Fresh herbs, Cheese and Jalapeno bread – Eggless, No-Knead and Super Delicious!

Fresh herbs, Cheese and Jalapeno bread – Eggless, No-Knead and Super Delicious!

It’s a beautiful day in NC. The sun has given us a bit of respite and the weather seems to bring in the summer showers. The sky is filled with pregnant clouds – that’s how I visualize it. New life begins with showers 🙂 And my Hibiscus, the yellow one bloomed cheerily. The patio is filled with pots bursting with life – and my pride and joy of herbs and more. The fresh herbs beckon me to do something in the early hours of today- especially as my angels ( sometimes troublesome 3’s ) are fast asleep and I have this morning hour to myself.

Just myself and a cup of ginger chai.

Just myself, a cup of ginger chai and a humming bird.

Just myself , a cup of ginger chai, a humming bird and a curious brown breasted rabbit !

Oh the wonders !

And I walk in to the kitchen to see the remains of the pantry cleaning. Hmm I still have a few cupful’s of the self rising APF. What do I do? I bake of course 🙂

 Snipping away the fresh herbs , gives me an idea. As is always the case, a bit of this and a bit of that goes into this effort and creation.. The result is beautiful!

 An absolutely fragrant and moist loaf of rustic cheese and herbs bread baked to near golden perfection, filled with goodness of fresh herbs and spiced with jalapeños and pepper, flax seed laden and oh so irresistible ! Try this one, I am sure you will not be disappointed.

Pointers :

  • Self rising flour is All purpose flour with baking powder and salt in it. So this recipe omits salt.
  • I used a mix of grated Cheddar cheese, Habanero and Mexican cheese blend. Already loaded with salt, hence no extra salt was added in this recipe.
  • No eggs in this recipe. But you can substitute the flax seed mix I used for 2 eggs.
  • No egg wash too, Instead, I chose milk and butter wash and broiled it for 550 for 3 min.
  • The baking was at 350 for 50 min. Please keep an eye on your oven . I would recommend tenting it with an aluminum foil at the 30 min interval and bake it further.
  • I gave  the bread the milk and butter wash and then did the tenting ,baking and broiling.

Bakes : One 9 by 5 inch loaf

 Ingredients:

  • Self rising flour APF : 2.25 cups
  • Baking soda : 1/2 tsp
  • Shredded mix of cheddar , habenaro, pepperjack and mexican cheese blend : 1 cup
  • Fresh or Preserved Japaleno slices : chopped, 1/4 cup
  • Fresh herbs mix : 1 cup
  • Butter milk : 1.25 cups
  • 2 Tbsp flax seed + 6 Tbsp warm water : ground ( substitute for 2 eggs)
  • Olive oil : 3 Tbsp
  • Red pepper flakes : 1 tsp
  • Black pepper powder : 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds : 1/2 tsp
  • 2 Tsp of milk + 1 tsp of butter for wash if desired

 Method:

  • Pre heat the oven to 350℉.
  • Spray a loaf pan with grease and flour it as well to prevent sticking of the bread.
  • Sift the APF self rising flour and baking soda together and set aside in a wide bowl.
  • To this add the dry seasonings and spices you are using as well the 3/4 of the fresh chopped herbs and stir it in.
  • Now add in the grated cheese and stir it in as well.
  • Add in the  3 tbsp. oil and run your flingers through the dough to distribute it.
  • In a coffee grinder  or spice grinder , first make a meal out of the flax seeds – grind as finely as possible. Then add about 6 Tbsps. of warm water and blend it together to get a thick creamy mix.
  • Add the flax seed mix and butter milk together , homogenize and then add it to the  dry mix to and stir it in well.
  • The dough is going to be a shaggy dough !
  • Empty it in to the prepped bread pan, add in the remaining herbs mix on the top.
  • Bake it for 350℉  for 45- 52 min. After the first 30 min or so, loosely tent an aluminum foil on top of your baking pan . This will help the bread to bake more evenly.
  • Gently wash the top with a mix of milk and butter if desired at this stage.
  • Finally broil it at 550 ℉ for 2 min or so to finish off with a nice brown color.
  • Cool it out in the pan for a few min and then gently remove it from the pan to let it cool on a wire rack.
  • Once cool, slice and serve with a dollop of butter or just like that!
[yumprint-recipe id=’20’] 

Italian Herbs and Cheese Bread – One rise, quick bread!

