Sunday, July 18, 2010
Jalapeno Cheddar Sandwich Bread
As soon as I saw this recipe for Jalapeno Cheddar Bread, I knew I needed to make it. I went out to the grocery store that day and bought the few ingredients I was missing and got to work right away. The smell of the cheddar and jalapenos permeating the air made turning my oven on (twice!) during a 100+ degree day totally worth it.
This is not the same kind of jalapeno cheddar bread you'll find in the bakery section of the grocery store. This is a loaf of bread intended to be sliced up for sandwiches, not the round hunk covered in melted cheddar and jalapeno slices.
As soon as this was cool enough to cut into, I started slicing chunks off to eat, warm and soft. Slathered with soft butter, or even plain, this bread is so good, that I haven't even tried making sandwiches with it yet!
Next time I might add some dried crushed jalapeno to add a bit more spice to the bread. I'd also knead in more cheese, creating pockets of cheddar throughout the bread. I felt like the cheese was too mixed into the dough, though since I didn't use a sharp cheddar, my opinion may be skewed. Overall, I loved this bread and plan to make it again and again; it will definitely liven up my workweek sandwiches this year!
Jalapeno Cheddar Sandwich Bread
Source: Pink Parsley
3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup cold buttermilk (I used regular milk and added some vinegar)
1/3 cup water
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 Tablespoons honey
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast (1 envelope)
4 small jalapenos, seeds and ribs removed, diced
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
Adjust one oven rack to the lowest position, and another to the middle position. Heat the oven to 200 degrees. When it is preheated, maintain the temperature for 10 minutes, then turn off the oven.
Toss the jalapeno and 1 cup of the cheddar with 1 Tablespoon of flour in a small bowl.
Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add the cold buttermilk and stir to combine.
Mix 3 1/2 cups of the flour and the salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
Add the buttermilk/water mixture, butter, honey, and yeast to a liquid measuring cup. Turn the mixer on low, and add the liquid in a slow stream, increasing the speed of the mixer as you go to medium. Continue mixing until the dough is smooth and satiny, stopping to scrape the dough from the hook as needed.
After about 2-3 minutes add the jalapeno-cheese mixture, and continue to knead about 10 minutes total, adding the remaining flour 1 Tablespoon at a time, as necessary to keep the dough from sticking to the sides of the bowl.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead to form a smooth ball, about 15 seconds. Knead in the remaining 1/2 cup cheese to create pockets of cheddar in the bread.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, rubbing the dough around the bowl to coat with the oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place the bowl in the oven until the dough doubles in size, 50-60 minutes.
Turn out onto the floured surface and gently press the dough into a rectangle that is 1 inch thick and 9 inches long. With the long side facing you, roll the dough firmly into a cylinder, pressing with your fingers as you roll to make sure the dough sticks to itself. Turn the dough seam-side up and pinch it closed.
Place the dough seam-side down in a greased 9x5 inch loaf pan, and press it gently to make sure it touches all four sides of the pan. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm spot until the dough almost doubles in size, 20-30 minutes (Note: I placed my dough in the garage to rise on a hot day, cutting the rising time in half).
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place an empty baking pan on the lowest rack of the oven. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and pour into the empty pan. Set the loaf onto the middle rack, and bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf reads 195 degrees, about 40-50 minutes.
Remove the bread from the pan and cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Slice and serve.