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Big Black Dog: Grilled Cheese..the Ultimate Comfort Food!

April 13, 2010

Grilled Cheese..the Ultimate Comfort Food!


Did you know that April is National Grilled Cheese month? Well, I didn't know that either until Kathy of Panini Happy filled me in when she hosted her first Grilled Cheese Pageant last year. And of course I had to enter again this year being that Grilled Cheese is one of my very favorite sandwiches.

Although I do have cookbooks on nothing but gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, I tend to enjoy a simple sandwich of just cheese and homemade bread, slathered with butter and grilled to a perfect toasty goodness so that every bite is a crunch!

This year was no exception for a simple sandwich. Mr. Tastebuds wanted Mild Cheddar, Mozzarella, Bacon and Ham with Tomato and I made mine with Horseradish Cheese and Bacon and both sandwiches were on homemade Semolina Bread. Although I used the Semolina Bread recipe from "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" that recipe is under copyright and can not be reproduced. But below is another favorite Semolina Bread recipe that I make often and it is just as good!


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Semolina Bread
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit

Starter:
1/4 cup warm water (105°F. to 115°F.)
1/4 teaspoon dry yeast
3/4 cup plus 4 teaspoons water, room temperature
2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

Bread:
2 1/2 cups warm water (105°F.°F. to 115°F.)
2 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
3 3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
3 3/4 cups finely ground semolina flour
2 teaspoons sea salt

Additional semolina flour

For Starter:
Combine 1/4 cup warm water and yeast in medium bowl. Let stand until yeast dissolves, about 10 minutes. Stir in 3/4 cup plus 4 teaspoons room temperature water. Add flour in 3 additions, stirring well after each addition Stir until mixture has consistency of thick sticky dough, about three minutes. Light oil large bowl. Transfer starter to a bowl. Cover with plastic; let rise at cool room temperature until tripled in volume (starter will be slightly wet and thick), at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours. (Can be made 5 days ahead. Stir down starter, cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before using.)

For Bread:
Pour 2 1/2 cups warm water into large bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Sprinkle yeast over; let stand until dissolved, about 10 minutes. Measure 2/3 cup starter (reserve remainder for another use). Rub between fingers, allowing starter to drop into yeast mixture (starter will be stringy). Beat until some of the starter dissolves. Combine flour, 3 3/4 cups semolina and salt in large bowl. Add to yeast mixture in 3 additions; beat until incorporated. Turn out unto floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes.

Oil large bowl. Transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat with oil. Cover bowl with plastic. Let rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Butter 2 heavy large baking sheets. Punch down dough. Divide into 4 pieces. Cover 3 pieces with clean towel. Roll remaining piece on floured surface to 14x8 inch rectangle. Starting at 1 long edge, roll up dough jelly roll style. Press ends and seam to seal. Bend dough into half-circle. Using sharp knife, cut 1/2-inch-deep incisions every 1 1/2 inches in the top of the dough. Sprinkle with additional semolina. Place on a prepared sheet. Repeat rolling and shaping with remaining dough pieces.

Cover shaped dough with clean towel. Let rise in warm draft-free area until doubled, about 45.

Meanwhile, position 1 rack in bottom third. If available, place baking stone on rack and preheat oven to 450°F. Let stone heat at least 30 minutes.

Place 1 baking sheet on each stone. Bake until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, alternating sheets between racks halfway through baking, about 25 minutes. Cool bread on racks.


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42 Comments:

Blogger angelina said...

ahh. i will be making this! thanks for the bread recipe. i love bon appetit!

April 13, 2010 at 12:25 AM  
Blogger Angie's Recipes said...

mamamiya...look at that ooey gooey melting cheese...mmm...and I can't agree with you more that this is ultimate comfort food.

April 13, 2010 at 12:39 AM  
Blogger appropriated.muffin said...

holey moley. that looks delish!!

April 13, 2010 at 1:18 AM  
Anonymous MaryMoh said...

