Mary Hawkes, Prescott, Arizona
“Living in the Southwest, the flavors and ingredients of the region are welcome staples to family meals. Corn products, Chile peppers, and Hispanic cheeses frequently complement the dishes served in our home. I decided to incorporate some of our favorite regional ingredients into my bread. It was a hit – with a tender texture, the richness of the Cheddar, and mild heat of the chiles.”
Yield: 2 loaves, 18 servings each.
1 ½ cups (12 ounces) warm milk (110°-115°F)
2 tablespoons (¾ ounce) granulated sugar
2 (¼ ounce) packages RED STAR® Active Dry Yeast
2 large eggs, beaten
¼ cup (2 ounces) light olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon
2 ¼ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
½ cup (2 3/8 ounces) yellow cornmeal
4 ½ to 5 cups (19 ounces to 21 ¼ ounces) King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour, divided
8 tablespoons (1 stick, 4 ounces) softened unsalted butter, divided
1 teaspoon grated fresh garlic
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
3 (4-ounce) cans diced mild green chiles, well-drained and patted dry
1. Place milk, sugar, and yeast into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle. Wait 5 to 10 minutes for mixture to foam (proof). Stir in eggs, ¼ cup olive oil, salt, red pepper flakes, cornmeal, and 1 ½ cups bread flour.
2. Switch to dough hook, and stir in 3 cups bread flour. If needed, gradually add enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough. Knead on low speed 8 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic. Coat bowl with 1 teaspoon olive oil, and place dough in bowl. Cover, and let rise 1 hour.
3. Gently deflate the dough, and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Cover with bowl and let rest 10 minutes. Line two 9” x 5” loaf pans with parchment, leaving a 2” overhang; brush parchment with 1 tablespoon of the softened butter.
4. In a small bowl, stir 6 tablespoons butter and garlic together. Divide dough in half. Roll each portion into a rectangle, 12” x 20”. Brush half of the butter onto each rectangle. Evenly top with half the cheese and half the chiles.
5. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough crosswise into six 3 ½” x 12” strips. Carefully stack the strips on top of one another. Cut the stack into six, 2” x 3 ½” pieces.
6. Turn the dough pieces on edge, cut edges up, and place them in the pan one in front of the other. (Squares should be standing up.) Repeat with remaining dough. Cover pans with greased plastic wrap, and allow to rise until nearly doubled, about 1 hour.
7. Near the end of the rise, preheat oven to 350°F. Bake 40 to 45 minutes. To prevent over-browning, loosely cover bread with aluminum foil. The bread is done when golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers about 205°F.
8. Remove pans from oven, and brush loaves with remaining tablespoon softened butter. Cool bread in pan 10 minutes. Holding parchment, gently lift loaves from pans then remove parchment.
Nutrition Information Per Serving
1 slice (56g) provides approximately 150 calories, 6g fat, 1g fiber, 3g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 18g carbohydrates, 20mg cholesterol, 230mg sodium, 5g protein, 1mg vitamin C, 1mg iron, 75mg calcium.
To view Mary Hawkes's finalist bio click here.