This simple bread is wonderful when toasted, but just amazing fresh from the oven on a nippy Spring morning. It freezes well so can be made ahead and warmed up when needed.
Leave out the cheese, or add any other favorite herbs to make a customized loaf that satisfies your taste.
2 Tbsp butter
1¾ cup milk
4 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
2 to 3 cups shredded cheese - Colby Jack, Cheddar, Parmesan
Optional Herbs: parsley, marjoram, rosemary
2¼ tsp active dry yeast
¼ cup warm water (110 F)
1 cup whole wheat flour
4 cups unbleached flour
4 Tbsp flax meal (optional)
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
1 to 2 Tbsp oil for greasing
Scald the milk, remove from heat, stir in sugar, butter, salt and cheese; cool to lukewarm.
In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle the yeast on warm water, stir to dissolve and set aside for 5 minutes till bubbly.
Into the yeast mixture, add the milk mixture, 2 cups of flour and beat at medium speed, scraping down the sides.
Add the remaining flour a little at a time, stirring and incorporating it in with a spoon or spatula, till a smooth elastic dough forms.
Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 8 minutes, shape into a ball, set it in a greased bowl turning over to grease all of the dough ball, cover and let it rise in a warm place for about 2 hrs until doubled in size.
Pre-heat the oven to 375° F.
Divide the dough to fit into loaf pans, shape into 3 loaves, allow to rise again for 1 hour.
Bake in a 375° F oven for about 40 minutes till brown on the outside and done on the inside. If the outside browns too fast, cover with Aluminium foil.
Cool for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
The bread freezes well - wrap it up in an air-tight bag when completely cooled and leave it in the freezer. To warm and serve, simply pre-heat the oven to 400° F and allow to warm up all the way through, about 8 to 10 minutes.