Confetti Fiesta Bread
5 1/2 - 6 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
4 1/2 tsps active dry yeast (2 pks or 1 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter, cubed
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
1 - 8 1/4 oz can cream style corn
1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper (I used orange and red)
1/4 cup chopped jalapeno peppers (I used 1 - 4 oz can of diced jalapenos)
1/4 cup butter, melted
Combine 4 cups of the all purpose flour, cornmeal, yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
In a small saucepan, heat the buttermilk, 1/2 cup of cubed butter and chopped onion to about 120' F (if it goes over 130' F, let it cool down before proceeding to the next step....you do not want to kill the yeast). Add to the dry ingredients. Stir in the eggs until well combined.
Add the cheese, corn and peppers, stirring until combined. Add enough of the remaining all purpose flour until you have a stiff dough.
Flour your surface and turn the dough onto it. Knead until smooth and elastic....which should take about 8 minutes.
Place your dough in a very large greased bowl. Turn the dough to grease all sides. Cover with plastic wrap or a dusted towel and let rise for about an hour, or until doubled in size
Punch the dough down and turn onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half, placing one half back into the bowl while you work on your first loaf.
Taking the half of dough that you're working on, cut off 1/3 of it and set that aside. With the larger 2/3 section, divide that into thirds and form the thirds into long ropes.....about 16" in length. Braid the ropes together.
When I braid bread, I start in the middle and braid to the end. I turn the dough around and over and braid the other side. (if you don't turn it over, the braid will not be uniform...the over and under pattern will be messed up.). Or....just make sure you braid backwards....instead of taking the right and left sides and placing them over each other, you will place them under each other. I hope that makes sense. If not, there are tons of demo videos out there.
Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and pinch the ends together then tuck them under.
Now take the smaller 1/3 of dough, divide it into thirds and make smaller ropes of about 10" in length and braid them as you braided the larger ropes.
Take the smaller braided bread....turn it over (I found it was easiest to just cradle it in my hand and up my arm a bit)....brush the bottom with water and place it in the middle of the larger loaf.
Cover and let rise for about 45 minutes or until doubled.
Now do it all again with the other half of the dough that you had set aside
About 30 minutes before the estimated time your bread will be ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350' F.
You can test your bread to see if it's ready to bake by poking it with 2 fingers. If it bounces back instantly....you'll want to let it rise a bit more. If it doesn't bounce back all that quickly....it's ready to go into the oven. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter and allow to cool on a wire rack before eating.
If you time the final rise right, your second loaf will be ready to go into the oven just as your first loaf is coming out
Pairs Well With
When I saw this recipe in the Taste of Home magazine, I knew I had to try it immediately. It's fun to make and eat! Great flavors, a hint of heat and an aroma that makes your mouth water before it's even done.