FIRST RISE: In a large bowl, thoroughly stir together the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. In another bowl or measuring cup, whisk the oil into the water. Thoroughly stir the mixture into the bowl with the flour, scarping down the sides until the ingredients are thoroughly blended. If the mixture is too dry to incorporate all the flour, a bit at a time, stir in just enough more ice water to blend the ingredients; don't over-moisten, as the dough should be stiff. If necessary, stir in enough more flour to stiffen it. Brush or spray the top with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
If desired, for best flavor or for conveniences, you can refrigerate the dough for 3 to 10 hours. Then let rise at cool room temperature for 15 to 20 hours. If convenient, stir the dough once partway through the rise.
SECOND RISE: Vigorously stir the dough, gradually sprinkling over and incorporating the cheese and chiles. Fold them in very thoroughly to ensure they are evenly distributed. If necessary, thoroughly stir in enough more flour to yield a very stiff dough. Using a well-oiled rubber spatula, fold the dough in towards the center, working all the way around the bowl. Invert the dough into a well-greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Evenly brush or spray the dough top with oil. Using well-oiled kitchen shears or a serrated knife, make a 1/4-inch-deep slash lengthwise down the center of the loaf. Cover the pan with nonstick spray-coated plastic wrap.
LET RISE BY USING ANY OF THESE METHODS: for a 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hour regular rise, let stand at warm room temperature: for a 1- to 2-hour accelerated rise, let stand in a turned-off microwave along with 1 cup of boiling-hot water; or for an extended rise, refrigerate for 4 to 24 hours, then set out at room temperature. Continue the rise until the dough nears the plastic. Remove it and continue until the dough reaches 1/2-inch above the pan rim.
BAKING PRELININARIES: 15 minutes before baking time, place a rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 425°F.
BAKING; reduce the heat to 400°F. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the top is nicely browned; cover the top with foil as needed. Continue baking for 20 to 30 minutes longer, or until a skewer inserted in the thickest part comes out with just a few particles clinging to the bottom (or until the center registers 204° to 206°F on an instant-read thermometer.) Then bake for 5 minutes more to be sure the center is done. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn out the loaf onto the rack; cool thoroughly.
SERVING AND STORING: Cool thoroughly before slicing or storing. Store airtight in plastic or aluminum foil. The bread will keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 days, and may be frozen, airtight, for up to 2 months.
Yield: 1 large loaf, 12 to 14 slices
Reprinted with permission from ©Nancy Bagget, Kneadlessly Simple, by Nancy Baggett, published by John Wiley and Sons
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