Easy asiago rosemary artisan bread
Updated: Jan 7
When the pandemic hit the US back in 2020, I remember rushing off to the store and stocking up on as much food as I could - along with everyone else. Then, a few months later, I remember scrolling Instagram and seeing so many people making their own sourdough bread. It turned into quite the craze, but I never really got into it. I always loved to cook, but making homemade bread felt like way too much effort at the time. I did have a 6 month old baby and a 3 year old at home with no childcare while I was working full time from home, so things were a bit crazy.
Fast forward to the spring of 2022, I suddenly got the urge to start making my own bread. As fun as sourdough looked, it was too intimidating for me, so I started off with an easy artisan bread. The first loaf I made was so heavy and dense, I almost broke my spatula trying to get it off of the cookie sheet. I remember being very distraught about the whole thing, and a friend told me, "Lauren, you can't make bread 1 time and expect it to be amazing. Just keep making more and you'll figure it out" - and she was right. I finally felt like I perfected the recipe and I make it all the time now.
Once I got pretty good at it, my husband started asking when we could try out some more "fancy" bread flavors. I rolled my eyes of course, but secretly, I was up for the challenge. My mom had recommended an asiago rosemary cheese from Trader Joe's, so we gave that a try, and I thought to myself, oh my goodness, this could be the first fancy flavored bread I can make! I made the first loaf using that same cheese and dried rosemary, and it was delicious, but it didn't rise really well and I knew I had to adjust the recipe a bit to make it just right.
Now, I finally feel ready to share it, and I hope you'll give it a try!
Do not overheat the water in the beginning, it will melt the cheese and the dough will be very difficult to work with. I typically only heat the water in the microwave for 30 - 40 seconds.
Using bread flour was a game changer for this recipe. You can certainly use an all purpose flour, but I do find that the bread flour really makes this bread extra delicious.
You can use dried rosemary if you don't have fresh on hand, but if you can find fresh rosemary, it really does take this bread to the next level!
Asiago Rosemary Artisan Bread
2 1/4 tsp (or 1 packet) active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups shredded asiago cheese
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary - chopped
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 2 1/4 tsp yeast, 1 tsp sugar, and 1 1/4 cups warm water.
Let it sit for 5 minutes until it begins to foam.
Add 2 1/2 cups flour and 1 1/2 tsp salt to the yeast mixture.
Using a dough hook, mix on low until it is almost combined.
Add 1 1/2 cups of the asiago cheese, 1 tbsp of fresh rosemary and continue to mix until combined. If dough is too sticky, add more flour - 1 tbsp at a time until the dough no longer sticks to your hands.
Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for 1 hour.
Place dough on a floured surface and form into a ball by pulling the edges of the dough toward the center of the bread.
Place back in a floured bowl, cover with the towel, and let rise another 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 435 degrees. Place the Dutch oven in the oven while it preheats.
Once oven is ready, remove the dough ball and place on parchment paper.
Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup asiago cheese on top of the ball of dough.
Transfer the dough to the Dutch oven and close with the lid. Be careful at this step as everything is very hot!
Cook covered for 30 minutes.
Remove the lid and cook another 8-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and a nice golden color.
Remove and let cool on a cutting board before slicing.
If you try this recipe, please let me know if you loved it!