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!
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.
How to Make Jalapeño Cheddar No Knead Bread
- Stir 6 ingredients together including flour, yeast, salt, cheddar cheese, jalapeño, and water. Don’t even break out your mixer.
- Shape into a ball and leave it alone for a day.
- Score an X on top of the dough and bake it in a dutch oven to obtain a super crisp crust.
- 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.
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.
What to Expect with This No Knead Dough
- Bubbles: The dough will rise for 12-18 hours and be very bubbly when it’s done.
- 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.
- 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.
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 nonstick 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 (same oven temperature). After the oven is preheated, place scored dough/baking pan on the center rack. Then 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, and then quickly shut the oven door to trap the steam inside. The steam helps create a crispier crust. Bake for about 30 minutes. For a more accurate test, the bread is done when an instant read thermometer reads the center of the loaf as 195°F (90°C).
What to Serve with Jalapeño Cheddar Bread
Between dips, spreads, and main dishes, here are some serving suggestions for spicy jalapeño cheese bread.
- Slather them with homemade honey butter
- Tear apart pieces and dip in roasted garlic bacon spinach dip
- Serve alongside slow cooker chicken chili or creamy chicken noodle soup
- I believe parmesan garlic hummus exists for this very bread
- Alongside super saucy slow cooker BBQ meatballs
- With a big bowl of mac & cheese
- 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
No Knead Jalapeño Cheddar Bread
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time: 20 hours
- Yield: 1 loaf; 10-12 servings
- Category: Bread
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
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! If you’re new to working with yeast, reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.
- 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))
- *No need to grease the bowl, and do not use a mixer in this step because the dough is too sticky for a mixer.* Stir the first 5 ingredients together in a large bowl, and then 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.
- 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.
- Using a very sharp knife or bread lame (you could even use kitchen shears), 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.
- 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.
- 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. How to test for doneness: Give the warm bread a light tap. If it sounds hollow, it’s done. For a more accurate test, the bread is done when an instant read thermometer reads the center of the loaf as 195°F (90°C).
- Remove pot from the oven, carefully remove the bread from the pot, and allow to cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes before slicing.
- Cover and store leftover bread at room temperature for up to 2-3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Make Ahead & Freezing 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 completely at room temperature and then continue with step 3 and the rest of the recipe instructions.
- Special Tools: Glass Mixing Bowls | Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven or Le Creuset Dutch Oven | 2-cup Measuring Cup | Parchment Paper | Bread Lame | Instant Read Thermometer
- Dutch Oven: Use a 6 quart or larger dutch oven or any large oven-safe pot with an oven-safe lid. 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, and 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 in the recipe above (25 mins and then 8-10 mins) will both be a little shorter for smaller loaves.
- No dutch oven? See post above for alternative.
- Yeast: If you don’t have instant yeast, you can use active-dry. I’ve never had a problem using active dry yeast in this recipe– and with no other changes needed. Works wonderfully!
- Bread Flour or Whole Wheat Flour: I use all-purpose flour here since it’s more readily available to most bakers. However, I love baking bread with bread flour and it can definitely be substituted with no other changes needed to the recipe. You can also substitute 1 cup of the flour for whole wheat flour. Do not use all whole wheat flour, as the bread will taste quite dense and heavy.
- 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.
- Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.
- Recipe adapted from Red Star Yeast, method originally from Jim Lahey.
Keywords: jalapeno cheddar no knead bread
Reader Comments & Reviews
I made this dough last night to bake this morning. When I checked it it has black all over the top. It had been just under 12 hours.
I did use jarred jalapeños but the shouldn’t have made that much of a difference.
Super sad I was so looking forward to this. Maybe I will try again today and not let it sit as long…
Hi Sally, I baked this twice now but for some reason it turns out pretty flat. Not sure what I am doing wrong. It rises beautifully both times but deflates after being in the oven. My parchment paper only goes up to 425 so I bake covered 35 mins and uncovered 15.
Hi Hannah, I’m glad to help and I saw your other comment about scoring the dough. I would add a little more flour, so the bread can bake up a little taller. Try adding another 1/4 cup (about 30g) flour to the dough. And you can score the dough AFTER that rest period immediately before baking, which means it won’t have time to spread where you cut (it will do that in the oven!).
This is the first bread I have made and it is so good. I’ve made it twice now and it is a big hit in my house. The second time I made it we used it for grilled cheese sandwiches with aged white cheddar and it was amazing. It’s just so easy and the flavor is wonderful.
Deserves more than 5 stars!!!
An excellent & super-easy bread recipe! You have to plan ahead for it but it’s SO worth it !
Just follow Sally’s great instructions & ya got bread bliss! Crust has a wonderful crunch & the inside was moist & soft with the subtle jalapeno flavor–yum! It really didn’t even need butter BUT of course we put some on anyway! Gonna try 2 or 3 peppers next time.
Make sure your Dutch oven is 6 qt & big enough too. I could only bake at 420 due to my parchment paper so baked it 44-45 min, took lid off & 10 more to brown the top. Then let it rest 20 more ( that’s the hard part) Cheers to Sally!