So as we know, bread is a staple. It has been around forever, in one form or another, be it loaf, bun or pita. Because of this, our wise Sages worried that an unsuspecting person might mistake dairy bread for plain pareve bread and eat it together with meat. In doing this, he would inadvertently violate the prohibition of eating milk and meat together.
So, to stop this problem before it happened, they decreed (Gemara: Pesachim 30a and 36a) that one may not bake dairy bread unless certain criteria are met:
- either changing the shape or look of the dough prior to baking, making it instantly recognizable to all as dairy. So if all your loaves are rectangles, then ONLY your dairy ones are round, or having cheese on top of the loaf so one can see at a glance that it is dairy.
- baking dairy bread exclusively in small quantities, so that it is consumed all at once and inventory control is in place. You serve the dairy bread at a dairy meal, and don’t have to worry about a leftover roll being used for a meat sandwich.
(FYI – The same prohibition and exclusions apply to meaty bread as well, due to bread’s propensity to be eaten with a dairy meal)
So, having said all that, let’s bring on the cheese bread! Make sure however to follow the guidelines above and to top the loaf with lots of cheese so that is it visible to all that it is a dairy loaf.
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
½ cup + 2 tablespoons warm water (between 105°F – 110°F)
½ cup warm milk (same temperature as the water)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ teaspoons salt
3 cups flour + flour for dusting
2 tablespoons margarine
2 teaspoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons dried minced onion, divided
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese + more for topping the loaf
Oil to grease a bowl & pans
Combine the yeast, water, milk and sugar in a large bowl. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes until it becomes foamy (like beer).
In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, salt, garlic powder, 2 tablespoons of the minced onion, margarine, and cheese. Add the foamy yeast mixture to the flour mixture and combine to make a dough ball. Knead the dough for a few minutes so that you have a cohesive mix, and it is not too sticky or too dry. Add more flour or water as needed.
Lightly grease a large bowl and put your dough in it to rise. Cover the dough with a dish towel and place in a warm area for about an hour or so, until it has doubled in size.
Turn out your dough on to a floured surface, and punch the bread down to release air bubbles. Knead the dough for another few minutes and then shape your loaf into whatever shape you desire.
Place loaf(s) in oiled pans and cover with a dish towel. Allow to rise in a warm place until again doubled in size, approximately 1 hour. Sprinkle the remaining dried minced onion and cheese over the top of the loaf.
Bake at 350°F until bottom of the loaf(s) sound hollow when tapped, 30-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Enjoy with your dairy meal!