Spicy Cheese Bread

I’m gonna make this post brief, cuz it’s Sunday night and I have a massive laundry pile to fold. I’m a recipe hoarder. Magazine hoarder. I hang onto recipes knowing at some point I will get around to it and tuck it away somewhere in a safe space. I’ve been know to loiter in the grocery store and screen shot a recipe out of magazine after finding some obsolete quiet corner to do the dirty deed. I’m not proud of it. I know more than a few of you have done the same, so don’t judge me. In this case I’m proud to admit I actually bought the magazine when thumbing through I saw this and a few others that looked like keepers. Spicy Cheese bread. You had me about spicy, but then you taunt me with cheesy and I’m all in.

This a an afternoon lazy day, weekend sort of recipe. You quick whip it together, let it rise, shape it and rises again (as you fold your laundry) and then you bake that big ol cheesy nugget of spicy goodness off.

Oh the smells coming out of the oven as it bakes. Heaven.

Spicy Cheese Bread

(recipe slightly adapted from Cooks Illustrated) “All time best Winter recipes 2020”

3 /14 Cups all-purpose flour

1/4 C sugar

1 Tbsp. instant rise (rapid rise) yeast

1 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes + more for sprinkling on top

1 1/4 tsp. salt (calls for table salt; I used Kosher) + more for sprinkling on top

2 large eggs + one yolk

1/2 C warm water (110 degrees) F

4 Tbsp. unsalted butter melted

6 oz. Monterey Jack cheese cut into 1/2 inch cubes, room temp

6 oz. Provolone cheese cut into 1/2 inch cubes, room temp

Additional for topping

1 egg lightly beaten for “egg wash”

2 pinches kosher salt

3/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

1 Tbsp. soft butter

In a bowl of a stand mixer place the flour and the next 4 ingredients and whisk to combine, set aside.

Whisk eggs and yolk, warm water, and melted butter together in a liquid measuring cup. Fit the mixer with a dough hook and knead on medium speed about 8-10 minutes or until the dough clears the sides and bottom of the bowl.

Grease a large bowl with some vegetable oil. Remove the dough and shape on the counter (un floured) into a ball.

Transfer the ball to the greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap to rise for 1 1/2 -2 hours until it is doubled in size.

Grease a 9 inch round cake pan. Remove the dough to an un-floured counter and deflate the dough. Roll the dough into a 18 x 12 inch long rectangle with the long edge paralell to the counters edge. Distribute the cheese cubes evenly over the dough leaving a 1 inch edge border on all sides. Starting with the edge closest to you roll the dough tightly as you can into a log. Pinch the seam and edges to seal. Roll the log gently on the counter back and forth until it reaches 30 inches in length.

Starting at one end, wind the log into a coil (like a snail) and place in the prepared cake pan and cover with plastic wrap or tea towel to let rise until doubled in size; about 1 1/2 – 2 hours. Adjust the oven rack to the lower middle position and preheat to 350 degrees F. Brush the top of the bread with the beaten egg; just enough to cover the bread and sprinkle with the red pepper flakes and kosher salt (about 2 pinches of salt and 3/4 tsp. of red pepper flakes).

Bake the bread in the preheated over for 25 minutes, then turn the tray around and cover with aluminum foil and bake an additional 25-30 minutes or until an internal temperature check reads 190 degrees F.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and brush with the 1 tablespoon of soft butter. Let the bread cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and let cool for 30 minutes until slicing. Serve warm.

I made a white bean, chicken and green chili yesterday and tearing off pieces of this dipped into warm soup is scrumptious.

Spicy Cheese Bread

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