The jalapeno challenge — recipe No. 4

I should have made this recipe today. It’s gray and gloomy outside — perfect weather for baking bread.

Mmm. Homemade bread.

Guess what I’m going to do tonight?

CHEDDAR JALAPENO BREAD

  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup water + 1 1/2 cups water
  • 4 cups flour + a fair bit more to dust
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons sharp, old, pungent cheddar cheese
  • 5 small jalapeno peppers, or 3 to 4 medium large ones
  • 1 egg

Combine the yeast and sugar in a small bowl. Add warm water. After about 5 minutes, the yeast will have bloomed.

In your mixer, sift the flour and salt. Add in the olive oil, additional warm water, and the blooming yeast. Mix on low for a few minutes.

Grate up slightly over 2 cups of your cheese. Cut and dice jalapenos. Add both to the mixture, saving tablespoons of cheese to sprinkle on top of the loaf before you bake it.

Knead the dough for a 8 to 10 minutes. When the texture of your bread dough is smooth and elastic, lightly coat a large bowl with oil, turn the dough ball inside it to coat it completely with oil, and cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel. Let rise for two hours.

Butter a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan. Punch down dough and knead it again for another 5 minutes. Place dough in pan.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Whisk your egg, and brush the egg mixture evenly all over the top of your bread. Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheddar on top.

Bake your bread loaf in the center of the oven for 1 to 1.25 hours, or until golden brown. Bread will sound hollow when tapped; that’s how you know it is finished. Leave this on a rack to cool for at least an hour before cutting into it.

Recipe adapted from www.choosy-beggars.com

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