Beer, Cheddar, & Mustard Pull-Apart Bread.

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Lazy day. List full of the little things to do, & not all of it got done. A nap was added to the list, & measuring wall space for art was subtracted. A bit of week meal prep was also subtracted, but listening to my husband’s steady breathing from his couch siesta while I took pictures of my afternoon baking session was added.There are things on our schedules that can be moved around to make room for moments.

Savoring a few extra minutes cuddling, plus a slightly leisurely breakfast & good conversation, because you know the next season of life will take you out the door at 6am. Those cuddles & conversations will be treasured memories.

Sometimes I’m haunted by the business of others. I have to remind myself not to get caught up in the tyranny of the urgent. Keep the main thing the main thing.

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Melted butter & Lion’s Winter Ale.
Sidenote: Grandville Island Brewing is creeping up on my list of favorite breweries. 
Stick your face in this pot. It smells gorgeous.
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Plaid & paisley & a lightly floured surface.
For the filling . . .
Paprika + mustard powder + sea salt + ground pepper. Mix together & toss together with shredded sharp cheddar.
Lea & Perrins Worcestershire + whole grain mustard. Whisk in melted butter.
Beautiful risen dough, ready to be punched & rolled, and rolled dough, measured 12″ x 20″ (ish).
& yes, I got Matt’s tape measure a wee bit on the floured side.
Spread the butter mustard mixture, slice the dough, then sprinkle with spice-coated cheddar cheese.
This bread is a process, but it’s entirely worth it.
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Sheesh. Yes. & Hallelujah.
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Gently slice (using a serrated knife!) into 2″ x 4″ squares.
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Stacked in a buttered loaf pan, left to rise, & ready to bake. It’s a seriously beautiful thing.
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Cheddar, Beer and Mustard Pull-Apart BreadBread
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup beer (I used Grandville Island Brewing Lion’s Winter Ale. Delicious)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1/3 cup, divided
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) instant yeast
1 teaspoon table salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature

Filling
3 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard, or any mustard of your choice
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
optional: dash of hot sauce (I opted not . . . it all depends on who is eating the bread)
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Several grinds black pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar

Make dough: In a small saucepan, heat the 4 tablespoons butter and 1/4 cup of beer, just until the butter has melted. Remove from heat and add the remaining 1/3 cup beer. Set aside to cool down slightly. You want the mixture warm (110 to 116 degrees), but not steaming hot.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together 2 cups of the all-purpose flour, sugar, yeast and table salt. With the mixer on low, pour in the butter-beer mixture, mixing only until the flour is moistened. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until combined. The batter will look lumpy, but will become smooth in a moment. Add the remaining flour mixing until just combined. Replace paddle with a dough hook and let the machine knead the dough for 3 to 4 minutes on low. If you don’t have a mixture, simply mix with a wooden spoon until you can no longer, then turn out onto a floured surface & knead for 5 to 6 minutes.

Oil a medium/large bowl and transfer dough to it. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside for 50 to 60 minutes, until doubled. Meanwhile, prepare fillings.

[Do ahead: You can also rest the dough in the fridge overnight — wrapped tightly with plastic. The next day, let it rest at room temperature for an hour before rolling out.]

Make fillings: Back in the same small saucepan you used for the butter and beer, melt the 3 tablespoons butter. Remove from heat and whisk in mustard, Worcestershire and hot sauce (if you are using) until smooth. Set aside.

In the bottom of a medium bowl, stir together mustard powder, paprika, table salt and several grinds of black pepper. Add shredded cheddar and toss until grated strands are evenly coated with spices. I like to keep this in the fridge until needed so it doesn’t get soft and clumpy, making it harder to sprinkle over the dough in a bit.

Assemble bread: Either coat a 9-by-5 loaf pan lightly with butter or a nonstick spray and set aside.

Turn dough out onto a well-floured counter and roll the dough into a 20-by-12-inch rectangle, making sure it doesn’t stick to the counter by lifting sections and re-flouring the counter as needed. Brush the butter-mustard-Worcestershire mixture evenly over the whole surface, right up to the edges. Cut the dough crosswise into 5 strips; each should be 12-by-4 inches. Sprinkle the first one evenly with a heaping 1/4 cup of the grated cheese (which is now fine to leave out at room temperature). Gently place another strip on top of it, coat it with another heaping 1/4 cup of cheese, and repeat with remaining strips until they are stacked 5-high and all of the cheese is used.

With your very sharpest serrated knife, gently — so gently! The lightest sawing motions the weight of the blade will allow! — cut your stack into 6 to 7 2-inch segments (each stacked segment should be 4-by-2 inches). I say 6 to 7 range because while your 12-inch length should clearly yield only 6 2-inch segments, I find that the soft dough stretches so much when you lift and stack it that I end up with 7. Either amount will fit; this is totally not something to fret over.

Arrange stacks of dough down the length of your prepared loaf pan as if filling a card catalog drawer. I make this easier by standing my loaf pan up on its short end to make the next part easier. If, when you finish filing all of your dough stacks, you ended up with less than needed for the dough “cards” to reach the end of the pan, when you return the pan to rest flat on the counter again, just shimmy it a little so the dough centers. It will all even out in the final rise/oven. If you ended up with toomany dough cards, before you add the last stack, simply press gently on the dough already filed to make room for it.

Loosely cover the pan with more plastic wrap and set it aside to rise again for 30 to 45 more minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Bake loaf for 25 to 35 minutes, until puffed and brown. Transfer it to a wire rack and let it cool for 5 minutes before flipping it out onto a serving plate/cutting board. Serve warm with cold beer. Loaf “pulls” apart the easiest when it is hot or warm. If it has cooled beyond the point that the layers wish to easily separate, simply serve it in thin slices.

Enjoy the moments that are given to you. Make time for them. They are usually the precious thing that you remember.

Source: adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Listening to: “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons
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