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Hi there,

Making bread is one of my favourite things to do and I would say that I prefer it over baking a big fat chocolate cake. However, I have become a bit lazy in the breadmaking department of late so I’ve been buying a much loved Jalapeno and cheese bread from my local Co-Op, but at nearly £2 a loaf it was becoming an expensive habit.So to try and reduce costs we decided to buy our own jalapeno plant and while I was waiting for the chillies to grow I set about looking for a worthy recipe. After a brief search, I soon found the perfect replacement as I love making soda bread.

This bread post has been a long time coming as not only did I have to wait for the chillies to grow, but I also decided to make it twice using slightly different ingredients so that I could compare how it tastes.

I love how quick and simple this recipe is as it only takes around one hour from start to finish (including baking time) so I think it’s perfect for beginners as there is no kneading or proving work to do before it goes into the oven. I also think it’s a great starter recipe if you want to build your confidence with bread.

Loaf one using wholemeal flour

So on to the bread… The first time I made this bread I used wholemeal flour instead of plain and I used Red Leicester instead of a mature cheddar cheese. I also used two different beers to see if I would get a different flavour. In my opinion I don’t think it matters too much if you switch up some of the ingredients as I didn’t notice any difference, apart from the colour of the loaf, in texture or flavour. However, my husband said he preferred the second loaf as he thought the plain flour gave the bread a lighter taste and texture. I cooked this bread for 30 minutes on both occasions and thankfully I didn’t have any timing issues with my fan oven as both were perfectly cooked

Loaf two using plain flour

I was expecting the beer flavour to come out a bit more in the bread so while this was a little disappointing it didn’t detract from the taste. However, next time I will definitely experiment with a stronger tasting beer to see if it adds more depth of flavour. I’m a big fan of spelt flour so I will use this as well as a blue cheese to see if the creamy/salty taste compliments the bread better.

Overall I am extremely happy with how this bread worked out as it was light, had good flavour and texture, and was really quick to make. If I’m honest the Co-Op bread still tastes nicer, but with a bit more tweaking I think I can soon change that and of course it will definitely work out cheaper for me in the long run.

The recipe can be found on Fab Food 4 All

Suz x