Italian Easter Cheese Bread for #TwelveLoaves

The texture of this golden egg, Italian Easter Cheese Bread is incredibly light and airy. In addition it’s loaded with so much Italian cheese that the crust is super crispy and crunchy.

 The texture of this golden egg, Italian Easter Cheese Bread is incredibly light and airy. In addition it's loaded with so much Italian cheese that the crust is super crispy and crunchy.

Hello, bread lovers! If you adore baking homemade bread, or if you’ve always wanted to but have been intimidated by the process, let me calm your fears and encourage you to make this Italian Easter Cheese Bread.  I promise you, you won’t be sorry!

I am a member of a bread baking group called Twelve Loaves, and the name of the group pretty much sums up the premise. Twelve loaves of bread, one for each month of the year. Every month a new theme or ingredient is chosen to be featured, and all participating breads (quick or yeasted) must fall within the parameters of the theme and/or ingredient. The theme for this month (March 2015) is Italian breads.

The texture of this golden egg, Italian Easter Cheese Bread is incredibly light and airy. In addition it's loaded with so much Italian cheese that the crust is super crispy and crunchy.

In all honestly, it’s been a few month’s since I’ve been able to participate with the #TwelveLoaves bakers. It was back in December of 2014 with this recipe for Cranberry Kringle, with the theme being holiday breads.

Since then, I’ve missed participating, and I’ve especially missed baking bread. The two themes I missed were January’s: New Year Challenge and February’s: Olives

Italian Easter Cheese Bread Recipe

Now that I’m back, I’m thrilled to be able to share this recipe for Italian Easter Cheese Bread with you that I found on the King Arthur Flour website. I just love King Arthur Flour, don’t you?

Italian Easter Cheese Bread Recipe

The only changes I made to the original recipe was that I increased the ingredient quantities to make two large loaves instead of the one loaf that King Arthur’s recipe made. I was planning on serving the bread for a small Valentine’s celebration we were having with friends, and then serving the second loaf the next night for when my son was coming over for a long overdue spaghetti dinner.

Italian Easter Cheese Bread Recipe

My call in making two loaves was spot on! Everyone around the Valentine’s dinner table went crazy for the light, crispy crust and texture of this bread. So much so that the four of us ate almost an entire loaf… all by ourselves! Crazy!  *Note – This bread freezes beautifully, so even if you don’t need two loaves right away, wrap one cooled loaf tightly in plastic wrap and tuck it in the freezer for up to 3 weeks.

This bread slices beautifully making it perfect for toasting, and also for dipping in eggs and milk before frying in a skillet for French toast. This Italian Easter Cheese Bread truly is a multicultural wonder!

Italian Easter Cheese Bread

Just look at that texture!!!

Italian Easter Cheese Bread Recipe

If you’re a regular visitor of my blog, then you know that I typically like to share step-by-step photos with you during the making and completing of recipes. The purpose is to be helpful to those of you who might be novices in the kitchen, and to those of you who just enjoy seeing the process.

Italian Easter Cheese Bread Recipe

Unfortunately my kitchen camera bit the dust while I was preparing this recipe so I don’t have those to share with you today. Having said that, my “finishing camera” works great so I’m getting to share all these other “beauty shots” with you that I wouldn’t normally. Well, at least not this many anyway!

The texture of this golden egg, Italian Easter Cheese Bread is incredibly light and airy. In addition it's loaded with so much Italian cheese that the crust is super crispy and crunchy.

But enough of my going on and on about the wonderful qualitities of this bread. It’s time for the recipe, don’t you think?

Italian Easter Cheese Bread Recipe

*Note – All good things come to those who wait. The second rise time for this bread is 3-4 hours, so please plan accordingly and start this bread early in the morning if you’re wanting fresh bread for dinner.

