What is Pepper Jack Cheese?
Pepper Jack is a derivative of Monterey Jack, American white, semi-hard cheese made using cow's milk. It was invented by Mexican Franciscan friars of Monterey, California. This cheese is flavored with sweet peppers, rosemary, habañero chilies and garlic and spicy jalapeños for an extra kick.
This semi-soft, open textured cheese is spicy to taste yet leaves a delicate and buttery taste in the mouth. It is often eaten with quesadillas, crackers or on hamburgers. Pepper jack can also go well with jalapeno peppers, melons, grapes, pickled vegetables, and olives.
If you cannot find Pepper Jack cheese you can use Muenster cheese, Havarti cheese and Gouda cheese.
How I made Pepper Jack and Apple Sourdough Bread?
I used my jalapeno cheddar bread recipe jalapeno cheddar bread recipe(a popular recipe on my blog) for making this Pepper Jack and Apple Sourdough Bread. Only change I made is using small cubed pepper jack and apple cubes. Since I do not have granny smith apples in my hand, I used honey crisp.
How can you incorporate Pepper Jack Cheese into the bread dough?
You can either use cubes of cheese or grated version. I tried both, I found cubed version gives more appeal in look wise while tastes wise both are same. Cubes of cheese will yield big pockets of cheese in the bread, while small pieces (or shredded cheese) will result in a dense, cheesy loaf.
Also, you can either add cheese in the beginning of bulk fermentation or during the shaping. I tried both. I think adding grated cheese in the beginning of bulk fermentation will be nice if you are intended to use that grated cheese. On the other hand, if you are planning to use cubes of cheese then wait until bulk fermentation or add during lamination in the middle of bulk fermentation as I did in the recipe.
To get uniform spreading of the cheese and apple you need slice into ¼ inch cubes. Smaller and uniform you will get enough lifting of the dough
Tips to make best Pepper Jack cheese and apple sourdough bread
If you are looking to add some colors to your bread, try to add some extra peppers. I will try to add colored mini peppers next time I make it.
Taste wise it has creamy buttery bread with peppery undertones I think we can increase amount of spicy part may be adding few jalapenos peppers or colored mini peppers.
I do not find much difference with honey crisp apple. If you want, you can try with granny smith apple as they have more tart compared to honey crisp.
You cannot see any presence of pepper jack cheese as they melt and join with dough while baking.
This is an easy recipe as it uses starter instead of levain. Perfect treat if you love spicy pepper jack.
I have seen the recipes of grilled sourdough bread with pepper jack cheese, this on the contrary, dough itself had pepper jack cheese along with sweet apple. I have tried with pepper jack and dried cranberry version that turned out be delicious too.
You can add chopped rosemary, roasted red peppers, smashed roasted garlic, crushed peppercorns, and spicy pickled jalapeños if you want some extra add ons.
If you try this recipe, please tag me @zestysouthindiankitchen in Facebook and @nidhinikhil in Instagram
Pepper Jack and Apple Sourdough Bread
- 50 g ¼ cup Sourdough starter
- 365 g 1 ½ cup + 1 teaspoon warm water
- 280 g 2 ⅓ cups bread flour
- 200 g 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 50 g whole wheat flour
- 9 g 1 ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 135 g 1 heaped cup Pepper Jack cheese cubed into ¼ inch
- 75 g apple I used Honey crisp cubed into ¼ inch
- In a large bowl add starter and water and mix well. Then add all purpose, whole wheat flour and bread flour combine everything and set aside for 30 minutes
- Then add salt and mix again. You can strengthen the dough with folding at every 30 minutes. After folding the dough 1 hours, laminate the dough and incorporate the pepper jack cheese and apple as shown the video
- Then cold for the dough next 30 minutes interval for 2 hours.
- Then pre-shape the dough for 15 minutes and then shape and transfer to banneton or mold.
- Refrigerate for overnight, next morning pre-heat oven to 450F. Score the dough. Transfer the dough to cold Dutch oven and bake for 10 minutes at 450F and then reduce the temperature to 425 F and bake 25 minutes with lid on. Then remove the lid and bake for another 10 minutes or until loaf develop golden color and when you tap the loaf it makes whole sound or register 210 F internal temperature.
- Cool the loaf and cut it into slice and enjoy.
This is Swathi ( Dr. Ambujom Saraswathy Ph.D) from Zesty South Indian Kitchen who loves to explore cuisines from all over the world. Whenever possible I try to to give an Indian touch to several of the world cuisine, and has weakness for freshly baked bread. All the recipes you see here are created by me and approved after taste-test by my family.