Thursday, February 13, 2014

Jalapeno Popper Cheese Bread

I love bread and I love Jalapeno poppers. I ran across this recipe on Pinterest and had to try it out. It has all the flavors of jalapeno poppers in a bread! This goes well with soup or salad or just toasted by itself. It has ribbons of jalapeno cheesiness that is yummo! I also froze one loaf, then when I wanted to eat that one, I wrapped it in aluminum foil and warmed in the oven for about half an hour. Just as good as the fresh loaf. Enjoy!!

Jalapeno Popper Cheese Bread
 Ingredients:
6- 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour (can use all purpose, if that’s all you have)
2 tsp. fine salt or 1 Tbsp. coarse kosher salt
5 Tbsp. white or brown sugar (or 3 1/2 Tbsp. honey or agave nectar)
1 cup lukewarm water, about 95° F. (for even softer bread, use 1 cup water leftover from boiling potatoes, cooled)
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. lukewarm buttermilk or milk
1 1/2 Tbsp. instant yeast
1/4 cup melted, unsalted butter or vegetable oil
Filling:
8 oz. cream cheese (typical block), at room temperature
5-6 large jalapeno peppers, halved, cored and seeded (or 1 (4-oz) can chopped Jalapenos)
1 -1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions:
1-Preheat oven broiler. Place halved jalapenos, skin side up into oven, about 6 inches below the broiler and broil until the skins of the jalapenos are blistered and blackened in spots, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and place into a paper or plastic bag and place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. Remove and carefully peel away the skins with the edge of a knife. Discard skins and dice jalapenos. Set aside. (or you can use a 4-oz can diced Jalapenos)
2-In a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, salt and sugar* together. (Tip: If measuring your flour in cups, without a scale, hold back 1 cup to add as needed later). *If you’re using honey or agave, add with the liquid ingredients instead.
3-In a large measuring cup or bowl, combine the water and buttermilk and whisk in the yeast until dissolved. Add this mixture, along with the melted butter, to the dry ingredients. Mix by hand or with a dough hook, until the mixture is combined, about 2 minutes. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
4-Continue mixing the dough, adding more flour or water, as needed, until the dough becomes soft, smooth and tacky, but not sticky.
5-Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes, then form dough into a ball. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and either refrigerate for up to 4 days, or allow to sit at room temperature until doubled in size (about 60-90 minutes). (*Tip: I like to use an 8-cup glass measuring cup, so it’s easy to see when it’s doubled by the markings).
Note: If you have refrigerated your dough, remove from the refrigerator 2 hours before you plan to bake, to allow it to come to room temperature.
6-Grease two 8-inch by 4-inch loaf pans and set aside. In a large bowl, stir the cream cheese until smooth and creamy (I like to pop into my stand mixer and stir with the paddle attachment). Fold in 1/3 cup of the diced jalapenos until evenly mixed through the cream cheese. Set aside.
7-Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Dust each with a bit of flour and then, using a rolling pin, roll into a rectangle approximately 10 inches wide and 16 inches long.
8-Spread 1/2 of the cream cheese/jalapeno mixture evenly over the dough (spreading out almost to the edges). Sprinkle with 1/2 of the shredded cheddar and lightly press the cheese down onto the cream cheese with the palm of your hand. Starting with the shortest side, roll the dough up jelly-roll style and pinch the seam together.
9-Using a sharp knife, cut the roll of dough down the centre, lengthwise. Rotate each piece so that the cut sides are facing upward and place them side-by-side. Pinch together the farthest end. Keeping the cuts sides facing upwards as much as possible, place the right-side piece over the left-side piece. Straighten it up and then repeat, pinching together the end closest to you. If any cheese escapes, just place it back on top. Using a bench scraper or spatula, carefully lift the dough into the greased loaf pan. Repeat with the other dough log, then cover both with a greased piece of plastic wrap and allow to rise until the dough rises to about 1-inch above the side of the pans in the middle.
10-Preheat oven to 350° F. Bake for 45-50 minutes total, but after 25 minutes of baking, rotate pans front-to-back in the oven and loosely cover with a piece of aluminum foil if necessary (if bread is already well-browned), to prevent the top from over-browning. Bread should reach about 185° F. internal temperature in the centre.
Remove the bread from the oven and allow to cool in the pans for a couple of minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the bread and carefully remove the loaves to a cooling rack. Allow to cool for 1 hour before slicing.
    Prep time: 15 min | Cook time: 45 min | Total time: 3 hours
    Number of servings (yield): 2 loaves

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