Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Herb and Cheese Bubble Loaf

Over 10 years ago, my husband had recently joined the air force and we were in San Antonio for a month.  He couldn't live with me for that month, but he could come visit for a few hours everyday.  After loading up our Pontiac Sunbird with whatever I could shove into it and driving for 2 days straight, I found myself in a city that I didn't know, without any friends and no possibility of a job because of the short duration of our stay.  What is a girl to do?  I really don't know what I did honestly, I really can't remember much of it.  What I do remember?  This bread. 
I had brought a cookbook with me that I had received at a bridal shower.  I hadn't really used it that much since we got married, but I liked to cook.  While flipping through the book, I came across this bread.  Something about the picture made me think I had to make it.  I didn't have a stand mixer back then, so it was all by hand.  I had time, right?  
Looking back, that might have been when I really fell in love with baking.  I guess not just any baking, but baking bread because it actually turned out and it was delicious.  Although, it can be frustrating at times, and leave me feeling like I don't know what I am doing at all, I love to bake bread.  
While I was making this today, I was feeling a little nostalgic.  It's been a while since I have made it.  Actually up until this summer, I had not been baking as much bread because of my son's gluten free/dairy free diet.  I have been enjoying this fall and the freedoms of gluten everywhere.  I saw this recipe yesterday in that same cookbook and added it to my list.  
The next time I make it (and it will be much sooner this time) I think I might use less herbs, but I seem to have a sensitive palate about that kind of thing.   
It is much easier to make with a stand mixer than it is by hand, but either way, it's so worth it. 

Herb and Cheese Bubble Loaf
From this Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook: 11th Edition
1 cup milk
1 T butter
1/2 tsp salt
2  1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 pkg)
2  1/2 cups flour
1 cup shredded cheddar or Swiss cheese
1/4 cup butter
2 T chopped, fresh parsley
1/2 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp oregano

Heat milk in microwave with butter for about 45 seconds.  Butter should be almost melted and temp should feel like a hot tub when tested with your finger.  Add milk, butter and salt to mixer bowl, add 1 cup of flour and yeast.  Mix on low for 30 seconds, then medium for 2 minutes with paddle attachment add cheese and another 1/2 cup of flour and mix until combined.  Switch to dough hook and gradually add remaining flour.  Dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl, but still sick to the bottom.  Dump dough into greased bowl and turn over to coat.  Cover and let rest for 1 hour or until double in size.  Dump dough onto lightly floured surface and cover and let rest 10 minutes.  Melt 1/4 cup butter, add spices and mix.
Roll dough into 8x6 inch rectangle,
cut into 48 pieces.  (Okay, mine wasn't exactly 48, I just try to get close and have them roughly the same size.) I had already put some in the pan by this point.

Turn each piece into a ball, tucking the ends in.  Roll each piece in butter and place in a greased 1.5 qt casserole or loaf pan with the seam side down.  I don't have a 1.5 quart baking dish and I wanted it to be round so I used my 2 quart sauce pan (don't worry, it's oven safe.  Make sure yours is before pulling a stunt like that.)
Cover and let rest until double in size (about 40 minutes)
Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes.  This one took closer to 30 but might be because it was a 2 quart pan rather than 1.5.
I brushed the top with a little butter after it came out of the oven. But I think that's probably optional.
On a side note, I think I am ruining my kids.  During dinner tonight Calvin kept taking pictures of his food.  Not that I blame him.  It's so pretty. :)

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