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Cheddar Serrano Bread <-----makes killer garlic toast!

40 comments /
When I first ran across a recipe for cheddar serrano bread, I pictured a warm, crusty loaf that I could rip hunks from whilst contemplating the meaning of life.  If I'd have paid closer attention, I would have realized that this was not a crusty bread recipe, but rather an enriched bread.  It was soft, spongy and worthy of a good pop in the toaster.  It makes a great sandwich loaf (which I think I may have preferred to the free-form loaves that I made).  The thing is...it wasn't all that spicy, even with the extra chile I added.  It wasn't all that cheesy, either.  Hmmm.  Go figure.  Don't get me wrong.  It was good!  But it wasn't fabulous.  UNTIL I toasted it, that is.  Toasting brought out all of the fabulous hidden flavors.  Funny what a little heat can do, isn't it?  I sliced it and stuck it on the grill...then rubbed it with some cut garlic and butter for a killer piece of garlic toast.  It was the perfect compliment to a plate loaded with a grilled ribeye, a baked/grilled potato, and a nice salad.  With a cold beer to wash it all down.  I think it would be wonderful with a bit of corn flour subbed for some of the regular flour, so I'm gonna try that next time...plus I'm going to roast the serranos first...and add even more cheese!!  That said, it's still plenty enjoyable as is...
Cheddar Serrano Bread
adapted from this Rick Bayless recipe
yield: 2 loaves

2½ tsp. yeast
1 c. lukewarm water
 ½ tsp. sugar
2 eggs
2 Tbs. olive oil
2½ c. bread flour
1¼ c. ap flour (or finely ground corn flour for something a little different) + extra for bench
big pinch of sea salt
4 serrano chiles, stemmed, seeded & finely diced
6 oz. shredded EXTRA sharp cheddar cheese

Dissolve yeast in large bowl with water and sugar.  Stir and let sit 10 minutes, or until bloomed & creamy.

Mix in eggs and oil.  Toss cheese and serranos with flours and salt.  Mix all into wet ingredients with wooden spoon.  Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, ~10-15 minutes.  Place in an oiled bowl and cover w/ plastic or a slightly damp towel.  Let rise until doubled in size, ~2 hours.  Punch down.
Turn dough out and divide in half.  Form into two loaves on a pizza peel dusted with cornmeal.  Alternately, grease two loaf pans and place the dough in them.  Drape with a clean kitchen towel and let rise until doubled in size, ~90 mins.  Preheat oven to 425° F during last 30 minutes of rise time, with a stone placed on center rack if using free-form loaves.

Slash the tops if you'd like and dust with a bit of extra flour or corn flour, then transfer to oven and bake for ~30 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
*I'm sending this over to Rebecka from At Home with Rebecka because she was the host of this month's Culinary Smackdown Battle: Chile!   This bread has been Yeastspotted!  Also another BYOB entry!

40 comments

  1. I'm a sucker for a good piece of bread! I would love to have some of this to dip into a big bowl of pasta or steak with! Ha!

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  2. That photo is gorgeous!. The color of the bread is beautiful and I can imagine the crusty crunch... seems like anything by R. Bayless is a winner!.

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  3. Wow! Looks wonderful and toasting is always a great flavor enhancer. I could live on bread (only) for the rest of my days. Bread is never wrong, sometimes different than expected, but always delicious. thanks.

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  4. It does look like a killer piece of garlic toast. Nice with a little chili kick! The whole meal looks awesome....drooling here!

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  5. Rubbing it with garlic sounds fab!

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  6. I love the way the dough looks with all the green specks from the chiles.

    Lesson of the Week: When in doubt, add garlic! (LOL)

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  7. Homemade bread sounds delicious, especially with the cheese and peppers. Your loaf looks wonderful, as does that plate of steak and salad!

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  8. The bread looks really amazing...love the color and the ingredients

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  9. I love making bread with chili in it. I've tried it with different chili's, especially habanero and it always comes out so darn delish. Thanks for sharing the devine bread recipe. Have a great day.

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  10. A bit of a twist on jalapeno cheddar bread - looks too good. Could find many excuses to eat this.

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  11. This loaf looks really crunchy and golden.

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  12. I'm all over my toaster oven. I think bread tastes so much better when it is warm! This bread looks delicious, and I would probably enjoy it either way. Thank you for sharing with us!

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  13. Madre mía, que hermoso pan y que aspecto tiene. Esto es que tiene que estar de miedo.

