Friday, October 16, 2015

Wheat Bread with Cheddar and Truly Good Food Blackened Pumpkin Seeds

This is not a densely crusted peasant loaf, risen for days and full of yeasty air bubbles; but a softer bread with a tight crumb and interesting morsels of cheese and blackened pumpkin seeds. Great for bruschetta topped with sliced tomatoes, a drizzle of olive oil and chopped cilantro or enjoyed with thinly sliced Serrano ham piled on top – or toasted and buttered with your morning egg (be mindful of the cheese when toasting!) If ground green chile is not available, substitute a combination of your favorite chili blend and cumin. A round springform can be used, but for sandwich slices, the loaf must first be squared off.

Wheat Bread with Cheddar and Truly Good Food Blackened Pumpkin Seeds
by Louise Chiffonade Brescia

2 packages dry yeast
2 Tablespoons honey
2 cups lukewarm water
2 1/2 cups + 2 Tablespoons bread flour, divided
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons powdered New Mexico green chile
8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese cut into 1/4” dice
1 cup Truly Good Food Blackened Pumpkin Seeds

Place a foil or metal pie plate on oven floor. Have ready a squirt bottle filled with water. Prepare a square springform pan or round springform pan with vegetable spray.

To the bowl of a stand mixer, add the yeast, honey and lukewarm water. The yeast should turn bubbly and foamy after 5 minutes. If the yeast does not react, it is likely expired – discard mixture and start over with new yeast.

Add the flour to the yeast mixture and after a few swift beats of the dough hook, stop the mixer and allow the rough mix to rest for 10 minutes. Turn the mixer on again to low speed and work in the salt and green chile powder. Beat this mixture on medium speed for 5-7 minutes. Pour the dough out onto a floured board or counter and knead for five minutes with well-floured hands and a bench scraper to facilitate turning the dough and to prevent the addition of too much flour. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Raise the dough for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. The dough can be made in advance and at this point placed in the refrigerator for a long, slow, cold rise overnight.

Punch the dough down and add the cheese dice and Blackened Pumpkin Seeds by kneading these ingredients in for about 5 minutes on a floured board (using a bench scraper if necessary). Shape the loaf into a smooth round. If there are any cheese cubes at the surface of the loaf, push them back into the dough and seal by pinching. Sprinkle the top of the loaf with remaining 2 tablespoons flour, and place the loaf in the prepared springform pan. Allow to rise 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

Preheat oven to 425°F for 15 minutes.

Just before baking, use a very sharp knife or lame to slit the loaf. Place the loaf in the oven and immediately turn down the heat to 375°F. Squirt the water into the pie plate and immediately close the oven door. After 3 minutes, squirt some more water into the pie plate, close the oven door and bake the loaf for 45 minutes; or until an instant read thermometer reads 200°F.

Allow the loaf to cool 5-8 minutes in the springform, then remove the loaf from the pan and allow it to cool completely on a rack before slicing.

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