I’ve been on a bit of a pickling kick lately. Ever since Jessica showed me how easy it could be, I’ve pickled cucumbers, garlic, cocktail onions, and long green hot peppers, which will henceforward be referred to as “jalapeños,” even though they obviously are not.
The jalapeños were purchased by Nick, to make salsa to go with the nachos we served to some French friends who came over for dinner one night last month. (We wanted to do something really American – and really good – for them.) I warned Nick against making the salsa too hot, and he acquiesced, on condition that he be allowed to add more peppers to the leftovers. Of course there weren’t any leftovers. So that’s how I decided to pickle a handful of peppers, with no real plan as to what to do with them afterward. It occurred to me, perhaps even as soon as I had them in the jar, that one really good thing to do with pickled jalapeños is to make jalapeño-cheese bread.
Armed with the Ratio, a new batch of starter (my old one died over the summer), and some Tillamook Pepper Jack cheese (thanks, Kiran!), I rolled up my sleeves and got to work. The only tricky part is getting all the tasty bits to stay in the bread. Kneading them in is not the best way. Folding them is. Like this:
Then it’s really just a matter of time while the bread proofs and bakes.
As you can see, my bread didn’t rise all that much, which I’ll admit gave me my doubts, but I carried on anyway, and am so glad I did!
We ate it that night with big bowls of chili, and later Nick made ham sandwiches for his brown-bag lunch. I can’t tell you how long it lasts, because this was gone in two days.
If you’re the recipe-abiding type, here’s what worked beautifully for me: