~ "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" ~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." ~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Italian Cheese Bread... Quick and delicious!

Italian Cheese Bread... Quick and delicious! I have been making this cheese bread for years now and we absolutely LOVE it. I originally got this recipe from a Taste of Home magazine. I wrote the recipe down and didn't try it until some time later. When I finally made it, I was thrilled! It was just wonderful... So here is yet another of my favorite recipes, that I hope you will try someday. I love the fact that you can make this bread in under an hour...from start to finish. Really!! It takes less than an hour to knead, rise and bake....that's when the instant yeast comes in handy( I use SAF instant yeast). Oh, and the bread is soft, cheesy and quite delicious:). It goes mighty well next to some garlic/olive oil linguine....not to mention lasagna, manicotii, stuffed shells, etc. Try it as an appetizer, and you will see them disappear. I have also made this into a regular pizza... adding ham, olives, chopped onions, bell peppers, etc. I used some chopped fresh tomatoes and skipped the tomato sauce. Just don't overdo the toppings...a little goes a long way. I actually made the pizza version one day for my dad... and he loved it. He couldn't believe how quickly it came together and kept saying, "You made this from scratch?" ! Well, I hope you will enjoy it. Be creative when making this...use different kinds of cheeses, add garlic, use different salad dressings, different spices or make the dough thicker or thinner depending on your taste. But, I would probably do the original version before venturing out... Also, the amount of cheese you use depends how cheesy you want your bread to be...use more or less to your liking. Either way, I think you will love this.
2 1/2 cups flour
1 TBS instant yeast
1 cup warm water (120 deg)
1 TBS oil (I used olive oil)
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. salt
dash of pepper
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. thyme
1 TBS dried chopped onion(optional)
1/4 tsp dried chile flakes(optional)
Mix spices in a bowl. You can also just use some(about 1 TBS) Italian seasoning instead. Set aside.
1/4-1/3 cup Italian dressing(you can also vary this by using other dressings...though I usually stick with Italian)
1-4 TBS Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup Mozzarella cheese, grated*
* you can use as little or as much cheese as you like, you can also vary the type of cheese(try some smoked cheese) as well.
Make the dough: In a measuring cup, combine the water and the oil. Set aside. In mixer bowl, add the flour, salt, sugar and instant yeast. Stir to combine and then add the water and oil.
Knead for 5 minutes until smooth.
Form in to a ball.
Cover and let rise for 20-30 minutes( I like to stick mine in the oven...so it would be free of drafts). Spread dough onto a greased 12 inch pizza pan. I split mine between 2 (8-10 inch) round pans.
If you want a thicker bread, just use one larger pan.
Brush with 1/4- 1/3 cup Italian dressing.
Sprinkle with the spices over the dressing, then with Parmesan Cheese and grated Mozzarella.
Bake at 450 for about 15-20 minutes.
Cut into wedges.
Serve it with pasta....serve it as an appetizer.... or make it into a pizza by adding other toppings such as ham,mushrooms,olives,etc.


Sailaja Damodaran said...

very tempting...

Estera said...

hi elena! :)
i subscribed to you via googlereader, and now 2 of my friends are reading/sharing your stuff! :)

keep inspiring!

Ellie said...

Hi Estera,
Glad you and your friends are enjoying the blog...it is an honor!

Liz said...

Hi Ellie,
Well this is a recipe I like too. I have made it 3 times so far. The first time I did it as written. For some reason tho the smell of it cooking didn't agree with me, but I liked the taste. (I know I'm weird-like coffee smell, don't like the taste.) Anyway the 2nd time I made it with olive oil instead of the Italian dressing, and put sliced roma tomatoes along with the cheese. Then last night I made pizza out of it, and cooked everything at the same time instead of the dough first, then adding toppings and cooking again. It is a nice soft pizza dough. My favorite version is with romas and cheese topping. I think maybe I'll try the pizza version on baking tiles to see if the crust will come out differently. I like that it is fast for a dough recipe so I can make it after work. And for some reason the dough was fine without having to add any extra flour...must be doing something right! :)

Ellie said...

Liz, Oh, I am so glad to hear your feedback. I've had quite a few people tell me they love this recipe... even in the original version:). However, I prefer it as a pizza dough myself, and adding toppings I like... even topping it with plain cheese is great and sprinkling on a few herbs/chives.

You continue to amaze me:)... so glad you are trying this recipe out in various ways! I love your idea of baking it on a pizza stone(or tiles)... I am sure it will give it a crustier bottom crust for sure.

I think one of the main reasons I enjoyed this recipe originally, was that it was so much quicker to make than regular pizza... plus I liked the softness of the dough too:)... I love cheesy bread and this one is a cross between a pizza and a soft cheese bread.

However, I still enjoy the flavor and crust/chew of regular pizza dough(baked on a stone)... for which I plan ahead:)!

It looks to me that you are doing quite well now with bread doughs:). and am glad to see your enthusiasm through the recipes!

Thanks for stopping by... and have a great rest of your day!