Italian Cheese Bread

Dude and Spud (but Spud especially) love Italian Cheese Bread from a certain pizza chain.

I’ve made cheese bread in the past, but nothing quite compared, so I decided to take another shot and this one was a rousing success!

I’m not saying I won’t buy the commercial cheese bread again, but I certainly won’t have to unless I want to!

As you can see from the 2 photos, the cheese bread can be baked softer or crispier, to your own preferences. I've made it both ways (as I was experimenting) and both are spectacular. The bottom, less crispy option is full of gooey, stretch cheese, where the crispier version has so much of that toasty cheese flavor! Yum!

Italian Cheese Bread

Adapted slightly from Mindee’s Cooking Obsession

1 cup warm water (110-115 degrees F)

2 ¼ teaspoons (1 package) instant yeast

2 teaspoons sugar

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups flour (+2 tablespoons, as needed)

1 tablespoon canola oil

2 cups Italian cheese blend

2 tablespoons butter, melted

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon Italian Herb Blend

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the water, yeast and sugar.  Rest for 5 minutes or until foamy.

Add the oil, salt, and flour and mix with the dough hook until a soft, slightly sticky dough forms (dough can be sticky but you should still be able to pinch off a piece of dough and roll a loose sticky ball.  If it sticks completely to fingers, add the additional 2 tablespoons of flour).

Place the dough in a greased bowl.  Cover and set aside for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Brush the bottom and sides of a 9x13 inch cake pan with the tablespoon of oil.

Place the dough into the prepared pan and press to fill the bottom of the pan.  Cover and set aside for 15 minutes.

Bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes.  Remove briefly and spread the cheese over the crust.  Return to oven for another 15 minutes.

After baking, brush the melted butter over the top of the cheese bread and sprinkle with garlic powder and Italian herbs.  

Remove from pan, cut in slices and serve.