What’s the best possible way to serve this bread?

Crusty apple-walnut bread.

Enjoy it hot from the oven. Slather it with butter. Or dip in fruity olive oil.

Dollop with ginger marmalade. Or apricot preserves.

Cut thin lengthwise slices, and toast. Top with Brie and apple butter.

Spread with sweet butter, sprinkle with brown sugar, bake till crisp.

Or – get ready, now…

Here it comes, the VERY BEST THING you can do with crusty apple-walnut bread  –

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Have a fondue party!

Ah, cheese fondue. Introduced to America by Chef Konrad Egli of New York’s Chalet Swiss restaurant back in 1956, fondue quickly became a make-at-home dish. Throughout the’60s and ’70s, fondue was a ubiquitous entertainment vehicle.

Call your friends, buy some bread, melt some cheese: bingo! Instant party.

Over the years, I tried to join the fun. I really did. I love cheese; feel the same about bread. So what could be so difficult about dipping bread in melted cheese?

1) The bread.

2) The melted cheese.

Till I learned to bake my own bread in the mid-1970s (thanks, James Beard), crusty bread just wasn’t an option. I lived in Maine; it was Wonder Bread or Nissen (the local Wonder equivalent).

“Crusty,” “artisan,” and “bread” were three words never spoken together.

Then “Beard on Bread” showed me the light. My beloved, bedraggled copy of that excellent book still flops open, automatically, to the recipe for Pizza Caccia Nanza – a basic rosemary-garlic focaccia. I lived on that bread for years, tearing it into wedges to serve with pasta – my main food group, back in those days when $2 an hour was considered a liveable wage.

Still, fondue eluded me. It was never smooth enough. Or it tasted like WINE with a hint of cheese. Or it was just boring (which probably had more to do with the cheese selection at my local IGA food store than with my fondue technique).

Now, all these years later, fondue has re-entered my life. We’re selling a fondue pot – a really nice, burner-safe, stoneware fondue pot, imported from France. The call went out:

“P.J., do a fondue blog!”

I smiled, nodded, and experienced a moment of panic.

“But – I can’t DO fondue.”

Followed immediately by a mental tongue-lashing. “Don’t be ridiculous. Of course you can. You’re surrounded by good bread and delicious Vermont cheese. Stop whining. Get into that kitchen and rattle those pots and pans!” (Thanks, Bill Haley…)

Which I did.

The result?

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A fondue frolic! Ooey-gooey melted cheese, crusty bread, happy campers in King Arthur Kingdom.

If I can do fondue, you can do fondue, too. WOO-HOO! Let’s go.

First the crusty bread: Apple-Walnut Fondue Bread.

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Adding just a touch of rye flour to crusty artisan breads can help enhance their rise; yeast seems to like the added/different minerals in rye. Rye also adds a bit of warm color. Choose pumpernickel for best color.

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Don’t try to use fresh apples in this recipe; they’ll make the bread soggy. Use diced dried apples, as I have here; or another dried fruit: cranberries, apricots, pears, anything that goes well with sharp cheese.

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Let’s start with an overnight starter. This one is fairly liquid, compared to most.

Combine the following in a bowl (in your mixer bowl, if you’ll be using it to make the bread):

1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup rye flour (white, medium, or pumpernickel); OR King Arthur white whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups cool water
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast

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Cover and let rest at room temperature overnight, 12 to 15 hours. It’ll develop lots of tiny bubbles.

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Next, ready 1 cup walnuts by crushing them gently, and NOT thoroughly.

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Crushed walnuts on the right; original pieces on the left. You just want to break the walnuts up a little, not chop them fine or crush completely.

Toast the walnuts in a preheated 350°F oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they’re barely beginning to brown. Set them aside to cool.

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Add the following to the bowl with the starter:

2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast

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Mix to combine…

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…then knead to make a smooth, soft dough. Look at those nice flecks of pumpernickel, eh?

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Add the walnuts, and 3/4 cup diced dried apples, or the dried fruit of your choice.

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Knead briefly, just to combine.

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Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl or 8-cup measure (which makes it easy to track its rise), cover, and let rise for 60 to 90 minutes, till it’s nearly doubled in bulk.

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You go, Mr. Dough!

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Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into three equal pieces. A scale makes the ”equal” part easy.

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827g divided by 3 = 276. Nice, huh?

