Cheese Bread with Parmesan and Pecorino

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One of the lovely things about baking along with a bunch of great people, all the amazing Mellow Bakers out there, is that if you wait and see what they make of a recipe before you bake it, you can learn from what they do. So if there is anyone who fancies making this bread, do scoot over to the forum and join in anytime or just pop over to see what we have been baking!

This is a lovely bread, another great recipe by Jeffrey Hamelman,  only one thing has caused a little discussion. The recipe calls for the cheese to be added part grated and part cubed. If you get pieces of parmesan on the outside of the loaf, or breaking through the skin they burn while the loaf is baking, apparently the taste is not good and the cheese tastes burnt and bitter.

The solution:  either poke all the cubes back into the dough or simply, grate all the cheese. I did the latter; I’ve never had much success with cheese breads before, the cheese always coagulating in little reformed plasticy pools inside the bread with great caverns above.  So though you can’t see the cheese in this bread, apart from the colour, you can certainly smell and taste it. Got the thumbs up from both Brian and Zeb  (who loves cheese almost as much as Wallace).

I used half and half Parmesan and Pecorino because that is what I had in the house and I prefer Pecorino anyway.

The bread is a simple white sourdough with a little commercial yeast added to speed up the proving process.  I reckon if you had any left over,  it would make brilliant golden croutons with French onion soup, the bread has olive oil in it as well as all that lovely grated cheese,  or on a Caesar salad, or fatoush, that is if you don’t just scoff the whole lot in one go!

14 thoughts on “Cheese Bread with Parmesan and Pecorino

  1. sallybr

    I am seriously considering trying this in my nano-kitchen…. but wondering what would be the best way to bake it, no way to get steam into my electric oven… what to do, what to do?

    Gorgeous loaf. loved the slideshow too….

    (if I make it, I’ll do as you did, and use grated cheese, I followed the discussions and realized the problems with the chunks of cheese)

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Sally, maybe make half a quantity, will give you about 800 grams of dough from memory – shape two oval loaves, or rolls, or make it in a tin (pan). In fact as a tinned loaf it might not miss the steam so much? When you slash, have a little glass of water to hand and ‘paint’ water in the slashes. Is your oven big enough to take a pot with a lid, or put a cloche, upturned bowl over the dough, probably not. I find tins are the most economic way of baking bread. When I make Brian’s toast bread I usually use tins, they just don’t look so glamorous :)

  2. Abby

    I love the slideshow, Joanna!! This looks beautiful! It’s my last September and I’m really hoping to get to it in the next few days . . . we’ll see. =)

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Thanks :) the slideshow is fun once in a while. Makes the post smaller and neater. You could always make it in October, if you have a family of cheese fans they will like this one, Abby :)

  3. heidiannie

    This bread looks delicious- and Cheesy?!
    Oh my! I will have to make it , soon. My sons love cheese, my husband does not, but then he prefers boughten loaves of bread with many preservatives.

  4. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

    I meant to say in the post, but was in a bit of a rush last night when I wrote this post. To those of you who don’t own Bread by Jeffrey Hamelman, the recipes for these breads can often be found written out by other home bakers. This particular one has been done on The Fresh Loaf by LindyD. If you want a direct link, go to Mellow Bakers and read Paul’s overview of this bread in the September bread sections.

    Heidi, there’s a challenge then! To make home baked bread that’s like shop bread :) Does your husband like white sliced bread? Brian is very partial to white sliced and I make this lovely Dan Lepard bread for him which does the job ;) I tend to make it with less cream and just make the measures up with milk instead. Use a high gluten flour and you have gorgeous white bouncy bread. I have to confess I like it too!

  5. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

    Completely not related to this post, and only very tenuously linked to an old post of mine but my sister has just pointed this out. So for those of you still unacquainted with Moomins here is a trailer of a new film:

  6. cityhippyfarmgirl

    You just made Monkey Boys day by posting the Moomins snippet.
    That bread doesn’t look so cheesy at all in the crumb shot, and I still have banetton envy.

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Brydie, I know…you sort of want it to look cheesey, I suppose you could pull the loaf out of the oven 5-10 minutes before it is finished and sprinkle some big ‘gratings’ over the top and put it back in, and once they have melted and coloured, but not burnt, pull the loaf out to give the top of the loaf a ‘cheesey’ look, like one does with shepherd’s pie and so on. I’ve done that with rolls before and it works fine :) So you might be going to see the Moomin film then. Monkey Boy has taste! There is a 1992 anime version, but I haven’t ever come across it.

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Thanks Di – I’m sure you’ll like it, feels funny kneading the dough with the cheese in, but interesting and it’s a lovely loaf. I bought (shock, horror) a loaf of bread at the Slow Food Market today, it was billed as half white/half rye with cheese and onion – sure looked pretty – but was underbaked to my way of thinking, or maybe I am now just hopelessly used to my own bread?

  7. Pingback: Cheese and Onion Crispy Soft Rolls | Zeb Bakes

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