I used to love Subway until the bread got progressively worse. That’s a shame because their Italian Herbs and Cheese Bread was definitely good back in the day. So needless to say, I don’t go their much unless there is no other option for sandwiches. But I still do miss that herby bread that was baked with a generous layer of cheese. Since I am a professional bread maker now (just kidding), I decided it was time to stop missing the good old days of yummy Subway bread and just make my own. I had all the ingredients necessary to make a good Italian-inspired bread and there was no one stopping me from filling my home with the aroma of freshly baked bread, just myself.
As I shaped the individual loaves of bread, I couldn’t help but smile at the Italian herbs that were freckled throughout the dough and the swirl of garlic powder that told me, “Yes, I am going to taste great.” And mostly because I am an amateur bread baker, the excitement of peeking under the towel to see if the bread rose anymore, literally every five minutes, was exhilarating. Topped with some nicely aged cheese, my version of Italian Herbs and Cheese Bread baked to perfection. A yummy loaf of bread indeed, and I am giving myself a pat on the back for another loaf of bread baked sans the help of modern technology.
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (100 - 110 degrees F)
- 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 3 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1 tbsp cornmeal
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup parmigiano reggiano, or any type of hard cheese
- In a mixing bowl, combine the water and yeast and allow to sit for 10 minutes to dissolve. Add the sugar, salt, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and flour; attach the dough hook and knead for 10 minutes on low to medium speed.
- Turn the dough out onto your work surface and cut the dough into 4 equal parts. Shape each one into a cube and roll out into a 4"x5" rectangle. Starting with the long edge, roll each piece of dough jelly-roll style and pinch the seam to seal, including the ends that will need to be slightly folded under.
- Place each log of dough seam-side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet that has been sprinkled with cornmeal; there should be at least 4 inches between each log of dough. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise for 40 minutes in a warm place (the dough should double in size).
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and place a rack in the lowest part of the oven. Fill a baking pan with 4 cups of water and place on the bottom (lowest) rack.
- Uncover the dough, brush with melted butter, use a knife to cut shallow slices in the tops of each one and sprinkle with parmigiano reggiano. Bake in the middle rack (over the water-filled pan) for 20-25 minutes, until the bread is golden brown. Transfer the bread to a metal rack to cool.