My husband is an amazing baker. Before he ever worked at Breadsmith, he dazzled us with his delicious, crusty loafs of French that turned into mixed variations. This one is a particular favorite.
- 2 cups warm water
- 2-3 teaspoons yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 1/2 – 3 tablespoons dried chives
- 3 large baking potatoes
- 5 cups of All Purpose flour, roughly
- ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
(To bake potatoes: coat potatoes in a thin layer of olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place directly on oven rack and bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour. Be sure to place a pan on the rack directly under the potatoes to catch any dripping oil. Cool the potatoes to room temperature and let sit).
Dissolve the sugar in warm water and stir in the yeast. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.
In a stand mixer or large mixing bowl, whip the potatoes with the salt, chives and olive oil until creamy. Do not skin the potatoes.
Add the yeast mixture and mix slowly until what looks like a loose batter has formed.
Begin adding flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until one of the following things happen:
–if using a stand mixer or an electric handheld mixer, the dough starts to climb up the attachment, thus rendering it useless for mixing
–if using a good old wooden spoon, stop mixing when you feel like your arm is about to fall off.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead in as much extra flour as the dough can take.The dough will be a little tacky but not to the point that it sticks to your hands or the counter.
Place finished dough in an oiled bowl at least twice as big as the dough itself, cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let rise for at least an hour.( Overnight in the refrigerator is ideal, though you’ll have to let it come to room temp before working with it further).
Divide dough in half, form each half into a rough log shape and let rest on the counter for 15-20 mins. Take this time to grate the cheese.
Roll the dough flat with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface. Place grated cheese on top and spread out to cover the entire dough sheet, making sure to stay away from the edges. Roll up the dough.
Pinch the seams shut, tuck the corners under the loaf and place on a lightly oiled sheet pan. Cover the loaves with plastic wrap or a damp towel for 30-45 minutes.
Pre-heat oven for 435 degrees.
Bake at 435 degrees for 20 minutes, Rotate the pans, drop the heat to 400 degrees and bake for another 20-25 minutes.
Let cool for a full 30 minutes before cutting. Enjoy the delicious taste of homemade bread!