Hot Mama’s Slow Burn Breadsticks

Jalapenos are the most popular chile peppers in the US. This is probably due to the availability and versatility of the chile. Jalapenos have a balanced combination of flavor and heat.

The demand for these have caused breeders to develop a broad range of varieties. You can now get jalapenos with various heat level and sizes. These can be used in salsas, stuffed, or eaten straight with cheeseburgers (my personal favorite).

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1 package fast-rising dry yeast
2 Tbsp. sugar, divided
3/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup olive or avocado oil
1-2/3 cups bread flour, more as needed
1/3 cup stone-ground cornmeal, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, or 1 tsp table salt
2 roasted, peeled jalapenos, well drained and finely chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh serranos, finely minced
1 scant tsp. crushed garlic
1-1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
2-3 tsp. smoked medium-hot pepper flakes, or 1 tsp. ground chipotles (toasted, seeded and crushed)
2 egg whites, lightly beaten

Cool Herbed Dip:

1 cup crema agria, thick crema Mexicana or sour cream
3/4 cup. peeled seedless cucumber, salted, drained and finely chopped
2 Tbsp. canned, chopped mild green chiles
3 Tbsp. finely minced mint leaves
1 Tbsp. chopped chervil (if available)
salt and ground white pepper to taste


Bread Sticks:

Dissolve the yeast in a mixing bowl with 1 Tbsp. of sugar in the warm water, about 10 minutes. Add the oil, bread flour, cornmeal, remaining sugar, salt, chiles, garlic and spices, and stir well. Knead the mixture with a bread hook or dough paddle until you have a cohesive dough, adding more flour if needed. (Use a food processor if desired.) Turn the mixture out onto a floured board and knead for 1-2 minutes, until it forms a smooth elastic ball. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled.

Punch down on the dough and divide it in half. Cut into 10-12 pieces. Roll out the bread sticks about 3/8″ thick and approximately 12″ long. Place them on a large non-stick, or parchment-lined baking sheet, sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover with plastic film and let rise in warm spot for about 20-30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Place the bread stick trays into the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden and crunchy. Cool on a rack before serving. Serve with Cool Herbed Dip and/or cocktails.

Cool Herbed Dip:

Combine all the ingredients and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe from Chile Pepper Magazine, September 2004.