Cheddar, Beer & Mustard Pull-Apart Bread

Birthdays are tricky for the out-of-town daughter.  Phone calls and voicemails and packages replace dinners and visits and cake, and we all know that’s a raw deal for the people who raised her.  This year, like every year since I moved out of the house, I was in a different city for my dad’s birthday.  This year, like every year, it meant for a belated celebration the next time I was in town.  That happened to be last weekend, equidistant between his birthday and Father’s Day.  I broke out the big guns.  He’s not big on cake, so I baked him some bread instead.

My dad and I both works from home offices, which have inherent pros and cons.  An undeniable perk to working from home: the smell of baking bread in the oven.  And a beer-batter bread that’s layered with cheese, mustard & hot sauce?  I’ll work to that.

Notes: Most of the legwork for this bread happens at the beginning, when making the dough & filling.  Once that’s out of the way, most of the work happens without you.  While the bread bakes, the sauce will concentrate a bit at the bottom of the loaf – if you prefer mellower flavour, consider using only 1/2 or 3/4 of the sauce when you brush it across the dough.  Leftovers will keep well in an old bread bag – just microwave the slices you’d like to eat for 20 seconds to soften them and melt a bit of the cheese.  If for whatever reason you aren’t sold on a cheddar/mustard filling, switch it up with other beer-friendly flavours & let me know how it goes!

Cheddar, Beer & Mustard Pull-Apart Bread

from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients – Bread

4 tbsp butter
1/4 + 1/3 cup beer
2 5/6 cup all-purpose flour, divided
2 tbsp sugar
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast (or one envelope)
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs, room temperature

Ingredients – Filling

3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
dash of hot sauce
1 tsp dried mustard
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
several grinds of black pepper
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

———————————————

1.  Construct the dough: Heat the butter and 1/4 cup beer in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  When the butter has melted, remove from heat; add remaining 1/3 cup beer.  Set aside to cool slightly.

2.  While the butter/beer mixture is cooling, combine 2 cups of flour with sugar, yeast & salt in a large bowl.  Stirring after each addition until just combined, add: butter/beer mixture; egg #1; egg #2; 5/6 cup flour.  Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and knead for 3-5 minutes.  Place kneaded dough into an oiled, medium-sized bowl, and cover loosely with plastic wrap.  Stick the bowl in the oven or a cupboard for 50-60 minutes, at which point it should be doubled in size.

3.  Make the filling: Melt butter in a small saucepan & remove from heat.  Whisk in mustard, Worcestershire sauce, & hot sauce until the mixture is smooth.  Set aside.

4.  In a small bowl, combine mustard powder with the paprika, salt & pepper.  Add cheese & toss to coat.  Set aside in the refrigerator until needed.

5.  Assemble the bread: Punch down the risen dough.  On a floured surface, roll it into a rectangle roughly 20×12 inches.  Brush with butter/mustard/Worcestershire mixture.  Use a serrated knife to cut the dough into 5 short strips (about 12×4 inches each).  Sprinkle each with the spiced cheese.  Carefully stack the strips on top of each other.  With the knife, carefully cut a 2-inch strip off the stack; place it, cut-side down, in a buttered loaf pan.  Repeat until the entire stack has been reduced to 2-inch strips, squished into the buttered loaf pan.  Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap and return it to the oven or cupboard to rise for 30-45 minutes.

6.  Bake the bread: Bake the bread in a 350 degree oven for 25-35 minutes, or until the bread has puffed and the cheese has browned.  Cool it for 5 minutes on a wire rack.  Flip the bread out onto a cutting board, or tear strips right from the pan.  Eat it with everything.

One Comment

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  1. Wow, this looks amazing. Thanks for sharing!

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