If you don’t have a scale, just eyeball the dough and do your best.

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Place one piece of dough on a lightly greased work surface. A rolling mat works very well here.

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Flatten the dough into a rough oval.

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Fold it in half lengthwise…

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…and seal the fold with the heel of your hand.

Repeat (flatten, fold, seal), and gently roll the dough into  a 12” log.

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Taper the ends of the log. Nice, huh?

Repeat with the other two pieces of dough.

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Put the logs in a lightly greased baguette pan. I prefer a perforated pan; I feel it yields a crunchier crust.

If you don’t have a baguette pan, put the loaves on a lightly greased (or parchment-lined) baking sheet, leaving a couple of inches breathing (rising) room between them

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Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap, and let the loaves rise for about 1 hour, till they’re quite puffy.

Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F.

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Spritz the loaves lightly with water.

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Cut three diagonal slashes down the center of each. Use a firm, quick stroke; don’t hesitate, or your knife will drag.

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The fairly deep cuts will start to deflate the loaves. Pop them into the oven immediately…

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…and they’ll rebound nicely.

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Bake the loaves for about 25 minutes, till they’re a deep golden brown.

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Remove them from the oven, and cool on a rack. Or crosswise on the baguette pan.

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You may notice the loaves have a slight purplish tinge. This is from the walnuts; no harm done.

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Next up: fondue. YUM.

If you think you can’t make fondue, trust me; you can. My fondue was always grainy, or gummy, or separated into a big wad of hard cheese swimming in a wine bath.

As it turned out, I’d never found the right recipe. Till now.

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Let’s start with the cheese. I happen to like Cabot – which, if you read this blog regularly, you’ll know by now. It’s a national brand, though you may not be able to find it everywhere. It’s widely distributed in the East; and also available in Costco, Trader Joe’s, Sam’s Club, and Walmart, if you don’t see it in your grocery store. Both of these Cabot cheddars are delightfully full-flavored.

“Real” fondue uses Gruyère or Emmentaler cheese. Unfortunately, you need 1 3/4 pounds of cheese, and those two choices can be quite pricey. Plus, I prefer a “sharper” fondue.

So here’s the combination I chose: 1 pound (4 cups shredded) Gruyère (or Emmentaler, or Swiss) cheese; and 12 ounces (3 cups shredded) sharp cheddar cheese.

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Next, the wine. You’ll need 1 3/4 cups (14 ounces, about 414ml) of dry white wine. This Gewürtztraminer is quite fruity (not classic-fondue dry), but I found it very tasty.

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Toss the 7 cups shredded cheese with 3 tablespoons cornstarch or Signature Secrets. This starch is what’ll keep your fondue nice and smooooooth.

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Heat the wine in a pot on the stove. I’m using a burner-safe fondue pot here.

Whoops, forgot to show a step: FIRST, rub the inside of the pot with a cut clove of garlic. You won’t get any “wow, garlic!” taste; it’ll just subtly enhance the fondue’s flavor.

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Add the cheese a handful at a time. Really. In the past I’ve been in a hurry and just said, “Oh, what the heck. It doesn’t REALLY matter if you just add the cheese all at once, does it?”

Actually, it does. A handful at a time, at least at first, is the way to go.

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Make sure all of the cheese is melted before adding the next handful. At first, the fondue will look really suspect.

“Oh, no… another failure.”

Keep your chin up. Have faith.

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Add and stir, add and stir…

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Ah, success!

Right at the very end, add 3/4 teaspoon dry mustard and 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg, if you like. Both will enhance the flavor of the cheese.

Cut your crusty apple-walnut bread into chunks. Place the fondue pot over its heat source, and serve immediately. If you’ve made the fondue in a saucepan, transfer it to your fondue pot before serving.

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Let the fun begin!

Susan and Liz, my fellow test kitchen bakers, were first to respond to the email: “Fondue’s hot, come and get it!”

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Next, my Web teammates, Halley and Jim.

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Jim, in the middle of lunch, decided fondue was the perfect touch atop his roast beef sandwich.

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Bread and melted cheese: the ultimate comfort foods.

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You never saw so many people respond to an email so quickly!

