recipe

Jalapeño Cheese Bread in the Dutch Oven

I’m back with a new bread recipe for making in the Dutch Oven!

Jalapeno Cheese Bread
Jalapeno Cheese Bread in the Dutch Oven

This one is not your typical loaf of bread, but I think you will really like it!

If you are late tuning in, you may want to read about the loaf that started my current obsession with baking bread in the Dutch Oven.  You can read the original post here: Crusty Bread in a Dutch Oven

I’ve also made a nice Italian style bread, which you can read about here: Recipe: Crusty Italian Bread in the Dutch Oven

And…if you are really just beginning to learn about Dutch Oven cooking in general, it might also be helpful to check out this post: Why I love my Dutch Oven


Now back to the Jalapeño Cheese Bread!!

Note: The measurements are a bit different for this recipe than my other ones.  I’m not sure why that is, so I will probably go back and make this again using the measurements of my original recipe.  If I do, I will be sure to inform you of the results.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups flour (I always use King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose, but only if you don’t mind “encouraging the liberals”! 😂😂😂)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast or contents of one yeast packet
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon salt (or less, if you desire)
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 2-3 cups shredded cheese (I suggest sharp cheddar, Colby, Monterey Jack and a bit of Parmesan totaling 3 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons or more of chopped pickled jalapeno peppers (We prefer Mt. Olive brand)

Instructions:

  1. Dissolve the yeast into the lukewarm water and stir, let sit in a warm place for 5-10 minutes to allow to bloom.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and salt. Once combined add in the shredded cheeses and mix to combine.
  3. To the flour/cheese mixture, add the pickled jalapeño. Mix.
  4. Add the proofed yeast to the flour and stir with a spoon at first. Use your hands to bring it all together and shape it into a nice ball.
  5. Put the dough ball in a clean bowl and cover the bowl with film and then with a dish cloth.
  6. Allow dough to sit in a warm location until it rises to about twice its size.
  7. Punch down the dough and knead a bit to get the air out. Don’t over knead the dough or it will toughen. Put your kneaded dough ball back in the bowl and cover again. Allow to rise about an hour.
  8. Preheat your oven–with covered Dutch Oven inside–to 450 degrees.
  9. When the oven is preheated, remove the Dutch Oven. Place your dough ball in the hot Dutch Oven and cover. You can use parchment paper, if you’d like but it’s not really necessary. You can sprinkle the bottom of the pan with a bit of flour if you’re worried about it sticking.
  10. Put the Dutch Oven in the preheated oven and bake covered for 45 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for 10-15 minutes longer or until browned to your liking.
  11. Remove the Dutch Oven and tip it over. The bread should pop right out!
  12. Allow to cool for about 20 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

DIY · Dutch Oven · recipe

Recipe: Crusty Italian Bread in the Dutch Oven

I got so excited when I posted about my Crusty Italian Bread, I forgot to actually give the ingredients list. My apologies!!

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 cups room temperature water
  • 1 tsp Active yeast (about a half of the package if you are using the package)
  • 1-2 tsp garlic salt (adjust to your tastes)
  • 1-2 tablespoons Italian herb mix OR
  • 1-2 tablespoons total of Rosemary, Basil and Oregano (adjust to your tastes, of course!)
  • 1/3 cup shredded Romano and/or Parmesan cheese

Note: I assembled all my ingredients except for the water at home and took them in a zippy bag to the place we are visiting

Steps:

  • Mix all your dry ingredients together. When thoroughly mixed, add the water one cup at a time while stirring with a spoon. Continue to mix until incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit for 12-18 hours.
  • Preheat your oven to 450 degrees, with the covered Dutch Oven inside
  • Remove Dutch Oven from Oven (carefully)
  • Gently form a ball with your dough; no kneading
  • Dust the DO with flour and put your dough inside; replace cover
  • Return the covered pot to the preheated oven and bake 30 minutes covered
  • After 30 minutes, remove the cover (carefully…there may be steam!) and cook for an additional 20 minutes
  • Remove pot from oven and turn out your loaf and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before cutting

And that’s it, folks!

As my son would say: “Easy peasey, lemon squeezy!”

