Asiago Bread

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Asiago bread is an easy 6 ingredient homemade bread recipe that will yield a delicious, soft Asiago cheese loaf perfect for serving along side dinner, as the base for a crostini, or breakfast toast. Make Asiago cheese bread in just a few hours, and enjoy a cheesy fresh baked treat.

a loaf of braided Asiago cheese bread

Fresh baked bread is one of those universally appreciated smells I think. That warm, yeasty scent when you walk into a bakery…mmmmm. Learning how to bake bread at home was one of the best decision I ever made, and it’s become a quick comfort to me whenever I want that bakery fresh loaf, without paying for an artisan loaf…or having to get out of my pjs.

This particular loaf is simple, and inspired by my favorite bagel, the Asiago cheese bagel (add warm cream cheese, ohhhh man). It’s soft on the inside, just chewy enough on the outside and loaded with Asiago. Seriously, 3 different ways. It’s the kind of loaf that gets devoured quickly. You may even be too impatient to use a knife.

What is Asiago?

I have a fondness for this cheese. I make a killer Asiago Cream Sauce, and often use it to replace Parmesan or Romano cheeses in recipes.

Asiago is a cows milk cheese originally produced in the northeast area of Italy that thankfully, we can get here in the states as well. Authentic Asiago cheese can come in a variety of textures based on the length of it’s aging. Fresh Asiago is sweet, soft…and basically impossible to find here. But aged, crumbly Asiago is usually available at most grocery stores.

While not nearly as popular as it’s Parmesan and Romano cousins you can usually find one or two brands available. It’s nutty, salty, and downright delicious.

The Six ingredients

Yes. Only 6. Bread at it’s most basic can be as simple as yeast, water, and flour. This one adds just a few more for added flavor.

a bowl of flour, a bowl of honey, a bowl of yeast, a wedge of white cheese, and a carafe of water with a white towel
  • Bread Flour – Bread flour is a wonderful, high protein flour that contains more gluten than your average AP flour. It results in beautiful texture and chew in this loaf.
  • Water – Just some regular ole’ water.
  • Yeast – I always use active dry. To use instant yeast, skip step 1 below.
  • Asiago – You’ll need 3 to 4 ounces total. The average wedge at the store will do just fine.
  • Honey – A little sweetness for the bread, which balances the cheese flavor, and helps feed the yeast for good rise.
  • Salt – Because all delicious things include some salt!
  • OPTIONAL: I always brush a bread loaf with an egg wash before baking for color and shine. (1 egg with 1/2 tbs of water) This is optional, you can also use milk, heavy cream, honey or even just water to help the final layer of cheese stick.

Pro Tip – Only have AP flour? It can replace bread flour 1:1 in this recipe (and most bread recipes). The results will be a little less airy/chewy, but still entirely delicious!

How to Make Asiago Bread

Ingredients gathered? Let’s begin. With some basic, standard bread making techniques, you’ll be off to the oven in just a few hours. (Most of which you won’t actually be doing anything to the bread!)

Asiago bread in steps: the yeast proofing, the dough together, cheese added to the dough, the dough ball fully kneaded, then the dough risen.

The First Rise

  1. First, warm your water up to between 100° and 110°F. Think baby’s bath water warm. Stir in the honey until dissolved, then add the yeast. Stir and let sit 10 minutes until bubbly and foamy on top. (Skip to #2 if using instant yeast.)
  2. Combine the flour and salt in a bowl, then add in the proofed yeast. Fold it together until a shaggy dough forms. Then using your hands, knead until no dry flour is visible any more and it stops being sticky about 5 minutes.
  3. Turn out onto a floured surface and add 1 ounce, or 1/2 cup of finely shredded Asiago cheese to the dough. Knead until completely smooth, soft, and elastic. About 7 to 10 minutes.
  4. Form into a tight ball and place in a lightly floured bowl. Dust the top with flour (lightly), and cover with plastic wrap.
  5. Let it rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

PRO TIPS: It’s better to use cooler water to proof yeast than water that’s too hot. Heat will kill yeast!

