Cheddar and Chiles Bread

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After not doing a whole lot of bread baking over the summer I have come back in full force. I’ve been kneading up a storm, and this is one of my new favorite recipes. As you may have guessed from the Soft Cheese and Pepperoni Bread, I love cheese breads. Any kind of cheese, any shape – roll, loaf, bun – you name it and if it has cheese in it I will love it. I especially love sharp white cheddar, so it’s no surprise that this bread was calling my name. As soon as I saw the recipe it seemed like a perfect complement to a warm bowl of chili, and that’s exactly how I served it. Rich and tangy from the cheese with a subtle kick from the chiles, it’s a great bread to pair not only with chili, but any stews and hearty soups, as well as for sandwiches that you want to jazz up a bit.

cheddar-chiles-bread-meal

This recipe comes from a new cookbook, Kneadlessly Simple, that I was given the opportunity to review. Like quite a few of the recent bread books on the market, it focuses on making bread baking simpler and more accessible to a greater number of people. It offers different techniques for letting the bread rise, which provides quite a bit of flexibility when baking given any time constraints you may have. I feel strongly about making as many things from scratch as possible to eliminate the amount of processed ingredients that I consume, so I’m really happy to see these books coming out, as they provide a great segue into bread baking for beginners.

It’s important to note that if you want to bake the bread using “regular” methods for a same-day bake, just make these simple adjustments to any of the recipes in the book:

  • Use warm water instead of ice cold water.
  • After mixing together ingredients, knead the dough until it is soft and elastic.
  • Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise 1-3 hours, or until doubled in size.
  • Once doubled, shape the dough as directed or place in loaf pan and let rise again until dough has grown to more than one and a half times its size or dough is about ½-inch above rim of loaf pan.
  • Bake as directed.

KneadlesslySimple

I’d love to encourage more homemade bread baking, so I’m giving away a copy of Kneadlessly Simple to one lucky reader, who will be selected at random. The guidelines:

Deadline: Monday, November 23, 2009 11:59pm EST

Required: Your email address. You must fill out the email address portion of the comment form (it will not be published) or I will not be able to contact you should you win.

How to Enter: It’s simple! Leave a comment on this post and answer the following question:

What is your favorite type of bread?

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The giveaway is now closed and a winner has been selected using Random.org! Congratulations to commenter #84, Kelly, who said that her favorite type of bread is sourdough:

“I absolutely love sourdough bread!! A really fresh sourdough is the best…it’s a little bit tangy, crusty on the outside, and deliciously soft inside!!! Mmmmm I am now craving it…”

Congratulations, Kelly, I hope you enjoy the book!!

If you did not win the giveaway but are interested in kneadless bread recipes, ACH Foods and Fleischmann’s have created an eight-recipe book, The Bread Breakthrough. This compact cookbook introduces you to the simplicity of baking no-knead yeast breads – on your schedule. To purchase yours for $1, visit breadbreakthrough.com.

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by ACH Foods

Cheddar and Chiles Bread

Makes 1 9×5-inch loaf

Equipment:
1 9×5-inch loaf pan

3½ cups (17.5 ounces) unbleached white bread flour, plus more as needed
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon instant, fast-rising, or bread machine yeast
2 Tablespoons corn oil, canola oil, or other flavorless vegetable oil, plus extra for coating dough top and loaf pan
1-2/3 cups ice water, plus more if needed
8 ounces (3 lightly packed cups) coarsely grated very sharp cheddar cheese, preferably white cheddar
½ cup very well-drained and patted dry chopped canned green chiles

1. In a large bowl, thoroughly stir together the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. In another bowl or measuring cup, whisk the oil into the water. Thoroughly stir the mixture into the bowl with the flour, scraping down the sides until the ingredients are thoroughly blended. If the mixture is too dry to incorporate all the flour, a bit at a time, stir in just enough more ice water to blend the ingredients; don’t over-moisten, as the dough should be stiff. If necessary, stir in enough more flour to stiffen it. Brush to spray the top with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. If desired, for best flavor or for convenience, you can refrigerate the dough for 3 to 10 hours. Then let rise at room temperature for 15 to 20 hours. If convenient, stir the dough once partway through the rise.

2. Vigorously stir the dough, gradually sprinkling over and incorporating the cheese and chiles. Fold them in very thoroughly to ensure they are evenly distributed. If necessary, thoroughly stir in enough more flour to yield a very stiff dough. Using a well-oiled rubber spatula, fold the dough in towards the center, working all the way around the bowl. Invert the dough into a well-greased 9×5-inch loaf pan. Evenly brush or spray the dough top with oil. Using well-oiled kitchen shears or a serrated knife, make a ¼-inch-deep slash lengthwise down the center of the loaf. Cover the pan with nonstick spray-coated plastic wrap.

3. For a 1½- to 2½-hour regular rise, let stand at warm temperature; for a 1- to 2-hour accelerated rise, let stand in a turned-off microwave along with 1 cup of boiling-hot water; or for an extended rise, refrigerate for 4 to 24 hours, then set out at room temperature. Continue the rise until the dough nears the plastic. Remove it and continue until the dough reaches ½ inch above the pan rim.

4. 15 minutes before baking time, place a rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 425°F.

5. Reduce the heat to 400°F. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the top is nicely browned; cover the top with foil as needed. Continue baking for 20 to 30 minutes longer, or until a skewer inserted in the thickest part comes out with just a few particles clinging to the bottom (or until the center registers 204° to 206°F on an instant-read thermometer). Then bake for 5 minutes more to be sure the center is done. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn out the loaf onto the rack; cool thoroughly.

6. Cool thoroughly before slicing or storing. Store air-tight in plastic or aluminum foil. The bread will keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 days, and may be frozen, airtight, for up to 2 months.

(From Kneadlessly Simple by Nancy Baggett)

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