Herbed Cheese Braided Bread

Now it is two months since I started my journey in this sphere. I felt I should go somewhere now...Did not know much about blog events (Frankly, I had absolutely no idea how everyone seemed to just submit entries to events and who organized them). Thanks to Ronald of IMBB! It is through IMBB's beginner's guide that I summoned the courage to travel further into the food world and check out the events.

This is only my second event entry, and my first to Susan of Wild Yeast. I felt a little intimidated and then inspired when I saw her breads - they looked so yummy! Just trying to get to that level. Meanwhile, I am sending my amateurish job all the same to her....

I started off with classic essentials breads and buns....skimmed.....and went over to the net. I came across this one last night in Heartland baking by Linda Boegehold. I thought I would make it like the recipe in the book.

Here's what the cheese bread turned out to be - nowhere near the original recipe which was a stuffed loaf made with all purpose flour! I am giving here only my recipe - please see the book for the original. The difference is due to the use of wholewheat (Mota pisa Atta) flour, use of herbs in the cheese, and the braiding! The original recipe uses all-purpose flour, cheddar cheese and is a once twisted loaf.

I can never stick to any recipe and when a tweaked one turns out good it makes my day! I am sure we all go through this, isn't it? Just to add that little bit of ourselves to the recipe?

Herbed Cheese Braided Bread:


Active dry yeast - 7g
Lukewarm milk - 1 cup
Amul's salted table butter - 3 tbsp. OR Unsalted butter - 3 tbsp. and Salt - 1 and 1/2tsp.
Whole wheat flour / Atta - 2 and 1/2 cups
All purpose flour / Maida - 1/2 cup
Amul's cheddar cheese cubes - 1 and 1/4 cups (Grated)
Garlic - 4 pods of a big garlic (Grated)
Oregano - 1 tsp.
Parsley - 1/2 tsp.
Red chilli flakes - 1/2 tsp.


Mix the yeast into the lukewarm milk. Cover and set aside till frothy.

Melt the butter at low heat. Cool and add to the frothy yeast mixture.

Sift the flour and salt (If using unsalted butter) in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add the yeast mixture.

Mix the cheese with garlic and herbs with a fork lightly without mashing it up.

Stir with a wooden spoon starting from the center and incorporating the flour from the sides. If the dough feels dry (Mine did) add milk by a tablespoon each time till you are able to knead it into a smooth elastic soft ball.

Cover and keep in a lightly oiled bowl till it doubles (Mine took nearly 3 hours!)

Punch down the dough. Divide into three equal portions. Divide the cheese mixture into three portions. (One was on my work surface)

Take one portion. Flatten into an oblong thick shape on your worksurface.

Place one portion of cheese mixture in the center third of the flattened dough.

Fold over the sides and pinch slightly. Carefully roll the rope so formed till it is the same length as your bread pan. (Cheese filling should be neither too much nor too less as in either case I found that the rope will break!). Form three such ropes.

Place them side to side and carefully braid the ropes tucking the ends in the bottom.

Grease a 9" X 5"bread pan (Mine is small and I just placed the left over dough shaped into a small loaf next to the pan), and place the braided dough inside. One of the ropes had too little cheese and it started breaking as I placed into the pan. However I found that once it raises the mistakes seem to get undone magically!!

Leave for nearly an hour to proof. It will double in height.

Preheat oven to 200 deg. Cel. Bake for 15minutes. Lower heat to 180 and bake till the top is browned well(Mine took nearly 30 to 40 minutes). Push slightly, if the surface of the bread springs back it is done. Else test with a skewer or tap the bottom to get a hollow sound.

Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut along the pleats and serve as it is. The cheese plays hide and seek with the tongue. Its so nice!

My son wanted it crisp and toasted. I cut the pleats further into 1cm slices, and toasted them on a non stick pan with a dash of butter. I spread a little cream cheese for him. For my daughter who likes her food a little spicy I also added some salsa sauce as a topping. I had the bread plain. The cheese is enough to boost my measurements!

Serve like this -

OR as shown on the top!

Plain or topped - the bread tasted great!

Hope the photo essay is good. If you visit do leave a frank but kind comment and let me know how to improve. Suggestions and tips most welcome. I would also appreciate it if anyone could let me know the use of vital gluten when using whole wheat flour. There doesn't seem to be any difference whether I use all purpose flour or whole wheat flour. Both rise, are crumbly and equally tasty! I get my wheat freshly ground into a coarse flour - not fine!! Thanks!!

This is also my entry to Susan's Bread Baking Day No.8. Is celebrating life an excuse enough, Susan? If not there was Id on Thursday, Holi and Easter on Sunday!!

I am also sending the salsa topped slice to DMBLGIT contest - just to improve!! Hope I'm not too late!

Labels: , , , , , , ,