough scraper, divide the dough into 2 pieces and shape into loaves with your hands. Place both dough loaves on the prepared baking sheet and cover with a towel or with the same plastic wrap from earlier. Set aside again and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
- When ready to bake, in a small bowl, beat together the egg yolk and remaining 1 tablespoon milk. With a pastry brush, lightly brush the egg wash over the dough and bake for about 30-40 minutes. Let cool before serving.
Disclosure: I was provided a Silpain baking mat for recipe development. All opinions expressed here are my own.