Melting point: Golden Cheese Bread

Melted cheese.

To use a totally oxymoronic phrase – it absolutely screams comfort, doesn’t it?

Pick up a piece of pizza, and swipe at the mozzarella stretching from pan to plate. Cut into a grilled cheese, and watch the cheddar oooooooze. Dig into a bowl of mac and cheese. Pour thick, smooth, golden cheese sauce onto toast.

So – do you find yourself relaxing, heaving a giant sigh, wanting to walk away from your computer and curl up in a warm blanket?

That’s melted cheese: bliss on a plate.

Or, in this case, on a loaf of party-hearty pull-apart bread.

One of our most popular blog posts ever showcases our “grip it and rip it” bread. With its hidden treasure of cheese, a lava-flow of melty goodness that invites a wolfpack approach – “rip it open!” – it’s a wonderful party bread.

But it’s not pretty. As diners rip off big chunks, the loaf quickly turns into 5 miles of bad road, looks-wise.

The following bread is much more refined. A savory version of monkey or pull-apart bread, it divides daintily into two-bite pieces.

It’s more pry and sigh than grip and rip…

…but every bit as comforting.

Let’s make Golden Cheese Bread.

This aromatic powdered cheddar cheese is produced by Vermont farmers (and their contented cows). I add it to savory yeast breads  when I want to up their flavor: a little produces a rich, subtle tang, while more adds sharp cheddar flavor.

Put the following in a mixing bowl:

1 cup lukewarm water
4 tablespoons softened or sliced butter
1 1/2 cups Sir Lancelot Unbleached Hi-Gluten Flour
1 1/2 cups King Arthur 100% White Whole Wheat Flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup Baker’s Special Dry Milk
1/3 cup Vermont cheese powder, optional but good
4 teaspoons Pizza Dough Flavor
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon onion powder, optional but good
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast

Mix to make a rough dough…

…then knead for about 7 minutes, until fairly smooth. The dough will be somewhat sticky; that’s OK.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl or large (8-cup) measure.

Cover it, and let it rise until very puffy, though not necessarily doubled; about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Gently deflate the dough, and place it on a lightly greased work surface. A rolling mat works well; it’s pretty much stick-free, and rinses clean in warm water.

Divide it into chestnut-sized (about 1″) pieces. Don’t be too fussy here; the pieces don’t have to be exactly the same size, nor do they need to be rolled into balls.

Dividing the dough into half, then each piece into half again, etc. works well; you want to end up with 64 pieces of dough, more or less.

Now, ready your filling ingredients: 1 1/3 cups shredded cheese: pizza blend, mozzarella, cheddar, or the cheese of your choice; and 2 1 /2 tablespoons melted butter.

Lightly grease a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan, and line the bottom with parchment or foil. Grease the parchment or foil.

Place 16 dough pieces in the bottom of the pan, putting them close together.

Sprinkle with 1/3 cup of the shredded cheese.

Drizzle or brush with some of the melted butter.

Place another 16 pieces of dough atop the first layer. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup cheese, and drizzle or brush with some more of the melted butter. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough, making two more layers. Brush the top layer with butter, but don’t sprinkle with cheese; that’ll be added after the loaf is baked.

Cover the pan, and let the bread rise for 30 to 60 minutes.

It should barely crown over the rim of the pan.

Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

Bake the bread for 20 minutes.

Nice rise!

After 20 minutes, tent the bread lightly with aluminum foil, and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes…

…until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers between 190°F and 200°F.

Remove the bread from the oven, and immediately loosen the edges with a table knife or heatproof spatula.

Wait 2 minutes, and turn it out of the pan onto a baking sheet.

Carefully turn it right side up…

…and sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/3 cup cheese.

Return the loaf to the oven for about 2 minutes, just until the cheese softens and starts to melt.

Like this.

Remove the bread from the oven, and serve warm. For obvious reasons.

Now, how about sprinkling some golden raisins or chopped dates onto the dough along with the cheese, to get that cheese/fruit, salty/sweet thing going? Or some toasted pecans or walnuts. Or chopped scallions, or dried apple bits. Or [insert your own favorite cheese accompaniment…]

Read, rate, and review (please) our recipe for Golden Cheese Bread.

PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!


    1. The Baker's Hotline

      The bread flour will not have as much gluten developing potential as the Sir Lancelot, which means your dough will not be quite as strong and may not rise quite as much, but the recipe should still work fine. You may want to adjust the amount of liquid in the recipe because the Sir Lancelot flour will absorb more liquid than the bread flour will. You can reduce the liquid by up to 1 tablespoon per cup of bread flour substituted. Barb@KAF

  1. mom2dsb

    I would love to make this recipe tonight but I have everything except for the white whole wheat on hand. I do have KAF bread flour and and AP flour. Will those do? Also, if they will, will I have to change any measurements? Thanks!

    Just use all-purpose flour 100% – no adjustments should be needed. Enjoy! PJH

  2. milkwithknives

    Fantastic bread. I had my family over for a little Christmas party yesterday, and this was one of the big favorites of the morning. I took it out of the oven just as everyone was arriving, and they RIPPED into it as soon as it hit the plate. The little balls did grow together a bit, but still separated into pieces with the cheese laced throughout. Soft, wonderful, and made the whole house smell good. Thanks for helping turn my dorky little party (with metal folding chairs and our giant bunny rabbit running around people’s legs) into a purely enjoyable success.

  3. ebmozo

    I made this bread a few days ago. It tasted great, cheesy and all, but the texture was a bit too dense for me. Next time, maybe I’ll just use all bread flour or even all all-purpose flour. I was surprised to see that even after I made balls of dough, the finished loaf had balls only on top. The inside had fused like a regular loaf, but with yummy cheese pockets! Making the balls and sprinkling the filling over the balls is a great alternative to flattening the dough and rolling the filling in. My family liked this a lot and had many ideas for using the bread for sandwiches. Since it already tastes like pizza, we could make pepperoni sandwiches, caramelized onion and pepper sandwiches, tomato sandwiches… The possibilities are endless. All in all, this is a wonderful and tasty bread. Thanks King Arthur for another great recipe and blog!

    Hi – You could definitely make this with 100% AP or bread flour. It would be softer and lighter for sure. Glad you enjoyed it, despite its density… and great ideas for turning it into sandwiches! PJH

  4. Margy

    Made this for my neice’s 21st birthday party–awesome! Made the dough in my Zo (someday I will have to write an ode to my Zo: love that machine! ;-D), and baked in the oven. Quite funny, actually–we were serving Italian, had a loaf from a very well-known Italian bakery in the area–guess which loaf almost disappeared before we sat down to eat? Used KA bread flour, pizza spice, & buttermilk left after an experiment in home butter making instead of the water and dry milk. No cheese powder (didn’t have any). Mmmmmm—stretchy, cheezy, bready goodness.
    We also love to see our customer/baker recipe variations posted with the recipe or product reviews- then those who do recipe searches can see the recipes as they were tested/approved from your kitchens! Thanks for sharing your family celebration as well as your delicious treat! Irene @ KAF

  5. sperreten1

    Has anybody tried getting to the oven ready stage and then putting it in the fridge for several hours to wait until dinner time, then do the final baking?
    You can prepare the bread through the panning step, then put in the fridge overnight and bake in the morning, or in the fridge all day and bake that night. It’s called retarding the dough, and our bakers use this technique all the time.
    ~ MaryJane

  6. dldickins8218

    I think I’ve figured out how to determine how much gluten to add to increase the protein in flour. When PJ wrote that vital wheat gluten was 100% gluten a light bulb when on in my brain. I have just learned bakers math on the website so I applied the same calculations.

    This is what I came up with. First, figure out the total gram weight of the flour that will be used in the recipe (ex. 500gm). Next, Subtract the protein percentage of the flour that you are using (ex. bread flour 12.7%) from the flour you are wanting to mimic (ex. high-gluten flour 14%). 14 – 12.7 = 1.3%. Next, Divide 1.3 by 100 = .013. Next, Multiply the weight of the flour you will use (ex. 500gm) by .013 which equals. 6.5. So you would need to add 6.5 grams of vital wheat gluten to your recipe to equal the protein percentage of high-gluten flour.

    I hope this is helpful to others.


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