One woman's foray into cooking for herself, for her family, and for her friends. It's not always picture-perfect, sometimes a little messy,
but it's always delicious. Join me in exploring new recipes, savoring the "résultats" and learning from the "erreurs".

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Jalapeno-Cheddar Bread

Several years ago, there was a bakery I occasionally shopped that had the most wonderful breads.  On one visit, I noticed they had a jalapeno-cheese bread.  It sounded strange to me, but I was willing to give it a try.  The bakery proprietor suggested that I toast the bread - it would enhance the flavor and the texture.  As soon as I got home, I couldn't wait to try it.  So I cut a slice and toasted away.  And then I buttered it.  O.
M. G.   It was delicious.  Absolutely.  Quite different from any toast I'd ever had.  The bakery is no longer there, and so, sadly, I've had to live without my favorite toasting bread.  Until now.

I regularly make Ann's (Thibeault's Table) French bread recipe, usually about once a week.  A few weeks ago, I decided to add some diced cheddar and chopped jalapeno peppers to the dough in an attempt to duplicate this memorable bread.  It was slightly disappointing.  Not quite enough cheese or peppers, nor were they evenly distributed throughout the loaf.  After a few attempts, I finally came up with what I'd been hunting for - a great loaf of Jalapeno-Cheddar Bread.  Finally!! :-D

Jalapeno-Cheddar French Bread

3-1/2 cups bread flour
1 packet yeast (2-1/2 teaspoons)
2-1/4 teaspoons salt
1-1/3 cups cold water, plus additional 1/3 cup cold water
4 ounces cheddar cheese
2 fresh jalapeno peppers, minced, or 4 tablespoons pickled jalapeno peppers, minced
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Place the flour, yeast and salt in the bowl of the food process. Pulse to mix. Add 1-1/3 cups of water and process until the dough comes together. If the dough doesn't form a ball, add a little of the extra water. Process for about 60 seconds, turn off machine and let dough rest for 5 minutes.

Turn on the machine again and rotate the dough about 30 times under the cover, and then remove it to a lightly floured work surface. it should be fairly smooth and quite firm.

Let the dough rest for 2 minutes and then knead roughly and vigourously. The final dough should not stick to your hands as you knead (although it will stick if you pinch and hold a piece); it should be smooth and elastic and, when you hold it up between your hands and stretch it down, it should hold together smoothly.

Preliminary rise - 40 to 60 minutes at around 75°F. Place the dough into a clean dry bowl, (do not grease the bowl), cover with plastic wrap, and set in a warm place free from drafts. (Note the French do not grease the bowl because they believe the dough needs a seat to push up from.) This first rise is sufficient when the dough has definitely started to rise and is about 1-1/2 times its original volume.

Turn the dough onto your lightly floured work surface roughly and firmly pat and push it out into a 14-inch rectangle. Fold one of the long sides over toward the middle, and the other long side over to cover it, making a 3 layer cushion. Repeat the operation. This important step redistributes the yeast throughout the dough, for a strong second rise. Return the dough smooth side up the bowl; cover with plastic wrap and again set to rise.

Final rise in the bowl - about 1 to 1-1/2 hours or longer. The bread should be 2-1/2 to 3 times its original bulk. It is the amount of rise that is important here, not the timing.

Cut the dough in half. Set one piece aside and cover with a towel. On a lightly floured work surface pat the dough into a 14-inch rectangle, squaring it up as evenly as you can. Distribute half of the cheese and the jalapenos and press lightly into dough.  Lengthwise, roll dough up, pinching to seal the long edge and the ends.  Curl the dough around itself, snail-like, pinching the end of the dough to the loaf.  Flatten slightly.  Sprinkle parmesan, if using, over loaf.  Repeat with other half of dough.

Cover with plastic wrap or loosely with a towel and let rise to more than double again at about 75°f.

Place baking stone in oven and preheat oven to 500 F. Place on the hot stone. Immediately toss a number of ice cubes on to the bottom on the oven to create steam. Bake until bread is golden brown and has an interior temp of 200°F. Takes about 20 - 30 minutes.


Dragana said...

Oh My! I've been out of town and missed some excellent recipes on your blog - from the mushroom soup, the gnocchi, pear tart and this fabulous looking bread!!! Off to the store I go!

Linda said...

Oh Lori this bread looks simply wonderful!
Beautiful pics!

Dena Pickle said...

It looks delicious! I love cheese bread- never tried it with jalepenos.

Stop by my blog if you have a husband is the guest blogger and i'm hoping everyone will show him some love


La Table De Nana said...

Everything you make looks sinfully delicious..Keeper:) Thanks so much Lori!

food with style said...

omg lori you could knock me over with a feather and i am NO LIGHTWEIGHT!

The Wife said...

I love your pictures of this bread. I've had jalapeno bread, but it has been a really long time. And I definitely have never made it.

Zurin said...

Now that is a bread I wld eat in a second...I love savoury bread and better still when they are studded with peppers!!

punkiepies said...

I made this last night with cheese only (no peppers). Amazing! I plan to make again tomorrow for a dinner party/cooking club. Thank you for sharing.

Lori (All That Splatters) said...

Punkiepies, this bread makes for amazing toast! Don't forget to save some for a savory part of your next breakfast! :D

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the time and effort you put into perfecting this recipe. It's amazing! Thank you for sharing ;)

Tracie Dziagwa said...

A quick question (since I have horrible luck with yeast and dough rising). I've heard salt has a negative impact on yeast doing its "thing". Your instructions don't include letting the yeast get frothy with the water, right?

Lori (All That Splatters) said...

Tracie, sometimes I'll mix the flour, yeast, and water, and let the mixture rest for about 10 - 15 minutes, then add the salt. That gives the yeast a little time to start activating. Add the dry yeast directly to the flour - no need to let the yeast proof in water first.

Let me know how it turns out!


Anonymous said...

The bread looks yum!!! I've been making baked food and breads recently.... tried out onion and mozzarella as whole wheat buns, it came out i'm making it with jalapeños (we spice-eatarians) just like the ones u made!

Lori (All That Splatters) said...

Hellopalz, your whole wheat buns sound delicious. I'll have to try your combination, too. Thanks for visiting All That Splatters!


Jennifer Wallace said...

I tried this recipe about a week ago and it turned out amazing. The only thing I did different was use 1/2 a cup of corn meal in place of 1/2 cup of flour (also dusted the loaves before baking)... and also added more cheese and jalapeno's. Thanks again, this recipe is a real hit!

Anonymous said...

too salty but good. going to use a lot less last next time.

Hot Pappers said...

I keep on reading this attractive blog.

Anonymous said...

How many little loafs does the recipe make?

Lori (All That Splatters) said...

The recipe makes 2 loaves of bread.

Anonymous said...

I don't have a large food processor, what do I need to do to replace that step in the recipe?

Anonymous said...

Made this, turned out great. However, don't leave the bread in at 500 degrees. I turned it down to about 300 as to not burn the outside and to cook the inside longer. Decrease temp and cook longer to get a better loaf. It takes a long time to make this recipe, took me about 5 hours with all the rising that it has to do, so be prepared to spend some time on this.

Anonymous said...

This recipe seems difficult but it isn't. It does take time. Didn't have a food processor so I used the Kitchen Aid with the dough hook. A very good bread, as good as you can buy in the store.

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