We know of three ways to add fresh veggies to bread: stuff the bread hot-pocket fashion, add bits of chopped veggies to the dough, or puree the vegetables and add the puree to the dough. In this recipe, bits of green or red peppers are laced through a cheddar bread. It makes for an attractive, unusual bread.
Consider this a type of bread. We’ve made this bread with bacon bits instead of green peppers. We’ve also used sautéed onions instead of peppers. Don’t hesitate to experiment.
Pepper Cheddar Bread
This is a great cheddar bread. The addition of bell peppers is an extra. There is just so much cheese that you can add to a bread before it is weighed down and the rise becomes very slow. Get the most pronounced flavor from your cheese by using a sharp cheddar. A slow rise will only enhance flavors, so be patient.
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You may need to adjust the moisture used in this bread. It’s easy to add a little more flour; a little more difficult to dribble in a bit of water. Because it is easier to add flour than water, start your dough a bit on the wet side and add flour as needed.
1 bell pepper, either red or green
5-6 cups white bread flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 seven-gram packet of instant yeast
1 3/4 cups warm water, 110 degrees
2 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 tablespoon salt
1. Dice the bell peppers. Spread the pepper pieces on a paper towel on a plate and cook them in the microwave until tender. Set them aside to cool.
2. Place about two cups of the bread flour, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of your stand-type mixer. Add the warm water and beat with a dough hook until it is partially mixed. The purpose of this mixing is to hydrate the yeast.
3. Add most of the remaining flour to the bowl. Add the cheese, melted butter, white pepper, and salt. Knead with the dough hook at medium speed for four minutes. Add the vegetables and knead them in. Since the vegetables are moist, you will likely need to add flour to reach the right consistency. Set the dough in a greased bowl, turn once, and cover. Set the bowl in a warm place and allow it to double in size.
4. Grease two large loaf pans. Form two loaves, cover them, and let them rise until doubled and puffy.
5. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until done. The internal temperature should be 190 to 200 degrees. Remove the bread from the pans and let the bread cool on a wire rack.
Baker’s Note: A soft dough rises more quickly than does a firm dough. Since this recipe calls for so much cheese, make the dough a little softer than normal with just a bit more water.