Savory bakes are welcome any day in my house. This month for the baking BM, I have chosen as much as savory bakes as I could and this one was my absolute favorite. We had lots of jalapenos from our garden back in NY that is frozen. We had traveled all the way from NY to Oklahoma by road, carrying our entire garden yield from last year in freezer boxes. I had distributed as much as I could, but still had tons of vegetables remaining. I had gone overboard with different kinds of peppers and I just could not leave it behind. So I had chopped and froze as much as I could and that will last me for 2 more years.
I was looking for some bread with jalapeno and came across this as a loaf in many places. I loved the combination of pepper and cheese and knew right away that my husband would love this. The jalapeno and cheese bread just had such a beautiful crust and a lovely flavor that we kept going back to it over and over again.
I have used just jalapenos (frozen and deseeded) in the bread. If preferred you could add some pickled jalapenos along with the fresh ones to give it another layer of flavor. I also added a little more than 2 jalapenos as they were frozen. If using fresh the 2 jalapenos would be very moderate heat. If you prefer more spicy bread, then add a little more.
Also I have used bread flour for the recipe. All purpose flour would work just as well. My next step would be try 50 % wheat flour.
Preparation time – 20 minutes plus 3 hours for proofing the dough
Cooking time – 25 – 30 Minutes
Difficulty level – Medium
Ingredients – Makes one Bundt pan
- Bread Flour – 3 ¼ cups, plus more for dusting (Can be substituted with APF)
- Active dry yeast – 2 ¼ tsp
- Warm water – 1 ¼ cup
- Sugar – 1 tbsp
- Salt – 2 tsp
- Olive oil – 2 tbsp
- Cheese – 2 cups (I used Mexican blend cheese)
- Jalapeno – 2 large ones (deseeded and finely chopped)
Make the dough –
- Heat the water until warm to proof the yeast. Add the sugar and the yeast to this bowl and mix well. Keep it aside for 5-10 minutes. At the end of the 10 minutes you will see that the yeast is all bubby and frothy. This shows that the yeast is active.
- In another bowl combine the flour and the salt.
- I made the dough in the stand mixer. Add the proofed yeast mixture to the bowl of the mixer. Add the oil to this mixture and then slowly add the flour while running the mixer at the slowest speed with the dough hook.
- Once the flour has incorporated, start kneading the dough is medium speed for about 10 minutes. The dough should be soft and tacky. Add more flour if it appears too wet or a little more warm water if it is too dry. At the end of the kneading, the dough should appear smooth and very soft.
- Shape the dough into a ball and place it in an oiled bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Let it rise in a warm place until doubled in volume (about 1 – 1 ½ hours).
Shaping the bread –
- Grease the Bundt pan and keep it ready.
- Once the dough has doubled in volume, gently drop it onto a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll it into a rectangle (about 14 inches long).
- Now spread the chopped jalapenos and cheese evenly on the surface of the rectangle, leaving about an inch space on all the sides.
- Tightly roll the dough in the long side (jelly style roll). Place it in a parchment lined baking dish.
- Keeping one end intact, cut through the rest of the dough vertically in the middle. This will expose the filling and will be a little messy.
- Now braid the two pieces trying to keep the exposed part on the top. Braid till the end and pinch the end. Carefully lift it up and place it in the Bundt pan. Make sure that the ends meet and pinch them together.
- Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rise again for about an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 375 F.
- When the dough has had its second rise, bake it in the preheated oven for about 25 – 30 minutes or until golden brown.
- Let it cool down for about 10 minutes on the pan and then carefully remove it on a wire rack and let it cool.
- Cut into slices and serve the jalapeno and cheese bread.