Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Muenster Cheese Bread

One of the joys of blogging is discovering events that test your limits and move you out of your comfort zone. One such event is the monthly Bread Baking Day, hosted this month by Temperance at High on the Hog. Her request was simple - bake a bread that is made with or served with cheese. I resisted the temptation to do a pizza. I love pizza but I wanted to expand my repertoire and do something really new. My search led me to a remarkable German bread that is made with and topped with Muenster cheese. The bread has a remarkable crumb, gorgeous color and a soft, yet crunchy, crust that is not to be believed. The bread stays fresh for several days but that gorgeous crust is best the day the bread is made. You'll need no special equipment to make these loaves but you might want to consider cutting the recipe in half as it produces two huge - monster Muenster - loaves. This bread was originally made with a German Munster which is much sharper than the American Muenster cheese used here. I've tried it both ways and prefer the milder Muenster. I do hope you'll try this bread - it is really, really good. I'm also sending this on to Susan at Yeast Spotting.

Muenster Cheese Bread

6-1/2 to 7-1/2 cups flour, unsifted
5 teaspoons active dry yeast
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
4 teaspoons salt
1 cup plain yogurt
2-1/2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup water
6 eggs, room temperature
3/4 pound Muenster cheese, shredded
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk

1) Combine 1-1/2 cups flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Combine yogurt, butter and water in a microwavable bowl. Cook on HIGH power until butter melts, about 1 minute. Cool slightly. Slowly add to dry ingredients; beat for 2 minutes at medium speed. Add 6 eggs, 1/2 cup cheese and 1 cup flour; beat for 2 minutes at high speed. Add as much flour as needed to make a stiff dough (I used a total of 6-1/2 cups flour). Turn onto a floured surface and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.
2) Place dough into a greased bowl, turning it once to grease top. Cover; let rise until double in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch dough down; divide into two equal pieces. Pat dough to form round loaves. Place on greased baking sheets; cover, let rise until double in bulk, about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat remaining egg with milk; brush over loaves. Top with remaining cheese. Bake until loaves are golden, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks. Yield: 2 loaves

Recipe from The New York Times Bread and Soup Cookbook by Yvonne Young Tarr


Elle said...

Your monster Munster bread looks wonderful! Love the cheesy crust!

Mary Bergfeld said...

Thanks, Elle. This is really a nice bread. I hope you'll try it.

Anonymous said...

I love anything with cheese in it, so seeing the crust full of cheese, I know, this must be really, really good! However, I am such a coward in baking, I have not tried baking with yeast yet. But that is one of the things in my to-do list this year! :)

Maria said...

Cheesy bread! It looks so scrumptious!

Allie said...

Now this is my kind of bread, I love Muenster!!

Cathy said...

Is there anything more satisfying than the smell of baking bread?

Love the cheese topping. This would be sooo good with a steamy bowl of soup.

Sara said...

This looks so good, I love cheese bread. I never think to buy muenster, I need to fix that!

Peter M said...

Oh my, the cheese topping is cheezy good. These would be great as little bite-sized rolls too!

Mary Bergfeld said...

Peter, that really is a great idea.

Pam said...

Oh Mary, this looks amazing! I love the cheese crust.

Mary Bergfeld said...

Folks, thanks for the compliments. I rarely jump up and down about a recipe but this bread is exceptional the first day it's made. With soup or stew it makes a wonderful meal.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Oh don't cut it in half, share with me please! That's really lovely.

The Blonde Duck said...

That is phenomenal. I'd love a piece!

Anonymous said...

I love this because I love Meunster Cheese. I'm sure it's delicious and it's beautiful!

Maris said...

This sounds great! I love muenster cheese. I also just got a KitchenAid stand mixer and have been dying to make bread - this might be my first one!

Mary Bergfeld said...

Do try this one, Maris. You will not be disappointed. Thanks for visiting us. I hope you'll come often.

Anonymous said...

I really like the taste of Muenster (well, American Muenster - haven't tried German Muenster yet). This bread looks fabulous, especially the topping!
- Jackie

Mary Bergfeld said...

Hi Jackie, thanks for stopping by. I hope you'll come back often.

Anonymous said...

So true about stretching out of your comfort zone. These cheesy loaves look like just the perfect winter soup go-with.

Anonymous said...

Muenster is so creamy and delicious. I bet it made a wonderful topping to such a nice soft looking bread.

Anonymous said...

Love bread, love cheese.
Looks great!

Dewi said...

Gosh, your bread looks so delicious, so tempting.

Allie said...

This bread looks amazing. Really, really amazing.

Aparna Balasubramanian said...

I liked the pattern on your bread. Cheese and bread in one is yum. I've still got do my BBD entry. :)

sutros said...

A good story

GK Chesterton: “The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.”

Voila: www.tastingtoeternity.com. This book is a poetic view of 30 of the best loved French cheeses with an additional two odes to cheese. Recipes, wine pairing, three short stories and an educational section complete the book.

From a hectic life on Wall Street to the peace and glories of the French countryside lead me to be the co-founder of www.fromages.com. Ten years later with the words of Pierre Androuet hammering on my brain:

“Cheese is the soul of the soil. It is the purest and most romantic link between humans and the earth.”

I took pen and paper; many reams later with the midnight oil burning Tasting to Eternity was born and self published.

I believe cheese and wine lovers should be told about this publication.


Anonymous said...

I just took this marvelous bread from the oven. We couldn't wait to taste it so cut a piece. Yummy! The texture is awesome. Makes a beautiful loaf of bread. Great for entertaining.

Mary Bergfeld said...

Anonymous, this is one of my favorite breads. I'm so glad you like it. Spread the word :-).

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