Rustic , Hearty and truly a family share bread!

Italian Herbs and Cheese Bread – One rise, quick bread! #VRBakealong 

There is something alluring about fresh-baked bread. And when baked at home sans all the preservatives, it’s just wonderful. The smell of it wafting is enough to salivate the toughest critic’s taste buds. Or just to make one feel happy. This is one version of a herbed bread that makes you want to grab a slice after another. A mix of cultures in the bread I say, Italian seasoning, Mexican cheese blend, and a dash of our very own ground black pepper with the occasional sizzle of red pepper flakes. Go on , try it out and let me know 

Ingredients:

  • Whole wheat flour (atta) : 1.5 cups
  • All Purpose Flour: 1.5 cups
  • Instant yeast : Red Start quick rise , 1 packet
  • Sugar : 3 tsp.
  • Salt : 1.5 tsp.
  • Olive oil : 3 Tbsp.
  • Black pepper ground : 1 tsp.
  • Italian herbs mix (dried) : 2 tsp.
  • Red pepper flakes : 1/2 tsp. (optional)
  • Milk ( 2%) : 1/2 cup
  • Warm water : 1 cup ( add in stages )
  • Mexican cheese blend grated : 1/2 – 1 cup ( depending on how cheesy you like it)

METHOD

Proofing the yeast:

Typically in instant kind of quick yeast you do not need to proof the yeast. But in this case I did so because I just needed to ensure my yeast was well alive and kicking!

  • Warm the milk with 1/2 cup of water and the sugar. Just ensure the mix is very very warm.
  • To this I added the instant rapid rise yeast , stirred gently and set aside, You will notice the bubbles in about 5-8 min Let the yeast do the job for about 10-12 min. The frothy mix indicates it is a happy camper and ready to work on your bread!

 The dough:

  • In a large mixing bowl, sieve together the atta ( I used our very own swaad chakki fresh atta ) and APF and salt.
  • Add in the ground pepper and dries herbs mix.
  • Add in the red pepper flakes if using.
  • Add in the grated cheese and then the olive oil. Mix evenly.
  • Now add water, milk mixture and knead for about 5 – 8 minutes. The dough should be very soft. Add more warm water if needed.
  • I worked this on the one rise principle. Rapid rise yeast typically do not need the punch and re-knead process. If using active dry yeast place the dough in a large bowl and cover with a damp cloth for about an hour or till the dough becomes double in size. Punch the dough to remove all the air trapped in it and re-knead again for 5-10 minutes. You will end up with a soft pliable dough. If in doubt do the windowpane test for it. However, I used rapid rise instant yeast that does not require this process of re kneading.
  • Grease a baking tray.
  • Divide the dough into 2 equal parts.
  • Make 2 long log rolls.
  • Braid them together loosely to give the twisted feel.
  • Cover with a damp cheese cloth, kitchen towel and place it in a warm draft free zone  and let it rise for about an hour max. Mine rose in about 45 min to a beautiful double proportion.
  • Bake at 375 deg F for about 30 min. ( give or take another 5 min based on the variables -the flour used, the kind of year, the milk etc.)
  • When you notice the top becoming a nice and even brown, and when you tap the bread pan or the the sides of the bread you get the hollow sound, its done!
  • Set it out to cool !

(Seriously the sight was enough to set my kids were drooling!!!)

 Serving:

On cooling, slice, add a dab of butter or cream cheese and its wonderful for your palate. This bread is moist and slightly dense echoing a bit of the whole wheat breads you get. But this will hold wonderfully to toasting. It’s very light on the cheese effect too as I added just half a cup.But seriously you can add more than a cup that is called for and you will notice the difference. At that time it’s a bit more indulgent I would say. The herbs and the pepper lend their flavor and this is so perfect with your pasta. Or just by itself !

Thought : Shape it into mini logs and you have your very own subway style bread ready to be made into a delectable sandwich!

Shelf Life : I would not expect this last very long as it is made without any preservatives. In any case this would last a mere couple of days at home for me 🙂