Asiago Herb and Garlic Bread

Time is up on the giveaway.  I will now retreat with my calculator and devise a highly scientific method of picking the winner. (Actually, the winner will be chosen at random.  I thought I should probably mention that!)  I will announce the winner later today, so please come back to see who the lucky winner is!

Everyone needs a go-to recipe.  I mean the kind of recipe you can rely on when you’re hosting unexpected dinner guests in a couple hours and can’t get to the store.  Or the sort of recipe that rescues your hiney when you’ve spent the entire day on one subject with the kids (for my fellow homeschoolers) or running around to five hundred million different places (for everyone) and haven’t spent two minutes thinking about dinner.  I’m talking about the recipe that can be made entirely from pantry staples.  I refer to the chameleon recipe that goes with everything.  I am telling you about (drumroll please…) Asiago Herb and Garlic Bread.

We’ve been doing standardized testing this week for the big boys and lemme tell you, they’ve not been thrilled.  They stress over questions they don’t know even though I’ve told them repeatedly that they are expected to miss things on a standardized test.  I have no idea whatsoever where they got their perfectionist tendencies.  I am so sanguine and never, ever obsessive compulsive over results.*

*I’d like to throw an idea out there for any braniacs or creative types who read my blog.  Could someone PLEASE come up with a ‘Sarcastic Font’ that could be used universally?  And then could you do the work to get it accepted, recognized and widely used?  It would be so much easier than italicizing every other word when I’m trying to force my keyboard to drip sarcasm…  Thank you!

During testing week, the boyos require a little more, er, understanding.  They’re cranky with themselves, crabby with The Evil Genius and me, and absolutely foul-tempered toward each other. I’ve only found two things that ameliorate some of the short fuses; food and one VERY effective threat*.  Both approaches need to be used for either of them to work well. The food has to be served much like Chicago style voting; early and often.  And the threat?  Well, don’t judge me until you’ve walked a mile in my Crocs, but I threaten to make them sit on the couch facing each other while holding hands and singing, “Kumbaya”.  It works like a charm. (Another friend recently informed me that she made her now grown sons hold hands in a circle while reciting, “How blessed it is when brothers live together in unity.”  I’m keeping that one handy for future reference.)

Oh, how the food flowed this week…  And by the time we got to evening before last, the cupboards were showing the strain.  Naturally, I hadn’t planned anything for dinner and I realized this at 3 o’clock.  ACK!

The inspiration for this bread comes from a recipe that I’ve been preparing for years: Cuban Bread (from ‘The Tightwad Gazette: Volume II’, Amy Dacyzyn).  This recipe always appealed to me because it is prepared, rested, baked and ready to stuff in my face in an hour and a half.  It has a simple, honest bread flavor that just happens to be very budget friendly.  And that made it the perfect candidate to accompany a quick, monstrously huge pot of spaghetti last night.  But last night, simple honest bread just wasn’t cutting it for me.  I wanted something spectacular…  And messing with the recipe yielded one of the most delicious breads I’ve ever had.  Ever.


The addition of indecent quantities of Asiago cheese, Italian herbs, and garlic turned humble Cuban Bread into the most gorgeous brown, cheese-crusted and cheese-studded, herbed, garlic bread I’ve ever had the pleasure of tearing apart with my teeth.  We consumed all but five slices of the bread in less than twenty minutes.   It was so good that I dreamed about it.  The next morning I used the remaining slices of bread to make “Toads in a hole” for breakfast.  Then I started another batch of the bread.  It was done and out of the oven just in time to send a loaf home with my kind-hearted and prolific-gardener friend, Deb,  who brought some extra seedlings she had started for our garden.

I don’t want to hear anyone saying, “But I don’t bake bread!”  This bread is so easy to make that it is almost impossible to mess up.  I’m serious.  You can mix it by hand, in a stand mixer or in a food processor.  There’s no preheating the oven or multiple rises to this bread.  It is as easy as it gets.  But, oh, the payoff!

