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  • Mary Kay

Summer Fields Rustic Cheesy Bread may become your Seasonal Favorite!

There’s absolutely no need to knead this delicious Gouda cheese enhanced rustic bread. Fresh from award-winning Marieke Gouda in Thorp, Wisconsin, my easy recipe using her Summer Fields Gouda cheese to make this crusty bread is well worth the mix. It’s no work at all.

With just flour, salt, warm water, yeast and Summer Fields Gouda cheese you’ll have fresh crusty rustic bread by lunchtime. Spread it with fresh creamy Wisconsin butter or pair it up with apple slices and you have a delicious snack. I also found that breaking it apart into chunks and dipping it in extra virgin olive oil gives it even another dimension.

I usually mix the bread at 8:00am, do absolutely no kneading, and have fresh bread by lunchtime. All I do was to bring the ingredients together in a bowl, cover and set it aside to let the yeast do its work. Instead of kneading I fold over the dough 4 times, spreading some of the freshly shredded cheese in each fold and bake! (NEVER use pre-shredded cheese.) It’s that easy and delicious! Crusty on the outside and soft on the inside.

This recipe makes one round loaf.

It’s easy enough to double it for two loaves.

Preheat the oven and prep the Dutch oven:

The oven will need to be preheated to 450F degrees. The empty and covered 3 quart Dutch oven will need to heat in that oven for 30 minutes before carefully laying the loaf (with parchment paper) of bread in it. Make sure your parchment paper is rated for oven temperature as high as 450F degrees. Otherwise you could have some black parchment paper stuck onto your bread. (I only made that mistake once.)

Gather up your Ingredients:

3 C Flour

½ t Salt

½ t Garlic powder (optional)

½ t Onion powder (optional)

1 t Yeast, dry (NOT self-rising)

1-1/2 C Marieke Gouda Summer Fields cheese, freshly shredded

Mix your bread dough:

- Whisk all dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.

- Add the water and stir until thoroughly combined. The dough will be sticky. (Don’t add the cheese yet.)

- Cover the bowl and let set for 3-4 hours, until the dough has doubled in size. It can sit overnight or up to 16 hours.

- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 450F degrees.

- Before you heat the Dutch oven, cut a piece of parchment paper that will eventually fit into the Dutch oven, so the paper comes up the sides. Set aside.

- Place the empty 3-quart Dutch oven and cover in the oven for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, roll the dough out onto a clean floured flat surface.

- Pat it down into a 1” thick rectangle and loosely spread about a quarter of the freshly shredded cheese all over the top of it.

- Fold it over in half and pat down a little. Loosely spread a quarter of the cheese over the top.

- Fold over in half a second time and pat down a little. Loosely spread a quarter of the cheese over the top.

- Fold it over in half one last time and loosely spread the rest of the cheese over the top.

- Fold it again and with both hands, proceed to form the dough into a ball so the cheese pieces are inside. Arrange it so the seams on the bottom.

- Loosely cover it with plastic wrap and let sit for 20 minutes.

- After the Dutch oven has been in the oven 30 minutes, and the dough has relaxed 20 minutes, pull the Dutch oven out of the oven. Uncover it and lay the dough and parchment paper into the Dutch oven.

- Cut 3-4 side by side slits at an angle across the top of the loaf with a very sharp knife so it can release steam during the baking process.

- Replace the cover, return it to the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

- Remove the lid and let it bake for another 10-15 minutes. I like to check it at the 10-minute mark to make sure it doesn’t burn. Sometimes my oven bakes a little on the hotter side.

- The finished loaf should be a nice golden brown and have a hollow sound when you tap on the top. I like the golden brown to be just on the darker side of golden.

- Cool in the Dutch oven for 10 minutes.

- Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack and cool another 10 minutes.

Serve it up in many ways:

- Slice it and savor the Summer Fields Rustic Cheesy Bread plain, or add a slice of the same cheese for a flavor punch.

- It’s also lovely dipped in Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

- Choose a special sliced meat to make an open face sandwich with Arugula lettuce and a dab of Dijon mustard.

- Toast it, add a little butter and enjoy the warmth of the herbs from the Gouda.

- Cube a couple slices for croutons. Whenever I make a loaf of rustic bread, I like to cut it up, sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil and toast low and slow in the oven to create croutons for a lettuce salad. A nicely flavored rustic bread such as this makes light and crispy croutons, because of its abundance of the larger yeast-created holes in the crumb. It's amazing how the herb flavors from the bread enhance those greens!

Make your own sandwich or toasted combination. It’s a delicious rustic bread that can be enjoyed with many flavored meats or cheeses. Whatever flavor combination you come up with for the Summer Fields Rustic Cheesy Bread, “Bake your own Memories!”

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