because what is life without good food?

French Bread with Gruyere Cheese and Fresh Basil

French Bread with Gruyere Cheese and Fresh Basil

This beautiful part-whole-wheat bread has a soft texture, with a subtle flavor hint of cheese, basil, and sesame.

French Bread with Gruyere Cheese and Fresh Basil
Adapted from Taste and Tell who got it from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, who got it from The Sister’s Cafe

Makes 1 beautiful long loaf

Dough ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
For the “filling”:
  • About 1/2 cup finely shredded gruyere cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped fine
For the top of the loaf:
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • Sesame seeds and coarse sea salt (for sprinkling on top, optional)

Put all the dough ingredients into a bread machine and set it on the dough setting. Once the dough is ready, roll the dough out on a clean floured surface to a large rectangle roughly about 9 x 13 inches in size. Sprinkle the bread with the cheese and basil. I wanted a very subtle flavor, so I didn’t use much cheese or basil … you could definitely add more cheese and/or herbs if you like.

French Bread with Gruyere Cheese and Fresh Basil

Roll the loaf lengthwise and tuck under the ends.

French Bread with Gruyere Cheese and Fresh Basil

Arrange the loaf on a long flat pan with the seam side down, spray with cooking spray, then cover and let rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes or so.

Brush the loaf with egg white and dust with sesame seeds and sea salt (if desired).

Bake at 375 degrees for about 25 – 30 minutes or until the bread is a rich golden brown color. Spray with cooking spray immediately, then let the bread sit for 5 – 10 minutes after baking before cutting.

French Bread with Gruyere Cheese and Fresh Basil

If you don’t happen to have a bread machine, see Taste and Tell’s blog for traditional instructions. In absence of a mixer, try this:

Use warm water. Dissolve sugar and yeast in the warm (lukewarm, not hot) water. Let this mixture sit for a few minutes until it bubbles. Then add salt, oil and 3 cups of flour and beat well until it is fully mixed. Add in more flour until the dough sticks together well and makes an elastic ball of dough. Turn out on a floured surface and knead the dough by hand for a few minutes.

Cover the dough and leave the dough to rest for 10 minutes, then punch it down by kneading it a couple rounds. Allow to rest another 10-20 minutes. Then turn dough onto a floured surface an with a rolling pin, roll into a 9×13 rectangle. Roll dough up, starting from long edge of loaf to seal. Arrange seam side down on large baking sheet that’s been sprinkled with corn meal or sprayed with cooking spray. Spray the top of the loaf with cooking spray. Cover lightly; allow to rise about 45 minutes. Brush entire surface with egg wash (one egg beaten slightly with 1 Tbsp of water). If desired, sprinkle with sesame seeds and coarse sea salt. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes at 375 degrees.

This recipe was shared on Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Wonka Wednesdays, Full Plate Thursdays, Tastetastic Thursdays, and Katherine Martinelli’s Bread Bloghop.

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16 responses

  1. Oooh, I love your version! It sounds amazing!!

    December 27, 2011 at 5:42 pm

  2. Ann, that looks so good. I will have to give this a try.

    December 27, 2011 at 5:42 pm

  3. wow this looks amazing fresh bread is heavenly

    December 27, 2011 at 10:45 pm

  4. This looks amazing Ann

    December 28, 2011 at 2:07 pm

  5. Wow, looks awesome!

    December 29, 2011 at 11:18 am

  6. So excited to have discovered your website. Besides teaching and writing Zen Mama, cooking is also my passion. Can’t wait to try making this bread!

    December 30, 2011 at 9:34 am

  7. I can’t wait to make this great recipe. What a great combination with the Gruyere Cheese and Fresh Basil, I am drooling! Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday. Happy New Year to you and your family and Abundant Blessings in 2012!
    Miz Helen

    December 31, 2011 at 11:23 am

  8. I always make my french bread with fresh parsley and flax seed meal. Last time I used my french bread to make stuffing for christmas. it was delicious! next time I make it I’m going to use your recipe. thank you for sharing it!

    January 4, 2012 at 12:58 am

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  14. Sounds like a nice bread with soup for saturday!!

    October 5, 2012 at 8:26 am

    • Ann

      It’s perfect with soup! :)

      October 5, 2012 at 8:38 am

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