Asiago Bread

Fragrant herbs and Asiago cheese flavor this wonderful bread that can be baked at home.

  • Prep Time 25 min
  • Total Time 4 hr 20 min
  • Servings 24

3 1/2
to 3 3/4 cups Gold Medal™ Better for Bread™ bread flour or Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
1
teaspoon granulated sugar
1
package regular or fast-acting dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 1/4
cups water
2
tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
2
teaspoons dried rosemary or thyme leaves, if desired
1
teaspoon salt
1 1/4
cups diced Asiago, Swiss or other firm cheese
Cooking spray for greasing bowl and cookie sheet

  • 1 In a large bowl, stir 1 1/2 cups of the flour, the sugar and yeast until well mixed. In a 1 1/2-quart saucepan, heat the water over medium heat until very warm and an instant-read thermometer reads 120°F to 130°F. Add the warm water to the flour mixture. Beat with a wire whisk or an electric mixer on low speed 1 minute, stopping frequently to scrape batter from side and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap; let stand about 1 hour or until bubbly.
  • 2 Stir in the oil, rosemary and salt with a wooden spoon. Stir in enough of the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough is soft, leaves side of bowl and is easy to handle. Cover with plastic wrap; let stand 15 minutes.
  • 3 Sprinkle flour lightly on a countertop or large cutting board. Place dough on floured surface. Knead by folding dough toward you, then with the heels of your hands, pushing dough away from you with a short rocking motion. Move dough a quarter turn and repeat. Continue kneading 5 to 10 minutes, sprinkling surface with more flour if dough starts to stick, until dough is smooth and springy. Knead in 1 cup of the cheese. Spray a large bowl with the cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning dough to grease all sides. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap; let rise in a warm place 45 to 60 minutes or until dough has doubled in size. Dough is ready if an indentation remains when you press your fingertips about 1/2 inch into the dough.
  • 4 Lightly spray a cookie sheet with the cooking spray. Sprinkle flour lightly on a countertop or large cutting board. Gently push your fist into the dough to deflate it. Place dough on floured surface. Gently shape into football-shaped loaf, about 12 inches long, by stretching sides of dough downward to make a smooth top. Place loaf with smooth side up on the cookie sheet. Coat loaf generously with flour. Cover loosely with plastic wrap; let rise in a warm place 45 to 60 minutes or until dough has almost doubled in size.
  • 5 Move oven racks to lowest and middle positions. Place an 8-inch or 9-inch square pan on the bottom oven rack; add hot water to the pan until about 1/2 inch from the top. Heat the oven to 450°F.
  • 6 Pour a small amount of cool water into a clean spray bottle. Spray the loaf lightly with water; sprinkle with a small amount of flour. With a sharp serrated knife, carefully cut a 1/2-inch-deep slash lengthwise down the center of the loaf. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup cheese into the slash.
  • 7 Bake 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 400°F. Bake 20 to 25 minutes longer or until loaf is deep golden and sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from cookie sheet to a cooling rack. Cool 30 minutes before slicing; cut with a serrated knife.

Expert Tips

Clean spray bottle

Sprinkle the flour on the loaf using a small wire strainer and move it back and forth while moving it over the loaf.

After cutting the 1/2-inch deep slash down the center of the loaf, sprinkle with 1/4 cup diced cheese.

Nutrition Information

NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING

Serving Size: 1 Slice
Calories
110
(
Calories from Fat
30),
% Daily Value
Total Fat
3 1/2g
3 1/2%
(Saturated Fat
1 1/2g,
1 1/2%
Trans Fat
0g
0%
),
Cholesterol
10mg
10%;
Sodium
160mg
160%;
Total Carbohydrate
15g
15%
(Dietary Fiber
0g
0%
  Sugars
0g
0%
),
Protein
4g
4%
;
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
4%;
Vitamin C
0%;
Calcium
6%;
Iron
6%;
Exchanges:
1 Starch; 0 Fruit; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 1/2 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choices:
1
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.