Friday, June 15, 2007

Kittencal's Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese Bread

I stole this recipe from the Internet. Here's the link if you'd like to read others' reviews. I loved it fresh from the oven, crisp and chewy, and the next day I enjoyed it toasted. I think it would be excellent for sandwiches, but I'm making it next time sans peppers, which would make it, I suppose, "Kittencal's Cheddar Cheese Bread" instead. If you like hot peppers in your bread, leave them in; I think our family just prefers the cheese, and the large chunks of cheese in this bread are perfect.

1 and 1/2 tablespoons dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water
4 cups flour (more as needed; I also added a tablespoon of vital wheat gluten)
2 large jalapeno peppers, coarsely chopped, and seeds removed (can use more jalapeno if desired; I used a small can of mild chiles)
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 egg (room temperature, let egg sit in hot water for about 5-7 minutes to warm)
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)
1 cup milk, warmed
2 and 1/2 cups cheddar cheese (chopped into about 1/4-inch cubes, can make larger if desired; I cut them into 1/2 inch cubes)

1. Prepare a heavy-duty stand mixer with a kneader blade (or just knead with your hands the way bakers have since yeast bread was invented)

2. Proof yeast in water with 1 teaspoon sugar for 8-10 minutes, or until foamy.

3. Heat milk in the microwave for about 50 seconds.

4. In the stainless steel bowl, add in 4 cups flour, chopped jalapenos (or drained chiles), salt, sugar, egg, hot pepper sauce (if using) and warmed milk.

5. After the yeast has proofed, add to the bowl and start kneading, adding in more flour as needed to create a soft smooth semi-sticky dough, keep kneading for about 8-10 minutes.

6. Towards the end of the kneading add in the cubed cheddar cheese, and mix until combined (the dough can be removed from the bowl and you can add/mix in the cheese by hand if desired).

7. After the kneading, let the dough sit out on a board or counter top to rest, covered with a clean tea towel for 8-10 minutes.

8. Gather up dough and knead gently for 30 seconds.

9. Then place the dough in a well greased bowl, and let rise until doubled (about 1-1/2 hours).

10. Punch down dough and slice into two even pieces.

11. Shape into two large balls, and place on a cookie/baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

12. Cover with a clean tea towel and rise again for another 1 hour or more until doubled.

13. Brush tops with an egg white that has been mixed with 1 teaspoon cold water.

14. Sprinkle on grated Parmesan cheese or sesame seeds.

15. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 25-35 minutes or until the crust is a dark golden brown.

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