Homemade Cheese Bread
Author: Sally McKenney Quinn
This homemade cheese bread features ripples and swirls of real melted cheese and a deliciously soft and buttery dough. It’s irresistible!
Here are the basic steps:
- Make the dough with a few standard ingredients.
- Knead the dough.
- Let the dough rise for 1-2 hours.
- Punch down the dough and roll it into a rectangle.
- Sprinkle cheese on top and roll it up into a log.
- Cut the log in halve lengthwise, then twist it up.
- Let the shaped bread rest for 30 minutes.
- Brush with garlic herb butter.
- Bake until golden brown.
This homemade dough is extra soft and buttery. My #1 tips are to make sure you’re using a combination of water and buttermilk (or whole milk) and bread flour instead of all-purpose flour.
- Yeast: Start with quality yeast. I always depend on Platinum Yeast. It’s an instant yeast that builds a stronger and more voluminous dough.
- Sugar: Sugar feeds the yeast and adds flavor.
- Buttermilk & Water: For soft, flavorful, and chewy cheese bread, use a combination of buttermilk and water.
- Melted Butter: Butter adds flavor. Melt it, then let it slightly cool before using.
- Eggs: 1 egg provides flavor and structure.
- Salt & Garlic Powder: Each add wonderful flavor.
- Bread Flour: Flour is the entire structure of the bread. Bread flour is best here because of its strong gluten formation and high rise.
- Cheese: I recommend cheddar cheese for the filling, but you can use any variety that isn’t particularly soft. Pepper jack cheese is great if you like a little heat.
The trickiest part, if you can call it that, is shaping the dough. Roll it up cinnamon roll style then cut the log in half lengthwise so you have 2 pieces. Twist them together, then fit into a loaf pan.
This bread tastes even better with a generous brushing or drizzle of garlic herb butter on top. Mix melted butter, garlic powder, and parsley together. Brush all over the shaped bread. You can even brush more on the bread once it comes out of the oven.
- ½ cup buttermilk, warmed to about 110°F
- ⅓ cup water, warmed to about 110°F
- 2 and ¼ teaspoons (1 packet) Platinum Yeast
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted + slightly cooled
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 cups bread flour
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley (or your favorite herb)
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Step 1. Whisk the buttermilk, water, yeast, and sugar together in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook or paddle attachment. Cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
- Add the butter, egg, salt, garlic powder, and 1 cup flour. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then add the remaining flour. Beat on medium speed until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 2 minutes.
- Step 2. Keep the dough in the mixer and beat for an additional 2 minutes or knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for 2 minutes.
- Step 3. Lightly grease a large bowl with oil or nonstick spray. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat all sides in the oil. Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise in a relatively warm environment for 1-2 hours or until double in size.
- Step 4. Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
- Step 5. Punch down the dough to release the air. Place dough on a lightly floured work surface and with a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out into a 9×15 inch rectangle. Sprinkle cheese all over the top, leaving a ½ inch border uncovered.
- Step 6. Tightly roll the dough into a 15-inch log. Place the log on its seam. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the log in half lengthwise. Criss-cross one half, cut side down, on top of the other half– forming an X. Tightly twist the two together. Pinch the outer edges to seal. Place in prepared loaf pan and cover.
- Step 7. Allow the covered loaf to rest for 30 minutes. It will slightly rise during this time.
- Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position then preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Step 8. Whisk the melted butter, herbs, and garlic powder together. Drizzle or brush on top of dough.
- Step 9. Bake until golden brown and, when gently tapped, the top of the loaf sounds hollow, about 45-55 minutes. If you find the top of the loaf is browning too quickly as it bakes, tent with aluminum foil.
- Step 10. Remove bread the oven and place on a wire rack. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove from the pan and cool loaf on the wire rack before slicing and serving.
- Make Ahead Instructions – Overnight: Prepare the dough through step 3. Place into a greased bowl as directed in step 4. Cover the dough tightly and place in the refrigerator overnight. Remove from the refrigerator and allow the dough to fully rise for 1-2 more hours. Continue with step 5.
Baking enthusiast Sally McKenney Quinn is the blogger and photographer behind Sally’s Baking Addiction, as well as the author of best-selling cookbooks Sally’s Baking Addiction and Sally’s Candy Addiction. The kitchen is where her creative juices flow and she enjoys sharing recipes with her millions of fans around the world. When Sally isn’t in the kitchen or behind the camera, she enjoys practicing yoga, running off all those cookies, and hiking with her husband, Kevin, and their dog, Jude.