I just spent the last five minutes looking at Rihanna’s Instagram feed.
I just… I dunno. It’s been that kind of week.
I don’t know about you, but I like to maintain a certain level of life pace. One social event a day? Cool. Three social events a day? I start looking for my hermit box. One bad phone call a week? I’ll take it; that’s real life. Three bad phone calls in a week? Hand me an ice cream sandwich or five, please. As you can guess, this last week was not so kind to my preferred life pace.
It hasn’t been all bad, though. I mean, The Bachelorette started last week (and I get to hang out with the Bluths again), so that’s fun. It’s summer, so there’s that. Oh, and I made stuffed cheesy bread. So… yeah. Not so bad after all.
As long as we agree to forget about the Rihanna thing.
In the interest of moving on, let’s talk about cheese and bread: Two of my favorite things. What you’ve got here is a typical yeast dough-like situation, which turns into a cheese-topped dough situation, which turns into a cheese-STUFFED dough situation, which turns into breadsticks and then, magic. In so many words, anyway.
Be forewarned: This recipe makes two loaves of breadsticks which, at the time, might seem like plenty. But once you get even a remote whiff of the gooey, melty, cheesy deliciousness going on in the oven, you just might start looking at them like they’re actually really small. Like, totally one serving per loaf small. And then you’ll say to yourself, “But I just ate lunch,” but then you’ll decide that your lunch was actually not all that great and kind of needs a do-over, and oh look, fresh-baked stuffed cheesy bread just came out of the oven and you can’t just let that go to waste, now can you? And thus, second lunch is born.
In other news, can someone suggest to me another hobby besides looking at celebrity Instagram feeds? Kthanksbye.
Stuffed Cheesy Bread
Adapted from The Food Network
Yields: 2 loaves (8 breadsticks each)
For the dough —
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
3/4 cup warm water (about 110 degrees F)
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cornmeal
For the filling/topping —
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and water. Sprinkle top with yeast and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in vegetable oil.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Make a well in the center and add yeast mixture; stir to combine. Using dough hook, knead dough on medium speed until smooth and elastic, about 3 minutes (OR, knead by hand on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes). Shape dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly greased bowl; turn to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour to 1 hour, 30 minutes.
When dough is risen, heat oven to 450 degrees F. Place an inverted baking sheet on the middle rack. Line a second baking sheet with parchment paper; sprinkle with cornmeal. In a medium bowl, toss together cheeses, garlic powder, salt and parsley flakes. Divide dough in half; press each piece on the cornmeal-covered parchment paper into an 8-inch square. Top one side of each square with 1/2 cup (for each) of the cheese mixture. Fold over and press edges lightly to seal. Use a sharp knife to slice dough into 8 1-inch strips, stopping just before the folded edge. Sprinkle evenly with remaining cheese mixture.
Carefully slide dough on parchment paper on top of inverted baking sheet in oven. Bake until golden brown and bubbling, about 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before pulling apart into breadsticks.