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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Stilton Parmesan Bread

The smell of this bread baking truly makes you want to just rip the loaf in half and start gnawing, especially if you've been carb-deprived. Something happens to the Stilton. It somehow achieves a mellow flavor in this bread, so that even those who don't like the blue cheese family should like this savory loaf.

The recipe is from the excellent cookbook Bread Machine Baking by Lora Brody and Millie Apter. The bread bakes fine in the machine. But I prefer to just mix the dough in the machine, saving my wrists some wear and tear, and form it into two loaves to bake in the oven. You can tuck one loaf in the freezer or give it away, as I did recently to friends with a newborn.

Stilton Parmesan Bread

1/3 cup warm water
5 tbsp. butter, softened
2 extra-large eggs (2 large eggs and a few tablespoons of egg substitute works)
5 oz. Stilton (or Gorgonzola or other blue cheese), crumbled
1 cup shredded Parmesan (not the powdery stuff)

1/3 cup chopped red onion
2 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
2 1/2 tsp. yeast

Place all ingredients into the bread machine pan in the order ingredients are listed.

Program machine for Dough to form it into two free-form loaves later and bake in the oven, or, to bake in the machine: Program for Bread, Basic Bread, White, Basic Wheat or Basic, and press Start. (Since it contains eggs and dairy products, don't program it with a delay function.) Either way, if the dough looks sticky after it has been mixing a while, sprinkle in one or two tablespoons of additional flour.

To bake in the oven: Remove dough from machine pan when the cycle ends and form it into two round loaves on a baking sheet that has cornmeal scattered on it (helps prevent sticking). Cover with a towel and let rise till doubled, 30 to 60 minutes. Bake at 400 for 8 minutes; lower heat to 350 and bake till golden brown, up to 10 more minutes.

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