Are you drooling yet? You should be. If you’re not, you need to get that checked out. Seriously.
I’m warning you – if you make this bread, it has a tendency to disappear. I made 8 mini-loaves (really, it should have been 10), and the little loaves grew legs and walked away. Some even walked into some mayo, tomato, lettuce and bacon slices. Holy crap. Good thing I caught that one. Didn’t want it getting away. Just think of the accidents if it actually made it down the street. See? I really AM a super hero. 🙂
You can make this bread with just about any mix-in you want. But jalapenos, bacon bits, and diced cheddar are really, really good. Some people don’t like jalapenos. That’s cool. Just leave them out. Bacon cheddar bread is pretty darn good, too. Just not AS good. So, you know. Choose wisely.
Jalapeno BACON Cheddar Bread
- 1/2 cup warm water (115°F)
- 1 packet quick rise yeast (2-1/4 tsp)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1-1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup butter, cut into small cubes
- 3 large eggs
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1 cup bacon bits (the real kind. Bacos are for weenies)
- 8 oz can diced jalapenos, drained
- 3-1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1-1/2 cup cheddar cheese, cut in small cubes and frozen.
- Preheat oven to lowest possible temp. For me, that’s 170°F. When it gets to this temp, turn it off.
- Place yeast in a bowl and sprinkle a little of the sugar on top. Pour in warm water and stir well. Let sit about 5 minutes.
- Place remaining sugar and eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment. Whip them up!
- Put butter and milk in a microwave safe dish and heat on high until butter melts, about 1 minute 30 seconds.
- Pour milk and butter mixture, and foamy yeast mixture into the egg and sugar mixture. Whip it again!
- Add the 3 cups bread flour and mix on low until incorporated. Add bacon bits and jalapenos. Then, you know– WHIP IT!
- In a medium bowl, mix the all purpose flour and salt. Replace the paddle attachment with a dough hook. Add the all purpose flour/salt a little at a time until it’s all incorporated. If needed, you can add a bit of warm water, a teaspoon at a time, to wet the dough a bit and help the last of the flour get incorporated.
- Once all the flour is in, turn the mixer on low and let it do the kneading for you – about 5 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the bowl, and flatten into a large rectangle. Sprinkle the cheddar on top, then knead by hand about 3 minutes, or until dough springs back when poked and cheese is distributed evenly. Freezing helps keep the cheese intact.
- Place dough in a large, well oiled bowl, turning once to coat with oil. Wrap with plastic wrap and place in the oven until doubled, about an hour. Once rising is done, heat oven to 375°F.
- Shape and bake according to options:
- Mini Loaves (5-1/2″ x 3″ x 2-1/2″): Divide dough into 10 equal portions. Shape each into a log, sealing seams on the bottom if needed. Place in greased loaf pans and let rise until over the top of the pan, 45 minutes to an hour. Bake 20 minutes, rotate pans, and bake another 15-20 minutes.
- Regular Loaves (8″ x 4″ x 3″): Divide dough into 4 equal portions. Shape each into a log, pinching seams closed on the bottom if needed. Place in greased loaf pans and let rise until over the top of the pan, 45 minutes to an hour. Bake 25 minutes, rotate pans, and bake another 25 to 35 minutes.
- Rolls: Divide dough into balls about the size of a hacky sack. If you don’t know what a hacky sack is, go hang out on a college campus and ask one of the hipsters. They might roll their eyes, but they’ll tell you. Anyway… Shape each ball and place in a greased 9″ x 13″ pan. You should be able to fit 12-15 rolls per pan with about a half an inch around each ball to allow for room to rise. Grease the top, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise about 45 minutes, then bake 20 minutes. Rotate pan, and bake an additional 10-15 minutes.
- Let cool about 5 minutes on a cooling rack, then remove from pan to cool completely. If you have any left over (yeah, right), store in an airtight container in the fridge.
PS: If you REALLY want to be awesome, make rolls but leave out the cheese in step 9. Put a bit in the middle of each roll instead of incorporating into the dough. Make sure it’s completely surrounded by dough and sealed. Don’t want any cheese leak-ers on my watch… Bake and cool as directed.