You just have to try this bread!! It is so delicious and they are fantastic for open faced sandwiches, dipping in soup or toasting with garlic butter on top :) They never last long around here so that is definitely a good sign that they are well loved *grin*.
- 1 ¼ cup warm water
- 1 Tbsp yeast
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 4 cups freshly ground 'spring red' hard wheat berries or you can substitute whole wheat flour
- 1 Tbsp wheat gluten (not needed if you use store bought whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried parsley flakes
- 1 tsp dried marjoram
- 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese, seperated
Start by combining your warm water, yeast and honey and let sit for 10 minutes to activate the yeast. While your yeast is sitting you can finely chop and fry the onion in the oil until the onion is soft and transparent. Once your onion is cooked add the onions to your yeast mixture and add the flour, mustard, spices and ½ a cup of the cheddar cheese. You need to reserve the extra ¼ cup for the top of your loaves :)
If you are using an electric mixer you will want to let it knead your dough for about 5 minutes. If you are strong arming it *grin* and kneading by hand then you will want to work your dough for about 8 minutes as you're going to need a little more muscle power to get the same effect as the mixer :) When finished place your dough in a greased bowl, cover it and let it rise in a nice warm spot until the dough has doubled.
When your dough has risen enough you can turn it out onto a lightly greased counter top. I like to spray mine with a touch of Pam and then you can easily work with your dough, it won't stick to the counter and you won't have to add any extra flour which will toughen your dough if you accidentally add to much :)
Punch your dough down and divide it into two equal halves. You will then want to take each half and roll it out out into a long snake shape and place each roll into your greased french bread pans or a regular cookie sheet will work to if you don't have a french bread pan :) No worries!
Using a sharp knife slice some diagonal lines on the top of each loaf and and then sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of cheese on top.Now for the final rise. Cover your loaves once more and set them in a warm spot to double in size again. As soon as they are finished rising bake them at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 25 minutes until they are golden brown and sound hollow when you tap on them.