Rosemary Cheese Bread (Dutch Oven)

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This rosemary cheese bread recipe is a chewy with a crisp crust. This simple no-knead recipe is baked in a Dutch oven. A simple mix and an overnight rise are all that is required to prepare this bread for baking. This is one yeast bread you are sure to love time and time again.

Round loaf of Rosemary Cheese Bread on a gray napkin.

I adore yeast bread. I find the kneading to be therapeutic! Plus, the smell of fresh bread baking is just amazing. It’s one of the most pleasurable baking experiences.

This no-knead bread recipe is a great starter bread.

You can find several yeast bread recipes in the archives but some of my favorite are these buttery jam biscuits, slow cooker bread, and rosemary olive beer bread. Today’s Rosemary Cheese Bread recipe is actually adapted from the beer bread.

I swapped out the beer for water, added Gruyere cheese, black pepper, and left out the olives. The resulting recipe is cheesy, tender and delicious. It’s the perfect accompaniment to almost any dinner.

Keep in mind this recipe requires an overnight rise and a second rise just before baking. Be sure to plan ahead to give yourself enough time.

Baking the bread in a Dutch oven will give the exterior a crunchy crust while the inside is moist and tender. The Dutch oven needs to be hot when you put the bread in – don’t skip this step.

Set it in the oven with the lid on and preheat the oven while the dough is on its second rise. This will ensure that you do get a crunchy crust on the outside.

I like the no-knead method for making yeast dough because it’s practically no fail. As long as your yeast is fresh and alive, you will have success.

The fact that you made the bread from scratch is totally satisfying. The smell of it baking and the taste of gooey cheese and the savory rosemary is almost intoxicating.

The result of the double rise and the Dutch oven baking method is a tender, crisp rosemary cheese bread that you and your family are sure to enjoy.


Recipe Snapshot

  • TASTE: Cheesy and herby
  • TEXTURE: Tender on the inside, crispy on the outside
  • EASE: Not difficult, but requires a bit of attention and time
  • TIME: 1 hour 15 minutes plus an overnight rise

What You’ll Need

It always amazes me that simple ingredients like flour and water can combine to make something as delicious and chewy as this rosemary herb bread. Ahhh… science.

Ingredients

  • Bread flour – Bread flour has higher protein content than all purpose flour, which makes more gluten when baking, creating a chewier bread.
  • Salt and pepper – Balances the flavor
  • Active Dry Yeast – Makes the bread rise, creating the magic
  • Lukewarm water – Activates the yeast
  • Gruyere cheese – Provides a nutty, sophisticated flavor.
  • Rosemary – Use fresh rosemary, not dried.
  • Cornmeal – For the crust.

Recommended Tools

  • Dutch oven
Two slices of Rosemary Cheese Bread on a gray napkin.

How to Make Rosemary Cheese Bread

Making bread can seem intimidating, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll make this over and over again. There is no comparison between this bread and store bought.

Be sure to check out the full recipe and ingredient list below

  1. Combine the ingredients. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper, yeast, ¾ cup of the cheese, and rosemary. Stir with a whisk. Slowly pour in the water. Stir with a wooden spoon until well blended and the dough forms into a ball.
  2. First rise. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it set on the counter overnight, 8-24 hours.
  3. Second rise. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. With well-floured hands, flatten the dough into a 9-inch circle, then fold it over onto itself and shape it into a ball. Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl that is smaller than the Dutch oven you plan to bake it in. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and let rise for 2 hours or until doubled in size.
  4. Preheat. Preheat oven to 450. Position the oven rack to the lower third of the oven and set a 4 to 6-quart Dutch oven on the rack to heat.
  5. Bake. Once the dough has risen, remove the Dutch oven from the oven. Sprinkle the bottom of pan with cornmeal. Place the dough inside and sprinkle the top with remaining cornmeal. Put lid on the pan and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and sprinkle bread with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered for an additional 15 -20 minutes. Turn the bread out of the pan and place it on a wire rack to cool completely.

Handy tip:

Make sure to use bread flour when making this recipe. The extra gluten proteins in the flour will help in the no-knead process and create a tender, chewy bread despite the lack of kneading.

A loaf of Rosemary Cheese Bread with two slices cut out.