Wow...homemade bread! It looks so delicious with all the gooey filling....mmm

April 13, 2010 at 1:59 AM  
Blogger Allie and Pattie said...

Okay- Mr Tastebuds and I are on the same page! I also love adding some roasted red onions. Yum!!
xoxo Pattie

April 13, 2010 at 3:53 AM  
Blogger My Carolina Kitchen said...

The only thing that can make a grilled cheese sandwich better is making your own bread - and you did. I could eat the screen. This is the ultimate comfort food for me. Thanks for making it so gorgeous.
Sam

April 13, 2010 at 5:15 AM  
Blogger Joanne said...

If I didn't know any better, I would swear that bread was from a nice Italian bakery. Looks fantastic! I'm going to have to try to recreate it.

And that grilled cheese...is there anything better?

April 13, 2010 at 6:01 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

Oh my goodness, do your sandwiches ever look delicious!
Just for fun, make yourself a grilled cheese sandwich with 2 slices of American cheese, 2 regular slices of white bread (I know... sinful!) and then butter your waffle iron (standard kind) top and bottom and then toast until the sandwich is thin and toasty with the cheese running out. They will be crunchy, buttery and so cheesy. Sooo good and actually one of my favorite comfort foods.
Karen
Ladybug Creek

April 13, 2010 at 6:08 AM  
Blogger Colleen said...

There's nothing better than grilled cheese on homemade bread. Yum!!!

April 13, 2010 at 6:19 AM  
Blogger Maggy said...

You are so right! I love grilled cheese, and your version looks divine.

April 13, 2010 at 7:49 AM  
Blogger Lori E said...

This ain't your regular old grilled cheese anymore.
Yummo

April 13, 2010 at 7:53 AM  
Blogger TeaLady said...

Oh, look at all that lovely melty cheese oozing down from that beautiful sandwich.

I have recently discovered that you CAN use something besides american slices to make a wonderful grilled cheese sammy. Fontina. Mozarella. etc.

April 13, 2010 at 8:14 AM  
Blogger Maria said...

Great sandwich! The bread makes this one special!

April 13, 2010 at 8:22 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

I knew there was a reason I was craving a toasted cheese sandwich!! Yours is making my mouth water.

April 13, 2010 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger kat said...

I could live on grilled cheese sandwiches!

April 13, 2010 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

What a gorgeous sandwich. There are some foods we never tire of and grilled cheese is one of them. My dream sandwich is provolone with sliced tomato and a garlicky dill slices bound between thick slices of country rye. I hope you are having a good day. Blessings...Mary

April 13, 2010 at 9:59 AM  
Blogger Bonnie said...

Ther is nothing...I repeat, NOTHING..better than a good grilled cheese sandwich. I can almost taste yours!!!

April 13, 2010 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger Tracy said...

I love grilled cheese sandwiches - total comfort food! I love that you made yours with bacon!

April 13, 2010 at 10:38 AM  
Blogger mrs. c said...

I want you to come to my house and maek me a grilled cheese! Just kidding...thanks for the great bread recipe, when my knee is better, it is on my list of new things to try! I love grilled cheese and home made tomato basil soup. a huge comfort food for me!

April 13, 2010 at 11:55 AM  
Blogger Julie Harward said...

YUMMY...my heart about jumped out and ran into your blog to live LOL Looks so good! :D

April 13, 2010 at 12:34 PM  
Blogger Cookin' Canuck said...

That bread looks and sounds perfect for a grilled cheese sandwich. Just look at that oozing cheese!

April 13, 2010 at 12:59 PM  
Blogger Sandi said...

Yum....that looks really really good!!! I love grilled cheese sandwiches.

April 13, 2010 at 1:01 PM  
Blogger Ria Mathew said...

Goodness Gracious! I love it!

April 13, 2010 at 2:06 PM  
Blogger Rambling Tart said...

Ohhh, this is lovely! It's pouring rain here today and an ooey gooey hot sandwich is just perfect to send the blues fleeing. :-)

April 13, 2010 at 4:04 PM  
Blogger YankeeQuilter said...

grilled cheese comfort food is Vermont cheddar on marbled rye served with tomato basil soup....