I refuse to tell you how many batches of this bread I’ve made since Monday.  We’ve eaten it plain (if such a loaf can be called plain), buttered and/or as toast.  You’ve never tasted such toast as that made with this bread, I tell you! My backside is evidence of how many slices of this bread I’ve consumed while sitting at the table proctoring tests…


…But tests are now done!  I’m in proud Mama mode with both the kids and this bread. If you’ve just finished up the school year drop me an email or find me on Facebook.  I’m there.  Even if only to freak my kids out a little.  No kids?  Send me a picture of pets, your favorite book or a loaf of freshly baked bread!  I love you hear from you all.

And I’m in the mood for celebrating.  I’m going to whip up another batch of this bread but I’m feeling pretty punchy and I’m not sure that’ll suffice.  Hey!  A giveaway might just do it…  So, to celebrate the end of this round of schooling, the end of testing and the discovery of Asiago Herb and Garlic Bread I’m going to give away a bunch of goodies!

This Calphalon Commercial Hard-Anodized 12″ Everyday Pan with Lid!  This is my favorite pan in my kitchen.  I use it *gasp* everyday!  Were those Calphalon folks clever when the named it or what?  It can’t be beat for versatility and it’s heavy enough to stop an intruder when applied to the intruder’s head.  It’s suitable for stovetop, oven and broiler cooking. I make spaghetti sauce, baked fish, bacon, and all other sorts of things in it.  Since it’s hard-anodized it’s non-reactive and it doesn’t absorb or impart odors or off flavors.


…and since I’m still feeling giddy, I’m also giving away a copy of the book that inspired the heaven-sent bread: The Complete Tightwad Gazette, by Amy Dacyzyn.  This book is the last word in thrifty living.  While no one really expects to adopt EVERY suggestion in the book, there are countless tricks and common sense approaches to cutting the fluff from a budget.  It’s an awfully helpful and  nice resource to have on the shelf.


While I’m at it, I’ll throw in one of my favorite, low-tech kitchen gadgets: The Oxo Pastry Scraper (bench knife).  This little thing separates bread dough, cleans up gummy countertops, helps remove recalcitrant pastry crust or cookie dough from surfaces and whacks a calzone in half in less than two shakes of a hummingbird’s wing.


Want to enter?  Details are after the recipe!

For a photo-free, printer-friendly version of this recipe, click here!

Asiago Herb and Garlic Bread


  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1- 1/2 cups plus 2/3 cup grated Asiago cheese, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons dry yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon dried Italian Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried Rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (adjust up or down according to heat preference)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic (optional)
  • 2 cups hot tap water (around 120-130 degrees)
  • 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided, plus a little for the bowl

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, 1-1/2 cups grated Asiago, yeast, sugar, salt, Italian seasoning, rosemary, red pepper flakes, onion and garlic powder.




(If using a food processor, simply add those dry ingredients to the food processor bowl and pulse 5 times.) Pour in the hot water and stir 100 times (That is equal to 3 minutes with a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.  If using the food processor, drizzle the water in while the machine is running until the dough forms a ball.)

Knead the dough for 8 minutes (If using stand mixer with a dough hook, allow to mix on low for 4 minutes. If using the food processor, allow the ball to spin 20 times.)  Form the dough into a rough ball.


Drizzle some olive oil into a bowl.  I just carry on using the mixing bowl of my stand mixer.  Feel free to dirty another dish, though…


Place dough into the bowl and flip over, so both sides are lightly coated with olive oil.


Cover with a damp tea towel or paper towel.


Allow to rise for 15 minutes.  After 15 minutes, the dough will be puffy.


Punch down dough.


Divide into two equal pieces.  Form the dough into rounds.  To make a nice tight ball,  pull the top of the dough over and down the sides of the wad of dough.  Then, tuck under the excess. Voila!  Tight dough balls!  Place about 6 inches apart on an ungreased, rimmed baking sheet.   Gently pat the dough rounds down so they are relatively flat on top.


Use a sharp knife to slash an ‘x’ about 1/4″ deep over the tops of the loaves.


Drizzle each loaf with about 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.


