Cider Cheese Bread © llizard aka ejm 2001, 2002

We had some hard cider that we weren't wild about so I decided to make bread out of it. It is wonderful bread. When we run out of cider, I'll make the bread with dark beer or ale.

Ingredients makes two loaves Preparation
  1. In a smallish bowl, mix yeast with ¼ c lukewarm water (do the baby's bottle test on your wrist), and let sit until mixture starts to bubble. Put the bowl into the *cold oven (with the light turned on if you want)* with the door closed. Let it sit there as you start to make the bread dough. It sometimes takes more than 10 minutes to start foaming.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, pour the beer over mustard, sugar, milk powder and cheese. Add wholewheat flour about ½ c at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon in a circular direction 40 to 50 strokes for each addition.

  3. Add the yeast mixture (it should be quite foamy - if it is not after a period of 20 minutes have passed, either the yeast is dead or the water was too hot or far too cold. Check the due date on your yeast container. If the date hasn't passed, try again.) Add ½ c allpurpose flour and sprinkle salt overtop. Stir with a wooden spoon in a circular direction 40 to 50 strokes. Continue adding all but 1/2 c flour.

  4. Put some of the other ½ c flour on a wooden board. Turn the dough out onto the board. Let the dough rest as you wash and dry your mixing bowl. Knead the dough 10 to 15 minutes, adding small amounts of the remaining flour to the board if dough is sticky. When the dough is springy and silky to the touch, it has been kneaded enough.

  5. The dough should have the texture of a baby's bottom. Put it into the clean bowl that holds twice the volume of the dough and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let it rise in a non-drafty area at room temperature (or in the cold oven with the light turned on if you want) until the dough has doubled. (This might take anywhere from an hour to two hours)

  6. I let dough rise to the top of the bowl, but it is risen enough if when you gently poke your finger in the top, the indention stays. Gently deflate the dough. Turn it out onto a lightly floured board; cut it in half with a dough scraper if you have one, with a knife if you don't.

  7. Shape into two round balls. Wet your hands with water and wet the tops of the loaves liberally. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the loaves. Let rise on a lightly oiled pan or a cornmeal dusted peel or on parchment paper, covered with a damp cloth, until double in size. (about an hour)

  8. Thirty minutes before you are going to bake, turn oven to 450F. Put water into a broiling pan and place it on the bottom rack of the oven.

  9. Slash the top of the balls with a very sharp knife. Liberally spray the tops again with water. Put bread in oven and immediately turn the oven down to 375F. Bake the bread on the second lowest rack for 35-40 (I bake it for 45-50) minutes or until it is hollow sounding on the bottom.

  10. Remove to cool upended on cooling racks. Wait til the bread is cool before cutting it. If you like to eat warm bread, reheat the bread after it has cooled.

This bread goes very well with Baked Beans or Broccoli Soup.

Uneaten bread should be stored at room temperature rather than refrigerated. (the refrigerator causes the bread to go stale faster) Bread can also be stored in the freezer - double bagged airtight plastic. Take it out of the freezer and leave it in the bag until the bread has thawed. To reheat the bread, turn the oven to 500F for 5 minutes or so. Turn the oven OFF. Put the bread in the oven for ten minutes.

adapted from Cheri's Beer Cheese Bread at