No fear...it's not as much work as it may seem. Lots of passive cooking time here. Great for hors-d'oeuvres with a little cheese spread, pate' or what-have-you! Terrific as bruschetta. This just may be the most-liked bread I make. A pre-shredded 3-cheese combination is also very good. I have no clue as to the provenance of this recipe, been making it for a while.
- In large bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups of the flour, yeast, sugar, salt and pepper. Melt butter in milk to 120-130 degrees. Stir milk mixture into flour mix until smooth. Stir in 1 cup cheese.
- Gradually stir in about 2 cups flour to make soft dough. Knead in mixer or by hand until smooth and elastic, adding flour if needed.
- Oil large bowl, add dough, turn to coat. Cover with clean damp towel and let double. (It may take 2-1/2 hours, must be the cheese.).
- Punch down, form into 2 long thin loaves. Spray baking sheet, (sprinkled with cornmeal?) Or use baguette pans. Place loaves on pan, let raise, covered, until doubled (45 min.) Preheat oven to 375.
- Slash dough with serrated knife. Brush with lightly beaten egg and sprinkle top with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. (basil, parsley, opt.) Bake 30-35 minutes till done. Cool on rack.