Then top each loaf with about 1/3 cup additional grated Asiago.  Really pack that cheese on there.  I wouldn’t judge if you decided to go with more like 1/2 a cup…


This is DEFINITELY one time when less is NOT more!  (Go on.  Put more cheese on that dough!)


Place baking sheet in a cold oven over a cake or loaf pan filled with hot tap water.


Set oven to 400°F.  As soon as you turn the oven on, set your timer for 40 minutes.  Begin checking the bread when the timer goes off.  If  it is still light colored, pop it back in the oven. You may need as much as 10 more minutes.If bread is a gorgeous deep golden brown, remove it.  See this loaf?  It’s perfect in every possible way except for one.  That one is that I haven’t eaten it yet.


Remove the bread and serve hot, warm or room temperature.  This is one bread that tastes great any way you slice it!




How to Enter the Contest

  • To enter, just try making the bread and leave me a comment about how it turned out for you.  If you plan on making it, what will the bread accompany? Or if messin’ with recipes is your style, tell me how you made the bread your own.  Or if you hate bread, feel free to share.  Just leave a comment!
  • One entry per person via comments.  However, should you choose to mention this wee contest of mine in your blog, email me or leave a comment with the link and I’ll throw your name in the hat a second time.

Important Bits and Pieces

  • The contest ends 12 noon EST, Monday, June 8, 2009.
  • There will be a maximum of two entries per person.  Righty?
  • My family cannot win these prizes.  I think everyone in my family has these already, anyway!
  • This is a contest sponsored by yours truly.  No corporations or authors were exploited, harmed or otherwise injured in the course of this contest.


  1. says

    This looks so yummy. It reminds me of my favorite bagel, which I no longer eat because of the perennial battle of the bulge 😛

    I feel your pain with the standardized testing. I work with home-schoolers and they are so ready to be done (most of them are finished, but a few have a couple of things left to do). Summer is calling. I think everyone is in need of a break.

    • Rebecca says

      Ginny- THAT’S what I couldn’t remember. I knew I’d had the flavor combo somewhere, but just didn’t have the mental capacity to remember that it was in a bagel! Thank you!

      Jennifer- Testing. Ack. I am so glad you’re almost done! Ty’s finger is on the mend (I think. I can’t bear to look at it today…) And your link is duly noted…

      Anna- You link is also noted (and you made me BLUSH!) Thank you. I can’t wait to hear how the bread goes for you.

      Janel- YES! Use the parmesan. The bread will be delicious with it. A trip to the store just for cheese? Perish the thought (unless it’s a cheese store…) Yay for Craig!

      Julie- Aw shucks. Thank you! I always wonder how many of my Record-Eagle readers read this blog. Hey! If you R-E readers are out there, give a shout! I’ll definitely check out My Healthy Beginning.

      Ranee- We opted for the year round schedule so we could have every Friday free… This is our ‘summer break’ and my kids are thrilled to have 3 weeks off in a row!

      Darlene- Go under! Go under! Go under! (That’s what my sibs and I shouted to egg each other on when swimming… It just seems appropriate with summer looming.) This bread is ta die for. And as for how it compares to Trader Joes? Sadly I cannot say. There is no Trader Joes anywhere near me. Sigh. At least I have Wegman’s.

      Erin- Are you in a May/June term somewhere? Happy almost break!

  2. says

    Since we are STILL in the middle of testing I really do not have time to make bread just yet. Buuuut….Friday is our last day and we are doing nothing this weekend, so I’ll be making this then. I am really enjoying making bread. It is not only relaxing but a great way to get out your frustrations. I will post this on my blog along with a picture of the bread that I have made recently.

    How is Ty’s finger? I know exactly how you feel when it comes to your children’s injuries…and I’m on ambulance!! I become a puddle of goooo when one of them are hurt.

  3. says

    This bread does sound delicious. My kids are wanting me to show them new things to cook and we haven’t yet tried bread. We will give it a go this weekend and I’ll report back.

    Here’s the link to my post.

  4. janel says

    Do you think it would be ok to use grated parmesan (the good kind) instead of asiago? Asiago would require a trip to the store and who wants to do that? :) Craig will be so happy with some decent white bread!

