Love Should Be Spicy…

Like this bread.

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY, EVERYONE!! I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING PINK! I’M A LIAR! HAHAHAHAAAA. Not really, I realized that after the strawberry post, I was done with pink for a while. But if you look closely, there is a ROSE in there! My dad went over to “Roses in a Rush”, a trailer outside of our grocery store for those who, like my family, procrastinate. I loved them. There were really thirteen, but then that fellow fell off. So, dad picked it up and said “Look! This one is for you! Here, honey, here’s your bouquet! *hands entire bouquet to mom*” Love you, dad!

My friend, Bob, LOVES this jalepeno bread at our local sandwich place. I mean. He LOVES IT. That, and jalepeno jelly.

I wish I had your palette, Bob, I really do.

Anyway, he wanted me to try to make the bread myself! So, I went out, found a recipe, bought a HECK of a lot of cheese (I don’t like cheese, but I got the good stuff, even Parmigianno Reggiano! I tried some, I changed my mind about cheese.)

I made it once on Saturday. That and strawberry marshmallows. Well, needless to say, they both failed. The strawberry marshmallows were too watery, and so they sopped up everything grossly. Ick. Oh, and I added a cup less of AP flour to the bread, totally dough when it came out of the oven. WHY DO THEY MAKE 2/3 CUP MEASURING CUPS, PEOPLE? Whoever invented this needs to be shot. Oh…and why do I have one?? Ick. I went to the store with dad and bought more jalepenos and gave it another go, substituting the All Purpose with Bread flour and getting the correct amount.

The end result was perfect! Its a sturdy and crusty bread with a soft interior; so delish. It wasn’t too spicy! Despite two rib and seed in jalepenos being in it, there is a nice and pleasant burning taste. Its good! Very good. I could eat that crust forever and ever and ever. But then I’d be fat and sad, so I won’t.

I love it when things work, especially after a day where two things didn’t work. I love you guys too! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Cheddar Jalepeno Bread
1 teaspoon active dry yeast (less than a 1/4-ounce package)
1 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon warm water (105-115°F)
4 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for dusting
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh jalapeño, including seeds and ribs, plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh jalapeño, without seeds and ribs (from 3 medium total)
5 ounces coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar (1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons)
1 1/2 ounces finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (3/4 cup)
1 large egg, beaten with a pinch of salt

Stir together yeast and 1 tablespoon warm water in a small bowl; let mixture stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If it doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)
Mix together flour, salt, oil, yeast mixture, and remaining 1x cups warm water in bowl of mixer at low speed until a soft dough forms. Increase speed to medium-high and beat 3 minutes more. Add jalapeño, 1 1/2 cups Cheddar, and 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano and mix until combined.
Scrape dough down side of bowl (all around) into center, then sprinkle lightly with flour. Cover bowl with a clean kitchen towel (not terry cloth) to keep a crust from forming and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. (Alternatively,let dough rise in bowl in refrigerator 8 to 12 hours.)
Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface and gently form into a roughly 11- by 8-inch rectangle with floured hands.
Fold dough in thirds (like a letter) with floured hands (dough will be sticky), pressing along seam of each fold to seal.
Put dough, seam side down, in an oiled 9- by 5-inch loaf pan. Cover pan with same clean kitchen towel and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until dough completely fills pan and rises above it slightly, 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F.
Brush loaf with egg, then sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons Cheddar and remaining 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano down center of loaf.
Bake until bread is golden and sounds hollow when tapped on bottom, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Run a knife around edge of pan to loosen loaf, then remove from pan to test for doneness.
Return bread (not in pan) to oven and turn on its side, then bake 10 minutes more to crisp crust. Cool completely on a rack, about 1 1/2 hours.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Oh, and I made these cookies:

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