No knead artisan cheddar bread – Soft and crusty cheddar bread that comes together with a wooden spoon and absolutely no kneading. This is the perfect artisan bread recipe for novice and seasoned bakers alike!
In my opinion, bread is a key component to any meal. As long as a good, carbolicious loaf of bread is involved, excitement over even the most humdrum of meals can be elevated to stratospheric levels. I’m so crazy about bread that I’m not to proud to admit that I strategically arrange the dinner table so that I’m seated dead-smack in front of the bread basket whenever possible. If that bread happens to be freshly baked? Well then shoot me over the moon because I’ll be the floating on Cloud 9.
Bread is an absolute must!
Plenty of bakeries sell good bread, frozen bread dough is convenient and will do in a pinch, and I’ll never pass up one of those crescent shaped rolls from a tube, but absolutely nothing–NOTHING!–satisfies like a loaf of really great bread baked in your own kitchen. Freshly baked bread is worth every bit of that all-caps-shouty-text!
The tantalizing aroma as it bakes…the crackling sound made by a chewy crust dropping golden flakes of awesomeness onto the cutting board as the knife glides through it…the tender-crumb interior just begging to cradle a hefty coat of softened butter…are you picking up what I’m throwing down?
Fresh bread makes everything right with the world!
And a fresh bread dough that can be mixed together in five minutes, require absolutely no kneading or special equipment, whilst being stuffed with salty cheddar cheese? Why, that’s just the sort of thing that can bring about World Peace!
Or at the very least, World Satisfaction.
Food Dork Trivia Alert: Yeast is a feisty ingredient. So long as conditions are right and food is plentiful, the yeast will continue to munch on the sugars in the bread dough until they’ve exhausted themselves. (I can totally relate.) I mentioned in my Food Dork Fridays: Leavening post that while the yeast munches away, it gives off gas which becomes trapped in the dough, creating air bubbles that give the dough “lift” it needs. (Bacon Slayer can totally relate. Just kidding, honey!)
Bread dough bakes from the outside inward. Cutting shallow slashes into the top of the risen loaf before baking serves a useful purpose. As bread bakes, an outer crust forms before the inside of the loaf is done–the interior of the bread continues to rise as the outer crust sets. As the inside of the loaf rises, it will eventually meet resistance from the upper crust, and given enough yeasty energy, the air bubbles in the dough will push the interior though the top crust to escape. If you’ve ever had a loaf of bread with a side burst open, this is why. The slashes allow the internal dough to continue to rise until it has fully baked, thus avoiding the unsightly bursted loaf.
I trust that you will be every bit satisfied with a few crusty loaves of no knead artisan cheddar bread. It’s just so darn tasty and versatile. If not immediately devoured, large loaves make for a nice appetizer presentation. Just hollow out, then fill with dip, such as a simple Sundried Tomato and Artichoke Dip. The dough can also be formed/baked into four smaller loaves, serving as fantastic bread bowls for comforting soups like Broccoli and Cheddar.
Go on, Friends! Go forth and Save the World! Or at the very least, Save Dinner!
No Knead Artisan Cheddar Bread Recipe
Adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg & Zoë François
Yields 2 Large or 4 Small Loaves
Final Notes for Making No Knead Artisan Cheddar Bread:
All-purpose flour may be substituted for the bread and white whole wheat flours; just know that up to ¼ cup more flour may be needed. The risen bread dough may be quartered rather than halved for smaller loaves. However, baking time will need to be shortened by about 5 minutes. When hollowed out, large loaves are great as pretty appetizer bowls, and the small loaves are excellent vessels for soup. Baking bread on a hot pizza stone with steam is what gives the crust that thick, chewy artisan-style texture. For a softer crust, bake the bread on a hot baking sheet, or in lightly greased loaf pans.
Also Worth Noting: The dough can be refrigerated after the initial rise, before shaping the loaves; in fact the dough is easier to handle after having been chilled. Just cover the bowl of dough loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to three days. When ready to bake, lop off a hunk of dough, shape it, and add 40 minutes to the total rise time. Then shape, rise for 60 minutes, preheat oven, dust and slash loaves. Finally, let bread rise for the additional 20 minutes, then bake according to directions.