  5. says

    Hello There! This is my new favorite blog. I enjoyed your article in the paper on Sunday – Whoosh/Slam (!). Thank goodness all of us mothers secretly have the same love/hate relationships with out kids. I was visiting from Minnesota and may be sharing your recipies with a few gals in the land of forgotten summer. Thanks!

    Oh, check out My Healthy Beginning magazine. Maybe you could have some of your recipies published there.

  6. says

    How do I find you on facebook? We do school through July, so we can take more breaks during the year, so we still have a little time before we are finished. We are starting to wind down a little, though.

    The bread looks wonderful. I don’t have asiago right now, but I do have parmesan, so I may try it with that. Thank you for the recipe.

  7. Darlene says

    I used to make bread all the time and somehow fell out of it. I’m been sniffing around at bread recipes of late and I’m getting that itch again. Your recipe might be the one to spur me! I love the Asiago Bread from Trader Joe’s… I bet yours is better!

  8. Mandee says

    I’m always looking for a bread to make with spaghetti, the problem is a lot take too long to make once I get home from work. This looks perfect.

  9. Jennifer says

    Well sir. Where to begin.
    I have never made bread before, and have remained timid at the thought, frankly, since my mom used to bake the most yummy, chewy, pull-you-in-from-the-fields-it-smells-so-good bread. To fail is unfathomable. The stakes are high. But THIS recipe! It looks simple enough for me to handle (I’m no beginner, other than bread), and the payoff… Oh geez I’m drooling. How embarrassing. Is it wrong that I want to throw in tiny chunks of dry cured hot salami? What about sun-dried tomatoes and kalamata olives? Bacon chooped up tiny and rosemary? Hell, JUST rosemary and olive oil? LAVENDER FLOWERS. Cheddar and Chipotles. Onion needs to go in there too. Ok, I’m getting carried away, I know. The bread is just going to end up as a vessel for other ingredients, let’s be honest. Ok, and the first loaves? On their way right now, smelling EXACTLY like they should. Drool. You know what I’m going to do with them? So wrong, but I’m going to slice into em from above along the ‘X’, jam some butter in there, and let it melt. MMMMMMMMMMM… Maye the next ones could have a touch of cinnamon with maple butter…
    I think I’m really onto something here!
    Thanks SO MUCH, from myself, and anyone within smell distance!

  10. says

    I’m putting this bread on my to do list. It looks scrumptious. I too wish there was a universal sarcastic font. It would sure solve a lot of problems.

  11. Shelley says

    I love,love,love making bread. This recipe looks delicious! It is on my to try list very soon.
    Unfortunately we’re having a bit of heat wave, and it’s way too hot to be turning on the oven, let alone making bread. So, unfortunately it will have to wait, but hopefully not for too long!

  12. says

    This bread looks divine! I am SO going to make this.

    I’ll make it by the end of the week, post pics, recipe & link ya + your giveaway as soon as I do.

    I’ll zip back by to let you know once that is finished!

    Mine are too young for testing (plus my state doesn’t require any of that so I’m on the fence as to whether to do them or not) so I haven’t yet felt that particular pain.

    Enjoy your summer.

  13. Carmen says

    I haven’t made this yet, but it looks really good. And who says that bread has to accompany anything … except a nice pat or two of real butter, spread while the bread is still warm. Mmmm.

  14. Lauren says

    I will be trying this recipe this weekend, serving it with a roast that I’m making. I think I’ll use it the next day with the leftovers to make sandwiches as well! A bread to suit the whole weekend- thanks for the recipe!

  15. says

    I love bread and I love cheese.

    I will make this this weekend for sure and I am thinking that I will use Parmesan since I have a $25 wedge of it in the fridge right now. I know, I have a problem.

    I’ll let you know how it turns out and I’ll make it with Asiago another time when I have it on hand.


  16. Elaine says

    I think I’ll make this tonight. May I ask since I’m a newbie what the temperature should be when done? Thanks a lot.

  17. says

    I’m so glad that you made this! We have been trying lots of different recipes for asiago bread lately, but haven’t found a good one yet. I want to taste the asiago! We will be eating ours with a red wine spaghetti and meatballs. Classic.

