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
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.
"SAUCE" and CHEESE:
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.
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.