I've been doing so well with my Paleo food overhaul (ha!) that I decided today was a good a day as any to make some delicious, homemade, spicy, cheesy Jalapeño Cheddar Bread. Actually, I've been really good about avoiding carbs, so I needed a good splurge. I've been eyeballing this recipe for a while now. As I've admitted before, I'm a carb-a-holic and Panera Bread has a delicious bagel with jalapeños and cheddar that I get every time we go there. When I saw this recipe, I knew right then I'd have to give it a try and see if it measured up. I left the jalapeño seeds in and added chunks of cheddar and I've got to say it rivaled those bagels in bread form. The outside had a nice golden crust, and the inside was soft with flecks of green and pale yellow scattered throughout. It had just a hint of spice and delicious cheese pockets from the cubes - my favorite part! I got two loaves out of this recipe but not to worry, in spirit of keeping to my food overhaul loaf number 2 is safely snuggled in foil and tucked inside a ziplock baggy in the freezer so he doesn't end up in my stomach. By accident of course.
I used my Kitchen Aid to make this bread and so my directions are in this form, but of course you can do it all by hand or use your bread machine. I don't use bread machines, so just make sure to follow the directions of your particular machine :).
Jalapeño Cheddar Bread
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 cups cubed extra sharp cheddar cheese (about 1/4 inch squares)
1/2 cup minced (or roughly chopped, if preferred) jalapeño peppers
1/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/3 cups hot water (not over 105 degrees or yeast will die)
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast (or 4.5 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- In a large mixing bowl combine flour, 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, jalapeño peppers, white sugar (minus 1 tablespoon) and salt
- In a separate bowl (I used the bowl of my Kitchen Aid), combine hot water, yeast and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Let sit for 10 minutes until foamy.
- Add oil to yeast mixture.
- Using paddle attachment of Kitchen Aid, add flour mixture to yeast mixture and knead of low speed until combined. Increase speed to medium for a few minutes. Alternately, use your hands.
- Add remaining 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese and cheese chunks. Mix gently into dough by hand.
- Grease bowl and turn dough over so dough is greased as well. Cover and let rise in warm place for about 1 hour.
- Punch dough down and divide into two greased loaf pans. Let rise in a warm place for another hour.
- Preheat oven to 325 and bake for about 30 minutes or until bread is cooked through.
- Let cool for 5-10 minutes then turn out onto cooling rack. Let cool completely before slicing.