Are you feeling cheesy? Then look no further than asiago cheese bread! Asiago cheese bread is an easy way to round out any Italian meal with little effort. Your family and friends will think you’re a Michelin star baker with this recipe. If you’ve never made bread before, don’t worry this is a super easy recipe to follow. You can make this asiago cheese bread in about 2 hours time making it faster than most other bread recipes out there. Try serving asiago cheese bread with homemade SpaghettiOs, one pot lasagna soup, and lemon caper linguine with shrimp and lobster.
Asiago is a cow’s milk cheese, first produced in Asiago, Italy. This robust cheese can come in many textures all dependent on its aging. Fresh is often smooth, while aged is more crumbly. Sometime between the 10th, and 15th centuries, sheep raising was the predominant agricultural activity in Asiago. The purpose of Asiago was primarily the production of savory cheeses, called then by Pegorin, and wool production. In the 1700s, Asiago production was expanding to the surrounding areas and by the 18/19th century, where long maturing Asiago d’Allevo was produced. It wouldn’t be until the early 1900s however that shorter maturation Asiago Pressato was produced.
Bartolomeo Sacchi, an Italian Renaissance humanist writer and gastronomist, is cited as writing “goat’s milk is excellent, ewe’s milk is next, with cow’s milk in third place”. While sheep replacing cattle began around 1500 as a consequence of modern breeding techniques, it would only be in the 19th century that cow milk replaced sheep in the production of the region's cheese. Traditional cheese-making techniques in this period were improved during this time, and slowly would diffuse out from the territory of Asiago. However, Asiago would remain predominantly in the Asiago region until the 19th century, after which the cheese would spread to neighboring territory.
The greatest spread of Asiago was war. Asiago was on the border of the Austrian Empire, and was a large area of contention during Napoleon’s Italian Campaign, and also during both World Wars. Asiago cheese was often traded alongside native Italian fowl, like seahawks, and traders would often receive more valuable items in return. Asiago was introduced into the US by Italian Immigrants in the 1920s, and became well known by the late 20th, early 21st century for its use in shredded cheese blends, and as a topping on the eponymous asiago bagel, and asiago cheese bread. It wouldn’t be until 1979 that Consorzio Tutela Formaggio Asiago, based out of Vincenza, was set up to guarantee quality Asiago cheese. It currently represents more than forty cheese makers, and cheese aging facilities.