1. Sprinkle yeast over 1/4 cup of the warm water (105 degrees F) in a glass measuring cup. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Let stand for 10 minutes. Mixture will be foamy.
2. In a large bowl, stir together 3-1/4 cups of the flour, salt, rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano, sage, pepper and remaining 1 teaspoon sugar.
3. Pour yeast mixture into flour mixture. Add remaining 1 cup warm water and the olive oil. Stir to form a ball. Mix in 3/4 cup of the shredded cheddar.
4. Turn out onto a well-floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes, adding additional flour as needed until dough is smooth and elastic.
5. Grease a large bowl with a little additional olive oil. Place dough in bowl and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place for 1-1/2 hours, until doubled in size. Punch dough down.
6. Roll out dough into a 20 x 8-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Roll up from a short side. Fold ends under loaf and place seam-side down in a greased 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 x 2-5/8-inch loaf pan. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for an additional hour.
7. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Brush top of loaf with the egg wash. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese.
8. Bake at 400 degrees F for 35 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pan to rack; cool.
9. To present, wrap the cooled loaf in a pretty patterned dish towel; place atop the cutting board with a rolling pin beside it. Enclose everything in colored cellophane; tie with ribbon. Makes 1 loaf (12 slices).