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Wednesday Baking | Braided Cheese Bread

Today’s offering is yet another recipe from my handy-dandy Fleischmann’s Yeast cookbook (their yeast is way too expensive, but their cookbook is great!). I’ve modified it a bit to fit my preferences, but the bones of the recipe are from Fleischmann’s.

Because 6 ounces of cheese is required for two medium-sized loaves, this is perhaps not the most frugal bread ever, but it is really tasty. Since the cheese is not standing on its own, I do not find it necessary to use really high dollar cheese (not that I really ever buy high dollar cheese), so this bread doesn’t have to be exorbitantly expensive. The $1.50 block of cheddar from Aldi works just fine.

And though the recipe calls for sharp cheddar, I’ve also had good success with mild cheddar cheese, and even Colby cheese. You could even combine the random bits of shreddable cheese hanging around your fridge and use them up in this loaf.

As with most of my recipes, this one starts with flour, sugar, yeast, and salt.

Add warm water and milk, and beat for several minutes.

Add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft but manageable dough. Turn out onto a floured surface, and knead in cheese, 1/2 cup or so at a time. By the time you get the cheese thoroughly incorporated, the dough should be sufficiently kneaded.

(Alternatively, you can stir the cheese into the dough before you turn it out onto the floured surface. This will break up the cheese a bit more, but it’s an awful lot easier.)

This dough feels really, really strange when you knead it, thanks to the cheese, and it looks kind of funny too.

Cover the dough and let it rise for about an hour, or until it’s doubled in size. After the dough has risen, punch it down, divide it into six pieces, and roll each piece into a 12-14 inch rope.

Braid three strands and place on a greased baking sheet. Repeat with remaining three strands.

Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30-45 minutes.

If desired, sprinkle with additional cheese. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned.

And here’s a peek inside the bread…you can see all the little flecks of cheese. It’s tasty as is, but the cheese flavor is especially good if you toast your slices before eating them. And toasted, buttered slices make a lovely accompaniment to a pot of homemade soup.

Printable Cheese Bread Recipe

Braided Cheese Bread-makes 2 loaves

3.5 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup milk
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) grated sharp cheddar cheese

In mixer bowl, combine 1.5 cups flour with the sugar, yeast, and salt. Heat water and milk to 120 degrees F, and add to dry ingredients. Beat for 3 minutes, and add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough.

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead in cheese, 1/2 cup at a time. Place kneaded dough into a bowl, cover with a wet tea towel, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled.

Punch dough down and divide into 6 pieces. Roll each piece into a 12-14 inch rope. Braid three ropes together and place on a greased baking sheet. Repeat with remaining three ropes. Cover braids and let rise until doubled, 30-45 minutes.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack.

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Wednesday 15th of April 2020

Delicious bread! I used 2 different cheeses.

Sharon R.

Saturday 23rd of June 2018

Hi Kristen,

Love your blog and your recipes! I'm about to make the braided cheese bread, and I wanted to point out that 1 1/2 cups isn't equal to 6 oz. It's 12 oz. A cup is 8 oz. Hoping the 1 1/2 measurement is the accurate one because, really, can there ever be too much cheese? If not, next time I'll go with 6 oz.


Saturday 23rd of June 2018

The 1.5 is right! If you were measuring liquid, then 1.5 cups would indeed be 12 ounces. But shredded cheese is not nearly as solid as liquid, and I find that 6 ounces of shredded cheese does amount to 1.5 cups, assuming you're not pushing the cheese down firmly like you would brown sugar.

Terri Landreth

Monday 11th of September 2017

Oh My Goodness! I do not normally make comments on blogs and I just recently found this wonderful blog site (and I am totally in love with it, btw). Anyway, I tried this recipe for the Braided Cheese Bread and just HAVE to sing it's praises. This was one of the best breads we have tried and it was an absolute hit (especially now that we are transitioning into cooler fall days). This was so good and so easy to do. I already have plans to add it to the family Thanksgiving dinner this year! Thanks!


Monday 11th of September 2017

Yay! I'm so glad! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

Dan Campbell

Saturday 23rd of March 2013

I used a Double Gloucester with Onion and Chive (Iceland, £2) and did it as a 6 strand challah type single loaf. It was amazing toasted under the grill with a nice tuna salad and caesar dressing. I felt like a gourmet chef :D great recipe though. 5/5


Sunday 3rd of February 2013

Bread was awesome! At what point in the process can we freeze the dough. I have heard to freeze before the first rise and I have heard to freeze after the first rise. They say to increase the yeast when freezing. Please advise what is the best process to freeze your bread.


Monday 4th of February 2013

I generally freeze after baking. If you want to freeze before baking with this dough, I'd probably let it rest for 20 minutes after kneading, then freeze it. Let it thaw totally when you want to use it, then braid it and let it rise as usual.

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