Tips For Success

  • When mixing the ingredients, remember to place the salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl because salt will kill yeast if it comes in direct contact.
  • Stir in warm water as the last ingredient, after all others are mixed. Use a wooden spoon for this because it’s sturdy and you’ll need a strong stirring utensil. Keep stirring, with a little arm strength, until the dough comes together in a ball. It will be “ready” when it no longer sticks to the side of the bowl.
  • I like the flavor of rosemary with the gruyere cheese, but feel free to use any assortment of herbs that you like.
Angled view of two slices of Rosemary Cheese Bread

Storage & Freezing

Freeze this bread for up to a month in the freezer. If you keep it wrapped in tin foil or plastic wrap on your counter, don’t expect it to last long. Not because it will spoil but because no one will be able to resist.

A loaf of Rosemary Cheese Bread with two slices cut out.

Rosemary Cheese Bread

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Nothing is better than flavorful Rosemary Cheese Bread baked in a Dutch oven. This simple no-knead recipe requires very little effort. Mix the dough the night before you plan to bake the bread and let it sit on the countertop overnight. Shape it and let it rise for two hours then bake it in a piping hot Dutch oven. This is one yeast bread you are sure to love time and time again.

Ingredients

  • 3 ½ cups (455 g) bread flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons Active Dry Yeast, 1 packet
  • 1 cup (132 g) Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped rosemary
  • 12 ounces (354 ml) lukewarm water
  • ½ cup (80 g) cornmeal

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper, yeast, ¾ cup of the cheese, and rosemary. Stir with a whisk. Slowly pour in the water. Stir with a wooden spoon until well blended and the dough forms into a ball.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it set on the counter overnight, 8-24 hours.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. With well-floured hands, flatten the dough into a 9-inch circle, then fold it over onto itself and shape it into a ball. Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl that is smaller than the Dutch oven you plan to bake it in. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and let rise for 2 hours or until doubled in size.
  4. Meanwhile, position the oven rack to the lower third of the oven and set a 4 to 6-quart Dutch oven on the rack. Preheat the oven to 450ºF. 
  5. Once the dough has risen, remove the Dutch oven from the oven and remove the lid. Sprinkle the bottom of the Dutch oven generously with cornmeal. Carefully place the dough inside and sprinkle the top with remaining cornmeal. Place the lid on the Dutch oven and return it to the oven.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid from the Dutch oven and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered for an additional 15 -20 minutes. Turn the bread out of the Dutch oven and place it on a wire rack to cool completely.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 257

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the values shown are just an estimate.

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13 Comments

  1. Don’t understand how to keep salt & yeast from coming in contact with each other if you are combining all the ingredients in bowl together. Can you give me any tips so the salt does not kill the yeast? Thank you!

    1. It’s fine once it’s all mixed in. You just don’t want to pour the salt and yeast directly on top of each other.

  2. What other cheese can be used? Swiss, Italian Blend (both) shaved?

    1. You could use any cheese you prefer but I can’t guarantee how the bread will turn out because I’ve only tested the recipe with Gruyere cheese. I don’t recommend using shaved cheese. Grated is best for this recipe.

  3. What can you use if you do not have a Dutch oven?

  4. What size dutch oven did you use to bake the bread? I found a similar recipe that said to use a 4 quart oven….unfortunately, I didn’t see that until after I purchased a 75 dollar enameled cast iron dutch oven, so now I’ve ordered a somewhat less expensive 4 quart vessel. I guess the larger pan causes the bread to spread out and you don’t get a taller, more ball shaped loaf? I like the cheese and herb included in your recipe, it’s sure to be more flavorful…..can’t wait to try it!

  5. Hello! I just made this over the weekend and followed the recipe almost exactly as I swapped the super spendy Gruyere cheese for parm reggiano and BOY it was delicious. I’m sure any hard shredded cheese could work, but wanted to share how delicious the parm was baked inside in addition to it being sprinkled on top. I also added about 1/2tsp more Rosemary than called for and it wasn’t too much. Thank you for sharing this recipe – I will definitely make it again and again!

  6. Auntiepatch says:

    Ummmm….does the pepper go in with the salt?

  7. Heather@WillSingForDessert says:

    This sounds divine. Nothing is better than homemade cheesy herby bread. Looks fantastic!