Instructions

  1. Combine everything but the three cheeses, and beat on medium speed of an electric mixer to make a soft, smooth dough. It may or may not clear the sides of the bowl; either way is just fine. Switch to the dough hook, and knead for about 5 minutes.

  2. Add the three cheeses, and mix until well combined.

  3. Put the soft dough in a lightly greased bowl or 8-cup measure, cover, and let rise for about 2 hours, till very puffy.

  4. Lightly grease a 14" to 15" covered stoneware baker. Or lightly grease a baking sheet, or line with parchment. Sprinkle semolina into the pan, or onto the baking sheet.

  5. Gently deflate the dough. For one long loaf, shape it into a 13" log, and place in the stoneware baker. For two loaves, divide the dough in half, and place both halves on the prepared baking sheet.

  6. Tent lightly with greased plastic wrap (or cover the stoneware baker with its lid), and let rise for about an hour, till noticeably puffy. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F.

  7. Take the plastic off the bread. Spray it with water, and use a sharp knife to make three diagonal slashes in each loaf.

  8. If you're using the stoneware pan, leave the cover on. Bake the bread for 30 minutes; remove the cover, and bake for an additional 10 minutes, till the bread is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers about 190°F to 200°F. If you're baking smaller loaves, check to see if they're done after 30 minutes.

  9. Remove the bread from the oven, and take it out of the pan. If you've baked in the stoneware pan, loosen the edges, and carefully turn the bread out of the pan onto a rack to cool.

  10. Yield: 1 large or 2 smaller loaves.