Read, rate, and review (please) our recipes for Apple-Walnut Fondue Bread, and Cheese Fondue.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. SoupAddict Karen

    That first picture when you land on the full post page nearly gave me a heart attack. Cheese! CHEESE! With crusty, nutty bread. I envy your guys’ access to Cabot cheeses. When I’m lucky, I can find a bar tucked in the back of the cheese case. I’m gonna have to ask the cheese steward about that, I think. “Where’s the Cabot? I’ve got fondue to make, dontcha know?”

    I’m sure Cabot would love to be more ubiquitous nationwide. But I think outside the Northeast, Wisconsin cheese rules. Not that I’m anti-Wisconsin – I’m a native Badger. But Vermont cheddar is very, very good… Thanks for your input (as always), Karen – PJH

    Reply
  2. marielle

    I’ve never groaned as loudly as I did when I scrolled down to the fondue. Yum, although we’d have to skip the nuts because one of my kids is allergic. Oh the tragedy! I love fondue.

    “Tragedy,” Marielle? Bread is good. Cheese is good. A little bit is FINE. Enjoy! PJH

    Reply
  3. LauraP

    One other fondue cheese prep hint – when you’re stirring, make sure to go in a figure-eight shape instead of just circles. It keeps the cheese from forming long stringy knots.

    Looking forward to trying this bread at my next fondue party! YUM!

    I absolutely didn’t know that, Laura, and it makes perfect sense. Thanks! PJH

    Reply
  4. Marcia

    Cabot cheese is available at Publix Supermarkets–HQ in FL. Love the butter too.

    But, what could I use instead of alcohol? VERY VERY allergic to it–ER and Epi-pen does not help this one.

    The bread looks good. Would you believe Atlanta is waiting on snow–1-6 inches from ATL south. Even Savannah will get a skim as it passes through. Perfect day to make bread–all schools closed.

    Marcia, I was thinking about this earlier – what would work. I’m thinking the best thing would be apple juice watered down a bit so its sweetness doesn’t fight too much with the cheese. Try a little bit first – with that initial handful of cheese. If it doesn’t melt or clumps up, then I’d just make a cheese sauce of butter/flour/milk/cheese… Readers, has anyone tried alcohol-free fondue? PJH

    Reply
  5. HMB

    I’m Swiss, so I DO do fondue — too bad we’ve got a gym meet out of town this weekend, because I’m dying to try this bread! It looks fabulous!!!
    Here’s a couple of tips for the cheese fondue: Rub a cut garlic clove over the inside of your fondue pot for a hint of flavor. And to give your fondue true Swiss flavor, it really needs a couple of shots of Kirsch! Another thing we’ve found is that throwing in a Boursin cheese with our traditional gruyere-based recipe adds some nice flavor.

    Thank you SOOOO much – I did rub the pot with garlic, and forgot to mention that step! And the Boursin and Kirsch, of course, sound delicious… PJH

    Reply
  6. Erin in PA

    Ohh, this looks delectable! Once I can get myself out of the snowdrifts to get some cheese (I do love Cabot Hunter’s Sharp!) This will be on the to-make list! Over the past week (and two BIG snows!) I have felt like a KA test kitchen baker! Between the brownies, no knead baguette recipe (which I turned into mini rolls for French Dip sandwiches),bagels, 2 loaves of Pain de Mie sandwich bread, not too mention breakfast lunch and dinner – my kitchen was in some serious action! Now I have to go and stock up on my KA Flour!

    Reply
  7. non

    this bread won’t freeze, or will it? (I’m guessing not because there’s no fat)

    But it’s beautiful….!!!

    Sure, Non, freezes just fine – for a month or so. Warm it up in a 350°F oven, tented in foil, for about 10 minutes before cutting, then enjoy it right away. – PJH

    Reply
  8. Bobbi

    I cannot wait to try this…what an awesome combination! I love all your posts, even if it might be something I really not too interested in making, it seems there is always a nugget of information I can use. Keep up the great work…I love KAF!
    Thank you for all your hard work for our benefit!

    Thanks, Bobbi – we aim to please! PJH

    Reply
  9. Marie

    Would diced fresh apple work? I never have dried apples, but always have fresh ones on hand.

    The short answer is no. Fresh apples are too wet to substitute equally. However, that should not stop you from experimenting with fresh apples, perhaps coarsely grated for easy dispersal. Fresh apples are about 84% water. Frank @ KAF.

    Reply
  10. slpbaker

    Could you give us directions for mixing/kneading/rising the apple walnut bread in a bread machine? thanks!

