Savory Cheese Boule

By • January 4, 2012 • 44 Comments

20 Save

If you like it, save it!

Save and organize all of the stuff you love in one place.

Got it!

If you like something…

Click the heart, it's called favoriting. Favorite the stuff you like.

Got it!


Author Notes: The lusty yeastiness and a portion of tender all-purpose flour almost render this a quick bread. You can certainly make it and have it on the table in about 2 hours. The colorful effect of the toasted walnuts and fresh sage have to be seen to be believed. And if your house is for sale, bake a batch just before the open house. People will follow their noses straight to your door.

Please be sure to look through the photo gallery so you can see the finished product.
boulangere

Makes 1 large round loaf or 2 small ones

  • 10 ounces warm water
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast (or 1 tablespoon instant)
  • 1 glug of honey, about 1 tablespoon
  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sea or kosher salt
  • 2 glugs of olive oil, about 2 tablespoons
  • 8-10 large sage leaves, minced
  • 1 cup walnut pieces, toasted
  • 1 cup Fontina cheese, 1/2” cubes, about 4-5 ounces
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Scatter the walnut pieces over the parchment. If they’re large, first chop them up a bit on a cutting board. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until they’re nicely fragrant when you open the oven door. Remove from oven and allow to cool while you scale your ingredients and begin mixing.
  2. Measure water, yeast, and honey into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Don’t have a mixer? Don’t despair. See #12 below. Whisk them together.
  3. Add the bread flour, all-purpose flour, salt, and olive oil. Mix on low speed. By the time the ingredients come together and look like a good dough, your nuts should be cool enough to add. Don’t worry of the dough has a bit of a “foot,” a portion that sticks to the bottom of the bowl. The addition of the nuts and sage will solve the problem.
  4. Add the nuts and sage. Let bread continue to knead until they are well incorporated, about 4-5 minutes. Don’t worry if they don’t appear evenly distributed. The step where the cheese is added will take care of everything.
  5. Turn dough out of bowl and either oil or spray it. Return dough, turning it over once. Cover tightly with a piece of plastic and allow to proof at room temperature until doubled, about 30-45 minutes.
  6. While dough is rising, cube cheese.
  7. When dough has finished its first proofing, lightly flour a work surface. Gently turn dough out on it. Pat your hands in some flour and begin tenderly patting your dough out into a circle about 12” in diameter. Scatter the cheese cubes over the surface, avoiding the edges. Now, imagine that you’re folding four edges of the circle towards the center, effectively creating a square. Do that. Then fold the 4 points of the square to the center. Your cheese should be completely enfolded in the dough. Carefully turn the dough over and use your hands to gather the edges into a ball again.
  8. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Set the dough on it and drape it with your piece of plastic. Let proof again until doubled, about 30 minutes.
  9. About one half hour into the proofing time, preheat oven to 375 degrees. If you use a baking stone, set it in the oven when you turn it on. Just before placing bread in oven, remove the plastic and slash it decoratively with a serrated knife held at an acute angle. Some of the cheese should bubble out dramatically while baking.
  10. If using a stone, simply lift the sheet of parchment with the bread on it and slide it onto the stone. Otherwise, set the baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, rotating bread 180 degrees at the halfway point.
  11. When done, remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing. Definitely serve warm!
  12. No mixer? No problem. Start with step 2 in a mixing bowl. Add the dry ingredients in step 3, and stir with a wooden spoon until you can’t stir any longer. Turn dough out onto a floured surface, pat your hands in some flour, and knead until dough comes together, but still feels a bit soft and tacky. Add the nuts and sage and continue kneading until they’re well incorporated. At this point, pick up with step 5 and continue the rest of the way through!
Jump to Comments (44)

Comments (44) Questions (0)

Default-small
Default-small
Dscn3372

almost 3 years ago MaryMaryCulinary

I had the same problem as em-i-lis, unfortunately. I made it by hand and had a batter that couldn't be turned out to knead. I ended up adding almost twice the flour called for and the dough still threatened to run off the parchment during the second rising. I ended up with a huge flat loaf which was moist and had a great crumb, but the flavours of the sage and cheese were kind of lost since I used so much more flour. I may try this as a no-knead bread another time, as I think it would do very well if not cooked free-form.

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I'm so sorry to hear that, MaryMary! I've never made it any way other than with a mixer. This may indeed be one of those that doesn't lend itself well to the manual method. Thank you for the heads-up.

Img_0391

almost 3 years ago deanna1001

This is beautiful! I'm going to try it with my starter rather than yeast. I'll post back about results. Thanks! Maybe I'll have this with the meatballs I'm testing - for a double sage and walnut fix!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I'd love to know how it works with your starter! Those meatballs sound heavenly. I'm glad you asked the pork question. They look fantastic to try.

Dsc_0008-002

almost 3 years ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

just a quick update. the fontina is great in this, and we've devoured 75% of the loaf so far. so although mine looks nothing like yours, it's a lovely bread, and the second loaf is cooking away. thank you!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Persevere! I'm so glad you like it!

