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Cheese toasts

An open-faced grilled cheese, only better
(Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune; Shannon Kinsella/food styling)

While grilled cheese is pretty much just bread and cheese, cheese toast combines grated cheese with butter or mayonnaise, along with other flavoring ingredients.

This recipe by James P. Dewan was originally published in the Chicago Tribune.

Ingredients

For the topping:

  • 6 Ounces Parmesan, shredded
  • 3 Ounces cheddar, shredded
  • 2 Teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 Teaspoon paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

For the dough:

  • 4 Cups flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 Cup milk, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 Cup buttermilk
  • 1 stick (4 tablespoons) butter, melted, cooled
  • 2 whole eggs, beaten with a tablespoon of water, for egg wash

Directions

For the topping:

Pulse all the ingredients in a food processor until coarsely but evenly ground. If not using right away, cover and refrigerator up to 1 week.

For the dough:

Combine flour, salt and baking powder in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.

Mix on low to combine ingredients, about 1 minute.

Combine ½ cup milk, the buttermilk and melted butter in a separate bowl.

Turn off mixer; add liquid ingredients.

Mix on low to combine, scraping sides as needed, about 2 minutes.

Increase to second speed, and mix until just combined, about 1 minute.

If dough does not come together, add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Remove dough from bowl, divide into 4 pieces and roll into balls.

Wrap in plastic wrap; allow dough to rest, 30 minutes.

Unwrap one dough ball and place on the counter.

Flatten with a rolling pin or the palm of your hand to a thickness of less than an inch; divide it into 2 pieces of relatively even size.

Pass one piece of dough through a pasta roller on its widest setting. Be patient, as the dough may still be pretty stiff.

Letter fold the dough (fold one side one-third over, then do the same with the other side); rotate dough 90 degrees and pass it through the pasta roller again to make smoother sides. If dough is sticking, dust lightly with flour between rolls.

Continue rolling at increasingly smaller settings until dough is very thin, 1 or 2 settings before the smallest setting. (Different pasta machines have different numbering systems.)

Lay the rolled dough onto a parchment-covered cookie sheet.

Repeat with remaining dough.

When dough strips are on cookie sheets, dock them heavily with a fork, then brush with egg wash.

Sprinkle evenly with the cheese topping.

Cut into triangles with a pizza cutter.

Bake in a 375-degree oven until brown and crisp, 12 to 15 minutes.

Cool to room temperature and serve.