    Once the starter is ready, add all of the ingredients except the fruit and nuts to the bucket and begin the cycle. Add the fruit and nuts at the “add beep”. Frank @ KAF.

    Reply
  11. Marianna

    Pure comfort food! Yum!! I was thinking about Marcia wanting to make an alcohol free fondue. I would definitely add something like garlic, dry mustard or cayenne pepper to
    give more depth to the flavor. I also think that chicken broth might work. I am no fondue expert but that is what I might try if I needed to make one without alcohol. :)

    Reply
  12. Line

    I recently made fondue for the first time. I always thought it would be too complicated and too “winey”. I found a recipe that uses apple cider instead of the wine. It was delicious! I rubbed the pot with a sliced onion instead. Also, since I don’t have a fondue pot, I used my cast iron pot. Kept it hot long enough (plus my boys had fun rigging up a fondue warmer with some tealights and a cookie rack–it worked great). Of course, a real fondue pot would be nice…..

    Reply
  13. Debra

    To Marcia,

    Try using a non-alcholic wine. An excellent brand is Ariel, which can be hard to find but worth it in a dish like fondue.

    Reply
  14. keri

    I don’t drink alcohol, so I don’t know how they compare, taste-wise, but there are several non-alcoholic wines out there, apparently– just did a search. :)

    Reply
  15. Ariel

    To Marcia – continue from Marcia’s comment,

    They sell Ariel non-alcoholic wine at every Trader Joes I’ve ever been too. I always made my mother buy it for me when I was a kid. You could also try non-alcoholic beer too, if you like that beer taste.

    If I wasn’t already planning on a heavy crepe filled brunch for valentines day, this would be right on the menu…

    Reply
  16. Linda in KY

    Miss Kelly, cooking teacher at Saxe Jr. HS in New Canaan, CT, taught us to stir in a figure 8. Been doing it that way for the last 45 years.

    I live in Kentucky and can get 3-pound bricks of Cabot at Sam’s Club. Was this transplanted New Englander happy to find it! Now to check out WalMart for the “seriously sharp” variety.

    Reply
  17. Lenore

    Hi!
    I am VERY interested in the James Beard recipe for pizza caccia nanza that PJ mentioned (Rosemary-garlic focaccia). It sounds absolutely wonderful.
    I have another very snowy Michigan weekend coming up and this would be great after a few hours of snowshoeing.
    As for the fondue, I do not consume alcohol and never have. The apple cider would work great. Just adjust flavors before serving.
    Please Email the recipe ASAP if possible.
    Many Thanks

    Sorry, Lenore, can’t email it – it’s not in electronic form. But basically it’s the same as our Golden Focaccia. Just sprknkle with rosemary, and tuck slivers of garlic into slits in the crust before rising. If you want to make it this weekend, best to make the starter tonight, OK? PJH

    Reply
  18. Rebecca

    Thank you soooo much for all of the hard work you put in so we can look so fabulous! I can not wait to make the bread and the fondue – I feel a party comin’ on!

    A real cheese-y party, eh, Rebecca…? :) PJH

    Reply
  19. terri lower

    Can I freeze the dough before making all 3 loaves?

    Yes, Terri. Let it rise once, then deflate, and wrap tightly in plastic, covered by aluminum foil. Use within 4 to 6 weeks. PJH

    Reply
  20. Adam

    ooh, this sounds great! question though, if I wanted to substitute KA white whole wheat flour for most of the all-purpose, what would be the best way to go about it? could I just sub the entire 2 cups that gets added to the starter and still have a good final result? thanks!

    Depends what you mean by good result, Adam. The bread will be different, for sure; heavier, denser, darker. Increase the water a bit, and let the dough rest for 20 minutes before kneading. You might want to start with 1 cup whole wheat, rather than 2 cups. See how you like that balance, then increase the whole wheat if you like. Good luck – PJH

    Reply
  21. Jen

    I will have to try this bread at our next fondue party. I was introduced to fondue by my SIL the year before I married DH. We have 3 course meal with various different fondues (several cheeses, some broth and oil for meats and the chocolate for desert) every New Year’s Eve.

    Marica, I have found a recipe for fondue using regular apple cider on one of the various food recipe website. I haven’t tried it but it wouldn’t hurt to try.