Don’t add too much flour to the dough! If it sticks to your hands when you turn it onto a floured surface, lightly flour your hands while kneading. Once the visible flour has disappeared, continue to flour your hands until the dough no longer sticks to them.

The Second Rise

asiago bread dough flattened with a hand holding chunks of cheese above it.
  1. Remove your bread dough from the bowl onto a clean surface and flatten into a rectangle. No need for perfection here. Scatter small chunks of Asiago across it. About another 1 ounce, or 1/4 cup.
Asiago bread process, part 2. The dough shaped, then cut into three pieces, then braided, the risen with more cheese on top
  1. Roll the dough from one long end to the other to form a log, pinching the seam to seal it.
  2. Place it seam side down on your work surface and flatten gently with the palm of your hand, just enough to make 2 slices, forming 3 segments. Don’t cut all the way through both ends, leave one end in tact.
  3. Begin braiding your 3 segments together. Don’t pull, but braid it tightly together by working slowly, avoiding gaps between the braid.
  4. At the end of the loaf, press the 3 segments together and tuck under the end of the loaf. Transfer to a baking sheet or stone. Cover loosely with plastic again and let rise another 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until very puffy and doubled in size.
  5. If using, brush the dough very gently with your chosen wash. I use 1 egg beaten with 1/2 tbs of water which gives it shine and color. You can also use water, milk, cream, or honey. Top with the remaining 1 ounce of Asiago, shredded thickly.
  6. Bake at 325°F for 30 – 35 minutes. The bread should be browned, and the bottom hollow when tapped (careful, it’s hot!).
  7. Remove from baking sheet to a cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing. OR just tear into it and accept that you won’t have neat slices!

Pro Tip: Use a thick, sturdy baking sheet or stone for your bread to avoid premature browning of the bottom.

a loaf of sliced asiago bread

FAQ’S

How long will this keep for?

Most fresh baked bread will last 3 to 4 days before the texture gets dry. I’ve found that wrapped in plastic or kept in a zip top bag that this loaf can last about 5…if it makes it that long.

Can I freeze this?

Absolutely. Wrap tightly in plastic or freezer paper and freeze for up to 4 months.

I can see some of the chunks of cheese poking through the dough when I braid it. Is that okay?

Yes. Feel free to press them gently back in, but I didn’t worry about it at all. It bakes just fine!

Can I substitute other cheeses?

Feel free to use any hard, aged cheese like Parmesan or Romano.

What happens if I don’t brush the dough with anything before baking?

You may see less browning when it’s finished. To assist the cheese in sticking, you can brush the dough very gently with a small amount of water.

Can I use a stand mixer?

You can use a stand mixer to get the dough ready for the first rise. I recommend keeping it on a speed similar to what you would work at if doing it by hand. Be sure to stop the machine and scrape down the sides and bottom so the dough kneads evenly.

Do I have to braid it?

No. Feel free to shape it as you wish. I like the braid because it catches all the cheese on top and creates more cheesy crust. Be advised that shaping it into a ball may require more bake time, or if into smaller loaves less.

a loaf of asiago cheese bread

You may also like…

That’s it! You’ve got delicious cheesy bread with a lovely soft interior texture. It’s hard to beat that ingredient list am I right? Enjoy it with a nice Gnocchi Tomato Pasta or something saucy like Dr. Pepper Braised Short Ribs, Orange and Chicken Braise, or even just slathered with roasted garlic butter and warm along side a simple Tomato Spinach Salad.

Don’t forget to check out these other awesome bread recipes!

a sliced loaf of asiago bread
4.7 from 13 votes

Asiago Bread

Print Recipe
Cheesy, soft and simple Asiago bread is an easy yeast risen bread recipe that goes well with any meal.
Prep Time:30 mins
Cook Time:35 mins
Rise time:2 hrs
Total Time:3 hrs 5 mins

Ingredients

  • 13.5-15 ounces bread flour 3 cups, plus additional 1/3 cup
  • 8 ounces warm water 1 cup
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast* 1 packet
  • 3 ounces Asiago Cheese, divided
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • 1 tsp salt

