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Tillamook Swirled Cheese Bread

This swirly loaf is loaded with two kinds of melty shredded cheese. After baking, the outside is crusted with - you guessed it - more cheese.

180minserves 4-6


Bread Dough

  • 4 ¼ cups all purpose flour

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar

  • 1 TBSP instant yeast

  • 1 TSP fine sea salt

  • ⅔ cup warm water (105-110°F)

  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature

  • 4 TBSP Tillamook Unsalted Butter, melted

  • 2 TBSP honey

Filling and Finishing

  1. Mix the bread dough: in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, mix the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt to combine, 30 seconds. Add the water, eggs, melted butter, and honey and mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together, about 4 minutes.

  2. Scrape the bowl well, then raise the speed to medium and mix for 3-4 minutes more until the dough is very smooth.

  3. Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl, and allow to rise until nearly double in size, 1 hour 30 minutes - 2 hours.

  4. Prepare to finish the loaf: in a small bowl, whisk the egg and cream (or half and half/milk) to combine. In a medium bowl, toss the two cheeses together to combine.

  5. Fill and shape the loaf: on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a rectangle about 12x24 inches. Brush the surface of the dough with egg wash.

  6. Using about ¾ of the cheese mixture, sprinkle it evenly over the surface of the dough, but leave one of the longer sides uncovered (just about 1 inch at the end) - this will make it easier to seal once you roll the dough up. Starting from the other (cheese covered) long end, start to roll up the dough into a spiral - the way you would cinnamon rolls. Continue to roll towards the
    cheeseless end piece of dough, until you’ve created a long log.

  7. When the dough is fully rolled up, pinch the seam well to seal. Take care to make sure it’s secure - we want to keep the cheese inside the loaf!

  8. Starting from one end, start to roll the log into shell-esque spiral loaf. When you reach the other end, tuck it under the base of the loaf.

  9. Place the loaf into a lightly greased 9 inch round cake pan. Use your hands to gently press the loaf down to fill the pan as evenly as possible. Cover the loaf with a clean kitchen towel, and let rise until it is visibly puffy, 1 hour - 1 hour 30 minutes.

  10. Towards the end of rise time, preheat the oven to 350°F with an oven rack in the center. Brush the surface of the loaf with egg wash, and sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly over the surface.

  11. Bake the loaf for 35 minutes, then cover the surface of the loaf with aluminum foil, and continue to bake until the loaf is deeply golden brown and has an internal temperature of 195°F (see tip) in the thickest center part of the loaf, 30-35 minutes more.

  12. Remove the bread from the oven, and uncover it. Gently flip or slide the loaf onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Brush the melted butter all over the surface of the loaf. Cool for 20-30 minutes before slicing (or tearing apart). Best served warm, when it will be slightly gooey.

    • Tip: Just like you might do with a large piece of meat, the best way to tell if a loaf of bread is fully baked is by taking its temperature! A loaf may look golden brown and delicious outside, but could be hiding a raw, under-baked core inside. Stick a digital thermometer into the thickest part of the loaf. It should read at least 195°F - if it’s not, return it to the oven until it is - and you’ll have a perfectly baked loaf, every time.

Meet the chef

Erin Jeanne McDowell

Erin Jeanne McDowell is an author and video host specializing in all things baking. Her first book, The Fearless Baker, was named one of the best baking books of the year (2017) by The New York Times. Her second, The Book on Pie, is a New York Times Bestseller. Her newest book, Savory Baking, is all about translating a love of baking to every meal of the day - not just dessert! She hosts the award-winning series Bake it Up a Notch for Food52, where she teaches in-depth baking lessons and troubleshoots common issues. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Food Network, Bon Appetit, and more.