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Dutch Oven · recipe

Smaller Loaf of Crusty Bread in the Dutch Oven

One of my readers was so inspired by my bread making posts about the Dutch Oven Bread, she purchased a new Dutch Oven and set about making her own amazing crusty loaf. I’m happy to report her bread turned out amazing and she was very proud of herself–as she should be!

However, since this reader is usually a carb counter, she asked if she could make her subsequent loaves half the size of my original recipe. My knee-jerk reaction was to say “sure”, but I needed to test it out anyway. 😉

I suggested a smaller Dutch Oven–they make a 3.5 quart one that would be darling!–but we must use what we have, right?

I must admit though the half sized loaf looks tiny…especially in the 5.5 quart pan!

However–when popped out on my cutting board–is seems to adjust itself. 😂

Just about every detail with making the half sized loaf is the same as my original recipe, just with quantities halved. So same rise time and same cook temperature. The only thing I would change is the second half of the cooking time. You will still bake it covered for 30 minutes, but I would recommend reducing the uncovered time by 5-10 minutes for a total of 10-15 minutes.

And here is what it looks like inside!

Now…I’m curious. Will you fall under the spell of the Dutch Oven now?

Please let me know and thanks for reading, too!

Dutch Oven · recipe

ITALIAN Crusty Bread in the Dutch Oven

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A few days ago I posted about how to make a basic loaf of white bread in my new Dutch Oven.  Although it was a little bit of heaven eating my own homemade bread, it was still rather “white bread” for me and I needed to improve it somehow.

Before I tell you about the updates I made, I wanted to tell you a something about myself.  I am rather persistent.  Well, okay, I am probably beyond persistent.  Especially when it comes to improving on something I have created.  Yes, I know, no one is perfect.  And, yes, I am trying to embrace my imperfections and all that “wabi sabi” stuff…but still, I will ruminate over how I can make things better for the next time.  Well anyway, in this case, my persistency has paid off with a beautiful (but still simple) update to my Crusty Dutch Oven white bread and I have to share it with you.

Basic recipe is here

All the basics are the same; no crazy new steps.  You still need a big bowl, lots of flour and a Dutch Oven, but you just need to add some ingredients to your flour and yeast mix.

I mixed up a batch of dough last night with the flour and yeast, but I substituted garlic salt for the regular salt.

Then I added about a half a cup of Stella Three Cheese Italian Cheese, which is a combination of Romano, Parmesan and Asiago.  While I like all three cheeses, I have to admit that Romano is my favorite, but it is difficult to find freshly shredded without the other two mixed in.  I like the Stella brand, because the shreds are long and distinct.  As an aside, this cheese is a great staple to have on hand, because it tastes fabulous sprinkled on pasta or soup!

Before adding the water, I also added a pinch of crushed red peppers and a healthy amount of Italian seasonings–Rosemary, Oregano and Basil–all dried.  I was hesitant to add any additional wet ingredients like olive oil or even fresh herbs, because I didn’t know if it would upset this basic bread.

I whisked the flour, yeast and garlic salt with the cheese and herbs BEFORE I added the water.  I proceeded with the recipe as originally detailed in the original recipe by covering it with plastic wrap and a towel and letting it set overnight in a warmish spot in my kitchen.

In the morning I heated my oven and Dutch Oven to 450.  I then made a ball of my dough and put it in the preheated pot, cooking it for 30 minutes covered and then 20 minutes uncovered.  I immediately popped it out onto my counter, so it would remain crusty and allowed it to cool.

While baking I could not believe how heavenly my kitchen smelled.  It’s almost impossible to describe the aroma!  It smelled like the Italian kitchens of my youth and the warmth of the oven was soothing as well!

I tried to wait to allow the loaf to cool, but I could not help myself…I had to see what it looked like…and here it is!

Let me tell you…it TASTES even better than it looks!  I’m in Heaven!

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I do hope you will give the recipe a try and let me know how it goes for you.

P.S. A lot of people were interested in how to make my Open Faced Meatball Sandwiches that I posted on Facebook and Instagram.  I’m not holding out, but everyone here wanted one and I soon ran out of my sister Teresa’s famous meatballs and sauce.

In order for me to post good enough recipe, I have to get Teresa to “guest blog” for me.  She makes the most perfect sauce and meatballs, that I have relinquished the family duty to her from now on.