April 13, 2010 at 4:13 PM  
Anonymous Kathy - Panini Happy said...

This looks incredible, Michelle - and with homemade bread too! Thanks so much for entering it into the Grilled Cheese Pageant, what a yummy addition :-)

April 13, 2010 at 4:28 PM  
Blogger OLGUIS said...

thank you for visiting my blog and I am happy that you liked.

Regards

olga.

April 13, 2010 at 5:01 PM  
Blogger Brian + Cheryl B. said...

I chuckled when reading the title for this posting - you sound exactly like "my Kate"!!! Sometimes when we've gone out for lunch, she's ordered a grilled cheese just cuz she likes them so much. I always chuckle at her, but let her order away.

I agree with 'Mr. Tastebuds' about bacon and tomato going ever so well on them. My husband likes them made with Miracle Whip on the inside of one of the pieces of bread. It took awhile for me to always get use to doing it that way, now I find that I like them that way too.

Currently I am not even hungry, and yet I want to try a bite of your sandwiches. Well, actually, your husbands sandwich. I do not care for Horseradish in any shape or form. In fact, if somebody only adds about a teaspoon of it to something when cooking, I usually can still detect it. So, nothing personal Michelle, but I'll pass on trying yours. Yeah, I know - all the more for you ;-p

April 13, 2010 at 8:18 PM  
Blogger Mimi said...

You have totally capture the essence of grilled cheese. Fantastic! I'll have mine with the horseradish.
Mimi

April 13, 2010 at 9:22 PM  
Anonymous Barbara @moderncomfortfood said...

I am SO with you on the merits of grill cheese sandwiches. My particular favorite for 50+ years running now is neufchatel cheese with fresh garden chives on homemade sliced French bread with tons of butter. Your wonderful looking semolina and the cheesy options you name are a must-make bread and cheese combo for the likes of me, though. Thanks so much for sharing.

April 13, 2010 at 9:28 PM  
Anonymous tasteofbeirut said...

These cheese sandwiches are oozing with goodness! Can't believe you went through the trouble of making the bread! Looks so so inviting!Yum.

April 13, 2010 at 9:41 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Oh that sandwich has me drooling!

April 13, 2010 at 10:58 PM  
Anonymous Dimah said...

This looks fantastic! YUM :)

April 14, 2010 at 5:49 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

Your grilled cheese looks ooey, gooey, delicious! Definitely one of my favorite sandwiches too.

So funny that you made banana pudding too!

P.S. I'm reading Karen's comment above and I'm liking her idea. Sounds like grilled cheese is in my future.

April 14, 2010 at 7:46 AM  
Blogger 5 Star Foodie said...

A grilled cheese sandwich on homemade bread sounds amazing!

April 14, 2010 at 8:03 AM  
Blogger Cristie said...

Love everything about this bread and the sandwich you made-- just drooling over the picture.

April 14, 2010 at 10:34 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

That is a FINE looking grilled cheese...yummO!

April 14, 2010 at 12:28 PM  
Blogger teresa said...

that sandwich looks just too good to be true!

April 14, 2010 at 1:59 PM  
OpenID biz319 said...

You had me at Horseradish Cheese!!!

Okay, semolina bread is my next bread!

April 14, 2010 at 2:37 PM  
Anonymous Kayte said...

Gorgeous...nothing could be finer!

April 15, 2010 at 8:30 AM  
Blogger Tupper Cooks! said...

Wow- That grilled cheese is to die for-I just ordered Artisan Bread in 5 and it should be here early in the week- that'll be my first bread and sammie! Thanks!

April 17, 2010 at 7:17 PM  
Blogger Danielle said...

wow...that melted cheese is just calling my name! I have always enjoyed a good grilled cheese. This may be strange...but sometimes I miss those grilled cheese sandwiches from the school cafeteria LOL

April 20, 2010 at 12:10 AM  

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