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Homemade bakery-style bread has never been easier. This super crusty no knead jalapeño cheddar bread is baked in a dutch oven and requires practically zero hands-on work from you!

jalapeno cheddar bread loaf

After sharing Cranberry Nut No Knead Bread, many readers asked for another flavor variation. This time we’re making a savory bread filled with spicy jalapeño and plenty of sharp cheddar cheese.

What comes to mind when you think of homemade bread? Unless you’re a seasoned baker, it sounds a little scary, right? This recipe will completely change that thought. You can make homemade bakery style bread at home and besides stirring the ingredients together, it requires zero work from you.

sliced jalapeño cheddar bread
jalapeño cheddar bread

How to Make Jalapeño Cheddar No Knead Bread

  1. Stir 6 ingredients together including flour, yeast, salt, cheddar cheese, jalapeño, and water. Don’t even break out your mixer.
  2. Shape into a ball and leave it alone for a day.
  3. Score an X on top of the dough and bake it in a dutch oven to obtain a super crisp crust.
  4. Eat it.

That’s all. This no knead, professional-bread-at-home method has swarmed the internet and after some research last year, I found it originally came from Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery in NYC. It’s all very basic ingredients, but the method was groundbreaking and includes an 18 hour rise time. This overnight rest gives the dough a chance to ferment. Just set the dough on your counter and forget about it. The magic happens when you’re not looking!

By the way, you use a similar method when making this no knead honey oat bread or olive bread.

2 images of jalapeño cheddar bread ingredients in a glass bowl and the ingredients mixed together

Let’s Talk Jalapeño & Cheddar

The bread’s base flavor comes from the fermentation over the 18 hour period. But to shake things up and make this a fancy tasting specialty bread, you’ll add 1 diced jalapeño and cheddar cheese.

  • Is this jalapeño cheddar bread spicy? Sort of. I can tolerate a little spice and I LOVE this bread. The pieces of dough without jalapeño helps to cool off your mouth. Feel free to adjust the amount of jalapeño based on your heat tolerance. And if you love this combination, you’ll enjoy the jalapeño cheddar version of these soft pretzel knots.

For the best flavor and texture, I recommend using a block of cheddar cheese and grating it at home, instead of purchasing a bag of the pre-shredded stuff. I recommend this if you’re making my homemade cheese bread, too.

2 images of rising dough

What to Expect with This No Knead Dough

  1. Bubbles: The dough will rise for 12-18 hours and be very bubbly when it’s done.
  2. Strands: As you pull the risen dough off the sides of the bowl, you’ll notice a network of strands forming. See photo above. These strands are a good thing and will produce the chewiest bread ever.
  3. Stickiness: This will be a super sticky dough. Do NOT be tempted to add more flour at any point. It will stick to your hands, but that’s nothing a quick wash can’t fix!

You can expect the same in my artisan homemade bread dough, too.

jalapeno cheddar bread dough in a glass bowl

I took a few slices of an additional jalapeño and placed them on top of the dough right before baking. See below. This was just for looks.

Bake the no knead bread at a very high oven temperature, which will produce a golden brown and crisp crust. The crisp on this crust is unparalleled to any bread I’ve ever baked.

No Dutch Oven? No Problem.

While baking the bread in a dutch oven is key to this bread’s texture, you can get around it. Instead, place the rounded dough on a parchment paper lined or generously floured baking pan. (No need to pre-heat the pan in the oven like you do the dutch oven.) Score the bread as noted in step 3 below. Preheat the oven. After the oven is preheated, place a shallow metal or cast iron baking pan or skillet (I usually use a metal 9×13 inch baking pan, do not use glass) on the bottom oven rack. Carefully and quickly pour 3-4 cups of boiling water into it. Place the scored dough/baking pan on a higher rack and quickly shut the oven, trapping the steam inside. The steam helps create a crispier crust. Bake for about 30 minutes, but begin checking at 25 minutes. Gently tap the loaf– if it sounds hollow, the bread is done.

jalapeño cheddar bread with 3 jalapeños on top in dutch oven
jalapeño cheddar bread broken in half
jalapeno cheddar bread dipped in homemade nacho cheese sauce

What to Serve with Jalapeño Cheddar Bread

Between dips, spreads, and main dishes, here are some serving suggestions for spicy jalapeño cheese bread.

