Spicy Cheesey Bread

The challenge came from my cousin Emily.  She and her family spent a year in Madison and got addicted to Stella’s Spicy Cheesey Bread…

Emily tried to make it herself and fell short, so it sounded like a perfect challenge for the EFG… and, of course we have to blog about it!

As usual, Andy was the food mastermind.  He also took some of the photos and I took others.  Max and I were prep cooks…

Here are the cast of characters… yeast, white flour, cheese (hiding behind the yeast), red pepper flakes and the most important (at least to Andy and I) — nice full coffees… to drink, not to include in the bread.

Warm water went into the bowl, followed by half cup of sugar and two packages of  yeast.

An EFG trick… warm the oven to 200 degrees, then let the yeast percolate on top of the warmish stove… until it’s foamy…

Then  you add enough flour to make the dough… (Andy doesn’t measure…).  Throw in a lot of red pepper flakes… how much you may ask?

Since Andy doesn’t measure — I can tell you this bottle was full before he included the red peppers in the bread… adjust to your liking.  Andy says it’s about 4 Tbs of crushed red pepper, but I didn’t see him measure…

We decided to try two different alternatives for the dough… after rising, we punched it down again then took a hunk, flattened it out and wrapped it around a chunk of cheese and put it in a muffin tin.

This is the rest of the dough — we took hunks of Wisconsin block cheese (that’s what they called it…I swear) which is a pretty mild soft cheese.   Any white soft cheese would probably work.  Andy squished out the dough, then smooshed the cheese down into the dough.


Notice how Andy’s folding the bread and keeping all the cheese chunks inside…

To finish it before the final rising — Andy took a sharp knife and made three slits on the top of the bread.  He also liberally distributed additional red pepper flakes over the top.

Then — let it rise until it doubles at least… bake at 350, about 40ish minutes…

Here’s the mini one — kind of the size of a decent sized muffin.

And here’s the final loaf…

It smells wonderful.  The cheese is melty in the middle and it has a decent amount of heat, for bread. I’d say it’s spicier than mild chili — and without the more complex heat of our chili.  It may be about as hot as Taco Bell mild sauce. It would be good with soup or chowder.

So — try it for yourself — I’ve never had Stella’s version, but I like our version just fine!!

 

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