Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Italian Cheese Bread

This would traditionally be made to go with lasagna, spaghetti, or anything Italian but I'm not going to do that. I had from mozzarella cheese that needed to be used and this bread popped in my head. We're having meatloaf tonight so it'll have to replace whatever potato dish I normally would have decide on. This bread is easy but isn't anything special. I'd make it again because it's easy to get to the table and I don't have another recipe for this kind of thing. If you have one and it's really good, due share!

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon active dry yeast (can use instant)
1 cup warm water (120*F)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup prepared Italian salad dressing (I didn't have this so I used butter)
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
Dash pepper
1-2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1. In a bowl, combine the first four ingredients.
2. Combine water and oil; add to flour mixture. Add additional flour if needed to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead for 1-2 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
3. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes. (Optional: if in a hurry, just skip this rise.)
4. Punch the dough down; place on a greased 16" pizza pan and pat into a 16" circle. Brush with salad dressing (I use the back of a spoon).
5. Combine the seasonings; sprinkle over top. Sprinkle with cheeses.
6. For a fluffier cheese bread (our preference), at this point, allow the bread to rest for 15 minutes or so. If you're in a hurry, just skip this rise. (The bread will rise while it bakes, too.)
7. Pre-heat the oven to 450*F. Bake for 11-15 minutes or until golden brown. See additional notes for baking tips!
8. Slice into 12 slices. Serve warm.

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