  1. Slather them with homemade honey butter
  2. Tear apart pieces and dip in roasted garlic bacon spinach dip
  3. Serve alongside slow cooker chicken chili or creamy chicken noodle soup
  4. I believe parmesan garlic hummus exists for this very bread
  5. Alongside super saucy slow cooker BBQ meatballs
  6. With a big bowl of mac & cheese
  7. Dunk those slices in spicy nacho cheese sauce! This is what I usually use for soft pretzel bites.

Honestly, just break out the warm loaf, a good hunk of cheese, and a bottle of wine. You’re all set for a satisfying snack!

Print
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jalapeno cheddar bread loaf

No Knead Jalapeño Cheddar Bread

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 hours
  • Yield: 1 loaf; 10-12 servings 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Homemade bakery-style bread has never been easier. This super crusty no knead jalapeño cheddar bread is baked in a dutch oven and requires practically zero hands-on work from you!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 cups + 2 Tablespoons (390g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for hands
  • 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt (I find the flavor lacking using regular table salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant or active-dry yeast
  • 1 jalapeño, diced
  • 1 cup (125g) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) warm water (about 95°F (35°C))

Instructions

  1. *No need to grease the bowl.* Stir the first 5 ingredients together in a large bowl. Stir in the warm water. The dough will be pretty sticky– don’t be tempted to add more flour– you want a sticky dough. Gently shape into a ball as best you can. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Set on the counter at room temperature (honestly any normal room temperature is fine!) and allow to rise for 12-18 hours. The dough will double in size, stick to the sides of the bowl, and have a lot of air bubbles.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and, using lightly floured hands, shape into a ball as best you can. Doesn’t have to be perfect. Transfer dough to a large piece of parchment paper, a piece large enough to fit inside your dutch oven and one that is safe under high oven heat. (I use this parchment and it’s never been an issue.) Place the ball of dough + parchment inside a bowl so the dough doesn’t spread out as it rests. See photo above.
  3. Using a very sharp knife, gently score an X into the top. Cover dough lightly with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  4. During this 30 minutes, preheat the oven to 475°F (246°C). (Yes, very hot!) Place your dutch oven with the lid OR heavy duty pot inside for 30 minutes so that it’s extremely hot before the dough is placed inside. After 30 minutes, remove the dutch oven from the oven and carefully place the dough inside by lifting it up with the parchment paper and sticking it all– parchment paper included– inside the pot. Cover with the lid.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes with the lid on. Carefully remove the lid and continue baking for 8-10 more minutes until the bread is golden brown. Remove pot from the oven, carefully remove the bread from the pot, and allow to cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes before breaking/slicing/serving.
  6. Cover and store leftover bread at room temperature for up to 2-3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: The dough takes up to 18 hours to rise, so this is a wonderful recipe to begin 1 day ahead of time. You can also bake the bread, allow it to cool, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving. You can also freeze the dough. Complete the recipe through step 2. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in a freezer-friendly container. To bake, allow dough to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, or for 2-3 hours at room temperature. Continue with step 3 and the rest of the recipe instructions.
  2. Dutch Oven: 6 quart or higher dutch oven or any large oven-safe pot with a lid (lid is crucial– see post!). If your dutch oven is smaller than 6 quarts, you can halve the recipe (instructions remain the same, just halve each ingredient) or make the recipe as directed in step 1. Shape the dough into 2 balls in step 2. Bake them one at a time in your smaller dutch oven. While the 2nd dough waits, lightly cover and keep at room temperature. The bake times (25 mins and 8-10 mins) are both a little shorter for smaller loaves.
  3. No dutch oven? See post above for alternative.
  4. Special Tools: Glass Mixing Bowls | Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven | Le Creuset Dutch Oven
  5. Spice: Feel free to increase or decrease the amount of diced jalapeño based on your spice tolerance. I like mildly spicy and think the heat with 1 jalapeño is perfect.
  6. Whole Wheat Flour: You can swap all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour. The bread will have a tougher and heartier texture, as expected. To maintain a chewy and softer texture, use half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour.
  7. Parchment Paper: If your parchment paper can only be heated to a certain temperature, bake the bread at that temperature. Bake the bread a little longer to compensate for the lower temperature.
  8. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.
  9. Recipe adapted from Red Star Yeast, method originally from Jim Lahey

Keywords: jalapeno cheddar no knead bread

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. i LOVE this bread, as well as the similar artisan bread. i really wanted to make this and didn’t have the perfect ingredients on hand, so i used a jalepeno-sized handful of diced canned hatch chiles and a cup of shredded mexican cheese. came out PERFECT and probably a little less heat than the jalepenos would provide, which is perfect for me! I’ll be making this again for sure.

