Cheddar Chive Bread

I love having my son in the kitchen with me. I use the time to teach him baking skills, techniques and measurements. We've made a lot of different treats but this was the first time we've made bread together. This recipe was easy enough to make with a little one and perfect for learning the unit of grams.... plus its ridiculously delicious!

But before we get to the recipe.... let's talk cheese! This recipe calls for freshly grated cheddar. Why fresh? Why not pre-shredded? What's the difference? Look at them side-by-side...

The bottom, left cheese is freshly shredded. The top, right is purchased pre-shredded. Notice the difference? Color, moisture, a white powdery substance.... yeah...the pre-shredded cheese is usually covered in a corn starch and other ingredients to keep it from clumping and sticking. But that can affect recipes. If you were to make a mac n' cheese with the pre-shredded type you'll notice it isn't smooth like that of freshly shredded. Whenever I can, I use freshly shredded cheese! Cheddar Chive Bread Yield: 1 Loaf 350 grams water, warmed to 105 degrees Fahrenheit 7 grams yeast 1 teaspoon granulated sugar 500 grams all-purpose flour 12 grams (1/4 cup) freeze dried chives 15 grams kosher salt 145 grams freshly shredded medium cheddar cheese 3 Tablespoons butter, melted 1. In a small bowl mix water, yeast and sugar. Set aside for five minutes. 2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix together flour, chives and salt. Slowly begin to sprinkle cheese into the flour and begin stirring the ingredients together as you continue to sprinkle the cheese in. Why do this? To allow the flour to cover the cheese to make sure it doesn't clump up! 3. Once the yeast has become foamy, pour the liquid and melted butter over the dry ingredients. Mix all the ingredients together with a rubber spatula. 4. Once the liquid is incorporated, place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead it for several minutes until it becomes a tight ball and bounces back to the touch of a finger. 5. Place in a lightly greased but well-floured bowl. Cover and allow it to rise for 2 hours. 6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 7. Gently flip the dough out directly onto a pizza stone. Place in the oven for 20 minutes. Then reduce the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and continue to bake the bread for 20 minutes. 8. Remove from oven and allow it to cool for a few minutes before moving it to a cooling rack.

Serving idea: Slice and toast in a cast iron skillet with butter and serve with spaghetti and meatballs or lasagna.

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