This recipe comes from my friend, Petchy Sargent. It's delicious, but a bit hot.

Jalapeño Cheese Bread

Serves 6.

* If your jalapeños are fairly mild, increase amount used by about 1/4 cup. Fresh jalapeños 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, jalapeños, 7 tablespoons sugar and the salt; mix well.

In a separate bowl, combine the water, yeast and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Let sit about 10 minutes; stir until all yeast is dissolved. Add the lard or oil to the liquid mixture, stirring until lard is melted.

Add half of the liquid mixture to the flour mixture. 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 the 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 - 100F) 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. [Note: I like to use a rolling pin and roll out dough, which pops all bubbles easily and quickly.]

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 the 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 the sides of the 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 the bread can breathe.

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