Cheese for baking in bread: which ones to choose

In the Fall 2018 issue of Sift, we played matchmaker to two of our favorite things: good bread and excellent cheese. 

Bread and cheese are such a natural pairing – and quality ingredients give great results. But cheese can be costly. In some cases, you can reach for more wallet-friendly options without sacrificing a stunning outcome.

When it comes to picking the best cheese for baking, this guide tells you when and where to spend.

Excellent cheese baked into good bread = ultimate comfort food. Check out our quick guide for choosing good cheese for baking without breaking the bank. Click To Tweet

cheese for baking via @kingarthurflourGruyère

This cheese is intensely nutty and robust, with a price tag to match its heightened flavor. For bread, try the similarly flavored (and less expensive) Jarlsberg for comparable results.

cheese for baking via @kingarthurflour


Long aging gives this expensive pedigreed cheese its nuanced flavor and fruity/savory notes. When choosing this cheese for baking, look for an aged block of Parmesan that’s firm enough to grate well.

cheese for baking via @kingarthurflour


Tangy and bold, with its acidity beautifully balanced by its creamy texture, Gorgonzola is a worthwhile splurge. There are good domestic varieties available. Buy a wedge of blue cheese and break it up yourself, instead of spending extra for the convenience of pre-crumbled cheese.

cheese for baking via @kingarthurflour



Mild, stretchy, and easy to melt, this cheese pairs beautifully with savory flavors like herbs and olives. Look for fresh mozzarella, which is creamier and melts better. For a more assertive bread, try smoked mozzarella. Smoked mozzarella doesn’t melt as much as fresh does, but that can be a bonus. When you bite into the bread you get a burst of chewy, smoky flavor.

cheese for baking via @kingarthurflour

Two of the cheese breads from the Fall 2018 issue of Sift: Swiss Onion Rye (back left) and Three-Cheese Semolina Bread (front).

What’s better than good bread with cheese on top? A warm loaf with cheese baked right inside. Check out the full roster of brilliant cheese breads in the Fall 2018 issue of Sift. Then choose your cheese for baking into a loaf that stands proudly at the center of your meal.

Susan Reid

Chef Susan Reid grew up in New Jersey, graduated from Bates College and the Culinary Institute of America, and is presently the Food Editor of Sift magazine. She does demos, appearances, and answers food (and baking) questions from all quarters.


  1. Claudia Waitt

    I make a cheese and onion bread with Cabot Habanero Cheese that is absolutely wonderful. You’d think that it would be very spicy and hot from that cheese, but baking it into the bread makes it milder and very flavorful. When you toast the finished product, it’s a treat made in heaven. Yum!!

  2. Diane Levin

    Two wonderful cheeses for bread are Asiago–Asiago from Wisconsin is great–and Trugole, an Italian cheese that toasts before it separates and is super as a pizza cheese, too. Today I made soft rye rolls with Gruyere, instant dinner!

  3. cate ryan

    Extra sharp cheddar cheese aged over 2 years makes my cheese bread. And don’t be stingy when you are putting in the cheese, use a very generous cup. I shred my cheese on a box shredder, the large holes. Keep it simple, it is wonderfully delicious. Enjoy!

  4. Bronya Seifert

    Bread and Cheese – my 2 favourite food groups. If fact, are there any other food groups? Thanks for the post.

  5. Lorraine Fina Stevenski

    Hi Susan, my favorite Italian cheese is Grana Padano. It is softer than Parmigiano and less assertive. It tastes very much like Parmigiano and is less expensive. I like it grated or thinly sliced. It melts the same as Parmigiano.


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