Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cheddar and Chilies Bread--NO Knead Again

Yet again, Nancy Baggett has given me confidence. This may be the seventh loaf I have made out of her cookbook. Simply Amazing is what she should have called her bread. This bread tastes very, very good. It's so pretty when you slice can see green and yellow bits. And it goes very well with a chili or Mexican soup. I hope you will love it as much as we did.

One thing to note, of all the breads I've tried, this one was a bit harder since I actually ended up using my hands (HA!) to incorporate the cheese and chilies in the dough...but, it was only minimal effort. You guys should try this bread--making bread is easy once you read through the recipes and see how little is actually required of you. The biggest work is waiting and planning ahead. But, it's so worth it! I can't believe how easy this is!!!!


Adapted from Kneadlessly Simple by Nancy Baggett

From the forward: The Hispanic influence on American culture over the past decades has been pervasive and shows up not only in the popularity of Mexican and Tex-Mex fare, but also in the widespread availability of ingredients like assorted chiles. Once found only in ethnic communities and markets, green chiles turn up in everything from soups and quiches to corn casseroles and both quick and yeast breads. (If you aren’t familiar with green chiles, note that they are just slightly piquant; they are not the same as jalapeños.) This is a delightfuly savory bread, particularly if a top-quality white cheddar is used. The loaf is shot through with cheese and bits of green chiles, and the crust is golden brown. It is great with chili, hearty, full-bodied soups, and bean dishes; it also makes an unusual but very appealing sandwich bread.

For a different look and milder taste, prepare the equally easy cheddar and pimiento variation provided at the end of the recipe.

Super-Easy: A minimum of fuss-free, easily mixed ingredients. No hand-shaping.

Yield: 1 large loaf, 12 to 14 slices each

3 1/2 cups (17.5 ounces) unbleached white bread flour, plus more as needed
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. table salt
1 tsp. instant, fast-rising, or bread machine yeast
2 Tbsp. corn oil, canola oil, or other flavorless vegetable oil, plus extra for coating dough top and baking pan
1 2/3 cups ice water, plus more if needed
8 ounces (3 lightly packed cups) coarsely grated very sharp cheddar cheese, preferably white cheddar (I used regular orange cheddar)
1/2 cup very well-drained and patted dry chopped canned green chiles

FIRST RISE: In a large bowl, thoroughly stir together the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. In another bowl or measuring cup, whisk the oil into the water. Thoroughly stir the mixture into the bowl with the flour, scraping down the sides until the ingredients are thoroughly blended. If the mixture is too dry to incorporate all the flour, a bit at a time, stir in just enough more ice water to blend the ingredients; don’t over-moisten, as the dough should be stiff. If necessary, stir in enough more flour to stiffen it. Brush or spray the top with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. If desired, for best flavor or for convenience, you can refrigerate the dough for 3 to 10 hours. Then let rise at cool room temperature for 15 to 20 hours. If convenient, stir the dough once partway through the rise.

SECOND RISE: Vigorously stir the dough, gradually sprinkling over and incorporating the cheese and chiles. Fold them in very thoroughly to ensure they are evenly distributed . If necessary, thoroughly stir in enough more flour to yield a very stiff dough. Using a well-oiled rubber spatula, fold the dough in towards the center, working all the way around the bowl. Invert the dough into a well-greased 9 × 5-inch loaf pan. Evenly brush or spray the dough top with oil. Using well-oiled kitchen shears or a serrated knife, make a G-inch-deep slash lengthwise down the center of the loaf. Cover the pan with nonstick spray–coated plastic wrap.

LET RISE USING ANY OF THESE METHODS: For a 1 1/2- to 2 1/2-hour regular rise, let stand at warm room temperature; for a 1- to 2-hour accelerated rise, let stand in a turned-off microwave along with 1 cup of boiling-hot water; or for an extended rise, refrigerate for 4 to 24 hours, then set out at room temperature. Continue the rise until the dough nears the plastic. Remove it and continue until the dough reaches 1/2 inch above the pan rim.

BAKING PRELIMINARIES: 15 minutes before baking time, place a rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 425ºF.

BAKING: Reduce the heat to 400ºF. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the top is nicely browned; cover the top with foil as needed. Continue baking for 20 to 30 minutes longer, or until a skewer inserted in the thickest part comes out with just a few particles clinging to the bottom (or until the center registers 204º to 206ºF on an instant-read thermometer). Then bake for 5 minutes more to be sure the center is done. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn out the loaf onto the rack; cool thoroughly.

SERVING AND STORING: Cool thoroughly before slicing or storing. Store airtight in plastic or aluminum foil. The bread will keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 days, and may be frozen, airtight, for up to 2 months.

CHEDDAR AND PIMIENTO BREAD—Omit the green chiles and substitute an equal amount of well-drained and patted dry chopped jarred pimientos. Otherwise proceed exactly as directed.

Check out this gorgeous cheese and chili flecked bread that came out of my oven! YUM! If it comes out seeming like the crust is a rock and you're nervous, just wrap it in a kitchen towel and let it cool. I promise the crust will soften. This may be one of our favoite breads--the flavor is amazing!


  1. I made this, but substituted pepperoni for the chilies. Fried the pepperoni in a pan first to crisp it a little and remove the excess oil. Then crumbled it. My family liked it a lot.

  2. What a great idea. I bet it may even work with our beloved turkey pepperoni. Thanks so much for letting me know!