Monday, July 24, 2006

She's Got the Look - My Cheese Loaf Adventure

I enjoy cheesy food, not too much of it, but I love them melted on nachos, shredded on ensaymadas, and even powdered as for Cheetos (I suppose if you can call that real cheese!). So one cool day (yeah, it's been raining and how I love it!), I made a cheese loaf. I have made a lot of breads that day, but I have even more friends/family to share it with. I decided that cheese loaf it is since a) I've never made a cheese loaf, b) I have an ageing (not molding, mind you) cheddar that I wish to dispose of.
And so, there I was, shredding cheese, sifting flours, squirting mustard and kneading like hell (well, my KitchenAid did). There's a minimal amount of sugar, a sweet cheese loaf would have tasted weird, if you ask me. I shaped the tender tawny dough into a loaf, panned it and in the last minute decided to shower it with more cheese.
And if I may say, the look of the finished loaf could make any cheese-lover salivate over it. The golden tendrils that made one delicious mess on top of this loaf secured the expectancy of a very cheese-rich crumb--or so I thought. The crumb was tender, yes; a bit golden, yes; but all too cheesy? I don't think so. And I like it perfectly this way. The cheese flavor is tasty enough without being cloyingly so, making one still appreciate it even after wolfing down two slices. They make an exceptional toast or made into a sandwich with ham and more cheese (?!). The small amount of dijon mustard I added helped perk up the flavor without being distracting; there will just be this nice savory aftertaste that encourages the next bite. The shredded cheese on top is optional, but I believe anybody would agree that it adds a tasty visual appeal, not to mention also making the cheese flavor more pronounced.

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