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Gluten Free Artisan Cheese Bread

Gluten Free Artisan Cheese Bread

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!

Partially sliced loaf of artisan cheese bread with knife

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. 

Artisan cheese bread dough raw and unrisen in a bowl

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.

Artisan cheese bread raw risen dough being sprinkled with more cheese

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.

Baked artisan cheese bread cooling on wire rack

Ingredients and substitutions

Dairy

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.

Egg

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.

Instant yeast

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.

 

Artisan cheese bread whole loaf on cutting board with knife

Artisan cheese bread raw and risen, baked on a wire rack, and partially sliced on brown paper

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 1 5-inch round loaf

Ingredients

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

Directions

  • 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.

Love,
Nicole

  • Louise
    August 2, 2020 at 3:16 PM

    I made this tonight and it was delicious. I’m UK based so I used Dove Freee GF plain flour. I also don’t own a stand mixer so just used a processor and whizzed it with the steel blade.
    We used to make a lovely cheese bread which my 8-year-old adored. Since he was diagnosed as a coeliac, he’s been begging me to try a gluten-free one so I am very grateful to you for sharing this delicious one. Thank you very much.

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 2, 2020 at 5:27 PM

      I’m thrilled that you were able to provide that for your 8 year old celiac! I had an 8 year old celiac about 8 years ago, and I started this blog so that I could give him all of these recipes, so that one is near and dear to my heart. 🥰

  • Liz Purcell
    August 2, 2020 at 12:29 PM

    This bread is fantastic. I followed the directions exactly and used the recommended ingredients. It was wonderful toasted for a BLT, but it was best hot out of the oven… so good we devoured half the loaf in a few minutes. I’m looking forward to trying some modifications like herbs or jalapeños. Thanks, Nicole!

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 2, 2020 at 5:19 PM

      It does tend to compress a bit when you slice into it before it’s cooled, Liz, but you’re right—it does taste best that way!! I love the idea of adding jalapeños!

  • Esther Iglich
    August 2, 2020 at 11:20 AM

    I love the bread – made it last weekend- very tasty! However it was moister and a bit chewier than I expected. Not sure if I didn’t bake it long enough? I reduced the baking time a bit as the internal temp was what you said it should be. Great toasted. Would adding cooked carmelized onions affect the the years rising?

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 2, 2020 at 5:16 PM

      I’m afraid I don’t know what your expectations were, Esther, but it’s an enriched bread as described in the post which is moister than a lean dough. I’m afraid I wouldn’t add caramelized onions to the raw dough, but you could add some the top when you add the final bit of shredded cheese without hurting anything.

  • Keri
    July 31, 2020 at 6:21 PM

    Hi
    Can you split the dough and put into 2 loaf pans?

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 31, 2020 at 6:29 PM

      Hi, Keri, It’s not nearly enough dough to make multiple loaves.

  • Cheryl Cook
    July 29, 2020 at 7:42 PM

    Great recipe. I added some coarsely chopped canned jalapeño peppers to my loaf before baking and used it to make great bbq sandwiches with some leftover pulled pork. Will be on regular repeat here.

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 30, 2020 at 8:14 AM

      So glad, Cheryl!

  • Shalindhi
    July 29, 2020 at 10:57 AM

    Hi Nicole,
    Could I use one of those white, round, pleated casserole dishes for this bread? I do have a Le Creuset dutch oven as well.

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 29, 2020 at 12:02 PM

      It’s more about size and shape, Shalindhi. So if the Le Creuset is a full-sized one but the casserole dish is smaller, I’d go with the casserole dish.

  • jill
    July 28, 2020 at 11:46 AM

    Yummmm! I made this yesterday but forgot to put the cheese on before putting it in the oven! I just sprinkled it on when the bread was done and gave it a quick broil to melt the cheese. I wonder if the salt can be reduced a bit though. I know it is necessary to control the yeast but with all the cheese, is extra salt really needed?

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 28, 2020 at 12:39 PM

      Hi, Jill, adding the extra cheese at the very end and melting it under the broiler works great anyway. You can reduce the salt a bit, but maybe you’re better off using a reduced sodium cheese if it seems like too much salt?

  • Jill
    July 27, 2020 at 1:59 PM

    Can the pectin in Better Batter be replaced with gelatin? Plain pectin is not the easiest ingredient to find!

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 27, 2020 at 6:24 PM

      No, it can’t, Jill. Please see the post about the mock Better Batter for a full understanding about what can and can’t be substituted.

  • Arnell VerHoef
    July 26, 2020 at 4:25 PM

    I would love to make this but I can’t have honey. Is Maple Syrup ok to subsitiute?

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 26, 2020 at 5:42 PM

      In many cases, I don’t recommend that swap, but in this case I think it would be fine, Arnell.

  • Wendy
    July 25, 2020 at 5:18 PM

    Have you tried freezing this bread?

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 25, 2020 at 8:02 PM

      Hi, Wendy, Yes! Please see the final recipe instruction for details. That info is already there.

  • Marina
    July 25, 2020 at 10:29 AM

    Thank you for this delicious recipe! Can this be made into rolls? Sometimes I just want to have the “roll” experience.

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 25, 2020 at 1:28 PM

      Hi, Marina, I’m so glad you enjoyed the bread! No, I would not use this same dough to make rolls. But I have tons of roll recipes here on the blog. Just use the search function!

  • Rachael
    July 24, 2020 at 4:19 PM

    I just made this- the crust (the stuck to the bottom of my Dutch oven) is delicious! Can’t wait to sink my teeth into a slice! I used the converted measurements for active dry yeast and it worked just fine. Love the cheesy taste- and the texture is great.

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 24, 2020 at 7:29 PM

      You seem to have learned the hard way that you really do need to follow the instructions to grease whatever you bake it in! ☹️ So glad you’re enjoying the bread anyway, Rachael!

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