    Reply
  22. hddonna

    This looks wonderful–both the bread and the fondue! Yum! I remember making fondue with apple juice when I was in high school, along about 1970. My boyfriend and I had a fondue party, with both cheese and meat fondues, and the alcohol burner caused a small fire on the paper tablecloth. Lots of excitement, no harm done. The fondue was delicious, but these days, I think I’d cut it with water as you suggested, and I think the nonalcoholic wine suggested by others would be a great choice, too, perhaps better.

    Reply
  23. Lise M.

    This bread looks delicious – and my daughter just told me she has some in the oven (I’m so jealous!) I’m going to look for some dried pears for my loaves – sound great with cheese – even if I just spread a little Bleu cheese on a warm slice.
    I’ve seen the “fold and heel-of-the-hand seal” method of forming the baguette, but WHY is that method used? Why can’t it just be rolled up like every other loaf of bread? Sorry to ask a dumb question, but I’m curious what that shaping method does for this (or any baguette) bread. Thanks for a great and inspiring blog!

    Reply
  24. Lee

    An earlier post (HMB) reminded me of my first trip to Europe in high school. We were slurping up the most delicious fondue in Switzerland and the four of us teenage girls were all eager to replicate this back home so we asked our somewhat snobby waiter what cheese they used to make it and he sniffed “Why SWISS of course!” stuck his nose in the air and turn quickly away.
    We just polished off a loaf of the cranberry walnut sourdough from the KA Whole Grain baking cookbook. I think it would’ve gone swell with some of that fondue as well!

    Oooh, good idea, Lee – cranberries/cheese are lovely together… PJH

    Reply
  25. Reginald Beck

    Good gooey goo this looks good! I am the resident bread psycho and now you’ve thrown fondue on the wood pile! This is the best bread pairing I have ever seen! Well done!

    Go for it, Reginald – become the bread AND cheese psycho… :) PJH

    Reply
  26. Tonia

    When I first saw the picture I thought “OH! Hazelnut bagettes! I need to make those again” Then I saw it was walnut apple and thought “apple? how?!?” Then read dried diced apples — GREAT idea! I used to make a gorgonzola walnut bread (sourdough bread base) and the color was always this great purpley color. Will be trying the fondue soon w/this bread!! Thanks for all your fantastic ideas and fun that you have baking!

    We have a Hazelnut Golden Raisin version, too, Tonia. That’s what this one was based on. And I love the idea of adding cheese right to the dough – instant fondue! :) PJH

    Reply
  27. Becky

    A definite keeper recipe!! I made mine with pecans (I am Southern!!) and dried cherries (thanks, Northerners!). The rye flour really made it over the top. Just sorry I didn’t have cheese for fondue but thanks for the valuable info

    Great, Becky – hope your pecan crop is plentiful this year, I know it varies from year to year (my brother in Georgia has pecan trees in his yard). Pecans and cherries sound delish- PJH

    Reply
  28. Casey

    You’ve just given me a brain storm for something different to do for an employee’s birthday “lunch” later in the month. And Becky’s post with cherries and pecans reflects my pantry offerings.
    So here I am in Georgia with about 4″ of snow on top of frozen slush, living on a
    4 hairpin turn mountain remotely accessing voice mail to say that my store will not be open today…….
    thus I get to stay home and BAKE!! Sharing Bread starter has been bubbling since last night. I’m going to try one or more of the recipes demonstrated at your demo in Kennesaw GA a couple of weeks ago.
    But mostly what I wanted to say in this long-winded post, is I LOVE seeing the faces of the employee-owners of KAF. With the blog, the nice phone conversations when ordering and seeing the photos, I think of y’all* as KAFriends. *This is forced southern….I’m originally from Saratoga Springs NY and even after 10 years here, can’t twang worth a dang.

    Thanks for being part of this baking community. Wish you could share your snow with us! Irene @ KAF

    “Can’t twang worth a dang”? LOVE IT. I’m going to share that with Mike, our flour division director, who took the reverse trip: grew up down South, went to school in Saratoga Springs, and now lives in a town nearby. Bet he CAN twang worth a dang! :) PJH

    Reply
  29. Marianna

    OH MY GOODNESS! I baked this bread this morning and just tasted it. Pure bliss! I am so glad I have built up a nice pantry of ingredients. I had the dried apples and walnuts so it was easy to get started. I don’t have a fondue ready at the moment so I put a nice chunk of Vintage Choice Cabot Cheddar on the warm bread. I am in my happy place!! I can’t wait to make the fondue this evening. Thanks PJ!!!!

