Holy Jalapeños Batman!

I saw a recipe on Tasty.com for a Dutch Oven Jalapeño Cheese Bread and thought—that’s different and I wanted to try different. You see, I like things that change. I don’t like things that are always the same. Just ask the QA Department. She’ll tell you the truth.

I made the bread diligently following the recipe. No changes. I used the stretch and fold method rather than kneading. This method is good for any high hydration bread. This particular techniques uses a silicone spoon to stretch the dough then fold it over. With other stretch and fold techniques the dough it placed on a lightly floured surface and either a bench scraper or your wet hands stretch, then fold.

Once the dough has risen the second time use the bench stretch and fold technique to form, more or less, a ball. The following video is the first time I have tried recording any bread making technique.

Dutch-Oven Jalapeño Cheddar Bread

https://tasty.co/recipe/dutch-oven-jalapeno-cheddar-bread

INGREDIENTS
• 3 ½ cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
• 2 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
• 2 (70g) jalapeños, seeded and coarsely chopped
• 1 jalapeño, sliced into rings, divided
• 1 tablespoon kosher salt
• 2 cups warm water
• 2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
• 1 tablespoon olive oil

METHOD

  1. In a large bowl, combine the bread flour, 2 cups (200 g) of cheddar cheese, the chopped jalapeños, and salt. Stir well.
  2. In a separate large bowl, combine the warm water and yeast. Pour the flour mixture on top of the water and use a silicone spatula to stir until the dough comes together.
  3. With the spatula, fold the dough around the edges of the bowl toward the center, rotating the bowl each time and folding a total of 8 times. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest in a warm place for 60 minutes, or until almost doubled in size.
  4. Using the spatula, fold the dough toward the center again 8 more times. Cover with the towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
  5. Add the Dutch oven and lid to the oven, and preheat to 450˚F (230˚C) for 30 minutes.
  6. Lightly flour a clean work surface and your hands. Carefully peel the dough out of the bowl and onto the floured surface. Flip over and carefully brush away excess flour. Fold the edges of the dough towards the center 8 times, then flip over the dough and transfer to a piece of parchment paper.
  7. Brush the top of the dough with the olive oil, so the cheese will stick. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup (50 g) of cheese on top. Use a sharp knife to score the bread with an “X”, which will allow steam to escape. Arrange the jalapeño rings on top of the cheese.
  8. Carefully remove the Dutch oven from the oven and use the parchment to lift the bread into the pot. Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for 20 more minutes, until the bread is golden brown.
  9. Carefully slide the bread out of the pot and onto a wire rack. Remove the parchment paper and let the bread cool for at least 1 hour before slicing.
  10. Slice the bread and serve as desired.

Honey, I Made the Bread

Is it “poolish” to make a high hydration bread without an overnight pre-ferment? It may have been a “biga” mistake but I made this high hydration no-knead bread with honey in a morning, in time for lunch.

After recent great success with Italian Pugliese bread it was time to start experimenting with variations. Can the flavor, crumb, hole formation and amazing crust of the high hydration (84%) pugliese be reproduced without using the biga (overnight pre-fermentation?)

This high hydration (75%) breads use a stretch and fold technique rather than kneading. This degasses and equalizes the temperature of the dough and builds and aligns the gluten strands to form an excellent full body loaf.

Along with no pre-fermentation this recipe does not use the Tipo 00 flour.

Quality Assurance report is just in – Yes!! This is a great bread! Make more! It has similar flavor, crumb, crust and hole formation as the Pugliese, but can be made start to finish in about 5 hours.

Honey No Knead 75 Percent Hydration Bread

Advanced No-Knead Bread

INGREDIENTS – (I weigh everything)
• 600 g all-purpose flour (about 4 cups using ‘scoop and sweep’ method)
• 450 g water (2 cups, room temperature)
• 21 g honey (1 Tbsp)
• 14 g kosher salt (1 level Tbsp)
• 3 g SAF Gold instant yeast (1 tsp)

