This crusty sandwich bread, with sharp cheddar cheese and sweet apples, has six ingredients and takes only ten minutes of prep time. If you mix the dough the night before, you can have fresh bread on the table that tastes better than anything you can get in a bag from the grocery store in no time the next day.
The crust on this bread is so satisfying, with just the right amount of cheesy crunch. The bread itself is studded with sweet apples and melty cheddar and packed with flavor. It’s great on its own or slathered with butter, and I can personally attest that it makes for a mean grilled cheese. Like a few other bread recipes I’ve done, I adapted this from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Every recipe I’ve tried from this book has been great, and they’ve held up to all of my tweaks and twists. This time the original recipe was for a crusty sandwich bread, and I just amped it up with a few bright flavors. I imagine you could play with all kinds of flavor combinations and still have a delightfully crusty loaf of sandwich bread, although I’m partial to the cheesy crust on this one.
I love making the dough for this bread the night before I want to bake it. You mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl, then let it rise at room temperature for 2 hours. Then you stick it in the fridge, where it can hang out overnight or for up to five days. Whenever you’re ready to make your bread, take it out, turn it onto a counter, and shape it into an oval loaf. Place it in a buttered loaf pan and let it rise for another 90 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 450°F, and put an empty high-sided baking pan on the bottom rack. Once it’s preheated, pour a cup of water into the pan, then place the bread on the middle rack. The steam from the water will help give the crust of the bread a beautiful brown color. Bake the bread for 45 minutes, until it is deeply golden brown.
Turn the bread out of the pan and cool on a cooling rack, then slice it and devour it, slice by delicious slice.
- ½ tablespoon instant yeast
- ½ tablespoon salt
- 1 cup warm water
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 apple, diced finely (1 cup)
- ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese
- In a large bowl, combine the yeast, salt and water. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon, followed by the apple and cheese. If you can’t get all of the flour incorporated with the spoon, use your hands. Don’t knead the dough; simply mix it until everything is incorporated.
- Cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature for 2 hours. You can proceed with the recipe from here, or you can put the dough in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- When you’re ready to make the bread, turn the dough out onto a counter and shape it into an oval loaf. Place it in a buttered loaf pan and let it rise for 90 minutes. With 30 minutes to go, preheat the oven to 450°F and place a high-sided baking pan on the lowest rack of the oven.
- Pour 1 cup of water into the empty baking pan, then place the bread on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Remove the loaf from the bread pan and allow it to cool on a cooling rack. Slice and devour.