sourdough cheese bâtard

Another cheese bread — this one is a crusty sourdough version of the cheese sandwich bread I posted earlier. It’s stuffed with just sharp cheddar this time and is a thing of beauty. I particularly love how the cheese erupted out of the slashes. 🙂

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cheese sandwich bread

This is a soft cheese-swirled bread I made yesterday in a loaf pan. It didn’t rise as high as I had hoped — I let it proof beyond the suggested time, but in the end I was concerned about overproofing (and its special ramifications) and popped in the oven, hoping for some serious oven spring. I stuffed the bread with a mixture of sharp Cheddar and feta. Some large voids occurred when the cheese melted down, making it look rather rustic, but rendering it problematic for use in sandwiches!

blue cheese and walnut fougasse

Fougasse is a Provençal bread, made from a pain ordinaire dough.

According to Wikipedia:
In ancient Rome, panis focacius was a flat bread baked in the ashes of the hearth (focus in Latin). This became a diverse range of breads that include “focaccia” in Italian cuisine, “fugassa” in the Ligurian language, “pogača” in the Balkans, “fougasse” in Provence and “fouaisse” or “foisse” in Burgundy. The French versions are more likely to have additions in the form of olives, cheese, anchovies etc, which may be regarded as a primitive form of pizza without the tomato.

Given that fougasse is a relative of Italian focaccia, I would have thought my dough would have been more wet and sticky. The recipe I had used both unbleached all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour so maybe that had something to do with the consistency of the dough. I was warned that mixing in the blue cheese and walnuts would be a messy endeavor, but I found it to be pretty straightforward.

cheese bread

Another recipe from King Arthur’s Baker’s Companion.

First of all, I have to point out that without my mixer, I would never be able to muster the energy or motivation to bake multiple breads in a week. It’s been a godsend, particularly since I might have overdone it with the lifting yesterday while working on cookie dough for our church’s Holiday Fair.

I made this cheese bread for 3 reasons — 1) I am trying to methodically go through every recipe in the Baker’s Companion, 2) I wanted something suitable to go with the chili leftovers from last night, and 3) I had all the ingredients (including leftover tomato paste from the chili recipe). The dough mixed up great, but I had a little issue with the first rise. Namely, it didn’t. The culprit was my kitchen — too cold. Later I noticed the thermostat read a perfectly respectable 70 degrees — toasty warm for October, downright chilly for rising bread. After shaping the dough, I moved it into my relatively sauna-like bedroom (great afternoon sun in there) for the 2nd rise and it did a bit better, although it didn’t rise to the extent that I had hoped.

No matter… I put it in the oven after about an hour (15 minutes longer than the recipe indicated) and it did fine. It probably wasn’t as “high-rising” as King Arthur had intended, but given my many recent unintentionally flat loaves, I was happy with the results. The house smells great — rather like cheddar Pepperidge Farm goldfish!