Optional

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 Tbs water

Instructions

  • Combine warm water (no hotter than 110°F) and honey until dissolved. Mix in yeast and let proof until foamy and bubbly on top. About 10 minutes.
  • Finely shred 1 ounce of Asiago cheese, about 1/2 cup, not packed.
  • Combine 13.5 ounces of flour (3 cups, spooned and leveled) and salt in a large bowl and stir in the yeast water mixture until shaggy dough forms. Knead until no visible flour is left and dough is tacky but not sticky, about 5 minutes.*
  • Lightly flour a clean surface and turn dough onto it. Add shredded cheese to the top and knead together until dough is smooth and soft, 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Form into ball and place in a lightly floured large bowl. Lightly flour the top and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  • When dough is nearly doubled, cut another 1 ounce of cheese into small, 1/2 inch chunks. About 1/4 cup.
  • Turn risen dough out onto a clean surface and press gently into a rectangle. Sprinkle with chunks of cheese.
  • Roll into a log along the long side, pinching the seam to seal and place seam side down.
  • Press gently to flatten top and with a sharp knife, make two long cuts, staring about 1 inch from one end all the way through the other end. This should create 3 segments of dough connected at one end.
  • Braid the segments together as tightly as possible to avoid any gaps in the braid. At the end of the loaf, press the 3 segments back together and tuck under the loaf.
  • Transfer to a baking sheet or stone and lightly cover with plastic or a dish towel again until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 325°F and shred remaining 1 ounce of cheese in thick shreds.
  • If using egg wash, beat together the egg and water and gently brush onto risen loaf. You can also use milk, cream, honey, or simply water. Sprinkle cheese on top.
  • Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until bread is browned and sounds hollow when you tap on the bottom.
  • Remove to a cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Notes

*If using instant yeast instead of active dry, skip step 1 and mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. 
*If dough sticks to hands while kneading in the 13.5 ounces of flour, lightly dust hands with flour and knead. Repeat until the dough is no longer sticking to you. 
*Egg wash provides sheen and color but isn’t necessary, use a very light coat of water to help cheese stick if no other wash is desired. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 161kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 315mg | Potassium: 65mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 75IU | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: bread
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baking, bread, side dish, yeast
Servings: 12
Calories: 161kcal
Author: Mikayla M

Nutrition information and cooking times are provided as a best estimate. Values may vary based upon ingredients and equipment.

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34 Comments

  1. 1 star
    I really wanted to try your recipe, it really sounds delicious, but there are several discrepancies in the recipe that made me look elsewhere. In the ingredient list you have 13.5 – 15 oz of bread flour, and then follow that with saying 3 cups flour. You also say 13.5 oz of flour in instruction #3, and again follow that with 3 cups. Three cups is 24 oz, so you lost me on that one. I assume you mean 3 cups and not 13.5 oz. but it’s really not clear what you mean. And then again, instruction #2 says to use 1 oz of asiago, about 1/2 cup. One half cup is 4 oz. So again, which is it? And then in instruction #6 the recipe tells me to add another 1 oz of asiago, but this time it says it’s 1/4 cup. So is 1 oz a 1/4 cup or 1/2 cup or what? The recipe calls for only 3 oz of asiago but I’m going to use much more if I follow instructions #2 and 6. I do wish the recipe was clear, I really would love to try it.

    1. Hi Kelly,

      I want to thank you for very clearly explaining where you struggled with this recipe, I’m more than happy to clarify it for you. I’ve had these types of questions a lot, especially by American cooks, because we’re so used to cooking based on volume measurements, rather than weight based measurements. All of my baking recipes rely on weight as the primary measuring method, and I provide the closest volume measurement for those who don’t have a kitchen scale (Which I recommend!).

      To be super clear, 1 cup does weigh 8 ounces…but only if we’re talking about water. When you start measuring other ingredients, like flour or finely shredded asiago cheese for example, the density and amount of product in 1/2 a cup volume can end up weighing dramatically different amounts. 1 cup of flour, when scooped into a measuring cup and leveled, most typically weighs 4.5 ounces, not 8. Not only have I double and tripled checked it for this recipe, but I’ve been baking this way for years and stand behind that with 100% confidence. Now I will admit this can differ based on the way people measure (scooping straight from the container), or even the brand of flour used, but I recommend always spooning and leveling if you’re using volume measurements rather than a kitchen scale so you can get as close to accurate as possible.

