Jalapeno Cheddar Bread
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast (less than a ¼-ounce package)
- 1¾ cups plus 1 tablespoon warm water (105-115°F)
- 4 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for dusting
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh jalapeño, including seeds and ribs, plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh jalapeño, without seeds and ribs (from 3 medium total)
- 5 ounces coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar (1½ cups plus 2 tablespoons)
- 1½ ounces finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (3/4 cup)
- 1 large egg, beaten with a pinch of salt
- Stir together yeast and 1 tablespoon warm water in a small bowl; let mixture stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If it doesn't foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)
- Mix together flour, salt, oil, yeast mixture, and remaining 1¾ cups warm water in bowl of mixer at low speed until a soft dough forms. Increase speed to medium-high and beat 3 minutes more. Add jalapeño, 1½ cups Cheddar, and ½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano and mix until combined.
- Scrape dough down side of bowl (all around) into center, then sprinkle lightly with flour. Cover bowl with a clean kitchen towel (not terry cloth) to keep a crust from forming and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, 2 to 2½ hours. (Alternatively,let dough rise in bowl in refrigerator 8 to 12 hours.)
- Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface and gently form into a roughly 11- by 8-inch rectangle with floured hands.
- Fold dough in thirds (like a letter) with floured hands (dough will be sticky), pressing along seam of each fold to seal.
- Put dough, seam side down, in an oiled 9- by 5-inch loaf pan. Cover pan with same clean kitchen towel and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until dough completely fills pan and rises above it slightly, 1 to 1¼ hours.
- Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F.
- Brush loaf with egg, then sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons Cheddar and remaining ¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano down center of loaf.
- Bake until bread is golden and sounds hollow when tapped on bottom, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Run a knife around edge of pan to loosen loaf, then remove from pan to test for doneness.
- Return bread (not in pan) to oven and turn on its side, then bake 10 minutes more to crisp crust. Cool completely on a rack, about 1½ hours.