    1. Hi Vicki, We haven’t tested this bread with high gluten flour so can’t say for sure. Let us know if you give it a try!

  2. This is my very favorite bread to make. We love it toasted with cream cheese. Next time I’m going to swap out the jalapeños and cheddar for shredded parmesan and roasted garlic. YummO!

  3. Super delicious! I would bake for a little less time, since the bottom of the bread started to taste a little burnt in parts, but other than that, it was so good! It tastes best if you eat it the morning after and the jalapeno flavor is more enhanced.

  4. This bread is so incredibly easy and absolutely delicious! It is so quick to pull together during the week and bake off the next day, and the texture and flavor are outstanding. I love your simple “no knead” breads that don’t require pulling out the mixer. Definitely a favorite!

  5. I just made this bread this morning. I used a whole poblano pepper chopped and blotted with a paper towel. I used extra sharp cheddar cheese and a teaspoon of powdered garlic. It turned out beautifully!

  6. What is the point in putting a cross on this bread? I understand putting it on other breads but not on this bread as it goes back together, jalapenos are put on the mark, and is barely seen if seen on the finished bread.

    1. Hi Kai, it helps air escape while the bread bakes. Hope you enjoy this recipe!

  7. I have made bread a handful of times in my life, and DAYUMMM, I am over the moon with this recipe. The end product was beautiful, and ridiculously edible. I didn’t use shredded cheese, I ended up finely dicing some random left over cheese ends I had in the fridge. I didn’t think it was going to work out because I didn’t put a tight cover over the dough as it rose (Just a tea towel), and it was a bit cold in the house, and I left it to rise for well over 18 hours, more like 24. It really didn’t rise very much compared to your picture. I also didn’t have a dutch oven either. So I ended up doing the water trick, and heated up a cast iron pan I had lying around and transferred the bread to the pan and tossed it in the oven. I baked it for around 25/30 minutes. As far as I can tell, with my untrained eye, it came out perfectly. Much to my surprise. The crust was PERFECT, all those little diced cheese bits showed up like little polka dot morsels all over the bread. The texture was on point. I would of had no problem buying a loaf like that at a farmers market. I am extremely pleased, and a bit proud (lol) Thank you (and Jim Lahey) so much for such a forgiving, and awesome recipe. Next time I plan on getting the dough to rise correctly, the bread was a bit dense, but not to bad. Can’t wait to see what it’s like when it’s a bit more fluffy!

  8. I can’t thank you enough for sharing this recipe, your insight, and special notes. In the last few days I made your No Knead Rustic and the No Knead Jalapeno breads. Having never made a bread I was nervous, but both turned out absolutely AMAZING. You are wonderful for sharing your knowledge and talent with others. Truly, thank you.

  9. Sally’s is The Best!! The cheese is ok unrefrigerated for 18 hours? Thank you.

    1. Hi Linda! Yes, it will be fine in the bread. Let us know if you give it a try 🙂

  10. Thank you for your prompt reply! I made the bread today as directed: Perfection! Thanks, too, for introducing me to working successfully with yeast; I still get excited every time the dough doubles in size! The bagels are a near-weekly affair in our household, the cinnamon rolls and giant cake are Mmmm!, your Apple Cinnamon Babka is Delish!, the Honey Wheat English Muffins are waay better than store-bought and the Chocolate Croissants were FUN! 5 stars to Sally and her team!

    1. Thank you so much for making and trusting our recipes, Linda!

  11. Hi! I did a quick review of the comments and didn’t find any answers to my question, so here it is: Would bread flour be ok for this recipe? I’m imagining so, but wanted an expert’s opinion. Thanks so much in advance!

    1. Hi Amanda, yes, you can use bread flour in place of all-purpose flour here. No other changes to the recipe needed. Enjoy!

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