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Pecorino Cheese Bread

When we were down at Reading Terminal Market last week, we stopped off at MeltKraft for grilled cheese sandwiches before heading home. While waiting for them to cook, I tasted a piece of Pepato from Valley Shepherd Creamery – a sheep’s milk cheese with peppercorns – similar to a pecorino – and aged at least 5 months. I bought a hunk. Nothing says impulse-buy like a taste of cheese.

That taste led to today’s loaf of bread…

Victor made homemade papardelle and I had a chunk of guanciale – also picked up at Reading Terminal Market – so tonight’s pasta dinner was calling for homemade bread. I checked out my mom’s cook cook for a recipe, and while there were a few that were close, but nothing that was calling my name, so i decided to take one of her recipes and just redo it, completely. And Pecorino Cheese Bread was born!

Pecorino Cheese Bread

  • 1 pkg active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup cream
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded pecorino cheese
  • 1 egg white mixed with water
  • sesame seeds

Mix yeast with water and cream to proof. In a stand mixer, add half the flour and begin to mix. Slowly add the grated cheese and the rest of the flour, mixing until it all holds together. Continue mixing for about 10 minutes or until a firm, smooth dough is made.

Form into a ball, rub a bowl with oil, coat dough, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let rise until doubled.

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Punch down, turn out to counter, and let rest about 15 minutes.

Divide into three pieces and form each into a rope about 18″ long. Braid ropes together, tucking ends under. Place ona baking peel liberally coated with corn meal. Cover, and let rise until doubled.

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Preheat oven with baking stone to 375ºF (190°C).

When dough has risen, brush with an egg white mixed with water. Sprinkle liberally with sesame seeds and bake for 40-45 minutes or until nicely browned and hollow-sounding when tapped.

Cool on wire rack.

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The cheese really came through! The texture is that of a traditional loaf of bread. The flavor is cheesecheesecheese! It was the perfect foil for the pasta.

I can’t wait to have it toasted for breakfast tomorrow!

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