Gruyere And Walnut Bread
- 6 1/2 cups bread flour (spoon into a dry measuring cup and level off)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons fresh coarse ground black pepper (optional) or 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/4 cup butter, cut into 8 pieces (1/2 stick, plus optional extra melted butter for brushing on the finished bread)
- 1 1/2 cups milk, scalded
- 1 cup warm water, about 110 degrees
- 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 1/4 ounce envelope)
- 2 cups gruyere cheese, coarsely grated and lightly packed
- 2 cups walnuts, chopped and lightly toasted
- Butter or grease two loaf pans.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, and pepper (if using); set aside.
- Stir the butter into the scalded milk; let cool to room temperature.
- Once the milk has cooled you can begin to make the dough by pouring the water into the bowl of your stand mixer.
- Whisk in yeast, wait a minute, then whisk again to be sure all the yeast is completely dissolved; whisk in the cooled milk and butter mixture.
- Stir in half the flour with a large rubber spatula, then stir in the remaining flour, in smaller batches, to ensure all the flour is moistened.
- Place the bowl on the stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook, and beat on medium speed until the dough gets smoother, but not competely smooth, about 2 minutes; let rest 10 minutes.
- Add the cheese and nuts then beat, on medium speed, until the dough becomes smoother and more elastic, about 2 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly oil bowl to rise, turning to coat all sides with oil; drape oiled plastic wrap on top and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Turn dough out on a lightly floured work area, turn over, press to deflate, then set aside (in oiled bowl) to rise again, about 1 hour.
- Turn dough out onto floured board and divide in half, taking care not to delate dough too much; shape each half into an 8 to 9 inch square.
- Roll dough tightly, jelly roll fashion, pinching the edge in when you get to the end; place loaf in pan, seam side down, pressing it into place so that the surface is fairly even.
- Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let rise another hour; once risen, the dough should protrude about 1 inch over the rim of the loaf pan.
- Set oven rack to the middle and heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Uncover loaves, and place in the center of the oven rack, short side toward each other, equal distance from each other and the sides of the oven.
- Bake until the bread is risen, and is deep golden and firm; the internal temperature should be more than 200 degrees F, about 45 minutes.
- Unmold each loaf and cool, on its side, on a rack (this prevents falling).
- You can brush the breads with melted butter if you like your crusts soft.
- Let cool completely before slicing with a sharp serrated knife.
- Store at room temperature, in a plastic bag, or freeze for longer storage.