Mrs. Enloe’s Jalapeno Popper Bread

Mrs. Enloe's Jalapeno Popper Bread

I’m not going to lie, this bread is a lot of work but it is so worth it! The flavor is so much better than anything you can buy in the store. You can make really wicked grilled cheese sandwiches with it, and it’s great toasted with butter too.

 

Dough:

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

½ cup of warm water

½ cup warm milk

2 tablespoons butter, melted

3 ½ cups bread flour

1 ¾ teaspoons yeast

 

Filling:

4 good sized jalapeno peppers

4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, cut into tiny cubes

6 slices of thick bacon

 

Bread Machine Directions:

 

Put salt, sugar, water, milk, and butter into the bottom of the bread machine pan. Add flour on top. Make a small dent in the middle of the flour and pour the yeast into the dent. Select the dough setting. Then get to work on the filling.

 

Stand Mixer or Food Processor Directions:

 

Mix water, sugar, and yeast together and then set aside.

Use the dough attachment in your mixer/food processor. Put flour, and salt into the mixing bowl. While the mixer is running on low speed, pour milk and butter into the bowl. Let it mix for a bit and then slowly pour the yeast mixture into the bowl.

Let mix until all ingredients are well combined. The dough should be soft and smooth.

Lightly flour your work surface since the dough will be sticky. Flour your hands as well. Turn dough out and knead until smooth. Form dough into a ball.

Grease a large bowl. Place into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave in a warm place for an hour and a half. Get to work on the filling!

 

Filling:

Cut the jalapenos in half and use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and ribbing. Pro tip: Wear gloves! The oils in the jalapenos can leave your hands burning for hours!

Place jalapenos skin up on a broiling tray. Broil for 7 minutes or until skins are starting to blacken.

Allow the jalapenos to cool completely and the skins will easily slide off. Remove the skins and finely dice the jalapenos. Set aside.

 

Bacon is completely optional but it does make the bread have that real jalapeno popper flavor. Cook bacon until crispy. An air fryer makes short work of cooking bacon but use whatever method you prefer.

Set the cooked bacon on paper towels to cool.

Chop the bacon into small pieces. Set aside.

 

When the dough has finished rising, turn it out to a floured surface. If you’re ever made a jelly roll or even just eaten one, you will have an idea of what you need to do next.

Knead it and punch it down until you make a rectangle. Lift and stretch the dough to help form the shape. Try to make the rectangle about 8 x 12 inches, with an even thickness. If your dough tears, just pull it back together and pinch it.

 

Using a small spatula or the back of a spoon, spread the cream cheese evenly over the dough, as close to the edges as possible. Sprinkle ¾ of chopped jalapenos evenly over the dough. Repeat with ¾ of the shredded cheese and all of the bacon. Evenly distribute the cheddar chunks over the dough and gently press in to embed them.

 

Starting at the widest part of the rectangle, begin to roll the dough up. Inch your way slowly to make sure the roll is tight. Work from one end of the width to the other, pinching as you roll. When you reach the end, pinch gently pinch it shut.

 

The next part is very important. Following these steps ensures that there are no big gaping holes in the dough and that every part has the filling evenly in it. I have included a picture of the next step to help.

 

With a sharp knife, cut the roll into 2 equal pieces. You have to cut all the way through. Next, turn the dough so that the cut side is facing up. Starting at the top, lay the right side over the left. Next lay the left side over the right. Continue to ‘braid’ the bread until you have twisted from top to bottom.

 

This recipe makes either two medium loaves of bread or one large one. 

 

For two medium loaves, grease two loaf pans. Cut dough half and place half in each pan. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining jalapenos and shredded cheese. Leave the dough in a warm place to rise while the oven is preheating. Set the oven to 350. Bake for 20 minutes. If bread is getting too dark on top, cover the loaves with foil. Switch the pans so they are on the opposite sides of the oven and bake for 10 more minutes. 

 

For one large loaf of bread, grease one large loaf pan. Sprinkle to top with the remaining jalapenos and shredded cheese. Leave the dough in a warm place to rise while the oven is preheating. Set the oven to 350. Bake for 25 minutes. Cover the top with foil and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes. 

 

Remove pans from the oven. You can use a skewer to test the dough to see if it is done. Keep in mind the cheeses are gooey so you might want to test in more than one spot. Let the bread cool in the pans on a wire rack for an hour if you want to be able to cut perfect slices. If you’re like my family, you’ll tear into it as soon as it’s cool enough to touch!