Buttery Cheese and Herb Bread made with fresh herbs & two cheeses for great flavor! Soft and chewy homemade twist bread recipe perfect for cheese lovers!
You’re going to love this cheesy herb swirl bread recipe. It’s made to hold so much flavor in every bite and it’s pretty easy to pull together too. While there is a little patience required to proof the dough, it’s well worth the wait and you’ll be happy with the final results.
What is buttery cheese and herb bread?
It’s an extremely soft brioche-style bread dough filled with swirls of delicious fresh herb butter and cheese. Baked to golden brown perfection before serving. Before enjoying a bite you’ll be hit with scents of basil, thyme, and sage and once you take that bite you’ll be hooked on this gloriously delicious bread recipe.
Cheesy Herb bread ingredients
For the dough, you will need:
-Milk: You will need 1 cup of warmed milk (no hotter than 110 degrees F) to help activate the yeast.
-Sugar: Feed the yeast to make the bread fluffy by adding in 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar.
-Yeast: You will need 2 ½ tablespoons of yeast for this recipe. This will be several yeast packs.
-Eggs: To give us the brioche-style bread we want to use 3 eggs plus one egg yolk.
-Flour: You will need 4 cups of bread flour for the base of this bread dough. All-purpose could be used but will not taste the same as bread flour has a stronger flavor and more proteins for a greater texture and crumb.
-Salt: Use 1 teaspoon of salt to help enhance the flavors in the bread so that it tastes perfect.
-Butter: You will need ½ cup (one stick) of softened butter at room temperature.
For the filling, you will need:
-Basil: You will need ⅔ cups of fresh chopped basil.
-Thyme: Use ¼ cup of fresh thyme.
-Sage: Add in 3 leaves from some fresh sage.
-Butter: You will need 11 tablespoons of room temperature butter, this is about 1 1/2 sticks (¾ cups).
-Mozzarella: To make the bread cheesy add in 1 ⅓ cups of shredded mozzarella cheese.
-Parmesan: For more cheesy flavor add in ½ cup of freshly shredded parmesan cheese. This is optional and can be omitted.
How to make cheesy herb bread
Here’s how to make this Cheesy Herb Yeast Bread:
Make the Bread Dough
Combine the milk, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Once the mixture has become frothy, add in the eggs and beat for 1 minute to incorporate.
Switch the paddle attachment out for a dough hook and then add in the flour and salt. Mix until well incorporated.
Let the mixer knead the dough for 3 minutes.
Add in the butter and continue kneading for another 5 minutes.
Once the dough has kneaded fully, remove the dough from the mixing bowl and roll it into a ball.
Let the Dough Rest & Rise
Place the dough into a large well greased bowl and spray the top with nonstick spray.
Cover with a large damp towel and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
While the dough is rising, prepare the filling by adding in all of the herbs to a food processor and blending for 1 minute or until the herbs are finely chopped.
Transfer to a medium sized mixing bowl and combine with the butter until fully incorporated.
Once the dough has finished rising, turn it out onto a well floured surface and sprinkle the top with additional flour so that the rolling pin doesn’t stick to it.
Shape the Dough
Roll the dough out into a large rectangle about 12” wide and 18” long.
Spread the butter herb mixture over the top of the rolled dough and then spread the cheese over the top of that.
Tightly roll the bread dough into a log. Turn 90 degrees so that it is vertical and not horizontal.
Slice your log of dough in half from one end to the other, revealing all of the layers inside.
Carefully take the end of the left half and place it over the end of the right half and repeat, switching halves over halves to create a braided looking loaf of bread. You should have about 4 or 5 twists by the time you’re finished.
Pinch the ends of the bread together to get them to hold in place.
Roll the braided log into a swirling circle so that one end is in the center and the other end is folded slightly underneath the outer edge.
Grease the inside of a 9 inch or 10 inch cast iron skillet with a thick coating of butter.
2nd Rise & Bake the Bread
Carefully transfer your braided swirl bread into the center of the skillet. Top with a towel and place in a warm spot to rest for about 30 minutes to one hour or until the dough has risen enough to reach the edges of the pan.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Once the bread has risen, place it into the oven to bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until golden and baked through. You may wish to cover the ends of the bread with foil towards the end of the baking time to prevent them from browning too much.