    And thanks, as always, for sharing with us, Marianna – always so good to see your name here, because you seem like one happy baker! PJH

    Reply
  30. Gillian Lang

    Our little neighborhood Walmart carries Cabot cheese here in Oklahoma City. Just as well, as we have kids who grew up on wonderful cheese from the Lebanon Co-op! It has to be cheddar, it has to be extra sharp and it has to be white!

    Gillian, I’m on my way to the Co-op right now (Hanover, not Lebanon) – I’ll give them a big Oklahoma “Hi” form you! PJH

    Reply
  31. cindy leigh

    oh PJ, this resonates on so many different levels!
    I have that book, Beard on Bread. Got it as a newlywed 25 years ago by accident- a cookbook of the month club that I forgot to mail in the monthly selection card- so they sent me the bread book. Awesome! While my naval officer-husband was out to sea, I perfected (or improved) the breadmaking skills I learned at my grandmother’s knee. I still have that copy, lovingly tattered.
    And fondue! Have not had that in ages. I remember when my parents honeymooned at mom’s cousin’s ski resort in VT in the 70s, they came home addicted to fondue. And brought a huge block of VT cheddar home with them. We had lots of fondue parties. It seemed so exotic and sophisticated.
    I recently gave my grad student-son a gift certificate to an all-fondue retaurant in San Diego. And when he was home for Christmas, he gave me an electric fondue pot. I still have not used it. You’ve given me some inspiration. Maybe for Valentine’s day?
    Happy Valentine’s Day,
    Cindy

    And Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too, Cindy. Funny how you ended up with the Beard as the result of forgetfulness. It was SUCH a favorite of mine when I was learning to bake bread. Now I have two old copies, because I saw another well-worn, well-loved copy at a rummage sale and for $1, couldn’t resist. And our Baker’s Companion cookbook won the Beard “Best Cookbook” award back in 2005, so I do have a certain fondness for both the man and his awards program. So – yeah, get out that electric fondue pot and give it a whirl! PJH

    Reply
  32. Cher

    Apples + cheddar (and bread). How could a girl from Upstate NY apple/ farm country not fall head in heels in love with this combo??? I may be a “little” biased toward NY Cheddar, but there is definitely a corner in my heart reserved for Cabot products.

    This is going to taste really good with a cold glass of Muscato… I can hardly wait.

    So right, Cher – when I was trying to envision what bread would go perfectly with fondue, the first thing I thought of was apples. And I share your love of NY cheddar – it’s what I grew up on. That hard/flaky texture, the way it “bites” the back of your tongue… OO-LA-LA! :) PJH

    Reply
  33. Mark

    WOW! Norwich, VT is the center of the world tonight with your own gold medal Olympian, Hannah Kearney! Does she get goodies for life?

    Mark, she probably needs to stay in shape – never mind the goodies! But I’ll bet if she stopped by the bakery we could find some GOLDen brown bread or cookies for her… I’ve known Hannah since she was a little girl. She was the only girl in my son’s class who could beat him in a foot race; she beat all the boys. She’s intense, focused, the most incredible athlete I ever knew (led our HS to multiple girls NH state soccer championships, and was a NH state track and field champion herself a few times), AND was a straight-A student, AND played trumpet in the band, AND was the nicest girl you’d ever want to meet. (NH, you ask? What about Vermont? Our local HS is the only multi-state HS in the country, covering Hanover, NH and Norwich, VT.) So anyway, seeing her winning a gold medal was very special. She’s the first Upper Valley (where we live, middle of VT/NH) resident to win Olympic gold, and we’re all psyched today! PJH

    Reply
  34. Bridget

    To Marcia: Made this last night without any wine in the house. if you are allergic to alcohol, even alcohol free can have traces. You need something acidic to keep the cheese proteins from clumping as they melt. I used lemon juice, but I think apple juice, or even apple cider vinegar might work. Heat that up, throw in a couple handfuls of cornstarch coated cheese. Once that gets melted I slowly added some milk to help thin it out. More cheese more milk, slowly until it’s the consistency you want. I have also seen “fondue” recipes where you make a roux with butter and flour, add milk, then add your cheese, just like you would for macaroni and cheese. Good luck!
    The bread was delicious by the way. I kind of cheated and used a rye dough from Artisan in 5 minutes a day for my starter, then added a bit more water with the rest of the ingredients, but it came out beautifully. Great flavor combination.

