You can say it, I’m a loser. How could I have gone on this long without discovering the wonders of Sriracha? And to think I live in Asia! But you know what they say, better late than never! This is such a curious way for me to get acquainted with the Thai hot sauce though, isn’t it? As a filling for a swirl bread. I have come across the word Sriracha a few times already, even bookmarking a few cooking recipes with it as an ingredient, but I never actually tried it out until I came across this recipe. I was so intrigued by the fact that this bread has a swirl of cheese and hot sauce inside that I knew I just had to make it.
I don’t think there’s any better way to start this new year than with this explosively delicious bread!
I totally understand what Matthew Inman is trying to say in this comic strip of his. I would also totally buy any of these awesome Sriracha-related merchandise, dance a jig, and sing a song to express my happiness with discovering Sriracha. And a very timely discovery too as we spent the holidays over in Thailand, where most of the Sriracha are in tabletop condiment squeeze bottles. More on our Thailand trip later.
So how do I describe this bread, aside from saying it’s one of my absolute favourites in the whole wide world? It’s a little like eating crusty pizza, complete with all the savoury-cheesy flavour a lot of people enjoy. I don’t like cheese terribly much, but I really really really like this bread. It has the most amazing smell fresh out of the oven, with the cheese hanging on to the swirls when you cut it open. It turns into a crunchy, crusty bread when toasted, the likes of which I find so much pleasure in nibbling. Bread to me is best when it’s warm and slightly crunchy.
And it’s not very difficult to make actually. You start with the yeast and the flour to form the dough. The mixer does most of the work for you, and it takes about 10 minutes, more or less. Once the dough is supple and tacky (meaning when you touch it, it is sticky but it doesn’t break away from the rest of the dough stuck to your finger), or once it begins pulling away from the sides of the mixer bowl, it’s ready to be transferred to a well-oiled bowl.
Once the dough has doubled in bulk, punch it down and take it out onto a floured surface. It’s important that you knead the dough at this point to get out air from the dough for a more gorgeously-textured bread. Flatten it out and sprinkle on the hot sauce and the cheese. Mine looks a bit like pizza doesn’t it?
Now comes the fun part: Roll the dough from one end to another, then pinch the seams close. I gently roll my bread so the side with the seam is facing down, then I tuck the ends underneath, pinching them onto the body of the bread before I lift it quickly but gently into the pan. A little bit more patience is required at this point to allow the bread a second rise. I assure you it’s totally worth it. Pop it in the oven and bask in its glorious beauty.
I strongly recommend waiting about 10 to 15 minutes before cutting into the bread because it might be too hot or too soft to handle. But if you just can’t wait, I suppose a little oozing cheese never hurt anybody!
Just so you know:
- When is the best time to make this recipe? I make this bread any day I get a craving for it, and sometimes I get upset at how quickly the bread diminishes because my brothers also like to have a slice, or three. Whenever I bake this we eat it for breakfast and/or snack-time, and it’s always so satisfying.
- Anything special we should know about before attempting this recipe? I think the step where you knead the dough after its first rise is really important. When I forgot this step one time I made this bread, the bread came out with a different texture compared to my previous attempts. Still good but kind of uneven in some parts. Most of the people in the house like spicy food, so sometimes I brush about 1/8 of a cup more Sriracha onto the bread. You can’t really brush too much of it on because it’ll only leak out from the sides of the dough when you roll it, which really defeats the purpose.
- Would I change anything from this recipe? Nope!
Cheesy Sriracha Swirl Bread
adapted from The Curvy Carrot | Makes one 9-inch loaf
2 and 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup plus 1/8 cup warm water
1/8 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups warm water
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 heaping cup Sriracha sauce*
1 heaping cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1. In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the yeast and 1/4 cup plus 1/8 cup of warm water. Let stand for 5 minutes until slightly foamy.
2. With the mixer on low speed, add the sugar, salt, butter, 1 and 1/3 cups warm water. Add the flour one cup at a time until thoroughly mixed.
3. Switch to the dough hook attachment, and on low speed, knead the dough until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes.
4. Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover with a tea cloth, and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
5. Once risen, punch down the dough and gently knead it on a lightly floured and clean surface for about 2 minutes.
6. Using a rolling pin or your hands, gently roll or flatten the dough out into a 12-inch by 12-inch square.
7. Evenly spread the Sriracha sauce over the dough with a silicone brush.
8. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese evenly over the sauce.
9. Starting with one end, tightly roll the dough over itself until it forms a cylindrical shape, pinching the ends together so that no sauce leaks out.
10. Tuck the ends of the dough under and pinch the seams well.
11. Place the dough in a well-greased 9-inch bread pan, cover with a tea cloth, and let sit once again in a warm place until doubled in size, about another hour.
12. Towards the last 30 minutes of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
13. Once risen, bake the bread, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
14. Remove the bread from the oven and lightly tent with aluminum foil to prevent overbrowning.
15. Bake the covered bread for another 15 minutes. Brush with melted butter, if desired then let cool for about 10 minutes in the pan before unmolding.
You can serve the bread warm if you want to have it while the cheese is still slightly melty, or you can let it cool completely on the rack to wait for the cheese to set. Either way, it’s delicious! I like to do the latter as the bread is easier to slice once it’s cooled, and then I pop it into the toaster to make it warm and crunchy. It’s perfect! :3
*I haven’t tried using other hot sauces yet but I suppose you can use your favourite, which I’m guessing is Sriracha anyway!
I can’t believe how great the Sriracha and the cheese complement each other to make such a wonderfully spicy-savoury treat, the likes of which is addictive. I have to stop myself from reaching for another slice because my mouth still wants some even though my tummy can’t hold any more food!
To be honest, I wanted to write about this bread sooner, but I was too busy making more to do so.
PS. How do you like the process photos with the commentaries? Leave a comment below if you think it helps. I’m thinking of doing it for the more “complex” recipes from here on out.