What’s Cookin’ – Cheddar Cheese Bread (Jalapeños optional)

I have been inspired to cook through necessity as well as by a number of people over the years.  My mother wasn’t a great cook, but she was a great baker.  She was really good at making candy, like fudge and divinity, which I am not so good at since it requires a little more patience and preciseness than I like to use when I cook.

My father liked to consider himself somewhat of a connoisseur, and, while that may be debatable, he did immerse himself in learning about food.  He is best remembered, I think, for his bread making and for his soft fried noodles.

I have always found great comfort in sitting around the dinner table with my family.  I enjoy preparing meals for them and take pride in the fact that they haven’t eaten too much out of cans and boxes over the years.  When I am away, however, they do enjoy eating frozen pizzas and boxed macaroni & cheese (which they prefer over homemade).  Both taste like cardboard to me.

One thing I really like to make are breads and really anything with dough.  I ran across this recipe for Cheddar Cheese Bread that my father used to make.  I don’t know the origin, but I do know that he tweaked it and made it his own and published it in the family cookbook that he put together in 1996.

Cheddar Cheese Bread Ingredients.

This recipe makes 2 loaves, and I decided to make one plain and one with Jalapeño peppers.  In the recipe, I listed fresh Jalapeños; however, I had some Candied Jalapeños that I had canned from my garden last Summer and that is what I used.  I think you could also use canned green chilies, too.

In the large bowl of your mixer outfitted with the dough hook, combine 2 cups of bread flour, the yeast, salt, and sugar.  I actually use a whisk to combine the dry ingredients.

Add the 2 cups of hot water.  Beat on low speed for 30 seconds to 1 minute until well combined.  Scrape down the bowl if necessary.  Beat on high speed for an additional 3 minutes.  Again, scrape down the bowl, if necessary.

Add cheddar cheese and the egg.  Mix until combined.

Add an additional 2 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time, and mix until well combined.  This is what the dough will look like.

At this point, I divided the dough in half so that I could keep one loaf plain and add Jalapeños to the other half.

If you do not want to add Jalapeños, then just keep all the dough in the bowl, add the final 1 cup of flour, and complete the final kneading.  I simply kneaded each half separately, adding 1/2 cup of flour to each.

Here are some Candied Jalapeños, minced.  I used about 2 TBS.

Here they are in the bowl along with the last 1/2 cup of flour for the final kneading.  Knead, using the dough hook of your mixer, until the dough is smooth and elastic.  It took about 5 minutes, but may take a little longer.

See how nice and smooth they look?  If you were making both of your loaves the same, you could allow it to rise in the same bowl.  Since I was making one plain and one with Jalapeños, I put them into separate bowls to rise.  Add a little vegetable oil to the bottom of the bowl, put the dough ball into it and turn it around to grease all sides.  Cover the bowl or bowls, put into a warm spot (I put mine in the microwave since it is a warm and draft free spot in my kitchen), and allow to rise until doubled in size.  This takes about 50 to 60 minutes.

Here they are after the first rising.  Aren’t they lovely?  Punch down the dough, allow it to rest for 10 minutes.

Shape the dough into loaves, and place into greased loaf pans.  Cover them and put them back into a warm and draft free spot to rise a second time until doubled in size.  The second rising will take about 40 to 50 minutes.

Here they are doubled in size after the second rising and ready to bake.  Preheat oven to 350°.  Bake for 40 to 50 minutes.  Cover with foil the last 10 minutes or so if the tops are browning too quickly.

As soon as the bread comes out of the oven, rub a little butter over the top.  Remove from the loaf pans and allow to cool on a wire rack.  At this point and while the bread is still warm, feel free to cut a piece to try - heaven in your mouth.

There is nothing quite like the smell and taste of freshly baked bread.  My new kid had never had freshly baked bread before.  While she didn’t try the one with the Jalapeños, she loved the plain Cheddar Cheese Bread.  In fact, that loaf has nearly disappeared already.

I made my husband’s sandwich for work today using turkey, cheddar cheese, and a little mayo on the Jalapeño Cheddar Cheese Bread.  Doesn’t that sound good?  I also think this bread would be good to make grilled cheese sandwiches.


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3 Responses to What’s Cookin’ – Cheddar Cheese Bread (Jalapeños optional)

  1. Pingback: What’s Cookin’ – Jalapeños Three Different Ways | Mama's Empty Nest

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