Ahhh, the time to make bread. I greatly treasure it. The act of making dough, then forming it into a loaf that will bake to perfection is very calming to me. So much so that when life is out of control busy, like December was, I don't make bread. I never want it to become a chore to me.
So now that life is back to normal, it was time for bread. This recipe has been sitting on my computer for awhile, begging for life. The idea of spicy and flavorful chiles in a bread was very intriguing to me. What would the end result be? Spicy and full of the chile taste I love? Or subtle, hiding the spice in the wheat? I couldn't wait to find out!
I began by doing one of my favorite tasks – roasting chiles! The aroma coming from the ever darkening pepper flesh is intoxicating.
After letting them cool so I could seed and dice, I prepared the rest of the dough ingredients then began the long process of waiting for it to rise, rise again, then bake. Such a frustrating process for the baker who just wants a taste of the finished product!
Look at that beautiful red color! The small amount of chili powder added to the flour makes that color. And see the tiny green poblano pieces dotting the slice? Pure heaven! I have to admit, I committed the cardinal bread-bakers sin. I cut into my bread while still warm. I just couldn't wait!
If you aren't “into” the spice the way I am, don't make this as written. It isn't unbearably hot, but it does contain the slow burn of peppers. Cut down on the chili powder, cut out the reed pepper flakes, or cut back on the amount of poblano used. But please, make this bread!
Whole-Wheat Chile Bread (Flavored Breads-Mark Miller's Coyote Cafe)
1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup stone ground whole-wheat flour
1 cup bread flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons chile molido (freshly ground pure chili powder)
4 teaspoons chile caribe (red pepper flakes)
1/2 cup roasted, peeled, stemmed, seeded, and diced New Mexico green chile
Combine the water, oil and honey in a bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer or in a large mixing bowl.
Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture, stir in, and let sit 2 minutes. Add the dry ingredients. Mix with the dough hook (or knead by hand) for 8-10 minutes, or until dough appears silky and resilient. Mix or knead the green chiles into the dough until thoroughly incorporated. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
Let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours, or until approximately doubled in volume. Punch dough down; re-cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm palce for 30 minutes.
Place a baking stone on the middle rack in the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut into 2 equal pieces. Grease two loaf pans or generously dust baking sheet with whole-wheat flour. Shape the dough into oblong loaves. Alternatively, shape int into 2 round loaves or 14 to 16 rolls.
Place the laoves in the prepared pans or on the baking sheet ( or place the rolls on on the baking sheet), cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap, and let rise again in a warm place for 20 minutes.
Uncover the loaves (or rolls) and, using a spray bottle, spritz them with water and lightly dust with whole-wheat flour. Make 2 or 3 diagonal slashes in the tops of the loaves with a serrated knife to allow the dough to expand in the hot oven.
Using the spray bottle, spritz the oven walls with water. Work quickly so the oven does not loose heat. Set the loaf pans or baking sheet on the hot stone.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes (20 to 25 minutes for rolls). The bread is done when the crust is dark and firm and the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Let the bread cool in the pans or on the baking sheet for 10 minutes. Transfer the loaves (or rolls) to a rack and cool before cutting