Jalapeño Cheddar Breadbaby

I don’t think my dad has ever looked at me with such pride as he did when I sliced into this jalapeño cheddar bread. Seriously though, the look on his face was like nothing I had ever seen and I really don’t know how to feel about that (dad just be proud of me please).

Anyways, this bread is definitely the real deal when it comes to savory breads. Not only is it soft, moist, and cheesy, but you also get the kick from the jalapeños that takes it to another level. For those who really cannot handle spice, I would suggest reducing the amount of jalapeños by half. However, I do think that the spice is a large part of what makes the loaf so delicious. So try to face your spice fears because this is totally worth it!

  • Difficulty: ★★★
  • Ingredients: ★★★
  • Time: 3.5 hours
  • 3 ½ cups bread / AP flour 
  • ~2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and diced
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced into rings,
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 ¾ cups warm water
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast (one instant packet)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, ~1 ½ cup of cheddar cheese, the chopped jalapeños, and salt. 
  2. In a separate large bowl, combine the warm water and yeast. Leave for 3 minutes. Then pour the flour mixture on top of the water and use a spatula to stir until the dough comes together.
  3. 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.
  4. Using the spatula, fold the dough toward the center again 8 more times. Cover with the towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
  5. After finishing with the dough, add the Dutch oven with its lid to the oven, and preheat to 450˚F for 30 minutes.
  6. Lightly flour a clean work surface and your hands. Carefully peel the dough out of the bowl and onto the floured surface. Start folding the edges of the dough towards the center 8 times, then flip the dough over so that the folded edges are at the bottom now. Transfer to a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  7. Brush the top of the dough with the olive oil so the cheese will stick. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of cheese on top, or however much you like. Use a sharp knife to score the bread with an “X”. Arrange the jalapeño rings on top of the cheese and press into bread.
  8. Carefully remove the Dutch oven from the oven and use the parchment / foil to place the bread into the hot dutch oven. Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on, 20 minutes with the lid off, until the bread is golden brown.
  9. Carefully remove the bread from the pot onto a surface. Remove the parchment / foil and let the bread cool for at least ½ hour before slicing and eating!

Tips:

  • Water should be quite warm, not lukewarm, or else the yeast won’t activate
  • For optimal bread proofing and rise, I suggest heating your microwave for 2 minutes, then leaving the bread inside to rise for step 3. 
  • If you don’t have a Dutch Oven, you can use a baking tray. Bake at 450 for 30 minutes then shut the oven off and let it cool down a bit before taking it out.

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