Jalapeño Cheddar Bread
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cheddar cheese, finely cubed.
1 large jalapeño, chopped
1 ½ cups warm water
To add in the last 10-15 minutes of baking:
3 tablespoons cheddar cheese, grated
3 to 5 thin slices of jalapeño
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, salt and yeast. Fold in the cheese and jalapeño until well coated. Add the water and stir until a wet mixture forms, it will be super sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12 - 18 hours (up to 24).
Preheat oven to 450F. Place a cast iron dutch oven with a lid in the oven and heat the pot for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, transfer the risen dough onto a heavily floured surface (mixture will be sticky; do not knead) and lightly, gently shape into a round loaf.
Remove the hot pot from the oven, remove the lid, and carefully set the dough inside. Cover the Dutch oven and return it to oven for 30 minutes. Then, remove the lid, sprinkle the top of the loaf with grated cheddar and jalapeño slices, and bake an additional 10-15 minutes until golden and crisp. Carefully remove the pot from the oven and place the loaf on a cooling rack to cool. Best enjoyed warm, fresh from the oven.