Once baked, remove from oven and place onto a hot pad to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Eat as-is or serve with marinara sauce. Enjoy!
Cheesy Herb Swirl Bread
- 1 cup warm milk
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 2 ½ TBSP yeast
- 3 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 4 cups bread flour
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ cup butter room temp, 1 stick
- ⅔ cup fresh basil roughly chopped
- ¼ cup fresh thyme
- 3 fresh sage leaves
- 11 TBSP butter room temp
- 1 ⅓ cup mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup parmesan cheese fresh shredded
Mix the Bread Dough
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the warm milk, sugar and yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes to proof. Once the mixture is frothy, add in the eggs and beat for 1 minute to incorporate.
- Switch to a dough hook attachment. Add in the flour and salt and mix until well incorporated. Let knead for 3 minutes. Add in the butter and continue to knead it in for 5 minutes.
- Once the dough is complete, remove from the mixing bowl and roll into a ball. Place into a large, well greased bowl. Spray the top of the dough with baking spray. Cover with a damp towel and let rise for an hour or until doubled in size.
- While the dough is rising, make the filling. Add all of the fresh herbs to a food processor. Process for 1 minute or until the herbs are finely chopped. Transfer to a medium sized bowl and combine with the butter. Mix until the herbs are fully incorporated.
- Once the dough has risen, turn the dough out onto a well floured surface. Sprinkle the top with flour so that the rolling pin doesn’t stick. Roll out into a large rectangle about 12” wide and 18” long. Spread the herb butter over the surface of the dough. Spread the cheeses over the top of the herb butter.
Shape the Dough
- Tightly roll the dough into a log. Flip the log 90 degrees so that it is now vertical and not horizontal. Slice the log from one end to the other end so that you have two long half logs. Take the left half log and fold the top end over the right top half end.
- Carefully pick the right half log up and braid it over the left half log. Continue doing this until you have about 4-5 twists in the log. Pinch both ends together. Roll the braided log into a swirled circle so that one end is in the center and the other end is folded slightly under the outer edge.
- Grease a 9” or 10” cast iron skillet with a thick coat of butter. Carefully transfer to the skillet. Cover with a towel and set in a warm place to rise for about 30 minutes to 1 hour or until risen to fit all sides of the pan.
Bake the Bread
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Once risen, place into the oven to bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until the bread is golden and baked through. You may need to cover the edges with tin foil to prevent them from browning too much. Once baked, remove from the oven and place onto a hot pad to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
What if I don’t have a stand mixer?
If you do not have a stand mixer then you can do all of the mixing and kneading by hand. Kneading should take about 8-10 minutes of constant work and make sure that you don’t skip it. It’s important for gluten development and making the nice crumb texture that makes a softer loaf.
How do I know if I kneaded the dough enough?
You will know that your dough has been well kneaded when you can poke it with your finger and watch it quickly fill in the indent you left behind. The dough should be elastic and smooth in texture.
It’s too hard to shape my swirly loaf, what can I do?
If you are having trouble cutting the dough log or braiding it, place the log onto a sheet pan and into the freezer for 10 minutes. This will help firm it up which in turn will make working with it a little easier.
Check out these other great bread recipes
- ORANGE CHOCOLATE BABKA RECIPE
- RASPBERRY TWIST BREAD
- SOFT COUNTRY FRENCH BREAD
- EASY NO KNEAD ARTISAN BREAD
- EASY WHITE BREAD RECIPE
- BRAIDED GARDEN HERB BREAD
- LARGE BATCH WHEAT BREAD
- EASY CHEESY GARLIC BREAD
- CHOCOLATE ARTISAN BREAD
- ITALIAN HERBS AND CHEESE BREAD
- BRAIDED SWEET BREAD
- CHALLAH BREAD RECIPE
- HOMEMADE FRENCH BREAD
This butter and cheese herb bread recipe is one you won’t soon forget. Made with fresh herbs, cheeses, and a buttery filling, every bite of this soft bread is well worth the effort. Serve it up any time of the year for a delicious appetizer or snack.