This Easy Cheesy Italian Bread is loaded with your favorite cheesy blend, garlic, basil, and roasted tomatoes. It comes together quickly and is sure to complement your next meal.
This post is sponsored by Silpat® – the makers of the original non-stick baking mat!. All opinions and photos are my own. Working with brands I love lets me share great products with you while helping to keep the lights on.
Is there really anything better than a hot buttery slice of freshly baked yeast bread?
I’m a bread-eater, y’all. Through and through. From the time I was a kid I’d totally rather have an extra helping of bread than a brownie. (I will also take the brownie.)
Bread BAKING is at the top of my list in terms of things I just really love to do in the kitchen. Yeasted Croque Monsieur Rolls and from-scratch Apple Biscuits with Honey Butter Glaze. Homemade Brioche Buns and this Classic Crusty Herbed Dinner Loaf. I get as much joy out of the bread-baking process as I do from eating the finished results.
There are a few things in the kitchen that can make bread-baking simple, or can at least help simplify some of the logistics. A stand mixer can be pretty handy (and will definitely help you whip up this Easy Cheesy Italian Bread super fast), but there’s a lot to be said for the actual kneading process, so expensive stand mixers are not a requirement.
A good, sturdy bowl, a trusted silicone spatula, and a canister that lets you reach in and grab flour with ease are all tools that make your bread life easier.
Silpain non-stick properties are effective in freezing, proofing and baking for all dough types. So it doesn’t matter if you are making Easy Cheesy Italian Bread Stuffed Spinach Bread or Giant Cinnamon Rolls. This silicone-coated fiberglass mat has got you covered.
The fiberglass works its own magic because it gives you maximum heat transfer during baking. The perforated mesh helps to give that perfect crusty finish. Basically Silpain does all the good and important bread things.
I used my Silpain for this Easy Cheesy Italian Loaf just to show you how perfectly pretty the results can be. Just the right bite and texture and ALL THE CHEESE.
Bonus: the cheese also DOES NOT stick to the Silpain. So you can overload your Easy Cheesy Italian Bread to your heart’s content.
This recipe is the best kind — dump, mix, and go. You can really go with any kind of cheese that your heart desires, but I went cheddar blend in 2 of my 3 recipe tests and it was a win. The fresh basil, minced garlic, and sun dried tomatoes are all additions that load this bread with flavor (and color!).
The perfect crust that the Silpain yields will NOT disappoint.
—Hilarious Story Interlude— I made this recipe to share with you (and Silpat®!) and then had to travel for work. I had grand plans of working on the plane and then I left my camera card on some random table in the airport. In the throes of panic I messaged Nicole at Or Whatever You Do from the plane on my 5 1/2 hour flight, to tell her that I am a complete idiot. I mean really. WHO DOES THAT?!
Anyway, Nicole is awesome and she actually made this recipe and sent me a whole other set of gorgeous photos to help save me from my scatter brain. Silpat® granted me an extension because they are amazing (clearly) and so I had time to reshoot all the photos you see here. All of this is to say though, that this recipe has been tested by not one but TWO food bloggers and it comes together super quick. And if you are looking for more delicious things to make with your new Silpain baking mat, you should absolutely try Nicole’s recipe for Roasted Garlic Twisty Bread.
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1¼ teaspoons salt
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup warm milk (see note)
- ⅓ cup warm water (see note)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ¾ cup shredded cheese
- ½ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes or your own oven-roasted tomatoes
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh basil
- Combine the flour, instant yeast, salt, egg, milk, water, and olive oil in the bowl of your stand mixer and mix using the dough hook attachment for 4-5 minutes, or until the dough is very smooth and soft. You can also mix this and knead by hand. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula as needed; the dough will be slightly tacky.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let it rise for 45 to 60 minutes, or until it's doubled in size.
- While the dough is rising, drain the oil from the sun dried tomatoes and pat them dry (or roast your own). Cut the tomatoes into small bits.
- Line a baking sheet with your Silpain liner. (Pro Tip - a perforated baking sheet like a pizza pan can give even crispier crust results!). Push down the risen dough. Flatten and pat it out into a 22" x 8½" rectangle. Spread with the cheese, tomatoes, garlic, and basil.
- Starting with one long edge, roll the dough into a log the long way. Pinch the edges to seal. Place the dough seam-side down on the Silpain liner.
- Using kitchen shears, start ½" from one end and cut the log lengthwise down the center about 1" deep, to within ½" of the other end. Form the log into an "S" shape. Tuck both ends under the center of the "S" to form a "figure 8". Pinch the ends together to seal.
- Cover and let the bread rise a 2nd time until it has doubled in size. (About 45 mins). Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Uncover and bake for 35 - 40 mins. Check the bread after 20 minutes and if it looks like it’s getting too dark tent it with foil for the remaining bake time.
- You can cool the finished loaf on a wire rack. It’s amazing served warm and makes the BEST buttery toast.
This recipe is based on the Pane Bianco recipe at King Arthur Flour.