    Saludos

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  14. superb bread ..i wish i could have a slice of bread with a bowl of soup to enjoy

    Satya
    http://www.superyummyrecipes.com

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  15. girlichef, this looks fantastic! I love tasty breads and this one seems to take the ... er... cake. I really need to stop looking at blogs before/on my lunch break - just makes me hungrier for food I didn't bring with me. Would love this with a really rich soup or stew though!

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  16. You are killing me! Great pics and teh flavor leaps off the page....well I wish it did for real!

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  17. This looks wonderful Heather. I love the idea of using it for garlic bread. Serrano chiles are another one of those "hard to find" items in Toronto so it looks like a trip to Whole Foods is in my future!

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  18. I couldnt stop staring at this picture! I like my bread toasted also but not necesarily

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  19. I think you are on the right track. Roasting the peppers really brings out the flavor though it may take away some of the heat. Fresh bread is always awesome.

    Plan B

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  20. I am salivating -seriously - that is one amazing dinner - and good good garlic bread just puts it over the top! I bet the next loaf will over the top delicious!

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  21. Heather, What a wonderful entry for the October Culinary Smackdown!! Perfect timing because I was thinking about making bread last night...great minds think alike.

    I love the way you explain your dishes!! My mouth always gets to watering! Beautiful photo too!

    I wanted to thank you for sending one of your readers my way...Gloria from
    ARTSY BLOGGERS and Gloria's Blog Viva La Vida! xoxo

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  22. Isn't it amazing what toasting the bread can do? It looks so enticing with the chilies and cheese... makes want to cook a dinner to go with the bread!

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  23. A warm loaf of bread, a little garlic(mayeb a lot of garlic) and friends to share this with would make it a perfect day.

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  24. The bread looks amazing! That last pictures looks great too....soooooo freaking tasty :)

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  25. Looks delicious! I love the idea of using it for garlic toast.

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  26. Toasting bread is the key to so many of life's good things. My stomach just growled reading this.

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  27. That is one gorgeous hunk of bread! I love the idea of the chili and cheese added to the dough. YUM

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  28. It's a gorgeous bread! Isn't it amazing what toasting will do. Try a piece of pound cake toasted sometime - delicious!

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  29. Well, it may not have been what you anticipated, but this bread sure looks amazing. Isn't it wonderful though how just a little thing like toasting it can completely transform the flavour. I would be tempted to try frying it, because let's face it there is not a heck of a lot better in this life than fried bread :-)

    Sue

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  30. Hi Girlichef...
    Please....
    There is salt mentioned in the instructions but not in the ingredient list ~ Please edit the recipe to include how much salt is needed. Thanks kindly.
    Barbara in Toronto

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  31. Oh yes...you are always catching my salt slips, Barbara. I think I decided to throw some in with the flour, even though it wasn't it the original recipe...so, most people probably "get" to add a big pinch of salt in with the flour....that's usually the way it works. BUT just in case they can't figure out the salt bit for themselves, I will go back and add it in (it seems like you may be an editor...are you an editor!?) Off to clarify...

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  32. Oh My! This is one of the most appetizing bread that I have seen! It looks so good and yumm,must taste heavenly with the cheddar cheese!

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  33. Hi Girlichef~
    Thank you for updating the recipe to include the salt.
    No, I'm not an editor...what I am, is new to bread baking and not experienced enough ..like thousands of others, I'm sure.. to know how much salt is needed in ratio to the flour used. Bread without salt is absolutely tasteless, as a Tunisian recipe will attest to. I am knowledgeable enough to know that salt was needed, just not how much. Thanks for understanding how newbies to the "Bread Baking World" need to have the ingredient list and instructions compatible with each other.
    Enjoy the day,
    Barbara in Toronto

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  34. Alexis had a one word response when sitting next to me and seeing this post. "Yes"

    Can't wait for her to make this one, I just bookmarked it.

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  35. Wow I missed this post. Glad I popped by Yeastspotting and found it. Gorgeous bread as usual, Heather, but chillis and cheddar? Love it! Who needs a cookbook when I have you?

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  36. Mmm, what great flavour combos!
    Amazing what toasting (or grilling) can do for bread. Delish!

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  37. SO on my "gotta try" list!! Love the combination! Thanks for the heads up that it pairs well with a steak!

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  38. Hi Girlichef! I've read nothing but good things about your blog from my friend Gloria. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that we are both part of BYOB! :)

    This Cheddar Serrano bread sounds delicious! I will be adding it to my baking list. :)

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  39. I would like to add some more seeds and make it a bit mulit grain... any suggestions?

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