Crazy Easy Cheddar Jalapeño Beer Bread (In a Bread Maker)
Seeing as I am currently pregnant, and I can’t drink beer, this seemed like an appropriate substitution. Man, have I been craving an 805 lately. If you’re not from Cali, chances are, you’ve never had an 805 before, but let me enlighten your senses. 805 is a light, blonde ale that isn’t too over the top hoppy. I’m not a huge fan of beer on a regular basis, but once in awhile I get to craving a subtle malt, and 805 is always my go to. If you’re ever in Paso Robles, California, and you want a tour of their brewery, I highly recommend it! They were so sweet and accommodating when we went last year for a bachelorette party (they even had their cutest male tour guide waiting for us with drinks! Swooooon!)
Back to the bread. I’m not going to be one of those food bloggers that bores you with the when, why, and complete life story of this bread. I’m going to give you the recipe, and I hope you make it and enjoy it with company! I will note that I did a biiiiiig baking no, no in this recipe, but it’s worked out for me, so you’ll be fine. I added both yeast and baking powder. From everything I’ve ever been told, the leavening power of yeast can be altered, damaged even, by the presence of baking powder. This was not the case here. I ended up with a fluffy, yeast beasty of a beer bread, that did end up too dense even with the addition of cheddar in the dough and on top (because you can NEVER have too much cheddar).
Please note that I did make this bread in a bread maker. Once you try a bread maker, you will still want some breads made by hand, like sourdough, but I love mine for everyday use. Get Your Cuisinart Bread Maker here!
Okay, okay, for reals this time. Enjoy!
Time: 15 minutes prep, 3 hours for mixing, rising, and baking in the bread maker, and at least 2 hours cooling. TOTAL TIME: 5.25 hours.
Yield: One 2 lb loaf, about a dozen (12) slices.
½ cup butter, separated into two ¼ cup measurements.
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
¾ cup (or 6 ounces) sliced cheddar cheese, cut into squares and separated into ¼ cup (2 ounces) and ½ cup (4 ounces) measurements (found that this created a less dense bread than shredded, though you can used shredded on top)
1 ½ cups (of 12 ounces) of any beer of your choice at room temperature. I chose 805 as mentioned above.
Melt one of the ¼ cup measurements of butter in the microwave on HIGH for 20-30 seconds, but don’t let it bubble (if it gets too hot, it will kill the yeast, so let it cool if you’ve overheated it)!
If not using bread maker yeast, add the dry, active yeast to the butter and let it sit for a few minutes while you prep other ingredients.
In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, salt, and flour until combined.
Add ¼ cup measurement of the squared cheese slices to the dry ingredients and toss with your hands.
Put dry ingredients in your bread maker insert bowl, and add the butter/yeast mixture as well as the room temperature beer on top.
Close the door and select your bread making settings for a white bread, 2 pound or large loaf size, and a medium crust (feel free to go darker if you wish, but medium gives it such a rich, crispy texture).
This whole process should be somewhere close to 3 hours total, and you’ll want to pay at least a little bit of attention to make sure the bread hasn’t over-risen and spilled into the breadmaker (like mine sometimes does), and to keep an eye out for the end of the first rise of the dough.
Once the dough has risen once and been deflated by your breadmaker, you can melt the remaining butter and pour it atop the bread in an even coat. Layer a bit of cheese, then your jalapeños, and the remaining cheese (in that order or your jalapeños will slide to the sides during the 2nd rise).
Allow the dough to rise for the 2nd time, and bake completely.
When your bread maker alerts you that baking is completed, with an oven mit, carefully remove the bread maker insert pan and turn out your bread loaf on a parchment paper covered wire rack to cool.
Let cool completely. If you get ancy and cut into the dough, you may end up with a more gummy crumb. Trust me, patience is key here and an overnight cooling is best. Your bread isn’t quite done baking until it’s cooled completely, and you won’t want to interrupt this process after all you’ve been through with this loaf.
Slice into equal ½ inch slices, toast (or don’t), butter, top with avocado and egg (my personal breakfast favorite), and enjoy!
I’m not kidding when I said to watch your bread maker. Just because your oven isn’t on, doesn’t mean your house can’t burn down. This bread fluffs up A LOT. If it spews over, just use a spatula to gently tuck it back into its bowl. This can make your bread a smidge more dense, but that’s better than smoking your entire family out of the house, or worse.
Don’t overthink it. Bread can be a daunting task for many, but this one is SO simple. If I made it successfully, you literally can’t mess it up. (My husband teases that I am one of the best bread disk makers in the world, because my loaves have a tendency to be a bit on the dense side… just like their momma *tear*)
My biggest piece of advice is to make this bread at night and don’t plan on eating it until the next day. Start it around 6 PM, so that once it’s completed, you let it sit and go to bed. Tuck it into its little wire/parchment paper bed, and LEAVE IT ALONE. You will be grateful the next morning when you awake to a yummy, not gummy, loaf of bread.
Try it out and let me know how yours turns out!