Stuffed bread becomes snack, appetizer or dinner

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Intended to resemble a bobsled, this large loaf of bread is stuffed with a blend of mushrooms and shallots. It also has cheese worked into the dough, and sprinkled on top for a golden crust. It works well with dinner, as well as sliced for a snack or appetizer.



Start to finish: 2 hours (45 minutes active)

Servings: 6 to 8

For the dough:

1 cup warm water (about 105 F)

1 tablespoon active dry yeast

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese

For the filling:

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 shallots, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small yellow onion, chopped

8 ounces mixed mushrooms, chopped

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper

1⁄2 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water, yeast and sugar. Let stand until the mixture is bubbly, about 5 minutes.

With the mixer on low, add the salt and flour. Mix until the dough comes together, then increase speed to medium-low and mix for 3 minutes. Add the cheese and mix until incorporated. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make the filling. In a large skillet over medium, heat the oil. Add the shallots, garlic and onion. Saute until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper, then saute until the mushrooms are soft and any liquid has evaporated. Set aside to cool.

When the dough has risen and the mushroom filing has cooled, begin to assemble the loaf.

On a floured surface, roll the dough into a 15-by-8inch rectangle. If the dough shrinks back, just let it rest for 5 minutes and try again.

Spread the filling over the dough, leaving 1 inch of dough uncovered at the edge all the way around. Working with a long side, roll the dough up like a sausage. Moisten the end, then press or pinch to seal up the log.

Place the bread, seam down, on a baking sheet and cover with a towel. Let rise for 45 minutes.

Heat the oven to 350 F. Use a very sharp knife to make 2 or 3 shallow slashes in the top of the loaf to let steam, escape. Sprinkle the loaf with the remaining 1⁄2 cup of cheddar cheese. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted at the center reads 200 F. Let the bread cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before slicing.


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