Creative Freezer Cooking and Fun Play for Little Ones

Friday, December 12, 2008

Vermont Cheddar Bread

Makes four 1 lb. loaves

3 cups lukewarm water
1 ½ tablespoons granulated yeast
1 ½ tablespoons salt
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
6 ½ cups unbleached-all purpose flour (we use 2 cups King Arthur white whole wheat and 4 ½ cups all-purpose in demo)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Mix the yeast, salt and sugar with the water in a 5 quart bowl or a lidded (not airtight) food container. We use a 5 quart Dollar Tree shoe box in demo. Mix in the dry ingredients and the cheese without kneading, using a spoon or stand mixer with dough hook. Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses or flattens on top, approximately 2 hours.

Baking day: Dust the surface of the dough with flour and cut of a grapefruit size piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom of all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. Allow to rest on a cornmeal-covered pizza peel for 1 hour (or 40 minutes if you’re using fresh, unrefrigerated dough). Twenty minutes before baking, time pre-heat the oven to 450 with a baking stone on the lowest rack. (It’s been reported that an air bake cookie sheet works great too). Place an empty broiler pan on another shelf. Sprinkle dough liberally with flour and slash a tic-toe pattern on top. Slide dough onto hot stone and pour 1 cup of hot tap water into broiler pan. Bake for about 25 minutes until deeply brown and firm. Allow to cool before slicing or eating.

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