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Italian Bread with Cheese | Pane Bianco

This homemade Pane Bianco Bread looks soooo hard, but it is actually really simple. This easy and forgiving Italian bread with cheese recipe is loaded with sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and herbs.

Pane Bianco

Italian Bread with Cheese

Pane Bianco, an Italian Cheese Bread, marries the comforting warmth of homemade bread with the rich flavors of cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and basil. This savory bread twist is a beautiful presentation and a delicious combination of ingredients. Its unique “S” shape, not only eye-catching but functional, allows for even distribution of the flavorful filling throughout the bread. Perfect for sharing, this recipe transforms simple ingredients into an impressive loaf that’s as enjoyable to make as it is to eat.

This bread is SO flavorful, and I can’t think of any bread I’d rather have warm out of the oven and slathered with some kind of amazing compound butter. Or just regular butter, really. Bring.All.The.Butter and I’ll bring the fresh bread, okay?

Why you’ll love it!

  • Versatile Serving Options: Works great as a side dish, appetizer, or standalone snack.
  • Rich and Aromatic Flavors: The combination of cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and basil creates a mouthwatering aroma and taste.
  • Impressive Presentation: Its unique shape and visible layers of filling make it a standout at any table.
  • Comforting Homemade Bread: There’s something incredibly satisfying about baking your own bread, especially with such a flavorful twist.
Pane Bianco Cheese-Stuffed Italian Bread

Italian Cheese Bread shopping list

Wondering if you have to hit the store? Here’s the list of items you’ll need to make this recipe. For specific amounts, please refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Yeast
  • Milk
  • Water
  • Bread flour
  • Salt
  • Egg
  • Olive oil
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • Garlic
  • Basil

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Pane Bianco Cheese-Stuffed Italian Bread

How to make Italian Cheese Bread

Wondering what you’re getting yourself into when you make this dish? Here’s a quick overview of the process! Make sure you follow the instructions at the recipe card at the bottom of the post while you’re cooking.

  • Proof the Yeast:
    Combine yeast with warm milk and water, and let it sit until bubbly.
  • Knead the Dough:
    Add flour, salt, egg, and olive oil to the yeast mixture, and knead until smooth.
  • First Rise:
    Let the dough rise in an oiled bowl until doubled in size.
  • Add Filling and Shape:
    Flatten dough, spread the filling, roll into a log, then shape into an “S” and let rise again.
  • Bake:
    Bake at 350°F until golden, covering with foil if it browns too quickly.the cream to the soup and enjoy while hot!

Serve with our Chicken Marsala!

Pane Bianco Cheese-Stuffed Italian Bread

Pane Bianco FAQ

Do you need a mixer to make good bread?

NO. Definitely not, but it DOES make the process much easier. I used to make a ton of bread and rolls before I had a mixer, and they turned out amazing. It is time-consuming though.

I’m a big believer that good bread needs a LOT of kneading, so don’t skimp on that side of things if you do decide to go at this with sheer brute force. You are generally going to need about 15 minutes more than you really feel like doing.

Can you make your own sun-dried tomatoes?

Kind of! I totally did that by roasting some fresh tomatoes in the oven, but you won’t get the full sun-dried flavor doing it that way. I recommend buying sundried tomatoes if you really want the full effect.

What else can be added to this bread?

Want to really amp up the Mediterranian flavors in this fresh bread? Add in some chopped olives and feta cheese to the mix.

Are you a fan of oil and vinegar dipping sauces? Whip up some herbed bread dip!

Can you use a different type of cheese?

Of course! Use whatever you have laying around, or use your favorite. Cheese + bread is going to be hard to do in a way that won’t be amazing, so feel free to experiment a bit!

Pane Bianco Cheese-Stuffed Italian Bread
Pane Bianco Cheese-Stuffed Italian Bread

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Pane Bianco
Yield: 8 people

Italian Bread with cheese, garlic, and sun-dried tomato | Pane Bianco

Pane Bianco Cheese-Stuffed Italian Bread

This impressive stuffed Italian loaf is full of bold flavors, and you cannot beat it fresh out of the oven, or sliced for a twist on a classic grilled cheese.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Rise Time 2 hours
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 package yeast
  • 1/2 cup milk, warm
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup fresh chopped basil

Instructions

  1. Mix together your yeast, milk, and water in the bottom of your mixing bowl with the dough hook attached. Mix yeast into liquid, and let proof for 15-20 minutes in a warm place. You should see some bubbles on the top of the liquid after the 20 minutes are up.
  2. Turn the mixer onto low, and add in your flour, 2 teaspoons salt, egg and 3 tablespoons olive oil. You may need a little more or a little less, depending on your specific dough. Knead on medium speed for 5 minutes.
  3. Lightly oil a large rising bowl, and turn out the dough from the mixer into the bowl. Flip the dough over a few times so all sides of it are coated with oil. Cover the dough with a light towel, and let rise until doubled. This should take about an hour.
  4. Combine your sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, basil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the remaining olive oil. Mix together. Set aside.
  5. Lightly oil a large baking sheet.
  6. Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and flatten into a large rectangle.
  7. Spread the sun-dried tomato mixture out onto the dough, and then sprinkle with the cheese.
  8. Roll the dough into a long log, and seal the edges. Place the whole log on your baking sheet.
  9. Here is the tricky part. You want to take a VERY sharp knife or kitchen scissors, and cut a slit about an inch deep down the center of the log. You want to expose some of those layers of filling that you rolled up in the log.
  10. Once it is cut, you just need to twist it into an "S" shape, and fold the ends of the "S" under the loaf, and pinch to seal.
  11. Cover the loaf with your towel and let rise until doubled again. Or about another 45 minutes to an hour. While the dough is rising, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  12. Bake the loaf for 35-45 minutes. If it starts to get too dark on the top, loosely cover it with non-stick foil so that it doesn't get too dark and burn.
  13. Remove from oven and let cool for 15-20 minutes before slicing. 

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 260Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 548mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 9g

Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate. If you are tracking these things for medical purposes please consult an outside, trusted source. Thanks!

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Nicole Johnson

Nicole Johnson, a self-taught expert in grilling and outdoor cooking, launched Or Whatever You Do in 2010. Her blog, renowned for its comprehensive and creative outdoor cooking recipes, has garnered a vast audience of millions. Nicole's hands-on experience and passion for grilling shine through her work. Her husband, Jeremiah Johnson, also plays a pivotal role in recipe development, adding his culinary flair to the mix. Together, they form a dynamic duo, offering a rich and varied outdoor cooking experience to their followers.

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