Cheesy Jalapeño Beer Bread comes loaded with flavour. It’s seriously cheesy with a pleasant warmth of chilli. The beer adds greater depth and flavour to the loaf without imparting a strong beery kick.
It’s hard to beat a good loaf of bread for sheer indulgence, preferably cut thickly and laden with a good lick of salty butter. It has been an age since I shared a bread recipe but I have a good one for you today.
Sub-tropical temperatures have disappeared in my neighbourhood and they have been replaced by a more pleasant level of warmth. It really is the ideal weather to draw bakers back into the kitchen for a spot of breadmaking, since it’s still warm enough for the bread to rise at a sensible rate.
And to tempt you back into your kitchen, I’ve got a gorgeous loaf of Cheesy Jalapeño Beer Bread to talk about today.
This loaf is deliciously savoury and loaded with the flavours of strong cheddar cheese and piquant jalapeño chillis. Oh, and I slipped in a generous splash of beer just to add depth and robustness to the overall taste. Oops.
This Cheesy Jalapeño Beer Bread makes a great companion to numerous dishes. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Served simply with beer and cheddar cheese as a speedy evening snack
- Alongside a traditional ploughman’s lunch – you know, just to add a little modern flair to proceedings
- Cut into bite-sized chunks for dunking into a Cheesy Dip
- With soup – especially tomato soup
- or a good bowl of chilli
- Sliced into chunks ready to scoop the sauce from Eggs in Purgatory or Shakshuka
- If there’s a wedge left over, accompanying Spanish Hash for a hearty breakfast
That’s just a few ways to get the Cheesy Jalapeño Beer Bread party started. I’m sure there are plenty more.
If you’re new to bread making you can read up on my tips here and scoop the recipe for a sweeter loaf. The only additional advice I would tag on to today’s recipe is to ensure that you wash your hands thoroughly after handling the chillis – they are hotties.
Talking of those chilli peppers, I had no idea that the jalapeño came in any other shade than green. Just look at those yellow beauties. Of course, it’s up to you how hot or mild you want to take this bread. For me, catering to the tastes of my family, a mid-level of chilli heat is sufficient. You can ramp up the fieriness by adding extra chilli or tone it down by using a milder chilli altogether. And of course, you can chop the chilli chunky if you are looking for a blast of intense heat every few bites or chop it finely for a more uniform scattering of heat throughout the loaf.
And that’s it. I’m off to sit in front of an open window and breath cool air for the first time in weeks.
- 500 g/ 4 cups Strong White Bread Flour
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Fast action dried yeast
- 30 g/ 1 oz Butter
- 160 ml/ 2/3 cup Lager or Pale Ale
- 160 ml/ 2/3 cup Water
- 125 g/ 4 1/2 oz Cheddar (sharp) cheese - finely grated
- 2-3 Jalapeño chillis (mine were approx 2.5 inches long) Add more/ less to personal preferences
Wrap the chillis loosely in foil and roast at 180C/ 350F/ GM4 for 30 minutes
Allow to cool, then slit open, remove the seeds and chop finely
Put the flour, salt, yeast and butter into a large mixing bowl
Mix the water and lager/ ale in a jug, then pour 3/4 of it into the mixing bowl
Stir with your hands to form a dough, adding more of the liquid as required - the dough should be soft and not flaky, but it should also not be too wet or sticky
Tip the dough onto a lightly floured worktop and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic (or use the dough hook attachment on your mixer)
Put the dough into a clean bowl and cover with a clean tea towel. Leave to rise until doubled in size (approx 1-2 hours depending on how warm your kitchen is)
Knock back the dough in the bowl using your fist and then tip it onto a worktop. Flatten it out to a rough rectangle, scatter the grated cheese and chilli pieces over it, fold it up and knead for a few minutes to distribute the additions throughout the dough
Shape the dough into a round or an oval. Lay it onto a floured baking sheet and put it inside a large plastic bag to prove for another hour or so until nearly doubled in size
Meanwhile, heat the oven to 220C/ 425F/ GM7 and put a roasting tin into the bottom shelf
Slash the top of the loaf with a very sharp knife (or a razor blade) and sprinkle with a little flour
Put the loaf into the oven and at the same time fill the baking tin with water
Cook for 20 minutes then turn the heat down to 200C/ 400F/ GM6 and bake for another 5-7 minutes until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped underneath
Leave the loaf in the oven, but turn off the heat and let the bread cool down in the oven with the door ajar
Eat as soon as possible (and within 48 hours), with some butter
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