Cheddar Cheese & Herb Bread

from LaHave Bakery

Cheese and Herb Bread is very popular. In those early days of the bakery, I would be experimenting all the time with different breads. This is one that turned out. It’s a nice light bread, and it’s got grated cheese on top. It has a wonderful smell when it’s baking. The combination of the herbs and fresh garlic and onion really make it special. (Gael Watson)


2 ½ cups plus 2 tablespoons lukewarm water (80-85F), divided

1 teaspoon honey

1 tablespoon traditional dry yeast

1 onion, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

½ teaspoon dried rosemary

1 tablespoon sea salt

2 eggs

4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

5 to 6 cups unbleached white wheat flour

1 cup grated cheddar cheese


In a small bowl, stir together ½ cup of the lukewarm water and the honey. Sprinkle the yeast over the surface. Do not stir. Set mixture aside for 5 to 10 minutes to activate yeast.

In a blender, place onion, garlic, oregano, basil, rosemary, salt, 2 cups of the lukewarm water, 1 egg and 3 tablespoons of the oil. Blend.

Pour into a large bowl and add the softened yeast mixture. Stir to combine. Add flour, 1 cup at a time, beating with a wooden spoon until the gluten is developing well and pulling together. Continue to add flour until you can’t stir any longer.

When you find the dough too difficult to mix with the spoon, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in remaining flour, adding only enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to your hands, until you have a pliable consistency – not too sticky, not too dry. Knead gently and rhythmically, but with strength, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Clean the large bowl and oil with 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, turning the dough to coat the surface. Cover bowl with a tea towel and place in a warm spot, allowing the dough to rise until doubled in size – roughly 2 hours or longer, depending on how warm your kitchen is.

When the dough has risen, gently press out the carbon dioxide with your fist and fold the dough over itself, turning it out only a lightly floured counter. Divide into two even pieces. Knead each gently – a few strokes to free air pockets and bubbles – and shape into two round loaves. Lightly grease a cookie sheet with vegetable oil. Place loaves well apart on prepared cookie sheet.

Slash the tops diagonally several times. Beat 1 egg into the remaining 2 tablespoons of the lukewarm water and glaze loaves with this egg wash. Sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese.

Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise again until just doubled in size – generally about half the time of the first rise.

Preheat oven to 375F. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. You will know that the loaves are fully baked when they are a beautiful golden colour and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Cool on a wire rack or wooden breadboard.

Makes 2 loaves.

Nada’s Tips & Tricks: I made this bread in my bread machine. After it was baked, I took it out of the machine and added the egg wash and cheese and placed it under the broiler for a minute. We served the bread with beautiful Maritime mussels and it soaked up all the yummy broth! Another fun way to make the bread (and get the kids/grandkids involved) is to use clay pots – a fun addition to any party!

Reprinted with permission from Nimbus Publishing. Copyright © 2024, Jane Morrigan and Susan Ivany.