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Hot Stuff - Cheddar Jalapeño Bread

I’m not sure there’s any better smell in the house that’s more inviting than bread baking.  And as much as I typically avoid white bread, this recipe from Tasty Videos caught my attention and I had to try it.


INGREDIENTS

3 ½ cups bread flour, plus more for dusting

2 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided

2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped, plus 1, sliced into rings, divided

1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 cups warm water

2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast

1 tablespoon olive oil


METHOD

In a large bowl, combine the bread flour, 2 cups  of cheddar cheese, the chopped jalapeños, and salt. Stir well.

In a separate large bowl, combine the warm water and yeast. Pour the flour mixture on top of the water and use a silicone spatula to stir until the dough comes together.

With the spatula, fold the dough around the edges of the bowl toward the center, rotating the bowl each time and folding a total of 8 times. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest in a warm place for 60 minutes, or until almost doubled in size.

Using the spatula, fold the dough toward the center again 8 more times. Cover with the towel and let rest for 30 minutes.

Place the Dutch oven and lid in the oven and preheat to 450 for 30 minutes.

Lightly flour a clean work surface and your hands. Carefully peel the dough out of the bowl and onto the floured surface. Flip over and carefully brush away excess flour. Fold the edges of the dough towards the center 8 times, then flip over the dough and transfer to a piece of parchment paper.

Brush the top of the dough with the olive oil, so the cheese will stick. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of cheese on top. Use a sharp knife to score the bread with an “X”, which will allow steam to escape. Arrange the jalapeño rings on top of the cheese.

Carefully remove the Dutch oven from the oven and use the parchment to lift the bread into the pot. Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for 20 more minutes, until the bread is golden brown.

Carefully slide the bread out of the pot and onto a wire rack. Remove the parchment paper and let the bread cool for at least 1 hour before slicing.

This is a great snack but a nice accompaniment to chili or tortilla soup as well.




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