ITALIAN EASTER CHEESE BREAD   {PRINT THIS RECIPE}
Makes:   2 large loaves    Hands-On Time: 20 minutes     Total Rise Time:  4-5 hours
Bake Time:   45 minutes

5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2½ teaspoons active dry yeast
6 large eggs, at room temperature
2 large egg yolks, whites reserved
½ cup lukewarm milk, plus 3 tablespoons
2 teaspoons salt
1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 cups combined grated Parmesan, Romano and Asiago cheeses, plus additional for topping

-Combine all of the dough ingredients (except the cheese) in the bowl of a stant mixer and beat on medium speed for 10 minutes or unitl the dough becomes shiny and satiny. It will be very sticky. Scrape down the sides of the bowl peroidically during mixing.

-Add the cheese to the dough and continue to mix until it is totally combined.

-Scrape the dough into a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rest in a warm, draft free place (approximately 1 hour). No need to worry that it didn’t rise much. It won’t at this point.

-Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll the dough out into a log shape. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions. Set three portions aside while you shape the first loaf.

-Roll three portions of dough into approximate 9″ ropes. Braid the three ropes together, pinching the ends. Place the braid into a greased loaf pan, making sure to tick the ends under if needed. Continue the same process with the second loaf.

-Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

-Allow the braided loaves to rise until considerably larger (this will take approximately 3½ – 4 hours).

-Brush the top of the risen loaves with the reserved egg whites and sprinkle with additional shreddded cheese.

-Bake the bread in a preheated oven for 15 minutes then reduce the heat of the oven to 350 degrees and continue baking for 30-35 minutes until the loaves are a deep, golden brown.

-Remove and allow to cool completely before slicing.

The texture of this golden egg, Italian Easter Cheese Bread is incredibly light and airy. In addition it's loaded with so much Italian cheese that the crust is super crispy and crunchy.

Want more Italian inspired breads??? Of course you do…Click on the links below and get ready to feast your eyes.

#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Cake Duchess and runs smoothly with the help of Heather of girlichef, and the rest of our fabulous bakers.

Our host this month is Rossella from Ma ch ti sei mangiato, and our theme is Italian Breads. For more bread recipes, visit the #TwelveLoaves Pinterest board, or check out last month’s mouthwatering selection of #TwelveLoaves Olive Breads!

If you’d like to bake along with us this month, share your Italian bread using hashtag #TwelveLoaves!

And what goes better with a loaf of good bread than some wine…and cheese? Mangia!

If there is ever anything I can paint for you, please don’t hesitate to contact me or visit my shop. Custom orders (like this one) are always welcome. I will happily work from any photo or description you send my way!
Kudos Kitchen by Renée ~ Where food, art and fun collide on a regular basis!

Until we eat again,

16 Comments

  1. Wow. Your Easter Bread has a perfect texture. Congratulations.
    Thanks to be part of Twelve Loaves.

  2. I spotted this recipe on King Arthur's site and have been hoping to try it. Your photos really make it come alive and I now am craving this bread!! I think the color and texture is spot on and I can see why your friends and family enjoyed it so much. Beautifully done!

  3. your braiding! the flavors! LOVE IT ALL! Lovely baking with you this month for #TwelveLoaves!

  4. So glad you could show us a new bread this month. It looks fantastic!

  5. The texture of the bread looks amazing.

  6. Crispy crust on cheesy bread would drive anyone to delight on any day whether it's Valentines or not. Amore your Viva Italia glasses, too =)

  7. Looks beautiful Renee. I have made this bread, and I'm with you on how wonderful it is! I love the cheese on top too.

  8. Gorgeous! And, yes, that texture looks perfect … nice job!

  9. And a beautiful bread it is!! I'm so impressed!

  10. Ohhh…yummm….all that cheesy goodness! And the texture looks perfect, too. Great loaf, Renee!

  11. I love a good cheesy bread, Renee….and this loaf is gorgeous! What a perfect texture. But I'd be heading straight for the crust! Lovely! : )

  12. I'm pretty sure I'd probably want to eat an entire loaf by myself (therefore I'd have to have other people around). It looks absolutely perfect, that crumb is gorgeous! Wishing I had a couple of slices to toast right now.

  13. Hi Reneè, your cheese italian bread is fantastic! In my region Marche we call it "Pizza di formaggio"…Bye Lucia

  14. YUM! This bread sounds so delicious!

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