This month’s King Arthur Flour Challenge is Gruyere Stuffed Crusty Loaves. The recipe included here is as I made it. I used all-purpose flour instead of bread flour. A long time ago we started experimenting with recipes and ended up with soooooo many varieties of flour. I’ve found I just don’t want to store and purchase so many specialty flours. If I’m able to use all-purpose flour, that is my preference so I tried it in this recipe and it worked wonderfully. I also used Swiss cheese instead of Gruyere. Swiss is much easier for me to find locally and it’s less expensive. The taste was outstanding, my whole family really liked the result. My oldest wants me to make these again so he can turn them into sandwiches. He was thinking of ham and mustard then warming the whole sandwich. Sounds yummy to me!
The recipe is easy to follow but does have those waiting steps. I did end up letting my last rise go a bit long as I had to leave the house during the period it was ready. My loaf was quite large, but the bread was still light, airy and fluffy. The longer rise period didn’t harm it, but it’s also winter so I may have just gotten lucky this time. The steps are easy. First you make the starter and let it sit overnight. Then you mix the starter with a few ingredients to make the dough and let that sit about two hours to rise. The next step is to fill and shape the dough into a log, and let it rise again. The final step is to cut the log into rolls, rather large ones I must say, and then bake. The cheese will leak out onto the bottom of the rolls since there are cuts on both sides. That is the part to be most careful of as you don’t want burned cheese on the bottom of your roll so watch the cooking time carefully. I found 3o minutes to be perfect.
Gruyere Stuffed Crusty Loaves King Arthur Flour Challenge
Gruyere Stuffed Crusty Loaves
1 1/4 cups All Purpose Flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp instant yeast
1/2 cup cool water
all of the starter
1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
1 tsp. salt
3 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp. instant yeast
2 1/2 cups grated Swiss cheese, or the grated/shredded cheese of your choice (Gruyere, sharp cheddar, or a mixture of provolone and mozzarella are tasty)
Mix the 1 1/4 cups flour, salt, yeast, and 1/2 cup water in a medium-sized bowl. Mix until well combined; the starter will be stiff, not soft/liquid. Cover and let rest overnight at room temperature (65°F to 75°F is ideal); it'll become bubbly.
Combine the risen starter with the water, salt, flour and yeast. Knead — by hand, mixer, or bread machine set on the dough cycle — to make a smooth dough.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let it rise until it's nearly doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Gently deflate the dough, and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, or a piece of parchment. Pat and stretch it into a 3/4"-thick rectangle, about 9" x 12". Spritz with water and sprinkle with the grated cheese.
Starting with a long side, roll the dough into a log, pinching the seam and the ends to seal. The cheese will try to fall out; that's OK, just try to enclose as much as possible, then pack any cheese into the ends before sealing.
Place the log, seam-side down, on a lightly floured surface (or leave it on the parchment and place the parchment on a baking sheet, for easiest transport).
Cover the bread and let it rise until it's puffy though not doubled in bulk, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F. If you're baking two loaves, position a rack in the center of the oven. If you're baking four loaves, place two racks towards the center of the oven with just enough room in between to accommodate the rising loaves.
Gently cut the log into four crosswise slices, for mini-breads; or simply cut the dough in half, for two normal-sized loaves. A large sharp knife or serrated knife works well here. If for some reason you fail to cut all the way through the dough at the bottom, simply take a pair of scissors and snip through the dough.
Place the loaves on one (for two loaves) or two (for four mini-loaves) lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheets, cut side up. Spread them open a bit at the top, if necessary, to more fully expose the cheese. Spritz with warm water. The loaves will have deflated a bit by this point; but if you place them in the preheated oven immediately, they'll pick right up again.
Bake for 25 to 35 minutes (for the mini-loaves), or 35 to 40 minutes (for the full-sized loaves), or until the cheese is melted and the loaves are a deep golden brown. If you're baking four loaves on two pans, rotate the pans halfway through the baking time: top to bottom, bottom to top. Remove the pans from the oven, and cool the bread right on the pans. Bread is best served warm.
Store any leftovers, well-wrapped, for a day or so in the refrigerator; freeze for longer storage (up to 4 weeks). Reheat bread before serving; wrap in foil, and warm in a preheated 350°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until heated through. Bread that's been frozen can be taken right from the freezer, wrapped in foil (if it's not already), and put into a 350°F oven. It'll be nicely warmed in 45 to 50 minutes.
To make the bread ahead, then refrigerate overnight before baking: Make the recipe up to the point where you've cut the loaves. Place them on the pan(s), and drape with lightly greased plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight. When ready to bake, remove from the refrigerator and let rest at warm room temperature for 90 minutes before baking.
To make the bread ahead, then freeze before baking: Make the recipe up to the point where you've cut the loaves and placed them on the baking sheet. Drape the pan(s) with lightly greased plastic wrap and place in the freezer. When loaves are completely frozen, wrap each in plastic and freeze for up to 2 weeks. When ready to bake, unwrap loaves and place on a baking sheet. Drape with lightly greased plastic wrap, and thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Next day, let loaves rest at warm room temperature for 90 minutes before baking.
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