I really don't know what else to say about this bread. I can't properly describe it's wonderfulness without cursing like a criminal. I need you to make it, right now, so you can understand me. By the way, it's really easy. No kneading, no big floury mess. A few simple ingredients like bread flour and CHEESE. Chunks of manchego that melt and bubble up in the oven. You do have to let the dough rise over night, but come morning time you will be hugging your own body because... FRESHLY BAKED CHEESE BREAD. Because of that. There aren't many better things in this world. Don't care for Manchego? (WHY) Use whatever semi-soft cheese you fancy. But I'm obsessed with this salty, Spanish cheese and it worked wonderfully in this loaf from heaven.
Look at that crispy crust and chewy center. I have to go say more swear words.
Manchego Cheese Bread
(Makes 1 loaf)
Slightly adapted from My Bread
3 cups bread flour
3/4 tsp active dry yeast
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 cups Manchego cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 1/3 cup cool water
Cornmeal for dusting
In a large bowl, combine flour, yeast, salt, pepper and cheese. Add water and stir until you have a sticky dough. Cover the bowl with a towel, and let rise (on the counter) for 12-18 hours.
After the first rise, set a towel on the counter and cover it with cornmeal. With lightly floured hands, lift the dough and place on the towel. Grab the sides of the dough and fold them into the center, creating a round ball. Flip the dough so the seam-side is down. Cover the dough with the rest of the towel and let rise (again on counter) for 1-2 more hours.
30 minutes before the second rise is finished, preheat the oven to 475. Place a heavy, oven-safe pot on the lower third rack while the oven is preheating, uncovered. Once 30 minutes is up, remove the pot and carefully place the dough in the pot, seam-side up. Cover pot and put back in oven for 30 minutes.
Uncover pot, and cook for another 10-15 minutes, until top is golden brown. Remove bread from pot and let cool on wire rack.