Seed & Cheese Bread
Seed and Cheese Bread
This is my go-to bread recipe! When we have family over or even for just a nicer Sunday dinner, I make this. Seed & Cheese Bread is fun to eat with any meal but I love it especially with soups and chilies.
I made this recipe after having bread at a local bakery in town. It’s a little shop squeezed in the corner of a Wells Fargo building. My mom said that she only found out about it when she went to Wells Fargo and smelled homemade bread. She followed her nose to next door and got a couple of scones. A small whiff led to a small taste which led to a loyal customer. That’s the magic of the smells that come from the oven.
We normally just get their scones because they are so moist and flaky but one time they had free samples of bread and homemade spreads so obviously we obliged. All I remember about my favorite one was that it had cheese in the middle, it was filled with a variety of seeds, and I loved it.
So I had to recreate it. I don’t remember all the details so this is my version:
Characteristics of this bread
The biggest thing that you need to appreciate about this bread is the variety of textures and flavors that give it a really good heartiness. You will not get bored if this is all you ate for a meal (I would know).
Other than that, these are the most defining characteristics of this bread.
It’s got cheese in the middle! For me, that bumps it up on the fanciness (and tastiness) level quite a bit.
I use good old string cheese. It’s already the perfect shape and size for the bread and it works great. The one thing about string cheese is that it cools really fast so even when you cut into the warm loaf, you don’t necessarily get gooey, runny cheese. I personally like this because I like the taste of stiffer cheese but it’s totally a preference.
If you want a more gooey cheese or even just a different flavor you can replace the cheese with anything you like. In my opinion, white cheeses pair really well with this bread so I would say Mozzarella, Pepper Jack, and Swiss cheese are all really good options. You can cut a block of the cheese into some “cheese sticks” that are about a 1/4 of the thickness of regular cheese sticks. Then just use them in the recipe like you would with cheese sticks.
Crispy Outside, Soft Inside
Just like french bread, this bread has a crunchy outer layer. It holds it shape nicely and makes each slice look amazing.
This texture is acheived mainly because of two things:
- Before baking, the dough is brushed with an egg wash which gives is color and adds crispiness (At the bottom of this post there is an Egg wash Guide with more details).
- The bread is baked with a second sheet pan underneath which has water. When the water gets hot it steams, which also helps crisp the outside. So, if you don’t prefer a crispy crust, skip this step.
Inside of the crust is very soft, fluffy bread. The kind that is perfect for dipping in your chicken noodle soup because it soaks up all that extra broth.
I love these two textures. I don’t understand all that goes on in an oven or how it does what it does (because I don’t have a degree in magic) but I sure love the result!
Mix it Up
Another thing I love about this Seed & Cheese bread is its versatility and variety. There are so many different things you can add to the bread to make it your own and to fit your preference.
I love to go to the store or shop around in our cupboards to see all the different kinds of seeds I could put into the bread dough.
My all-time favorite has been pepitas, which are pumpkin seeds but without the white shells. I found them at the grocery store in a little container by all the dried fruits and nuts.
In the ingredients list, I listed all the mix-ins I recommended, but, have fun throwing in whatever you think sounds good!
Egg wash Guide:
Whole egg = (my favorite)
- golden brown color
1 Egg+ 1 tbsp Milk =
- golden brown color, small shine
Whole milk =
- crisp, matte
Egg Yolk =
- glossy, yellow hue
Egg White =
- Shiny, less color
Give it a try and I hope you love what you make!
Seed & Cheese Bread
- 8 oz (1 cup) Water
- 8 oz (1 ¾ cups) Flour bread flour or all-purpose flour
- ⅛ tsp Instant yeast
- 8 oz (1 ¾ cups) Flour replace an equal amount of flour for each of the three optional ingredients below if you use them**
- 2 tbsp Chia seeds (optional) ground or whole
- 2 tbsp Flax seeds (optional) ground
- 2 tbsp Oat bran (optional)
- ¼ tsp Instant yeast
- ½ tbsp Salt
- 2 oz (¼ cup) Water
- All of the Pre-ferment previously made
Addition Ideas (all optional)
- Flax seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Poppy seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds cooked
- Butternut squash seeds cooked
- 2-4 String cheese Peel each into 4 pieces
- Cheese cut in strips (pepper jack and mozzarella are good)
Pre-ferment (Night before)
- Mix all the pre-ferment ingredients together, cover with saran wrap and a hand towel and let sit at room temp for 12ish hours (longer the better)
- In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients (including yeast and salt)
- With a wooden spoon, mix in the water and pre-ferment until combined. (If it looks like a shaggy mess, you did it right. If it is too wet to handle, add flour so it is just barely not sticky.
- Dump dough onto a clean surface and start kneading. It will feel dense and chunky but just keep kneading it until it is pretty homogeneous.
- If you are adding additions like seeds (see optional additions list) add them now (except for the cheese). (I like to use ⅓-½ cup pepita seeds). In parts, sprinkle dough with additions and knead in until your desired amount is evenly dispersed throughout the dough.
- Form dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl to let rise for about 90 minutes or until doubled in size
- You can do this step several times, punching it down between each rising period. With each additional rise it will increase the flavor, however, I normally just do it once and it tastes great.
Shaping the bread
- I will show how I shape my bread but feel free to shape it now however you want.
- If dough is sticky, you may want to start by sprinkling some flour on your work surface. Press the dough in to a thick rectangle. If adding cheese, lay a couple pieces on the long, top edge of the your rectangle
- With your fingers, grab the top of the rectangle and pull to wrap the dough over the cheese (or continue rolling if not using cheese) and press into the dough. Repeat this step until completely rolled and continue to add cheese before each roll.
- When you finish the roll, pinch the edge into the dough so it doesn't unroll. Also pinch the ends and pull toward the other seem you pinched so all the seems are on one side. Make sure the ends of the dough are rounded, not pointed.
- Turn the bread seem side down, lightly cover with saran wrap, and let rise 90 more minutes
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. TIP: If you want a crispy crust on your loaf of bread, put a baking sheet in the oven while it is preheating and right before you put the bread in, fill it with 1-2 cups of water to create steam.
- Score (cut) the bread. You can do this however you want, there are many fun ways to do it. I often like the simple 3 slashes
- Brush with egg wash (above is a guide for choosing the perfect egg wash for you) I like to use a whole beaten egg.
- Top with more seeds
- When oven is preheated, bake bread for about 15-20 minutes or until the outside has reached a color you like
- Rotate the bread 180 degrees and lower the temperature to 350°F. Bake for about 5-10 minutes more. The bread should look done, have a hallow sound, or have an internal temperature of 200°F.
I WANNA SEE!
When you make a recipe, take a picture, post it and tag me!