This simple asiago bread is ready in just a few hours! Easy asiago cheese bread baked in a Dutch Oven for a crispy crust and chewy interior.
STEP ASIDE, plain ol’ easy crusty bread. There’s a new game in town.
Its name is “more bread.”
And it’s covered in asiago cheese.
(but also jk easy crusty bread you know I can’t live without you).
(but ALSO also, this asiago cheese bread is REALLY, REALLY GOOD).
I’ve been testing variations on my classic weeknight bread for a few months now, and this asiago bread recipe almost IMMEDIATELY shot up to the top of the “favorites” list.
If you’ve made my Dutch Oven bread before, you’ll recognize the technique, but we’re playing up the flavor here by adding a dash of fresh ground pepper and a boatload (<— actual measurement. sort of) of asiago cheese.
This bread packs a punch (grilled cheese sandwiches with this cheese bread? They are NEXT. LEVEL) but is still ready in just over two hours. (No waiting for anything to rise overnight, and no excessive kneading necessary, because I have zero patience for any of that)
Here’s a quick asiago bread baking timeline for ya:
- Mix the dough – 15 mins.
- Let it rise – 1 hour
- Shape the loaf – 5 mins.
- Rise again – 30 mins.
- Bake – 40-50 mins.
- Attempt to let the bread cool before slathering it with butter and shoving it into your facehole – 20 minutes recommended, .00003 seconds actual
This is a slacker (wetter) dough than you might be used to, but that’s what makes it so light and chewy! As with any recipe, though, don’t be afraid to trust your instincts – sometimes you need to adjust the amount of flour or a rise time to compensate for different variables in your kitchen. These photos should give you a general idea of what you’re looking for (and there’s also a helpful technique video here!)
This asiago bread is pretty forgiving, so don’t be afraid to mix it up and try some other flavors! I love adding herbs, roasted garlic, olives, or sun-dried tomatoes to the mix. And while I love using my Dutch Oven for this (hip hooray for a nice crispy crust!) you could also totally shape this bread into baguettes or bread bowls. (Side note: an asiago bread bowl? YES, PLEASE).
Easy Crusty Asiago Bread
This simple asiago cheese bread is ready in just a few hours! No-knead asiago bread loaf baked in a Dutch Oven for a crispy crust and chewy interior.
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Cook Time: 40 min
- Total Time: 2.5 hours
- Yield: Makes 1 loaf (about 8-12 slices, depending on how thick you cut it)
- 2.25 tsp. active dry yeast
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1.25 cups warm water (about 100 degrees F)
- 1.5 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 cup shredded Asiago cheese, divided (you’ll save some for topping the bread)
- 2.5 cups All-Purpose Flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
MIX THE DOUGH & FIRST RISE (1 HOUR):
- Combine yeast, sugar, and warm water in a large mixing bowl.
- Let the yeast proof for about 5 minutes, until the mixture looks nice and foamy.
- Add kosher salt to bowl.
- Add 3/4 cup of the asiago cheese to the bowl – save the extra 1/4 cup of cheese for topping the bread later!
- Add flour to bowl a bit at a time and stir gently with your hand or a sturdy spatula until all flour is incorporated and dough has come together and pulled away from the sides of the bowl. The dough won’t be completely smooth and may even look slightly shaggy – that’s ok!
- Lightly flour all sides of your dough (don’t mix the flour in – it’s just to keep the dough from sticking!) and turn it over inside the mixing bowl to coat with flour on all sides. Cover with a tea towel and let rise on the counter for about 1 hour, until dough has doubled in size.
SHAPE THE DOUGH & FINAL RISE (30 MIN):
- When dough has doubled in size, lightly flour a large cutting board.
- Tip the dough out of the bowl and onto the cutting board. DON’T PUNCH THE DOUGH DOWN – you want to keep all those nice air bubbles intact so you have an airy, delicious loaf of bread. (Tip: If the dough is sticking to the bowl a little bit, just wet your hand with a bit of water and gently separate the dough from the bowl to get it all out).
- Sprinkle a bit of flour across the top of the dough, then begin shaping it into a round loaf. I like to pull each corner of the dough in towards the center (like I’m folding an envelope) a few times, then flip the dough over and tap it into a nice round loaf. (Click here for a video tutorial on this technique!)
- Flour a proofing basket or a small mixing bowl and place your loaf into it seam-side down. Cover with a tea towel and let rise another 30 minutes or so, until not quite doubled in size.
HEAT THE OVEN:
- While bread does its final rise, place an empty dutch oven (with the lid on) in your oven and heat to 460 degrees F.
- When the oven is hot, you’re ready to go! Use oven mitts to pull the dutch oven out and remove the lid.
- Tip your bread dough gently out of the proofing basket back onto your floured cutting board. The seam side should face up this time – that’s what gives it a nice crackly look on top! If you’d like, you can tip the bread onto a piece of parchment paper to help you lift it in and out of the pot easily.
- Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of asiago cheese over the top of the bread.
- VERY CAREFULLY (without burning yourself!) lift the bread loaf and place it – seam side UP, this time – into the hot dutch oven.
- Put your oven mitts back on, put the dutch oven lid back on the pot, and slide the whole thing back into the centermost rack of your hot oven.
- Cook bread for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, remove the lid from your dutch oven. The bread should be crusty and very lightly browned.
- Continue cooking the bread, uncovered, for 10-20 minutes more until the bread has deepened in color and you have a beautiful brown crust.
- When bread is done, use oven mitts to pull the pot out of your oven.
- Use a long spatula to lift the bread out of the dutch oven and onto a cooling rack.
- Let cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting into it.
- Slice, slather with butter, and enjoy!
I have two Le Creuset Dutch Ovens (from two different decades) each with the plastic knob, and I have not personally had a problem at this 460 degree F temperature (although some people have reported their plastic knobs melting at high temperatures). If you’re worried about the knob on your Le Creuset melting, you can replace it with one of their metal ones for relatively cheap! As always, please check the care instructions on your equipment and use your own best judgment.
You may not need all of the flour here, or you may need a little more. This is a fairly slack (wet) bread dough, and you may also need to adjust the amount of flour based on your measuring technique, the humidity in your kitchen, or a variety of other factors. Trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to adjust as you go!
You can use pretty much any size of Dutch oven (or French oven, as Le Creuset calls them) for this bread – anything in the neighborhood of a 5- or 6-quart size will work.
If your kitchen is cold, you may need to extend the rising/proofing time by a few minutes.
This dough isn’t as smooth as you might be used to with my Easy Crusty French Bread because of the cheese mixed in, so don’t worry if it feels a tiny bit different!
Use honey in place of sugar if you prefer.
Adjust the amount of asiago cheese or black pepper depending on your preferences!
This is a pretty forgiving bread recipe and tastes great with other mix-in additions as well: sun-dried tomatoes, olives, rosemary, roasted garlic, chopped herbs, etc.
Mix this dough by hand or use a stand mixer – it tastes good either way!