Bread! It is one of the most delicious creations ever made, at least in my view. I love all kinds of breads. Back in my younger days, many moons ago, there were many days that breads of some sort made a meal for me.
When I lived in the San Francisco area, many, many years ago, I was poor, and I did whatever I needed to do to make ends meet. So I would take the bus into work and walk from the bus station into work. Along the way there was Beaudoin’s Bakery. I would stop in every morning and buy a mini baguette and that would be breakfast (and sometimes lunch) for the day. I had it timed just perfectly and would finish the last bite just as I walked into the doors of my job. I still love my breads to this day too.
My latest bread making adventure was a delicious cheesy jalapeno loaf. Though not the soupiest of weather, Larry wasn’t feeling well and didn’t want a big meal, so we pulled some creamy chicken soup out of the freezer and it paired perfectly with the cheesy jalapeno loaf.
Cheesy Jalapeno Loaf
Even though I have been cooking all my life, and as a professional too for many, many years, it never ceases to amaze me how you can create such beautiful and tasty foods with just a few simple and basic ingredients.
3-4 cups flour
2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast (or 1 package)
1/4 cup lukewarm water
3/4 cup milk
2 TBSP melted butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or to taste
1-2 jalapeno peppers, diced fine
1 cup shredded Mexican blend or cheddar cheese
1 TBSP sugar
Combine about 3-3 1/2 cups of flour with the salt, peppers, jalapenos and cheese and set aside.
Add the yeast to the water and mix together then add the sugar. Let set for about 5-10 minutes or until it becomes frothy.
Add the melted butter to the milk.
Add the milk and butter to the flour mixture and fold it all together.
Then add the yeast mixture and start working it in and kneading it all together. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and continue to knead for about 8-10 minutes or until the dough forms into a soft stretchy ball. Place the dough ball into a lightly oiled bowl and cover to let it rise for 1 1/2 hours.
Once the dough is ready and has doubled in size, turn it onto a lightly floured surface once again and pound it into an 8×12 rectangle that is about 1 1/2 inches thick.
Starting from the smaller side, roll into a thick log and pinch the seams together.
Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and place the dough, seam side down, into the pan. Cover and let rise again for an hour, or until doubled in size once again.
Preheat the oven to 375* F or about 200* C, then bake the loaf for about 35-45 minutes, or until golden brown and the center is hollow when tapped. I rubbed a little olive oil on top of the bread to help with the browning and crusting.
Allow the bread to cool slightly before slicing and enjoy.
Bread, no matter how you slice it, will always be good.
Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.