  18. Lisa says

    A quick yeast bread? How great is that?! Definitely going to try this and then all kinds of variations. Could be a meal in itself.

  19. debi says

    My hubby is gonna love this bread! And I would love that pan :) And for anyone who doesn’t have the pastry scraper gadget, you gotta get one!

  20. says

    I just recently started making bread using the Artisan bread in 5 minutes recipe – its a keeper – but I love your ingredients.

    I plan on making this over the weekend and using it as a base for homemade bruchetta – I never think to make bruchetta over the winter!

    Thanks for the giveaway, and I would appreciate it if you could pick me! 😀

  21. Jenae says

    Woah woah woah…bread that good-looking in 1 1/2 hours?! Inconceivable! Several people have already mentioned the spaghetti route, and that’s probably how the shakedown will go in my house: this bread, accompanying homemade cavatelli with roasted Creole tomato sauce via a friend’s garden. Mmm, the bounty of summer!

  22. Adrienne S. says

    Yum…looks great!I will be making, though I think I will use bread flour instead of the AP and eliminate the garlic and onion powder(sounds good, but I never buy it). Thanks!

  23. Maggie says

    This bread looks great. I hope to make this for my sister when she is home next. I think it would best be enjoyed dipped in some good olive oil and then used for grilled sandwiches.

  24. Leigh says

    I am so excited to try this bread! I don’t think I’m going to pair it with anything except maybe some butter. It looks so good on its own. I’ve also made a savory french toast and I may try it with this bread.

    Thanks for the wonderful blog!

  25. Patty says

    Oh! I’ve been looking for a yeast bread that’s as easy as the soda bread I make. This one sounds perfect.
    I love a slice of homemade bread, pan toasted in butter and topped with a soft fried egg (yolk still runny).

  26. says

    This bread looks amazing! I’m so excited to have found this recipe. Every recipe I’ve seen for bread similar to this requires a Dutch oven (which I don’t have). I can’t wait to make this (hopefully next week with vodka pasta)!

  27. says

    I live out in the country and will not be able to make it until I can go by the cheese. We canned spaghetti sauce last fall and froze pesto. We will make the sauce up and serve over the noodles. WE will make the bread. I showed my 17 year old daughter the picture of the bread. She said nummmmmmm! We will love making this. We will write back and tell you how it turned out.
    Your blog is lovely!

  28. says

    so i just made this bread last night!! it was amazingly easy and super delicious!! We ate it with braised lamb shank and it complimented it wonderfully.. but was just as good alone! Thanks!

  29. says

    I decided to make this bread tonight because A) it looks amazing and B) I’ve been wanting to try my hand at bread making. I’m glad I made it because, well, it IS amazing. I didn’t have anything in mind to have it with, but we’ve got Indian stew on the menu for dinner this week, so I think they’d go together nicely. Well, maybe a clash of cuisines, but hey, bread + stew = good. I think I’m going to freeze the second loaf since I doubt my partner and I will make it through the first one before the second goes south. I think some meatballs would be perfect with this bread. Mmm…

    Oh, and might I add, this bread is good enough to serve in restaurants.

    I took a few pictures of the process and threw them up on my Flickr site. You can find them below. I added a link to this blog entry, too, if that counts (since I don’t really have my own blog). :) Anyhow, check out my pics!

    Anyway, thanks for the recipe, and thanks for the awesome contest (even if I don’t win). :)

  30. Kerrie says

    I just got back from a trip today, and am exhausted, but I’ve bookmarked this recipe to make later. I’m thinking it will go well with a hominy, bean and italian sausage type stew I make.

  31. Karen says

    I hoped to try this over the weekend but got swamped, I’m aiming to make it this week, I’ll probably substitute about 1/3 whole wheat flour and serve it with soup.

