As a retired chef, I know how homemade bread rounds out a meal. These crusty savory loaves have a wonderful cheese, onion and celery seed topping that makes them memorable.
- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 2 tablespoons ground mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/2 cups warm milk (110° to 115°)
- 6 to 6-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 1/2 cup dried minced onion
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 teaspoons celery seed
- 1 egg, beaten
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in water; let stand for 10 minutes. Add mustard and salt; beat until smooth. Add milk and enough flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.
- Punch dough down and divide into fourths. Divide each portion into eight balls; place eight balls each in two greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pans.
- For topping, combine water and onion; let stand for 5 minutes. Add cheese and celery seed. Sprinkle half over dough in pans. Top with remaining dough balls and topping. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Brush tops with egg. Bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pans for 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack to cool completely. Yield: 2 loaves.
Originally published as Cheddar Pull-Apart Bread in Country Woman Christmas Annual 1997, p18
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