I am working on her, but she doesn’t understand why anyone would want to post their food and recipes on the internet–she laughs at me all the time!

If I can get her to guest blog, you will NOT be disappointed in her input…so stay tuned!  Until then, here’s a snap of said sandwiches (they were “to die for”) for you to drool over.  Yes, I know, #foodporn

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Happy New Year, my friends!!

 

 

Dutch Oven · life · recipe

Crusty Bread in a Dutch Oven

I was “gifted” with a Dutch Oven for Christmas, which I am thinking might be one of the best gifts I’ve ever received…and I’m not just saying that because the giver of the Dutch Oven reads my blog…because I’m not sure if she does. Let’s check: “Thank you, Tre, for the fabulous gift!”

Let’s see if she responds…I’ll let you know later.

Anyway you might be asking what a Dutch Oven is and thinking about why you might need one, too, so let me explain. A Dutch Oven is an enamel-coated cast iron pot that, when heated, maintains amazing temperature much like a slow cooker. I’ve been using a crock pot for years and years, which is why I never got myself a Dutch Oven before, but I will be the first to admit this was a silly mistake.

Slow cookers may *do* Everything a Dutch Oven does, but there’s something more “down home” and heart warming about using your oven to bake bread! It amazes your kids, too!

I know, I know…the gluten! But to be totally honest, unless you have a known allergy to gluten (aka celiac disease), I am just not convinced that gluten is a big horror. Perhaps it’s bad in processed/commercial breads, but even then I’m not sure the gluten is the culprit. Yeah, I’m talking to you high fructose corn syrup!

And while I’m on the subject of HFCS, can I just agree now with my European friends that American bread is SO sweet! It’s too sweet! IMHO, we’ve ruined our palates eating these over sweetened commercial breads.

Before you think I am pointing a blame finger, I’m just as guilty as anyone. I could never envision eating the New England classic Fluffernutter without fresh Country Kitchen Canadian White bread. By the way, the idea that there’s a different kind of bread called Canadian White is just a myth; my Canadian friend has confirmed that there is no such thing! (The horror!!)

Okay I hear ya. I’m done preaching, so I’ll get off my soapbox now and back to the subject: making wonderful and easy homemade bread in a Dutch Oven.

This is a great BASE recipe! Which means, you can experiment with variations. I myself am envisioning a nice Italian loaf with rosemary (my fave!), basil, oregano and a nice cheese blend of Romano and Parmesan. Doesn’t that sound awesome? Drool!

Also…Did I mention this is so easy to make? There’s no kneading and only one (overnight) rising! Couldn’t be easier!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 5.5 quart Dutch Oven
  • An oversized bowl
  • Six cups all purpose flour (I always use King Arthur, because it’s unbleached)
  • 3 cups room temperature water
  • 2 tsp. salt (adjust to your taste)
  • 1 tsp. Active dry yeast (this is about half an envelope if you are using the packets)
  • Extra flour for the pan and your hands

Instructions:

  • The night before, combine flour, salt and yeast in a big bowl then add your water and mix with a wooden spoon until thoroughly blended
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and then a dish towel and let it sit for between 12-18 hours in a warm part of your kitchen
  • In the morning, put your Dutch Oven (with its lid!) in your oven and then preheat both to 450 degrees
  • Remove the plastic wrap from the bowl and gently shape the dough with floured hands. Don’t knead the dough, you want the yeast bubbles!
  • Remove your Dutch Oven from the oven, remove the cover, sprinkle a bit of flour in the bottom and place the dough inside
  • Replace the cover and put the entire pot back in the preheated oven. Bake covered for 30 minutes, then remove the cover and bake uncovered for 20 minutes more
  • Your loaf will pop right out of the pot. Cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing the round loaf in half. Cool completely before slicing the loaf or storing it in plastic, because the steam will make your bread soggy

See how crusty it is outside but fluffy inside? That’s your objective!

That’s all there is to it. REALLY!

Now go on and make yourself some bread! You’ll be glad you did!

P.S.

Teresa: Did you read all the way to the end? Just checking. Thanks again for my beautiful aqua colored Dutch Oven! I love it…obviously!

P.P.S.

My next post will Be how to use your bread to make these Open Faced Meatball Sandwiches, so do come back soon!