METHOD

  1. Add the water and honey to a large bowl and mix until the honey is dissolved.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix by hand, until a sticky homogeneous mass is formed. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and let rest for 1 hour.
  3. After one hour, perform stretch and folds every 30 minutes over the next 1½ hours. Let the dough continue its fermentation for additional 1½ hours or until it doubles in size.
  4. Shape the dough in a ball and transfer to a proofing basket dusted with a 50/50 mix of all-purpose and rice flour, seam side up.
  5. Cover with a piece of paper towel (this will prevent sticking of the dough to the plastic wrap), then with a plastic wrap. Let proof for about 60 minutes or until the dough passes the finger test. (Poked with a finger the indentation will spring back very slowly.) The dough will increase in size about one a half times or so.
  6. Place a baking stone and a steam pan in the oven. Preheat the oven to 500F. An hour of preheating is recommended.
  7. Turn the bread over on a piece of parchment paper. Score on top and place in the oven using a pizza peel. Be careful opening the oven, it will be full of hot steam. Spray the walls of the oven with a bit of water (gentle mist) to re-create some of the lost steam and close the door.
  8. Immediately drop the temperature to 450F and bake for 25 minutes.
  9. Remove the water pan from the oven, turn the bread 180 degrees and leave the door cracked open. You can use a wooden spoon for that. Bake until the internal temperature reaches 205-210F or about another 25 minutes.
  10. When the baking is done, remove the bread from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Cool for 1 hour at room temperature before slicing.

Whole (Wheat) Lotta Love

Great Led Zeppelin song – Whole Lotta Love

You may have noticed that I’ve been on a no-knead bread kick lately. Kneading dough isn’t a problem. My Kitchen-aide stand mixer and dough hook are very happy to knead the dough for me. What’s nice about this bread, aside from flavor, crumb, crust and appearance, is that it takes less that 10 minutes to mix the dough in the evening. It then ferments overnight, building all that great texture-generating gluten. In the morning simply form the dough into a ball and let it rest for an hour as the oven and Dutch Oven are heating, then bake for 30-45 minutes.

I found this recipe for a whole wheat no-knead bread a week ago and have made several loaves, giving most to friends, neighbors and family. I made two loaves today, one without seeds for my granddaughters, and one with for Fran and me. I use King Arthur’s Artisan Bread Topping which is a mixture of many seed varieties.

Made in a Dutch Oven, this bread has a great crust and excellent crumb and flavor. I find comments from each loaf, delivered while still warm, typically are, “You really outdid yourself with this loaf. It’s the best ever!” There is a feeling of satisfaction when, in these times, you are able to provide a simple, sensory respite for someone.

No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread

INGREDIENTS

• 300 grams (2 1/4 cups) bread flour, plus more for the work surface
• 100 grams (3/4 cup) whole-wheat flour
• 1 1/4 teaspoons salt (table)
• 1/2 teaspoon dried instant yeast
• 300 grams (1 1/3 cups) cool water (55 to 65 degrees)
• Wheat bran or cornmeal, for dusting (may use additional flour)

METHOD

  1. Stir together the flours, salt and yeast in a medium bowl. Add the water; use a wooden spoon or your hands to mix until you have a wet, sticky dough, about 30 seconds. Cover the bowl and let the mixture sit at room temperature until its surface is dotted with bubbles and the dough has more than doubled in size, 12 to 18 hours.
  2. Generously dust a sheet of parchment paper with flour. Use a rubber spatula or lightly floured hands to scrape the dough onto the parchment paper in one piece. Use your lightly floured hands to lift the edges of the dough up and in toward the center. Gently pinch the pulled-up dough together, cupping the edges in your hands as needed to nudge it into a round (don’t worry about making it a perfect circle.)
  3. If the dough feels sticky, dust the top lightly with more wheat bran, cornmeal or flour. Place the plastic wrap used to cover the bowl of dough loosely over the dough. Place the dough in a warm, draft-free spot to rise for 1 to 2 hours. The dough is ready when it has almost doubled in size. When you gently poke the dough with your finger, it should hold the impression. If it springs back, let it rise for an additional 15 minutes.
  4. About half an hour before you think the second rise is complete, position a rack in the lower third of the oven and place a 4 1/2- to 5 1/2-quart heavy Dutch oven or pot with a lid in the center of the rack. Preheat to 475 degrees.
  5. Use pot holders to carefully remove the preheated pot from the oven, then lift off the lid.
  6. Uncover the dough. Quickly, but gently slit the top with a lame or sharp knife. If you are going to add seeds, spray the loaf with a light coating of water and sprinkle the seeds over the top. Pick up the four corners of the parchment paper and place into the pot. (Use caution — the pot and lid will be very hot.) Cover with the lid; bake (lower rack) for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove the lid; continue baking until the loaf is a deep chestnut color but not burned, 15 to 30 minutes more. (If you are like me and want a more precise measure, the bread is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the bread registers 200 to 210 degrees. I use the thermometer on every loaf.) Use the parchment paper to carefully lift the bread out of the pot and place it on a rack to cool thoroughly before serving or storing. Note: The oven temp is 475 degrees and if you remember Ray Bradbury’s book, you will never forget paper burns at Fahrenheit 451. It will be brown, black and crispy. Be gentle.