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Chile Bread

Choose red or green chiles for this flavorful yeast loaf. Especially good toasted.
  • Green or red chile purée (see below)
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (about 110°F)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4-1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
Green Chile Purée
In a blender, whirl one 7-ounce can diced green chiles just until smooth. You should have about 3/4 cup. To turn up the heat, add 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper.

Red Chile Purée
In a medium saucepan, combine 6 large dried New Mexico or California (Anaheim) chiles, stems and seeds removed, with 1-1/2 cups water. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes until chiles are very soft. Place the chiles in a blender with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the cooking liquid. Blend just until smooth. You should have 1/2 cup (add more of the cooking liquid if necessary). To increase the heat, add up to 1 tablespoon crushed dried chiles.

Prepare the chile purée of your choice and set aside.

In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let stand for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, gently heat the milk and butter until butter melts (about 110°). Add to the yeast, along with the salt, sugar, chile purée and 2 cups of the flour. Stir to blend well.

Stir in 1-1/2 cups more flour until moistened. Then beat vigorously until dough forms long, stretchy strands, about 10 minutes. (An electric mixer with a dough hook is desirable, but not essential.) Knead in 1 to 1-1/2 cups more flour using either a dough hook or by hand on a floured board.

Place dough in a greased bowl and turn to grease the top surface. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.

Punch dough down and knead briefly on a floured board. Shape into a smooth loaf and place in a greased 5x9-inch loaf pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until dough has risen 1-1/2 inches above the rim of the pan (about 1 hour).

Bake in a 375°F oven until golden brown, about 40 minutes. Turn out onto a rack and let cool completely. Wrap airtight, and store at room temperature. Freezes well for up to one month.

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