Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Half-Ass Pantry Recipe: Hasselback Garlic Cheese Bread

I have active yeast!  Put that on a short list of things I never thought I'd be exclaiming over the internet...  But I do!  And a ridiculously delicious looking recipe to test out on my super fantastic and yet-untouched Cuisinart Mixer.

My baking prowess dates way back to 2011 when my friends and I discovered a life changing app, Bakery Story.  In this year-long obsession, we each ran our own little digital bakery - creating confections and serving the masses round the clock.  Think tamagotchi, but your very own cupcakery!  (Side note: my iPhone T9'd how to spell tamagotchi for me... glad you can get that but you switch all my angry cuss words to cute quacking animals)  Eventually the tireless hours of choosing recipes and delivering baked goods to my fans got to me and I shuttered the doors of my first entrepreneurial adventure, Yeast Confection.  Still proud of that name... I should really copyright that...

Back to real life baking.  I found this recipe: Hasselback Garlic Cheese Bread

Hasselhoff you say?  Win.
How it's supposed to look...


1 cup Warm Water
1 Tablespoon Honey
1 envelope Active Dry Yeast (2 1/4 Teaspoons)
1 teaspoon Salt
3 cups Bread Flour
Olive Oil, For Greasing Surfaces
⅓ pounds Sharp White Cheddar, Or Any Other Cheese You Prefer
½ cups Garlic Butter


1.  In a large bowl, stir water, honey and yeast together. Let yeast proof 5 minutes. Once you know yeast is active, stir in salt and the flour in 1/4 cup increments. If you are using a stand mixer, be sure to not increase your speed higher than a 2 or ‘stir’. Once dough starts pulling away from the sides and the bowl seems to be pretty clean, set a timer for 5 minutes and walk away. Let the machine knead the dough. After 5 minutes, dough should be smooth and tacky but when touched shouldn’t leave any dough on your fingers.
 Before yeast eats the honey...
After yeast eats the honey:
I ran out of flour, so now my 3 cups recipe is more like 2 and a bit and I had to pour out some yeasty goods. Off to a great start considering all anyone tells you is that baking is a science. After my 10 minutes of watching the hook-go-round it still looked pretty wet, so I got crafty and started add instant quick-mix flour a bit at a time.

... 2 hours later.... just measure the first time people!
It was now past 10pm with no bread, a hot mess in the kitchen and a lot of wine down the hatch. Still waiting for the dough to get nice and gummy and pull cleanly off the mixing bowl...
2. Grease the bowl and the dough. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Greasing to me meant pouring in a bit of olive oil and swirling it around)
Good and doughy and greased:
After being covered and rising for an hour:

3.  Punch down dough and cut into two equal portions. Form into two long baguettes the length of the cookie sheet. I like to twist mine because it looks cool, but it also keeps its length and doesn’t shrink.

4. Cover with plastic wrap and rise 30 minutes. Start to preheat oven to 400 degrees F and place dough close to the oven where it’s nice and warm. Once oven is preheated, remove plastic wrap, from the dough reduce oven to 350F, put the bread into the oven and bake 20 minutes.

5.  In the meantime, slice the cheese into thin slices and melt the butter.

I melted down 2 tablespoons of butter, added about a tablespoon of creepy premade garlic (including the juice) and a whole bunch of prefab Italian spices. Desperate times call for cheap measures.

6.  Pull loaves of bread out of the oven after 20 minutes and brush with the melted garlic butter. Bake another 5-7 minutes or until bread begins to turn a golden brown. Remove from oven and cool 15 minutes.


7.  Cut 1-inch slices 3/4′s of the the way through the loaves. Brush garlic butter in between each slice and fill with a slice of cheese. Bake another 3-5 minutes or until cheese is completely melted.


See that cheesee? That's generosity. This adventure had become a commitment and I wasn't going to be stingy at the final hour. Also, that's still raw garlic on top there. Yum.

8.  Serve immediately. 

End result: Hubs thought it looked like an iced dessert!  Who cares.  Get in my belly you garlicky cheesy monster, you.  It was fantastic.  And basically late night munchie food at this point.

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