Reprinted with permission from The Sriracha Cookbook: 50 "Rooster Sauce" Recipes That Pack a Punch by Randy Clemens, copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.
- 1 3/4 cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 (1/4-ounce) package instant dry yeast
- 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
- Vegetable oil or nonstick cooking spray, as needed
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 cup Sriracha
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the milk, butter, and sugar, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat as soon as the butter melts. The liquid should be lukewarm to the touch, around 100°F. Allow it to cool to that temperature if necessary. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk mixture and let sit for 10 minutes to proof. After about 10 minutes, there should be a layer of froth on the surface of the mixture, which signifies that the yeast is viable and ready to sacrifice its own life in the name of good bread.
Photo by Leo Gong © 2011
In a large bowl, mix together the flour and salt. Pour the milk and yeast mixture into the bowl of flour and mix with a wooden spoon until a soft, ragged mixture is formed. Transfer the dough to a well-floured work surface and knead for 1 minute. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a kitchen towel, and allow it to rest, undisturbed for 20 minutes.
After its rest, turn the dough back out onto the well-floured work surface and knead until a soft, elastic dough results, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the dough once more to the lightly oiled bowl, cover, and allow it to rest in a warm area of the house until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
Transfer the dough to the work surface and, using your hands, gently flatten into a 9-inch-wide rectangle. Spread the Sriracha over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border around the outside edges free of Sriracha. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the Sriracha, respecting the same border. It is this border that allows the dough to seal properly in the next step.
Roll the dough up tightly, lengthwise, similar to making a jelly roll. Press down on the last roll to seal and make a seam. Lightly oil a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan. Put the dough, seam side down, into the pan. Cover and return to the warm spot until the dough has again doubled in size and is cresting over the top of the pan, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Just before baking, make a 1/4-inch-deep slit down the center of the loaf using a serrated knife. Place the loaf pan on the center rack of the oven. Spray the inside walls of the oven and the top of the loaf with a generous misting of water to create steam. Quickly close the oven door and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the loaf from the pan and continue baking for an additional 10 to 15 minutes. The center of the loaf should register 190°F on a thermometer and the bottom of the loaf should sound hollow when tapped. Let the bread cool completely on a cooling rack before slicing for best results. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.