I was fortunate to make it to this year's annual Hollywood Farmer's Market Cookbook sale. I scored some great books including a full year's worth of 1963 Gourmet Magazine for $5. I've been flipping through and marking the recipes that I want to make!
Besides my bagel experiment, I've never really made bread before. Due to an unfortunate High School Chem Lab mishap, I've been emotionally traumatized at the prospect of messing with yeast. As you may have surmised, making bread without yeast is very difficult. Then I "met" the Sophisticated Gourmet who inspired me to give it a try!
I've discovered that the one thing I love most about making my own bread is the kneading process. It gives me a chance to zen out. When I worked an event at the Atlantis, my meeting planner told me that he enjoyed making bread because it was such a soothing process. Now I understand.
This was the best bread I ever ate. Not only because i made it with my own two hands but also because the bread is really, really good - nice crusty exterior with a wonderfully chewy interior. I put about 8 ounces of cheese in but I think it could really stand for some more. Don't be shy. Go for it.
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
1 package yeast
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup wheat germ
8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
3 1/2 cups sifted flour
In a large bowl dissolve sugar and salt in 1 cup boiling water and let cool to lukewarm. Stir in 1 package yeast dissolved in 2 tablespoons lukewarm water. Add egg, wheat germ, and cheese and gradually beat in flour. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured board and knead until it is smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a ball and put it into a buttered bowl.
Brush the dough with melted butter, cover it lightly with a damp towel, and let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in bulk, about 1 hour.
Put the loaf in a buttered bread pan and let it double in bulk again, about 40 minutes.
Bake the bread in a moderate oven at 350 F for about 40 minutes. Remove it from the pan to a wire rack and brush the crust with melted butter. Cool before slicing.