Developed by Enthusiast Member Beth Falk
Ray and Pamela Robinson have been producing artisanal raw milk cheese in Hardwick, MA since 2006. The Robinsons use organic milk from their own grass-fed cows, which varies in character and flavor from season to season, reflecting the terroir of the Hardwick hills.
Award-winning A Barndance from Robinson Farm is a riff on the traditional French Alpine cheese Abondance. It has notes of stone fruit and hazelnut and a deep buttery finish. This irresistible bread, with its sweet-savory contrast of honey, fresh herbs and the subtle but sophisticated flavors of A Barndance, makes a beautiful presentation on a holiday brunch plate.
- 18 Tbsp unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pan
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat bread flour (I recommend the stone-ground flours from Four Star Farms in Northfield, MA)
- 1 ½ cups grated “A Barndance” cheese
- 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary, lavender or thyme
- 2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/3 cup water
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp active dry yeast (or two ¼ oz. packages)
- ¾ cup honey (for deeper flavor, local honey is best)
- Grease a 10” bundt pan with butter and dust with flour; set aside. Mix all-purpose flour, bread flour, cheese, rosemary, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
- Heat 2 Tbsp butter with milk and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until an instant read thermometer reads 115 degrees. Remove from heat, stir in sugar and yeast, and let mixture sit until foamy, about 10 minutes.
- Slowly add butter/yeast mixture to dry ingredients, stirring, then knead with your hands until the dough is smooth, 5-10 minutes. Form a ball with the dough and transfer to a lightly greased bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Melt the remaining 16 Tbsp butter in a small saucepan; whisk in honey and set aside.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, pat dough into an 8” rectangle about 1” thick. Cut dough into 8 equal pieces, form into balls, and fit snugly into the prepared bundt pan. Pour butter/honey mixture evenly over the dough and bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the bread comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.