With the stay at home edict, lots of people are making bread. It is a comfort food and much better than what you can buy and a fresh product that you can make easily at home. I have friends making bread who never would have considered it just a few months ago and this recipe is a great starter one. Actually, I have made lots of bread over the years and previously made a no-knead bread years ago from a “Mother Earth News” article and had been impressed with the ease of making it.
Returning to bread making with this simple delicious one was a nice surprise as it had a spongy soft moist “crumb”. Most ‘No Knead’ breads depend on a long rising time, sometimes up to 24 hours, but this bread is done in several hours, so I am hooked on this version. It is easy to substitute other flavors if you aren’t a jalapeno fan. Sun dried tomatoes, roasted garlic, caramelized onions are some of the substitutes that you could use.
Sun-dried tomatoes, a great sub for the Jalapenos, are easy with a dehydrator and they can be dried within 5-6 hours. Alternatively, you can dry your sliced tomatoes (preferably plum) in a low 250 degree oven, but it will take much longer- up to 18 hours.
Pepper Growing/Preserving in the Garden
Growing and drying lots of Jalapenos and other hot and sweet peppers last year, I was interested in making a No-Knead bread using them. Dried, stored and ready to use, dried peppers will last for months. But like a squirrel, you have to use up your stash before the new season brings fresh food to preserve.
In the late summer and fall, when the peppers start to ripen and turn colors, I pick them and when I get enough, I dry them in my dehydrator for use later. When March and April roll around, I still have some around ready to whip up some dishes like this excellent no-knead bread with a wonderful flavor.
Really, this was one of the easiest and most delicious recipes that I have every made! Making a large round loaf, I froze half for later use.
Cheddar Jalapeno Bread
- 1 t sugar
- 2 1/4 t yeast
- 2 C Warm Water
- 3 1/2 C Bread Flour Level with a knife in the measuring cup
- 2 1/2 C Shredded Cheddar Cheese Divided use; save 1/2 C for the topping
- 2-3 Jalapenos, or Poblano Peppers Dried and Diced, or sun dried tomatoes I used utility scissors to cut up
- 1 T Kosher Salt
- 1 T olive oil
In very large bowl (the largest you own), add yeast to the warm water with 1 tsp of sugar, stir, and let sit for about 15 minutes, until foamy.
While yeast is start to foam, combine in another large bowl, the bread flour, 2 C cheddar cheese (or any cheese you like), the chopped peppers or tomatoes, and salt. Stir together.
Pour the flour mixture from your bowl on top of the yeast mixture in the other bowl, using a spatula to combine everything. Dough will be wet - wetter than normal bread dough.
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 8-10 times (see video) Cover with the towel and let rest in a warm place for 60 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Using the spatula, fold the dough toward the center again 8-10 more times. Cover with the towel and let rest for another 30 minutes.
While the dough is resting for the last 30 minutes, add the Dutch oven and lid to the oven, and preheat to 450 degrees.
Lightly flour the work surface and your hands. Carefully peel away the dough out of the bowl and onto the floured surface. Flip over carefully and brush away excess flour. Fold the edges of the dough towards the center 8-10 times, then flip over the dough and transfer to a piece of parchment paper. I used a dough scraper for this part.
Brush the top of the dough with the olive oil, so the cheese will stick. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese on top. Use a sharp knife or lame to score the bread with an "X", which will allow steam to escape.
Carefully remove the Dutch oven from the oven and use the parchment paper to lift the bread into the pot. Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for 5-10 more minutes, until an instant read thermometer reads 190 degrees. Taking the bread temperature ensures that you don't over cook your bread and dry it out.
Carefully slide the bread our of the pot and onto a wire rack to cool. Remove the parchment paper and let cool for at least an hour before serving.