This gluten free artisan cheese bread is still your everyday bread, just made extra soft and cheesy. It's practically a meal all by itself!
Gluten free artisan bread is a fast favorite
Our original recipe for gluten free artisan bread became a reader favorite right away. It makes a smaller loaf of bread, using only about 2 cups of gluten free flours in total, and can be made by hand in a single bowl.
Don't take my word for it. Listen to Jasmine, who said in the comments on that recipe, “This bread has changed my life.”
This recipe for an enriched cheese bread is not shy about gilding the lily. The original recipe contains milk and an egg, so it's not exactly a “lean bread,” which is a bread made without added and fats and other enrichments like yogurt. But this cheese bread recipe has so much more.
In addition to the milk and egg in the original recipe, here we're adding yogurt and butter, which help make the crust thinner and softer, and the bread itself extra soft. With these extra enrichments, it helps to use a stand mixer to combine everything fully. But you can make it by hand, mixing vigorously.
Of course, there's also shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Most of the cheese is mixed by hand into the dough before setting it to rise. With the cheese mixed into the bread, eating a plain slice is like eating a grilled cheese.
Extra cheese on top of the bread after rising
The recipe calls for adding most of the shredded cheese to the bread dough/batter, and mixing it in thoroughly by hand. The reserved 1/2 ounce of shredded cheese is for the top of the loaf.
I've made the bread by adding the reserved cheese to the top of the loaf after it's risen but before I've baked the loaf at all. You can see me doing that in the photo below.
The cheese on top, as well as any cheese that peeks out from the dough all around the loaf, is more likely to burn in the hot oven that way. The taste isn't really affected, but if that bothers you, stick to adding the cheese after the loaf is nearly finished baking.
Just bake the risen loaf for 35 minutes, then run a knife or other flat edge along the rim of the baking container to loosen it. Turn the loaf out, upside down, onto a rimmed baking sheet, top with the remaining cheese, and return the loaf to the oven to finish baking.
A batter-style gluten free bread
This is a batter-style gluten free bread recipe. You'll shape the dough using wet hands, and it will resemble cookie dough more than it does traditional bread dough.
In addition to the all purpose gluten free flour blend in the recipe, this bread calls for additional tapioca starch. It helps give the bread chew and structure.
If you don't have additional tapioca starch to add to the bread, you can make it with an equal amount more of the flour blend, but your bread won't rise as high and the crumb will be tighter.
I really recommend that you use Better Batter as your all purpose gluten free flour blend in this recipe. With the extra tapioca starch added, it has just the right structure and texture for this sort of batter batter dough.
Ingredients and substitutions
This recipe has a number of types of dairy in it: milk, yogurt, butter, and of course shredded cheese. If you can't have dairy, I'd really recommend you just use the original recipe for gluten free artisan bread. In that recipe, the only dairy is milk, and you can easily swap in unsweetened non-dairy milk.
Since there is only one egg in this recipe, you should be able to replace it with one “chia egg.” Place 1 tablespoon ground white chia seeds in a small bowl with a tablespoon or two of lukewarm water and mix until it gels.
There is no substitute for yeast in a yeast bread recipe. If you can't have yeast, please use the search function on the blog and type in “yeast free” and you'll find other options.
You can use active dry yeast in place of instant yeast by multiplying the weight of the instant yeast by 125%. Here, that would mean 7.5 grams of yeast.
Just keep going a tiny bit after your scale reads 7 grams and call it good. Unlike instant yeast, active dry yeast should be soaked in some of the liquid in the recipe (here, milk) until it foams before adding it with the rest of the milk.
Gluten Free Artisan Cheese Bread
1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons (227 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)
1 1/4 teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (54 g) tapioca starch/flour
2 generous teaspoons (6 g) instant yeast
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon (6 g) kosher salt
3/4 cup (6 fluid ounces) warm milk (about 95°F)
1/4 cup (57 g) plain yogurt, at room temperature
1 tablespoon (21 g) honey
2 tablespoons (42 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg (50 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten
4 ounces sharp yellow cheddar cheese, shredded
Grease a 1 or 1 1/2 quart glass oven safe bowl and set it aside. If you don’t have a glass bowl, you can use a small round pan or cast iron skillet with high sides.
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, place the flour, xanthan gum, tapioca starch/flour, yeast, and baking soda, and whisk to combine well. Add the salt, and whisk again to combine well. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the milk, yogurt, honey, butter, and egg, and beat or mix vigorously. The bread dough/batter should come together and lighten a bit in color as you mix. Add about 3 1/2 ounces of the cheese to the dough and mix by hand to combine.
With wet hands, shape the dough/batter into a disk and place it in the prepared baking bowl, skillet, or pan, and smooth the top with clean, wet hands or a moistened spatula. Do not compress the dough at all. Cover the bowl completely with an oiled piece of plastic wrap. Be careful not to compress the dough, but cover the dough securely. Place it in a warm, moist place to rise for about 45 minutes, or until the dough has increased to about 150% of its original size. In cool, dry weather, the dough may take longer to rise; in warm, moist weather, it may take less time to rise. This does tend to be a relatively quick-rising dough.
When the dough is nearing the end of its rise, preheat your oven to 350°F.
After the dough has risen, remove the plastic wrap, slash the top very carefully once or twice, and place the bowl in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 35 minutes, or until the bread is lightly golden brown all around. Working quickly, remove the bowl from the oven, gently loosen the bread from the edges of the bowl, and invert the bread onto a lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the top of the bread with the remaining 1/2 ounce of shredded cheese, and place the baking sheet with the bread in the oven. Bake until the crust has darkened slightly all around, and the bread sounds hollow when thumped anywhere, on the bottom or top, about another 10 minutes. The internal temperature of the bread should reach about 185°F on an instant-read thermometer. Turn the bread out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.
Once cooled completely, the bread freezes very well. Just slice it, enclose it very tightly in a freezer-safe wrap and place it in the freezer. Defrost a slice or two at a time.