You can use an 8- or 9-inch cake pan or springform pan to bake the bread. If using a cake pan, line with cut parchment paper to make it easier to remove.
The yeast, cheese and flour ingredients below are given by weight, the preferred measurement for baking. Pull out your trusty scale!
- 18 g fresh yeast — or — 7 g instant yeast
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 tsp sugar
- 5 large eggs
- ½ cup olive oil
- 500 g flour
- 150 g grated Parmesan cheese
- 50 g grated Pecorino Romano
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper or more to taste
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 150 g mild melting cheese such as Asiago, Fontina, Gruyère, or Swiss cheese cut into small cubes
- Let all the ingredients except for the yeast and the milk come to room temperature.
- In a small bowl, mix the yeast and the sugar. If using fresh yeast, make a paste with the yeast and sugar.
- Heat the milk in a small pot on the stove to lukewarm (about 100℉-110℉) and stir into the yeast to dissolve. Leave the mixture for about 10 minutes until it’s bubbly and foamy (this step isn’t strictly necessary for instant yeast but it will make sure it’s still alive and viable).
- In a large mixing bowl, add the eggs and whisk until smooth.
- Add the yeast mixture and olive oil and whisk until combined and emulsified.
- Now switching to a wooden or silicon spoon, add about 1/3 of the flour, Parmesan and Pecorino cheese, salt and pepper and mix into the egg mixture until completely combined.
- Slowly add the remaining flour and mix to combine as completely as you can.
- Scrape out the dough and any remaining bits of flour onto a wooden board and mix with your hands until completely combined. Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes until the dough is smooth.
- Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in a warm area to rise until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours (see note about using your oven as a proofing box).
- Remove the risen dough and place on the wooden board. Add the cubed melting cheese pushing the cheese into the dough.
- Gently form the dough back into a ball and place in the cooking pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in a warm area to rise until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours (again see note about using your oven as a proofing box). Remove the plastic wrap.
- Preheat oven to 350-degrees and then bake the bread until golden brown on top, about 30 minutes. If the bread is browning too quickly, cover with aluminum foil.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the baking pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Serve in wedge slices with a little butter, or just as is!
See Jessica Gavin’s article for using your oven as a makeshift proofing box.