This 2015 National Festival of Breads Grand Champion recipe has a unique blend of flavors. It was created by Lisa Keys, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.
- 2 (¼ ounce) packages RED STAR® Quick·Rise™ Yeast
- 3 tablespoons (1 ounce) warm water (110°-115°F)
- 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) maple syrup
- 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup (4 ounces) silken tofu
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups (6 ounces) shredded smoked Gouda or smoked cheddar cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 ½ to 5 cups (19 to 22 ounces) unbleached bread flour, divided
- 1 cup (5 ounces) sweetened dried cranberries
- In small bowl, whisk together yeast, water, and maple syrup. Wait 5 to 10 minutes for mixture to foam (proof).
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle, blend together butter and tofu until mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape sides of bowl as needed.
- Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in cheese, salt, pepper, yeast mixture, and 4 cups of flour. Blend well. Exchange paddle for dough hook.
- Mix in cranberries and gradually add enough remaining flour until a soft dough forms. Knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes on low to medium speed. Place dough in greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Deflate dough and divide in half. Shape into 6” to 7”round loaves, and place into two buttered 9”round cake pans. Cover and let dough rise until doubled, 40 to 45 minutes. Near the end of the rise, preheat oven to 400°F. Uncover and with a sharp knife or lame, make a ¼”deep “X” slash across the top of each loaf.
- Bake 25 - 27 minutes until golden brown, tenting with aluminum foil to prevent excess browning. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the middle of the loaf should register about 200°F. Remove from oven, and after a few minutes turn loaves out onto a rack to cool.