I've been making this bread since my college days, when I shared an apartment with five home economics majors. My family likes this best fresh out of the oven, but it also freezes and reheats well.
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 2 cups warm milk (110° to 115°)
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 5-1/2 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons garlic salt
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, cheese, sugar, oil, salt, cayenne and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining 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 1-1/2 hours.
- Punch dough down. Turn onto a floured surface; divide in half. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each into a 16-in. x 10-in. rectangle. Brush with butter; sprinkle with garlic salt. Cut into four 10-in. x 4-in. rectangles.
- Stack butter side up. Cut each stack into five 4-in. x 2-in. strips. Place five strips, cut side down, in a greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pan. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Yield: 2 loaves (16 slices each).
Originally published as Parmesan Loaves in Best of Country Breads 2000, p70
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