I am a huge fan of the Asiago Cheese Bagels at Panera Bread, so I was happy to figure out how to make some Asiago bread at home. Even with the pricey cheese, it’s easier on the budget to make my own. This bread makes amazing toast if there’s any left over after your dinner!
Asiago Cheese Bread
Makes 1 large round loaf or two standard loaves
3 1/2 to 3 3/4 cups bread flour
1 scant TBL active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/4 cups milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cups Asiago cheese, divided
1 large egg
In large bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of the bread flour, yeast, salt and pepper.
In small saucepan, heat milk and butter over medium-high heat until butter is melted and temperature is 120 to 130 degrees.
Stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture until smooth. Stir in 1 cup of the cheese. Gradually stir in about 2 cups of the flour to make a soft dough.
Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding more flour as needed to prevent sticking (we used a heavy duty mixer with a dough hook).
Oil large bowl, add dough and turn to coat. Cover with clean kitchen towel. Let rise in warm place 1 hour or until doubled in volume.
Coat an 8-by-2-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Punch down dough. Form dough into a 6-inch round. Place in prepared cake pan. OR divide dough in two, shape into loaves and place into two prepared loaf pans. Cover with towel. Let rise in a warm place away from drafts, about 45 minutes or until doubled in volume.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg. Brush top of dough with beaten egg (don’t dump the entire beaten egg over the risen bread. I had a BIG mess on my hands when I did that–it just slid right off the top and onto the stove. Just brush the top of the bread with a little bit of egg at a time.) Sprinkle top with the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese.
Bake for 35 minutes or until the crust is golden and bread sounds hollow when tapped with fingertips. Transfer the bread to a wire rack. Let cool.
Notes: Make sure you have plenty of space between oven racks when you bake this. It’s a high-rising bread! I couldn’t believe the volume of this loaf, yet it’s very light and soft. I made the dough for this bread in the bread machine on the dough cycle.
Nutrition information is per slice, based on 30 slices total from each batch of bread.