We baked up our share of popular dinner and sandwich rolls at my parents’ bakery but one menu item in particular had a small, cult-like following: golden brown loaves of Jalapeno Cheddar Bread.
It was your classic soft, fluffy white sandwich bread, but loaded with shredded sharp cheddar and fresh jalapenos. And they had to be fresh jalapenos. My dad would have it no other way. (To this day, my dad still eats every single dinner with a small plate of jalapeno slices served along side. He’s my hero.) Between the cheese and egg wash, the loaves would turn a deep golden brown – you’d probably guess that it was brioche or unbraided challah and not a Sunbeam-style white bread.
But a couple slices of that bread transformed an ordinary brisket sandwich into a serious Texas brisket sandwich that sent weekend barbeque guests into a frenzy. And substituting the bread for a hamburger bun can make any “plain” burger taste like a fancy, $12 burger-shack creation.
To recreate dad’s bread at home, I used my favorite go-to recipe for soft, fluffy white bread and then added a mountain of grated sharp cheddar and a pile of fresh jalapenos from our one pepper plant that survived the winter and is already cranking out peppers like crazy.
The cheese disappears into the baked bread, leaving the smell and flavor of cheddar behind. The peppers can make for either a “green” or spicy bite, depending on how hot they were.
We serve these buns on nights when we’re having “ordinary” burgers or doing something with a little Texas flair, like a Frito Pie burger or a Texican burger. As you can imagine, they don’t really pair well with a Greek or Italian-topped burger
Jalapeno Cheddar Burger Buns
Sharp cheddar and fresh jalapenos transform an ordinary burger bun into a Texas specialty.
- 1 package (2 1/4 tsp) yeast
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 2 Tbsp oil (vegetable, canola, or olive) plus more for greasing bowl
- 2 large eggs
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 3 1/4 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 oz sharp cheddar, shredded
- 3 large jalapenos, seeded and chopped
- Add warm water to the bowl of your mixer and sprinkle the yeast over top. Let sit 10 minutes, until frothy.
- Add the, oil, 1 egg, and sugar to the bowl.
- Add the flour, salt, cheese, and peppers and mix on medium-low speed with the hook until the dough holds together, about 2 minutes. The dough should clean the sides of the bowl. If not, add additional flour by the Tbsp.
- Increase speed to medium and knead the dough for 5 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to a large bowl that has been lightly greased with oil.
- Cover it with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1-1 1/2 hours.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface.
- Divide the dough in half and each half into 4-6 pieces (depending on the size of your burgers, I typically get 8-9 buns per batch).
- Roll into rounds and flatten with the palm of your hand onto the baking sheet; placing buns about 1/2-1 inch apart.
- Cover with a damp towel and let them rise for 20 minutes + oven preheating time.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Whisk the remaining egg with 1 Tbsp water.
- Brush the buns with the egg wash and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
- Store leftovers in a zip-top bag at room temperature. They freeze well, too.
Yields: 8-12 hamburger buns
Estimated time: 3 hours