  32. Elaine says

    I just want to let you know that I made this bread last night. It was a big hit in my office the next day. They said it was the best bread they had ever. Here’s a link to my flickr acount

  33. Elaine says

    I just want to let you know that I made this bread last night. It was a big hit in my office the next day. They said it was the best bread they had ever. Here’s a link to my flickr acount

  34. says

    oooh the bread looks so yummy. wishing you and yours a lovely weekend..and congratulations to the winner of your drawing.:0)

  35. Elizabeth Rogers says

    This bread is easy and delicious! I made it on Father’s Day and served as a pick-up appetizer with olive tapenade while I finished cooking. Thank you!

  36. Mona says

    Made it for dinner tonight with fresh garden salad, homemade honey mustard dressing and spagetti with fresh marinara.I followed the recipe exactly.the result was amazing.We polished off the first loaf. I am glad I did not half the recipe, looking forward to sandwiches with fresh mozarella, roasted red pepper pesto with basil vinegrette.
    I was wondering if the same technique( quick rise and cold oven would work with other breads?).
    thanks again for the wonderful recipe.

    • Rebecca says

      Mona- I’m so glad you liked it. I have changed out cheeses and add-ins with this same dough recipe but I haven’t gone much beyond that. Did you have any specific type of dough in mind? Let me know if you play with it!

  37. says

    I made this last night…it was in the recipe printout pile on my sink for a while so I’m not sure how I found it lol. It was FAB! I subbed in 4c whole wheat flour and 2c unbleached white…I was low on Asiago so I saved that for the top and subbed in feta and parmesean. I mixed it in the morning and let it sit all day cause I didn’t trust that I’d have enough time to get it all done in the evening. Served with fresh made lemon linguini topped with crab alfredo. Everyone was in heaven. This is a keeper.

  38. says

    I made this bread yesterday and it turned out soooo good. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with all of us! My whole family LOVED it!

  39. Emily says

    I have a 7-week-old and a three-year old, and I’m proud to say I made this bread tonight. Thank goodness for naptime, but this was so easy I *could* have made it with baby in tow (except the part where I haul the stand mixer up out of the cupboard). Rave reviews from my husband and 3yo, baby will vote later. 😉 I especially like that it makes two loaves! I might leave out the red pepper flakes next time and try to fit more cheese on top (hah!) but this was FANTASTIC.

  40. says

    I made this bread over the weekend and my 3 year old who is very picky about food in general loved it. One more item to add to our must-have food arsenal. Thank you so much for sharing.


  41. Annette says

    OMG, I left Michigan a year ago, I had a bad Asiago beagle and bread habit. had to have the beagle every morning on the way to work. The closest Panera to me is more than an hour away and I won’t drive that far, Have really been missing them, Found and baked this and I can not believe how easy and how freaking good it was, Thanks so much. Now the weight will never come back off.

  42. Katie says

    The bread is in the oven now. Smelled good before I even put it in the oven, maybe because I used fresh rosemary and garlic cloves in the dough. I also topped it with garlic and melted butter along with a little olive oil and asiago. Yum!


  1. […] In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together flour, 3/4 cups grated Asiago, yeast, sugar, salt, Italian seasoning, rosemary, red pepper flakes, onion, garlic powder, and minced garlic. Pour in the hot water, and with the paddle attachment, mix until all ingredients are blended. Switch to the dough hook, and knead the dough for 4 minutes on low. Drizzle some olive oil into a bowl (I just used the dirty mixer bowl), and place dough in the bowl, turning twice to coat. Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel, and allow to rise for 15 minutes, or until dough is puffy. Once it has risen, punch the dough down, and move to a floured surface. To make a nice tight ball, pull the top of the dough over and down the sides of the wad of dough, then tuck under the excess. Place the dough onto an ungreased, rimmed baking sheet, and gently pat the dough round down so it is relatively flat on top. Use a sharp knife to slash an ‘x’ about 1/4″ deep over the top of the loaf. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then top with remaining Asiago. Place baking sheet in a cold oven over a cake or loaf pan filled with hot tap water, and set oven to 400°F. As soon as you turn the oven on, set your timer for 30 minutes. Begin checking the bread when the timer goes off, but you may need as much as 10 more minutes. If it is still light colored, pop it back in the oven. If bread is a gorgeous deep golden brown, remove it and transfer to a wire rack. Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing. Source: adapted from Foodie with Family […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>