This was one of my sister’s favorite bread recipes.
Dear friends, I have been absent here for a while. Sadly, I lost my beloved sister Jan on the morning of Halloween after a brief and unexpected one-month battle with lung cancer. It still doesn’t seem possible she won’t walk through my door, and my heart is breaking. It takes a lot for me to have no interest in cooking, eating, or writing, but I’ve been a bit lost.
Her favorite yeast bread
I decided to make her favorite bread recipe this week; baking bread has always been a source of comfort for me. I think I may have added a few tears to the dough. Jan got the recipe from our Aunt Jeanette, a lovely yeast bread enriched with cream cheese, butter, and eggs as well. Over the years, I modified the recipe by using half white whole wheat flour from King Arthur and actually like it better this way. She always made it straight up with all purpose flour. If you use the white whole wheat, use around three cups to 2 1/2 of all purpose. With bread baking, it’s never going to be an exact measurement.
Add a different herb if you like
You can also substitute other herbs here, or a mix. It is delightful with chives and chive blossoms in the spring. While you can substitute vegan butter here, the vegan cream cheese simply does not work.
The tears are optional.
Jan’s Parsley Cheese Bread
- About 5 1/2 cups flour
- 2 envelopes instant rise yeast
- 3 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. salt dissolved in 1 tbsp. water
- 8 oz. cream cheese, cut into cubes
- Water as needed, about a cup
- 1 cup parsley, loosely packed
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
In large bowl mix together flour, yeast, and sugar. Set aside. Cut cream cheese in small pieces, place in 2-cup measure; add water to 2-cup level. In saucepan, on medium, heat cheese and water till most of cheese is melted.
Add the warm liquid, parsley, eggs, and butter, all at once to the flour mixture; blend till moistened. Add the salt water.
Knead for 10 minutes, or 7 minutes in the stand mixer, adding a bit more flour if need be.
Turn out on floured board and knead a minute or so, then place in a greased bowl and let rise until doubled.
Turn out dough and divide in half, cover let rest 15 minutes. Fold over on itself a few times to remove any large air bubbles, then place in greased 8-inch loaf pans, let rise again to double.
Bake in preheated 375 degrees for about 45 minutes.
Jan and I about 40 years ago, and myself and her last spring on a little holiday to the Maine Coast to enjoy lobsters.
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