Smokehouse Cranberry Cheese Bread has become a Fall tradition. It's my signature yeast bread and a treasured holiday recipe. My granddaughter and my nephew gobble it up every Thanksgiving, but no worries. This recipe makes 2 delicious loaves. There is plenty to slice for leftover turkey sandwiches the next day.
Have you ever tasted a smoked cheese bread with cranberries in it? Now is the time. The blend of flavors is interesting and oh, so flavorful. When it comes to bread baking the quality of ingredients matters. Use brands that consistently work every time.
Ingredients For An Enriched Bread Dough
- King Arthur Baking Company bread flour for its high protein and gluten formation. It helps the bread hold its boule shape.
- Red Star Yeast for rising. Quick rise or Platinum. And here is a Pro Tip: storing yeast in the freezer will extend its life years beyond the expiration date.
- Tillamook smoked cheese is the best for a distinct smoky taste.
- Silken tofu, the surprise ingredient, adds freshness and a boost of protein to the enriched dough.
- Real maple syrup for sweetness.
- Freshly ground black pepper for a punch of flavor.
- Craisins for plump juicy cranberries and a sweet/tart flavor profile.
- Salt enhances all the other flavors.
- Butter and eggs (room temperature) for an enriched dough with a delicious mouthfeel.
Using weight measurements to bake this smokehouse cranberry cheese bread takes the guessing game away. Your initial mixing of the wet ingredients will look curdled. The addition of the flour and the kneading in the stand mixture will bring the dough together. It will be slightly sticky. Don't be tempted to add more flour.
Easy How To Steps For Baking This Bread
- Proof yeast, water and maple syrup.
- In stand mixer, fitted with paddle, cream butter and tofu. Add eggs, cheese, salt, pepper, yeast mixture and 4 cups of flour; blend well.
- Exchange the paddle for dough hook
- Add cranberries and remaining 1 cup of flour.
- Knead dough until smooth and elastic.
- Let rise; punch down dough and knead for 2 minutes.
- Divide dough and place in prepared pans. Let rise again.
- Score it with a sharp blade, so it rises and bakes in a consistent manner.
- Heat oven 400F. Bake until nicely brown and internal temperature registers 199 to 204F on instant read thermometer.
Pro tip: the second dough rise should be about 1-inch above the height of the pan.
A very Vermont yeast bread recipe with a delicious blend of flavors. Perfect for Thanksgiving.
2 packets Red Star Quick Rise Yeast
3 tablespoons warm (110-115F) tap water
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup silken tofu
4 eggs, room temperature
2 cups (4 oz.) shredded Tillamook smoked cheddar or gouda cheese
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
5 cups King Arthur Flour Bread Flour (total of 22 oz.)
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
- In small bowl, whisk yeast, water and maple syrup; set aside for 10 minutes or until foamy.
- In stand mixer, fitted with paddle, cream butter and tofu. Add eggs, one at a time, until blended. It will looked lumpy and curdled. Add cheese, salt, pepper, yeast mixture and 4 cups of flour; blend well.
- Exchange the paddle for dough hook.
- Add cranberries and remaining 1 cup of flour. Knead dough at low speed for 6 to 8 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
- Transfer dough to a large buttered bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Butter 2 (9-inch) round cake pans.
- With lightly floured hands, punch down dough and knead for 2 minutes.
- Divide dough into two equal pieces. Shape into 6 to 7-inch round loaves and place in prepared pans.
- Cover and let rise for 40 minutes.
- Heat oven 400F. Using a very sharp knife or lame, slash the dough across the top with a criss-cross cut. Bake loaves for 25 minutes or until nicely brown and internal temperature registers 199 to 204F on instant read thermometer. (Check loaves after 20 minutes and tent with foil to prevent over-browning, if needed.)
- Cool on rack.
A great brand of smoked cheese is crucial to this recipe. I highly recommend Tillamook if you can't get to a smokehouse in Vermont.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- proofing: 100 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Category: yeast breads
- Method: oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: yeast bread, holiday, Thanksgiving, cranberries, cheese, sandwich
To learn more about the Vermont inspiration behind this recipe go here: delicious cheese bread with cranberries . Oh and BTW...this recipe is the 2015 grand prize winner of the National Festival of Breads.