Spicy Cheese Bread
Say hello spicy cheese bread, a.k.a. the bread that disappeared within 24 hours! This recipe makes a huge loaf of a rich brioche-like bread loaded with provolone and Monterey Jack cheeses, and speckled with crushed red pepper flakes.
This bread. THIS BREAD. My goodness.
Probably one of my most favorite recipes of the year. I ran across this recipe in an issue of Cook’s Country magazine, as they were attempting to recreate the Original Hot and Spicy Cheese Bread sold at Stella’s Bakery in Madison, Wisconsin. While I’ve never been to said bakery, I’ve never met a combination of cheese and bread that I didn’t like, so I immediately tore it out of the magazine and filed it away.
As far as yeast breads go, this was incredibly easy to mix together and gets baked with a minimal amount of steps and time. To say that we loved this bread would be the understatement of the century. I’m (only slightly) embarrassed to admit that my husband and I polished off this entire loaf ourselves within 24 hours. And then I wanted to cry because it was gone…
I was just a tad apprehensive about the recipe because while I like spicy foods and anything with a kick, it seemed like there was a lot of red pepper flakes in this recipe, and I was concerned that it might be too spicy. I didn’t want something overpowering, but I just ran with the recipe as-is and am so glad that I did.
The spiciness is minimal and the perfect accompaniment to the rich bread dough and all of that amazing cheese!
I loved how the dough was speckled with the pretty bits of crushed red pepper!
Once the dough has been shaped into a spiral and then risen a second time, it’s brushed with an egg wash and sprinkled with more crushed red pepper flakes. Gorgeous!
While I’m sure you could use this as a base for an AH-mazing sandwich, we just ate hunks of it for lunch warm from the oven.
Then as a snack.
Then for breakfast the next morning.
I’m totally not sorry for demolishing this bread in record time.
This would also make an excellent appetizer sliced in smaller pieces and served with grapes, Italian meats, maybe some marinated olives. I mean, I hate olives, but I know I’m in the minority, so I’m throwing that out there :)
If you are a lover of cheesy breads, please, please, please gift yourself this bread. I may need to make a couple of loaves and stash them in my freezer for when a spicy cheese bread emergency hits ;-)
Spicy Cheese Bread
For the Bread:
- 3¼ cups (406.25 g) all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon instant, rapid-rise yeast
- 1½ teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons) red pepper flakes
- 1¼ teaspoons (1.25 teaspoons) salt
- ½ cup (125 ml) warm water (110 degrees)
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 6 ounces (170.1 g) Monterey Jack cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 1½ cups), at room temperature
- 6 ounces (170.1 g) provolone cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 1½ cups), at room temperature
For the Topping:
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Make the Bread: In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, sugar, yeast, red pepper flakes and salt. In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the warm water, eggs, egg yolk, and melted butter. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture in the mixing bowl. Using a dough hook, knead on medium speed until the dough clears the bottom and sides of the bowl, 4 to 8 minutes.
- Shape the dough into a ball and transfer to a greased bowl, turning to coat the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1½ to 2 hours.
- Grease a 9-inch round cake pan; set aside.
- Transfer the dough to an unfloured work surface and press to deflate. Roll the dough into an 18x12-inch rectangle with the long side parallel to the counter's edge. Distribute the Monterey Jack and provolone cheeses evenly over the surface of the dough, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges. Starting with the edge closest to you, roll the dough into a log, pinching the ends and seam to seal. Roll the log back and forth, applying gentle pressure, until it reaches 30 inches in length. (If the dough tears in any places, just pinch together to re-seal.)
- Starting at one end, wind the log into a coil and tuck the end underneath the coil. Place the loaf in the cake pan and cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel. Allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 1½ hours.
- Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Brush the top of the loaf with the beaten egg, then sprinkle with the red pepper flakes. Place the cake pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the loaf is golden brown, about 25 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees, tent the loaf with aluminum foil, and continue to bake until the loaf registers 190 degrees F, 25 to 30 minutes longer.
- Transfer the pan to a wire rack and immediately brush with the softened butter. Let cool for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pan and turn the loaf out the wire rack. Cool for 30 minutes before slicing; serve warm or at room temperature. The bread can be kept, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, at room temperature for up to 4 days.