During the summer between my sophomore and junior year of high school, I worked at the Great Harvest Bread Company by my house. For the first couple of weeks it was really fun.

Unfortunately for me, sales in the northwest Houston area were a little slow that summer. Even more unfortunately, a brand new Costco had just opened, and my boss decided he was going to try to boost sales by sampling and selling bread at Costco. But who would hand out the samples? Yes, that’s right. Me.

Imagine the most humiliated you’ve ever been in your life. Then add a hair net. (Because if you’re going to hand out samples at Costo, it’s required. If you ever see someone without one, find a supervisor. They will be in BIG trouble. Not that I ever tried to sidestep the system…)

Needless to say, it didn’t take me long to figure something out: the sooner the sample loaves were gone, the sooner I could go home. On particularly slow days, I liked to help my odds. Especially when we were sampling the Cheddar Garlic Bread – that bread was a glimmer of light in my day. (Sidenote: it was also the 10 pounds I had to work off during drill team camp at the end of the summer.)

Soft white bread full of a cheddar cheese swirl and flavored with subtle hints of garlic…heaven. I’ve never had bread that quite lived up to it…until now. The flavors are a match made in heaven and it’s the perfect savory complement to any main dish begging for bread.

My mom served it with meatloaf the first time we had it, and as the base for some rather unsophisticated meatloaf sandwiches the second time around. Like us, I predict you will have no trouble devouring every last crumb!

Gather Up:
3 cups bread flour
1 packet instant yeast
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon organic garlic salt
1 ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

In an electric mixing bowl combine 2 cups flour and the yeast.

In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the milk, butter, sugar and garlic salt. Heat until the butter is melted and the temperature of the mixture is between 120 – 130 degrees.

Add the milk mixture to the mixing bowl and beat until combined. Slowly add as much of the remaining 1 cup of flour as is needed to form a dough that comes together and isn’t sticky.

Add 1 ¼ cup of cheddar cheese and combine.

With the dough hook, knead for 5 – 8 minutes until dough is smooth.

Remove from the mixer, cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

Shape dough into an oval loaf and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cover and place in a warm draft-free spot and let rise for 1 – 1 ½ hours until not quite doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup cheddar cheese.

Bake 25 – 30 minutes until golden and hollow sounding. Cool on wire rack.

Adapted from Cooking During Stolen Moments.