This one is for Liza!
I made a few delicious items this week, but this bread was seriously tops. I might even like it more than the red velvet cake I made a week ago (yes, dear husband, I said that). I'm usually one much more for all things sweet, but occasionally I want something nice and savory. I had saved this bread recipe literally a few years ago, back when I was still a bit afraid of working with yeast. But alas, those fears were conquered long ago, and I am now a fearless bread-baking machine!
I don't even have words to perfectly describe this bread other than as a flavor that is so beyond any flavor your mouth may have ever experienced. In short, its amazing. Amazing. The cheese and mustard are perfect together, and there is a slight hint of stout flavor - and if you have read my blog before, you know that I am NOT a beer-drinker. I have tried, people. I have really tried to like it. I just don't. But used in baked goods? Oh yeah. Naturally, I didn't take picture during the actual process, so if my instructions seem unclear, please consult the original link found at the end of my post. She has an excellent tutorial. Here's the recipe the way I made it:
Cheddar Beer Mustard Pull-Apart Bread
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup dark beer, or whatever you like to drink
2 1/2 cups plus 1/3 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast (1 packet)
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, preferably room temperature
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (I think spicy brown mustard would also be good if you like it)
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
few dashes black pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
In a small saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter with 1/4 cup of beer. Once melted, remove from heat and add the remaining 1/3 cup of beer. Set aside to cool to around 115 degrees F. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Once cool enough (you just don't want the butter-beer mixture approaching 140 degrees F, which would be death for your yeast), add the beer mixture to the flour mixture, stir until the flour is moistened, then add the eggs and stir til fairly combined. Fit the bowl onto your stand mixer with the dough hook and knead for a few minutes. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl and allow to rise for about an hour in a draft-free place.
Toward the end of your rise time, make the filling for the bread. In the same saucepan that you used earlier, melt 3 tablespoons of butter. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of mustard and the Worcestershire. Set aside. In a bowl, toss the cheese with the mustard powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use. Now is also a good time to butter a 9 x 5 loaf pan and turn it so that it is standing up on a short end, straight up in the air.
After your dough has doubled in size, punch it down and turn it out onto a floured surface. Roll it out to a 20x12 rectangle. Brush the mustard filling evenly onto the dough. Next, slice the dough from the long side into 5 12-inch strips. On the first strip, sprinkle 1/4 cup of cheese evenly across the dough. Place a dough strip on top and repeat until you have "cheesed" each strip and you now have a stack of 5 strips. Using a very sharp knife, carefully slice your stack into 6 "decks." After each slice, transfer the "decks" to the loaf pan (see why its a good idea to turn the loaf pan into a standing position?). Allow the dough to rise again for about 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. After the 45 minutes, bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes (30 was good for me), until puffy and golden brown. Allow to cool for a good 5 or 10 minutes, then turn the bread out of the pan and try not to scarf down the entire loaf, which is pretty hard because, thanks to the way you "stack" the bread slices in the pan, each piece will just pull right off - makes it really hard not to continually pull a slice off.... well, if you're me, anyway.
Please make this bread. You will not be sorry.
I hope you're getting ready for a great week. We finally started getting some truly beautiful weather this week and it has been AWESOME. I think that spring is finally here! This is going to be a big month. My baby, yes, still my baby, turns 2 on April 21, and we'll probably make a big birthday weekend of it with a trip to the zoo that Saturday, and then, unbeknownst to James, we will be taking a train ride on the day of his birthday at the Museum of Transportation. The kid is obsessed with trains, so he should love it.
Also this month, I'm planning to suck it up and select a day to take my certification exam for ACE. I've been studying a lot, but I'm pretty terrified. I could use some prayer with that. I have to keep reminding myself that God will not set me up for failure.
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me, right? RIGHT.
Have a great week! Back soon :-)
Recipe from Smitten Kitchen