Cheesy, soft and simple Asiago bread is an easy yeast risen bread recipe that goes well with any meal.
Keyword: baking, bread, side dish, yeast
Author: Mikayla M
13.5-15ounces bread flour3 cups, plus additional 1/3 cup
8ounceswarm water1 cup
2 1/4 tspactive dry yeast*1 packet
3 ouncesAsiago Cheese, divided
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.
*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.