This cheesy braided bread is a family favorite, almost more than anything else I make. I enjoy it because it is easy, and it can be something that is eaten as a bread item alongside a meal (we often use it with soups) yet it is hearty enough to make for the main portion of a quick lunch including a lunch that my husband takes to work with him. Remember how I shared eating a bread item at almost every meal as a way to stretch the family food budget in 15 Essential ….
This can actually be made two different ways. I will share the second way I make this sometime in the next couple of weeks so if this is something you like, keep your eyes peeled for that one.
How you want to get your white bread dough is up to you. I know you can buy it ready made, which is always the fastest option. Since I make two loaves to feed a family of my size, I take the frugal option and just make it from scratch. I have done this using my French bread recipe, and I also just use the white bread recipe that is included with my bread maker and just throw it in there…almost as easy as buying the dough ready made!
For this cheesy braided bread you will need:
- 1 batch of white bread dough that would create a 3-4 pound loaf of bread (I make 4 pounds)
- 3-4 cups of mozzarella cheese, depending on the size of the loaf and how cheesy you like it
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- garlic salt to taste
- dried dill to taste
Once you have your bread dough, spread it out into a rectangle that is about the size of your cookie sheet. I use a jelly roll pan, and my dough generally ends up being about 3/4 inches thick. I also spray my jelly roll pan with cooking spray and then roll it right out on the pan that I am going to bake it on. If you have been reading here for any length of time you know how I am all about being efficient in the kitchen.
With your dough rolled, evenly spread the olive oil on the dough. Then, make diagonal cuts in the dough as shown, leaving the inner third of the dough intact and free from cuts. Next, add your cheese all down the center where the dough remained intact. We like lots of cheese 🙂
The next step is to braid the sides of your dough toward the center as shown and fold the ends up, sealing them to keep the cheese inside.
Make an egg wash to spread on the outside. Finally, add your dill and garlic salt.
Then, place in a 375 degree oven for 20-30 minutes depending on your oven. You will know it is done once the bread is a nice golden brown and the cheese has oozed out a bit.
Be certain to let it cool a bit before cutting into it to avoid losing all of your cheese…at least if you can wait that long 🙂