3/4 tablespoon dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups flour (more as needed)
2 tablespoons pickled jalapeño peppers, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 egg (room temperature)
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup cheddar cheese cut into 1/2" cubes
In large bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, salt, sugar. Place chopped jalepeños, egg, and hot pepper sauce (if using) in a small bowl. Warm milk and water in a pan to reach 110 degrees F.
Make a well in the dry ingredients. Place dry yeast in the well. Slowly pour warm liquids over the yeast.
After the yeast has proofed (foamy and bubbly), gradually stir in flour from sides of the bowl. While there is still liquid in the bowl, add jalepeño peppers, egg and hot sauce. Continue mixing until dough is soft and semi-sticky.
Remove from bowl, place on floured surface, and knead for 8-10 minutes. Add in cubed cheddar cheese during the last few minutes of kneading, and mix until combined.
Cover the dough with a clean towel and let rest for 10 minutes. Oil a large bowl.
Gather up dough and knead gently for an additional 30 seconds. Then place dough in the oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a towel, and let rise until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.
Press down dough (you don't have to punch it, really!). Shape into a ball, (I made mine into a weird twisty shape).
Place parchment paper on a baking sheet, spritz it with oil and then sprinkle with corn meal, placing the dough on top. Cover with a clean towel and let rise again for 1 hour or until doubled.
Optional: Brush top with an egg white that has been mixed with 1 teaspoon cold water.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25-35 minutes or until the crust is a dark golden brown.
1) Always start bread recipes with a reliable yeast product.
2) I highly recommend the method above for proofing yeast. This is a traditional French bread method. Since I started using this method, my bread dough is faithfully and delightfully easy to work with, and my baked products are soft and oh-so delicious!