Anne's Almost Famous Cheese Bread

Makes 2 Loaves

This isn't your everyday run-of-the-mill cheese bread. There's a tunnel of savory cheese right through the center of this bread. It's excellent with spaghetti and is so hearty it can be eaten all alone.

5 1/2- 6 c flour

2 pkgs dry yeast

2 t salt

1 t sugar

2 c warm water (110°-120°--or 1 c warm milk and 1 c water)

Add yeast to water and dissolve. Add sugar and about 1 c flour and mix well. Let this stand in a warm area until it "sponges" or puffs up. Add salt and remaining flour, a cup at a time, until the dough forms a ball. Knead until smooth and elastic about 6-8 minutes. Cover with a tablespoon of oil and turn to coat. Let rise, covered, in a warm area until doubled in size, about 1 to 1/2 hours or less if you use rapid rise yeast.

In the meantime make the filling:

4 c shredded cheese (I usually use mozzarella and cheddar mixed although the first time I made this I used a mixture off goat's milk Gruyere and cheddar)

2 eggs

1 t parsley

1/2 t each basil, oregano, and garlic-powdered or fresh minced, and minced onion (I use Mrs Dash Garlic and Herb, about a teaspoon, and that covers all of this)

1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese

The cheeses, seasonings and eggs ready to mix:

Mix this all together well.

When dough has risen double, punch down and separate into 2 parts.

I do the forming in one of 3 ways.

1) Roll dough into a rectangle about 12 x 15 inches and spread half of the filling down the center. Fold up short ends and roll from long side and pinch closed. Bake on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

2) Roll dough into a circle, about 12 inches in diameter. Spread half the filling to within an inch of the edge and fold over towards center, keeping the circular shape. Turn over and bake on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

3) Shape as above (circle) and place in a lightly greased round casserole or souffle dish and bake as directed.

Once the dough is shaped, set it to rise for a second time, until double in bulk, before baking.

Bake at 400° for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Let cool for at least half an hour or the cheese will drip right out when you cut it!