Bread Jalapeno Cheese

Mimi Hiller 09-27-99 11:42 AM

Jalapeņo Cheese Bread

Serves 6.

About 8 cups all-purpose flour
1 pound cheddar cheese, grated (~5 cups)
3/4 cup minced jalapeņos*
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups hot water (105F, 115° F)
3 packages dry yeast
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons lard or vegetable oil

* If your jalapeņos are fairly mild, increase amount used by about 1/4 cup.

Fresh jalapeņos are preferred; if you have to use pickled ones, rinse as much vinegar from them as possible.

In a very large bowl, combine 7 cups of flour, cheese, jalapeņos, 7 tablespoons sugar and salt; mix well.

In a separate bowl, combine water, yeast and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.

Let sit about 10 minutes; stir until all yeast is dissolved.

Add lard or oil to liquid mixture, stirring until lard is melted.

Add half of liquid mixture to flour mixture and mix with hands to moisten flour as much as possible.

Add remaining liquid mixture to dough and mix until flour is thoroughly incorporated.

Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand until smooth and elastic to touch, about 15 minutes, gradually adding only enough additional flour to keep dough from sticking.

Place in a large greased bowl and invert dough so top is greased; cover with a dry towel and let stand in a warm place (90, 100° F) until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

(If dough hasn't doubled in size after 1 hour, place in slightly warmer place.)

Punch down dough.

To make bread, divide dough into 3 equal portions.

Form each into a ball, then stretch out dough with both hands and tuck edges under to form a smooth surface.

Pop any large air bubbles by pinching them.

Place in 3 greased 8.5 x 4.5 inch loaf pans.

Cover with towel again and allow to rise until almost doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Bake at 325F until dark brown and done, about 1 hour, rotating pans after 25 minutes for more even browning.

Remove from pan as soon as bread will easily lift out, after about 5 to 10 minutes.

Let cool about 1 hour before slicing.

To make rolls: Pinch off dough and roll into 1-1/2 inch balls until very smooth.

Place in a greased 13 x 9 inch baking pan with rolls snugly touching each other and sides of pan.

Cover and let rise again until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Bake as directed above.

To test doneness: Carefully remove one loaf or roll from pan; bottom should be evenly dark, golden brown, and when bottom and sides are gently squeezed, they should spring back into place.

In high humidity areas, store in paper bags or bread box (instead of air-tight containers) so bread can breathe.

Makes 3 loaves or 2-1/2 dozen rolls.

Note: This can be adapted to bread machine by cutting in half .

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