Chilli & Cheddar Bread

The smell alone… how delightful to have fresh bread toasts in the morning. Whenever we bake bread we slice them and place them and freeze right away. This means, we always fresh toasts in the morning… and it also prevents us from eating the whole loaf right away !
At the end of baking, I turn the breads around from the pan and bake them on the other side, to have crispy and toasted crust all around.
For the first rise, I place the dough in the oven with a bowl of hot water. It accelerates the rise of the dough, just like a proof boxes you see in bakeries.

1 Sachet of Active dry yeast or instant yeast (10 Gr.)
1/4 Cup of Water
1 Cup lukewarm Milk
1 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Sugar
3 1/2 Cups of All purpose flour – I often use 00 type flour, for a light and airy bread
1 Cup finely grated Cheddar Cheese – I often use Chilli Gouda Cheese
1/2 Teaspoon Chilli Flakes
2 Tablespoons Butter at room temperature
2 Teaspoons Tomato paste – (For colour & optional)

In a bowl of a stand mixer, stir all the ingredients and mix at low speed until all incorporated.
Once incorporated, increase the speed to medium and knead the dough for about 10 minutes. The dough will be soft, but not sticky.
For a ball with the dough and put it back in the bowl, covered with a dish cloth. Place the dough in the oven, where you will place a small bowl with hot water. The water will create a little heat and condensation which will assist in the rising of your dough. Let the dough rest for 1 hour – It will double in size.
Preheat your oven at 180 Celsius –
Lightly grease two loaf pans with butter. Divide your dough in two equals portions and flatten them into square and roll them to form a baguette.
Place them in the pans seam down and let the dough rise again for 30 minutes.
Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. When baking is done, turn the bread around in the pans and give them another 5 minutes, so the crust becomes crispy.
Let the bread rest for 20 minutes or so… yes, 20 minutes…. and enjoy !

By placing the bread dough in the oven with a bowl of hot water underneath, the heat from the water and steam will help the dough rise considerably.

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