Dsc_0008-002

almost 3 years ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hi c, my dough looks like a very runny batter but i did all the measurements properly. help!!! should i just keep mixing? add some flour? thanks!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh, so sorry I was gone for the afternoon! I hope I'm not too late. Yes, this is a "slack" dough, in that in its initial mixing, it will be soft. A significant portion will want to stick to the bottom of the bowl and some of the sides. But by the time you add the nuts and sage, it should come together well. Still, of there is a bit of a "foot", in other words, dough which wants to stick to the bottom of the bowl, that's ok. That addition moisture will only contribute to the proof and rise of you bread. Whew! I hope I got to you in time. That'll teach me to go to a birthday party. Let me know if there's anything else I can help you with here!

3-bizcard

almost 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you I want to learn more about the science of bread making, more than just the yeast and flour I really want to try to understand why certain techniques work on one recipe but not on the other. You explained that very well, I am going to try making this one also. I have to go back and look at all of your recipes. My next goal is to tackle whole wheat/whole grain. I want to make something similar to the Italian boule, soft on the inside with nice crust like it has. Thanks so much.

Dsc_0008-002

almost 3 years ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

thank you so much for this helpful response, c. i hope you had a great time at the party. i added nearly 3/4 c more flour (mix of bread/AP/whole wheat) and finally just through it in a bread pan. :) during proof and cooking, it rose quite well. the flavor is lovely!! could it be a difference in our bread flours? it came together in a sense but i could never have kneaded it by hand or cooked it on a stone. hmm. thank you again!!

3-bizcard

almost 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Just wondering why there is no autolyse step for this bread. Is it only done on certain types of bread?

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

That's a wonderful question, sdb, and one I sort of alluded to for em above. This is a "slack" dough, meaning that it is soft. When you turn off the mixer at the end of the kneading period, the dough should "sigh" back from the hook. It's hard to windowpane slack doughs. It doesn't bother me that slack doughs have a "foot." That means that no matter how long you knead them, there seems always to be a portion stuck to the bottom (not the sides) of the bowl. The foot tells you that this is a dough with a higher hydration rate. If you add enough flour to erase the foot, you've turned it into a conventional American type dough. The higher hydration rate yields the fantastic Italian Boule that you baked off today. Does that help you? Great question, and thank you for asking. This is something we'll talk about a lot this summer.

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I've entered and answer here; hopefully it will post soon.

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

OK, here it is.

Massimo's_deck_reflection_10_27_13

almost 3 years ago lapadia

Love it!

Massimo's_deck_reflection_10_27_13

almost 3 years ago lapadia

I've been making bread this week, too. Just seemed like a fun way to start out 2012! Happy New Year :0

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

It does feel good, doesn't it. Thank you, lapadia!

Dsc_0008-002

almost 3 years ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

This looks wonderful!!!! If you're a bread novice, is it pretty doable?

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Absolutely! It's genuinely foolproof. I'd love to know if you try it.

Dsc_0008-002

almost 3 years ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

i'm starting now!!

Monkeys

almost 3 years ago monkeymom

Amazing! Can't wait to try it. Have you done a wild yeast version ever? I just got my new starter going and am anxious to try it out.

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I haven't yet, but what a great idea. Thanks!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I haven't yet, but what a great idea. Thanks!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I haven't yet, but what a great idea. Thanks!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I haven't yet, but what a great idea. Thanks!

Gator_cake

almost 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Another gorgeous loaf! You are the bread queen.

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

You're too sweet. Hmmmm........a crown-shaped loaf.

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

For Mardi Gras!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

For Mardi Gras!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

For Mardi Gras!

Cakes

almost 3 years ago Bevi

This is to die for. What a masterpiece!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Seriously, Bevi, if not a blistered tongue, I'd have eaten the entire loaf. Thank you so much.

Mrs._larkin_370

almost 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

it's gorgeous!! Don't forget to enter it into the contest! Go back to edit page, then at bottom of screen select the walnut/sage contest. :)

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thanks, mrsl. I thought I had, but I'll do it again. A fresh one just came out of the oven. It's totally worth blistering my tongue with the walnuts ; )

3-bizcard

almost 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

OMG!!! speechless.Amazing!!!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

On its second proofing. Film before 11.

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

In the oven.....

3-bizcard

almost 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Holy Cow a thing of beauty. Love this recipe, you have to enter it in the contest. I will put off my diet another few days to eat this.

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Just out of the oven, sdb, and hopefully finished photos have posted by now. I sliced enough for photos and tasted one. Letting discretion be the bettor part, gave the rest to a neighbor before I could eat the whole thing in one sitting, thereby ruining my ability eat anything else for days.

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Yup, the last photos posted.

Mrs._larkin_370

almost 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

so beautiful. love the crisp bits of cheese on the crust. yum!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

It was delicious. It took every bit of will power to let it go.

3-bizcard

almost 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thats exactly what i am afraid of but I'm going to make it anyway. My neighbors will love it if I can let it go.

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

; )