Cheese Braid



 I have a favorite new way to make quick bread sticks. It’s loaded with cheese, butter and garlic, my kid’s favorite toppings. I’m using the easy 5-minute bread dough made in a shoe box again. I can’t tell you when is the last time I actually proofed and let my dough rise twice (for those real bakers out there). I make this recipe very similar to my chicken braid and pepperoni stromboli, except like I said earlier, it’s cheese only, baby. It’s the perfect accompaniment to any Italian meal.

I begin by rolling a 9×13 rectangle and I use a silpat mat, no sticking or greasing. This is a non-stick silicone mat found at kitchen stores or Amazon. It makes baking so easy because you can use it to roll out the dough in the 9×13 shape and then bake it, too. This is a multi-tasking winner in my cookbook.



Then I carefully, cut 3-inch slits on the sides. They are about an inch apart. I sprinkle cheese and drizzle melted butter and garlic salt on top.



Then comes the pretty part, which looks difficult, but it’s not. I criss-cross the strips across the middle, alternating on each side.



It looks braided, but it’s not. Now press your “That Was Easy” button if you have one and wow your family and guests.



Bake at 450 for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned and cheese is melted and yummy. Enjoy hot as pull apart bread or slice with your pizza wheel and serve as yummy bread sticks.



Feel free to make two braids while you’re at it because hey, your bread dough is already made. You have enough for three. The braid or bread sticks freeze nicely and re-heat either in the oven wrapped in foil or microwave.

Freezer Prep: Cool completely, wrap tightly in foil and place inside a gallon size freezer bag. Thaw completely before re-heating.



Visit my Artisan Dough 101 post for more baking ideas with your leftover dough.

Ingredients

  • 7 cups flour (I used Eagle Mills which is a combo of ½ white whole wheat and ½ all purpose)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons yeast
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup vital wheat gluten, optional (use with 100% white whole wheat flour)
  • 3 ½ cups lukewarm water
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup melted butter with 1 tsp garlic salt, optional

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the dry with the wet ingredients in a plastic shoe box using a heavy duty spoon.
  2. Cover and allow the dough to rest at room temperature for 2 hours.
  3. Refrigerate the dough and use it within 5 days.
  4. On baking day, use 1/3 of the portion of dough at a time.
  5. Use one dough portion, dusting with flour as necessary, pat/roll dusted dough into a 9×13 rectangle. You may use a sil-pat or parchment paper as a guide.
  6. With a pizza wheel, cut 3 inch slits about 1-inch apart on both sides.
  7. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and melted butter if desired.
  8. Alternate strips criss-crossing in the middle. Let dough rest 15 minutes.
  9. Bake in preheated 450 degree oven 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned
  10. Brush with additional butter and garlic salt if desired.
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Have you ever made breadsticks this easy?



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