      The Asiago measurements differ based on how the cheese is prepared, 1/2 cup of cubed cheese will weight a different amount than 1/2 cup of loosely packed shredded cheese.

      I hope this clears things up for you and I really recommend you try to go with the weight measurements if you decide to give it a try. I’ve had numerous reviews saying this bread is excellent using the measurements and instructions exactly as written. If you do go with the volume measurements, make sure to measure accurately based on what I state. Good luck, and I hope this makes baking easier for you in the future!
      Mikayla

  2. Wow. Just WOW!! I bake a LOT of bread, and I’m going to say this is the best loaf of bread I’ve ever made!! The texture, the taste… it was absolutely AMAZING!! I have another Asiago bread recipe, but this recipe blows that one away. I’m embarrassed to say hubby and I ate almost the whole loaf in one sitting. 😮 Can’t wait to make it again!! Thank you for sharing!!

    1. Thank you so much for such a nice review! I’m so flattered that you consider this the best! I love this recipe too, and don’t worry, we’ve taken down a loaf in a day too, it’s easy! Happy to be a part of your bread baking routine now!

  3. This recipe looks fantastic, I make Asiago bread a lot but there is never a reason not to try another recipe, I like the thought of honey instead of sugar. I’m wondering however if this can be made into a loaf rather than a braid however because I make my husbands sandwiches foe his lunch with my homemade bread quite often and he loves smoked turkey with chipotle mayo on asiago bread with spring mixed greens! Have you ever done this recipe without braiding it?

    1. Sorry Jeanne! I was out of town and just saw your comment! I haven’t tried a loaf, but I suspect it would work out just fine, the only hesitation I have would be if it was very thick that it may be underdone in the middle. So I might break the dough into two and make smaller loaves the first time to see how it goes, or even make it into rolls, which would go perfect with the sandwich you’re describing! (which sounds super tasty btw!)

    2. 5 stars
      I made this and used a regular loaf pan and it worked out perfectly! My crew LOVED making roast beef and turkey sandwiches on this for lunch!

  4. 5 stars
    What a beautiful looking loaf of bread! We are a family of bread lovers, so I’m always looking for new bread recipes to try!

  5. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness!!! This is such wonderful bread and so easy to make. It will made again and again in this house! Thanks!!

  6. 5 stars
    I have to agree, that fresh bread is a much appreciated scent, especially when you make it yourself, right!
    Your bread is perfect and l love how you made your braid. Next time I have to try this.

  7. 5 stars
    Oh wow.. that loaf looks fantastic. I bet it taste fantastic too. I must give this recipe a try. Thank you for detailed instructions.

  8. 5 stars
    This looks SO good, I can almost taste it! Asiago is one the bet cheeses out there, and you rarely hear about it..this recipe is a keeper!

    1. This looks awesome! I was wondering what would happen if I put all the ingredients through step 5 in my bread maker and did the remaining steps by hand if this would work. Have you ever done this!

      1. Hi Lisa,I haven’t made this recipe in a bread machine, but I did start my bread making journey using one so I’m familiar enough I hope!

        I think it would be okay to use it through Step 5 as you suggested, but I would use the ‘dough with mix ins’ setting if you have one on your model. When it lets you know it’s time for mix ins, add the shredded asiago cheese.

        If your model doesn’t allow that, I’d still give it a go, I just worry about heat generated by those machines and the potential for clumpy cheese. Let me know how it goes either way, I’m sure other readers would find it useful!

        Thanks!
        Mikayla

  9. 5 stars
    I can’t count the number of times I’ve bought delicious Asiago bread from the local bakery and thought, “wow, I should definitely try making this on my own sometime!” But, somehow, I never have … I’m so glad to have found this recipe so now I can!

  10. 5 stars
    First of all thanks for sharing this amazing bread recipe. I love how you’ve created this recipe and the ingredients is so easy to find also the instruction is as easy as 1 2 3.