Chile-Cheese Bread


I really love making quick breads, but for some reason, I rarely find myself making savory versions. I liked the look of this recipe when I first saw it, and finally had a chance to make it this past weekend.  I had somehow managed to make it through an entire fall and winter without making a single pot of chili, but then after a series of 60-70 degree temps, Chicago dealt us a cold, windy, snowy weekend – the first day of spring, no less.  I decided since I had everything on hand, I’d make a pot of chili and this bread to eat alongside.

This bread is really delicious and incredibly moist.  I couldn’t stand not eating it warm, so the combination of cutting into it a little early and the general moistness of the bread made it a little hard to make nice, straight slices.  But, I wasn’t too concerned about the aesthetics of my piece when it tasted so good.  I ended up using an orange bell pepper because that’s what I had.  That, the cheese, and jalapeno make this bread very pretty and confetti-like. See?

I was surprised this bread wasn’t a little spicier, but I obviously chose non-spicy jalapenos.  You can never really tell until  you taste them what the heat level will be.   The leftover slices are equally delicious when zapped in the microwave for a few seconds.  I will definitely be making this bread again!

Chile-Cheese Bread

Adapted from Savory Baking by Mary Cech, by way of Pink Parsley
Makes 1 loaf

2 cups AP flour
2 tsp. granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. salt
4 oz (1 cup) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup whole milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 egg
1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles
3 Tbsp. finely chopped jalapeno chile, veined and seeded
1/2 cup finely chopped red or orange bell pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 and  grease an 8×3 inch loaf pan.

Sift together the flour, salt, pepper, sugar, and baking powder in a medium bowl.  Add the cheese and stir until it’s evenly distributed throughout the mixture.

Whisk the milk, oil, egg, green chiles, jalapeno, and bell pepper in another bowl.  Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, and pour the milk mixture in the center.  Briefily blend with a spatula, until the dry ingredients are just incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake until the top is golden-brown, and springs back when touched in the center, about 45-50 minutes.  Cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove the bread from the pan and cool completely.

Chile-Cheese Bread