    Bridget, thanks for the detailed tips – much appreciated by all of us. PJH

    Reply
  35. Larry Osborn

    Made the bread today & the temptation was overwhelming to cut a slice when still warm. Didn’t had to leave the house for a while to stop myself.

    Just a lovely combination. I live in south central Texas (small town) where bread is white, soft, builds bodies…,and no crunchy crust! I bake a lot, a lot because of bread addiction. Your Ciabatta recipe recently was the first besides Peter Reinhart’s that was accurate and produced the beautiful holes. Thanks.

    Somewhat off topic but a nice tip. I bake pies, quiche & tarts frequently and found that if you take a round pronged flower frog for vases and use it to press holes in your aluminum foil the steam excapes when blind baking the crust. You won’t have the sides slumping after the first 20 minutes when removing the foil and weights for browning.

    Keep up the good work at KAF, larry Thanks for that great tip, Larry. We learn so much from our customeres! Mary@KAF

    Reply
  36. NancyB

    Just finished my dinner of fondue with *Pear*-Walnut Fondue Bread, as it turned out that the dried apples I thought I had were really pears. It was still lovely, and went well with my mostly-cheddar fondue. If we do get another inch or two of snow tonight here in Atlanta, I may just have to make another batch of fondue tomorrow–it’s such a great winter meal.

    It’s certainly comforting, Nancy, isn’t it? BTW, my brother lives in Milledgeville and said they got 2″ of snow – I know you folks down there are SO not used to the white stuff. You have my permission to send it on up here – our ground is bare! PJH

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  37. Janey

    Oh my goodness, I am 23 and have been baking with my mother’s copy of Beard on Bread for years. The first recipe of his I tried was the pizza caccia nanza, which is STILL my favorite! I used to worry that it would be stale if left out too long, but it never lasts more than a day or so…

    This bread looks gorgeous. I’ll have to give it a go!

    Reply
  38. Claudia

    When you speak of cheese, please don’t forget in Oregon we really do have the BEST cheese ever…Tillamook. If you have never tried it, you owe it to yourself. Here’s their website: http://www.tillamookcheese.com/

    I know the sun rises in the East but it sets in the West…we are civilized out here, women get to vote and the indians have casino’s not hatchets. PLEASE, don’t forget we are up here in the great NW…you know, the area just south of the Olympics.

    Aside from all of that….love your product:)

    Thanks, Claudia – Sorry Tillamook isn’t easy to find out here, I’m sure it’s delicious. I have to use what I can get, otherwise I’d love to “plug” cheeses from all over the country. Thanks for giving your favorite its due here – :) PJH

    Reply
  39. Naomi

    I can’t wait to make this tonight, or at least the starter. I will bake the actual bread tomorrow. I love having the day off. I have played almost exclusively with the alternative methods of bread baking-artisan in 5 no-knead, bread machine, etc., but I have yet to make a standard bread myself. I wonder if some of the texture issues I have had will be fixed by using the traditional method, or at least the kitchen aid version. I have had issues with my wrists, and though my experience was with kneading clay rather than dough, my wrists have objected bitterly. I love the crystal clear directions in this recipe.

    re: snow-sorry Vermont, but Vancouver needs it more than you do right now

    Reply
  40. Kate

    This looks fabulous, both the bread and the fondue, not to mention that pot…my brother has the Emile Henry tarte tatin pan and it is a thing of beauty.

    KAF should come up with a “wish list” feature like Amazon, that pot would be on mine! Seriously, it is something that you folks might want to consider, I bet your customers would use it.

    One question about the bread, is there any reason that I cannot shape it into one loaf and bake it in my stoneware baker? I know that I would probably have to tweak the baking time. I have this one:
    http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/long-covered-baker
    and am always looking for more recipes for it.

    I’ll pass your suggesttin along to my Web teammates, Kate. And I’d think the three baguettes could become one rather fat loaf in your covered baker… give it a try, let us know how it turns out. PJH

    Reply
  41. Charlene S.

