First of all, let me just say a big thank you to everybody who has been giving me encouragement, advice, and sharing references to my blog. Thank you for simply being here and reading this post. Your support means everything to me!
Okay, I’m done with the mushy stuff. Now on to the nummies!
When I posted my Mexi-Stuffed Peppers a couple of weeks ago, I found a jalapeno cheddar focaccia bread at the grocery store that made me very happy and I vowed to find a recipe for it and make my own. Let me confess, I have made this twice since I made that vow… Twice. I may continue to try difference versions that I discover, but I was so excited to make this that I had to share!
- 2 1/4 teaspoon yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 1/3 cup warm water
- 3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoons kosher salt
- 3 jalapenos, sliced and de-seeded
- 1- 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the yeast, sugar, and warm water. Allow this mixture to sit and activate for about 10 minutes. Add flour, 1 tablespoon salt, and 2 tablespoons olive oil and mix until well combined; dough will be sticky. Place onto a floured surface and knead in more flour until dough is slightly sticky, but not sticking to your hands, and smooth. Divide dough into two equal portions. Spray two round baking dishes with baking spray. Take one of the dough balls and press it flat into one of the baking dishes. Repeat with the second ball of dough and the second baking dish. Cover the dough and allow to set in a warm place for 1- 1 1/2 hours to rise. Once the dough has risen, press back into the baking dish. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread 1 tablespoon of olive oil onto each loaf and sprinkle each with 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt. Divide the cheese and jalapenos evenly onto the top of each loaf. Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Here are our cast of characters: Flour, sugar, salt, yeast, olive oil, cheddar cheese, and jalapenos. Do you know what gets me every time? How on earth am I supposed to tell whether a jalapeno will be mild and delicious or set-your-mouth-on-fire hot? I like a little bit of spice, but when my lips and tongue go numb after coming in contact with a slice of pepper I feel like I have become a fire breathing dragon!
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead in more flour until the dough is still slightly sticky and elastic, but it is not stuck to your fingers. Dough is such a simple, pretty thing isn’t it?
Cover both baking dishes with a clean towel and set in a warm place to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. The first time I made this I had to run errands so I ended up letting it set like this for nearly 3 hours… oops. It still turned out well, but you don’t have to wait that long!
To help tame the heat on these bad boys I removed the seeds by sticking a knife in the center of each jalapeno slice, twisting the knife around, and rinsing off the seeds. It took extra time, but my taste buds thanked me for it later.
Gorgeous! I couldn’t wait for it to cool all the way before cutting into it and biting into a steaming, spicy, slice of deliciousness. My only disappointment was that these jalapenos were so hot! I am going to have to experiment with the jalapenos and different techniques to cool them down. Oh darn 😉
I served this with another batch of Mexi-Stuffed Peppers, you may recall that I made enough beef mixture with that recipe to make 8 peppers altogether, but I only made 4 peppers at that time and put the rest of the mixture in the freezer for another day. I can vouch that it is just as good after being frozen and reheated!
This bread was easy and quite tasty! Do you have a favorite focaccia bread recipe? Please leave me a comment if you do, I am always willing to try new recipes. And if you have a tried and true technique to cool down spicy peppers, please share your secrets with me!