1 cup milk
½ cup butter softened to room temperature
1 ½ teaspoons salt
¼ cup sugar
6 oz. extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups)
4 cups flour
4 oz. extra sharp cheddar cheese, cut into ½ inch dice (1 ½ cups or a bit more)
Melted butter for brushing
For yeast sponge:
1 (¼ oz) package dry yeast
¼ cup water, warmed to 115°F
1 teaspoon sugar
Makes 2 loaves
1. To make the dough: Scald milk. Whisk in butter to melt. Add salt and sugar and mix well. Let cool to room temperature.
2. To make the sponge: Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar. Let stand uncovered in a warm place to proof, about 10 minutes.
3. Combine milk-butter mixture, proofed yeast, eggs, and shredded cheese in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
4. Add 2 cups of the flour and mix well. Add the remaining 2 cups flour and beat to make a soft dough.
5. Coat a medium bowl with butter or vegetable spray. Place dough in greased bowl. Coat a piece of plastic wrap with vegetable spray ( to prevent sticking) and place it loosely over dough. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
6. Coat the bottom and sides of two 9 inch by 5 inch by 3 inch loaf pans with vegetable spray. Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide dough in half. Pat or roll one half gently to an 9 inch by 12 inch rectangle.
7. Scatter half of the dice cheddar cheese over dough square. Fold in thirds to form a loaf. Place seam side down in prepared pan. Repeat to make the second loaf. Allow to rise in a warm place until double in size, 1 to ½ hours.
8. Place the oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
9. Brush the loaves with melted butter, for a darker crust. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Remove pans from oven. Turn out of pans onto a rack to cool. Store wrapped in wax paper at room temperature.