Can anything be more tempting than the aroma of fresh crusty bread? You bet! Add some tantalizingly melted cheese to a spiral mini-loaf and serve it still warm, with a bowl of steaming soup, such as Paris Bistro, Tomato with Dill or Broccoli with Mustard Seeds.

 

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Gruyere Stuffed Crusty Bread

  • Author: Helen Kain
  • Yield: 2 medium or 4 small loaves 1x

Description

Scrumptious cheese cascades from the centre and down the sides of these light and crusty loaves. Serve slightly warm for a delectable combination of melty and crisp cheese.


Ingredients

Scale

For the starter

  • 150 g or 1 ¼ c unbleached bread flour
  • 6 g or 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp instant yeast (I use SAF Red)
  • 113 g or ½ c cool water

For the dough

  • all of the starter
  • 255 to 284 g lukewarm water (1 to 1 ¼ c)*
  • 6 g or 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 420 g or 3 ½ c unbleached bread flour
  • ½ tsp instant yeast (I use SAF Red)

*Use more water in winter, when conditions are dry; use less in the summer when it’s humid 

For the filling

  • 293 g or 2 ½ cups grated Gruyère cheese (sharp cheddar, provolone and mozzarella are also good)

Instructions

To make the starter:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, salt, yeast, and water until well combined; the starter will be stiff. Cover and let rest overnight at room temperature. It will become bubbly.

To make the dough:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the risen starter with the water, salt, flour, and yeast. Knead to make a smooth dough (5 minutes).
  2. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let it rise until it’s nearly doubled in bulk (1½  to 2 hours).
  3. Gently deflate the dough, and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Pat and stretch it into a rectangle about 9″ x 12″ and  ¾” thick.  Spritz with water and sprinkle with the grated cheese.
  4. Starting with a long side, roll the dough into a log, pinching the seam and the ends to seal. The cheese will try to escape— try to enclose as much you can, then stuff any escapees into the ends before sealing.

  5. Place the log, seam-side down, on a piece of parchment and place the parchment on a baking sheet. Then, using a serrated knife, gently cut the log into four crosswise slices for mini-breads, or cut the dough in half for two normal-sized loaves. Use a pair of scissors to snip the dough at the bottom if you’re having trouble cutting right through with the serrated knife. 
  6. If you’ve made four loaves, arrange the pieces on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, cut side up.
  7. Cover and let the loaves rise until they’re puffy but not doubled in bulk (1–1 ½ hours). Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F. Spread the loaves open a bit at the top to fully expose the cheese, if necessary. Spritz with warm water.
  8. Bake until the cheese is melted and the loaves are a deep golden brown (25–35 minutes for the mini-loaves; 35–40 minutes for the full-sized loaves). Rotate the pans halfway through the baking time. Remove the pans from the oven, and cool the bread right on the pans. Bread is best served warm.

Notes

This recipe is adapted from the King Arthur Bakery site, which in turn credits Chicago’s French Pastry School for the recipe that inspired this one. The gift that keeps on giving!

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