    Made this for Valentine’s Day—it was WONDERFUL! Both the fondue and the bread were easy and delish! I actually thought the bread was overdone because the crust was so crisp, but the center was soft and tasty. Thanks for great ideas. Again, my family of bakers comes through! (And we are using the last loaf tonight as an accompaniment for soup. Double yum!)

    Good show, Charlene – thanks for reporting back here. It’s definitely a crusty, fairly dense bread – but REALLY tasty, in my book, and perfect with cheese. I can see it making delightful sandwiches stuffed with melting Brie… :) PJH

    Reply
  42. Gina Wallace

    I will have died and gone to heaven when I make this…although my bread will be 95 % whole wheat, which I mill myself (although I keep a bag each of KA organic white and organic white whole wheat in my freezer for times when I don’t feel like sorting for rocks and milling). My two fave things on earth are cheese and bread. Throw in a good glass of wine and I’ll be set. I’m making up the invites now to share with my friends!

    Reply
  43. hddonna

    We had this yesterday for supper–the bread and the fondue, exactly a presented here (well, I used a dry riesling for the wine)–and it was wonderful! A great pairing, and the fondue worked like a dream, the best I’ve had. Now, just in case you have any of the bread left after the fondue–I was looking for a bed-time snack, and there were a few cubes of the bread left, and there was a tablespoon or two of lovely caramel sauce left from a portion of bread pudding I’d brought home from a restaurant the day before. Apple walnut bread plus caramel? Fabulous! It was better than the award-winning apple raisin bread pudding from the restaurant.

    Reply
  44. hddonna

    Forgot to ask: I was a little uncertain as to whether the bread was really done after 25 minutes. It was, but what temperature do you suggest I look for next time, just to be certain?
    Yes, the time is 25 minutes but you may also look for an internal temperature of 205 degrees. Joan @bakershotline

    Reply
  45. Joan

    I started this bread last night and didn’t have time to return to it until dinner time tonight. So my bread wasn’t finished until 10pm tonight. It was delicious !!! and I doubt the additional time that the starter spent on the counter made any difference. I don’t have a triple baguette pan but have the Italian bread pan(double). So I made two loaves. We just had to try the bread after it cooled and ended up eating almost a third of one loaf. I cooked the bread 25 minutes and tested it by thumping it. I probably should have cooked it 5 minutes longer since the loaves were bigger. Next time I will test it with my Thermapen. No matter that the crusts aren’t quite as crunchy after the bread cooled, it is still wonderful sliced and spread with a little butter. My husband suggested I also try it made into 1 large loaf, using just one side of the Italian pan. It would then be good for sandwiches. By the way, I used Trader Joe’s New Zealand Sweet Apple Rings in the bread. I had never tried them but bought them for this recipe. They are perfect. After re-reading this blog, I have to also try the bread with fondue. I bet it is yummy. Thank you for this blog!

    Thanks for sharing how versatile this recipe is, Joan – letting the starter rest longer, baking it in larger loaves… And those sweet apple rings sound marvelous. For crunchier crusts, BTW, when the bread is done, turn the oven off, crack the door open a few inches, and let the loaves cool right in the cooling oven. It helps a lot. PJH

    Reply
  46. Joan

    We had the rest of this bread for dinner tonight with Brie & Crab Cioppino. Yum! My husband said this was the best new bread recipe I had made in a long time! Thanks for the tip about leaving the loaves in the oven.

    You’re welcome, Joan – glad it worked for you. PJH

    Reply
  47. Leigh in England

    Mouthwatering stuff! This looks like a perfect dinner party starter (particularly when 3 of the guests are vegetarian!). Would it be possible to shape the bread into individual rolls (perhaps oblongs, like ciabatta?) or would that affect the baking time and / or the outcome?

    Individual rolls or demi-baguettes would work great. Give it a try. Since the individually sized pieces will be smaller. The baking time will be shorter. For an about 3 ounce roll, I’d guess 12-15 minutes for baking time at 350-375 degrees. Frank @ KAF.

    Reply
  48. shilpa1311

    This bread is awesome. I just made a couple of loaves and loved it. This will be perfect with the fondue. Thanks for the awesome recipe and the very detailed instructions….

    Shilpa
    Cook, Eat & Relax

    Reply
  49. bevnap

    I’m wondering about pre shredded cheese vs fresh shredded. I believe they add something to the shredded cheese to keep it from clumping?
    Yes, you are correct. There are additives. I believe fresh tastes best! Elisabeth

    Reply

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