No Knead Jalapeño Cheddar Bread

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! 
loaf of jalapeño cheddar bread

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.

sliced loaf of jalapeño cheddar bread

Baking with Yeast Guide

Reference this Baking with Yeast Guide whenever you work with baker’s yeast. I include practical answers to all of your common yeast questions.

jalapeño cheddar bread

Video Tutorial

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 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!

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 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.



jalapeño cheddar bread after baking in a dutch oven

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.

hands holding jalapeño cheddar bread

Crusty jalapeño cheddar bread with homemade spicy 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!

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jalapeño cheddar bread

No Knead Jalapeño Cheddar Bread

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 hours
  • Yield: 1 loaf; 8-10 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!


  • 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))


  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 the counter for 30 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.


Recipe adapted from Red Star Yeast, method originally from Jim Lahey

  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.


  1. This was so easy to make and turned out perfect. I was worried when I took it out of the bowl after letting it rise because it seemed really wet. But I let it rest and put it in my heated Dutch oven and it turned out so good! It has a great crunch too the crust and it’s chewy on the inside. Thanks so much for a great recipe!

  2. Oh my gosh! This recipe is amazing. I am making it for the third time. I am not a spicy girl but this is mild enough. Love that you start it the night before as this allows you to have fresh bread quite early the next day and the entire house smells wonderful. Definitely a keeper!! Thank you for sharing.

  3. I’m super excited to try this but how do i bake it in a convection oven?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Ash, While all of our recipes are written for conventional oven settings (and that’s what we recommend for even baking), the general rule is to lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees F if using convection, and check for doneness a few minutes early.

  4. Stephanie Herrera says:

    I used a Serrano pepper and grated Manchego since I had it in the house. Easiest and most delicious bread I have
    made in a long time!

  5. Just cut my first piece and already into my second. Someone come and take this bread away from me before I eat it all! Even though it’s a little flat, the texture and flavor is great! I had a hard time forming into a ball too. But I realized I only used 3 C flour; not sure if the missing 2 tablespoons would have helped or not. And since my parchment paper was only recommended for 425, I baked at 450 for 30 minutes with the lid on, then removed lid and baked another 20 minutes. Definitely will be making again. Thanks for sharing a great recipe.

  6. This is the most amazing bread recipe. I’ve made it half a dozen times and comes out perfect every time.

    Do you have any other variations of this loaf to try?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      So happy you love it, Melissa! You may love this Cranberry Nut Bread and our Artisan Bread as well.

  7. Super easy to make and comes out crunch on the outside yet super soft on the inside!! Love it!

  8. The flavors are outstanding! Definitely the best tasting bread I’ve ever eaten.
    Very easy recipe to follow.

  9. Hate to be the contrarian here, but I wasn’t so impressed with this recipe. This bread tastes good, but it’s not nearly spicy enough (compared to my favorite La Brea Jalapeno Cheddar). Also mine hit the internal temperature done-mark of 205 F way before it was “golden brown.” My loaf looked kind of pale and nothing like the pic in the recipe.

    But most of all I don’ t care for the “giant pancake” form of the loaf. I was surprised it didn’t rise more given all the time the yeast had to work. Maybe it’s because there wasn’t enough gluten development to trap the CO2 bubbles. I’d rather do a little kneading and have something more like a traditional loaf.

  10. hi Sally,
    i was looking for a banana loaf recipe & decided yours sounded so good, & i have bananas ripening right now… anyway, i saw your recipe for ‘chedder jalapeno’bread & was so happy, because i have been making Jim’s artisan bread a lot & just love it! anyway, i wanted something more than the ‘rosemary olive’ no-knead bread that i love. when i saw this recipe. I remembered this ‘combo’ bread was the same that a new bakery in my old neighborhood had. the bakery was a new business, originating in Colorado.
    all they had was bread & they always gave large chunks of their different bread varities to the lines of people waiting every morning etc. a large hunk of butter, always present, & they gave your as many large samples as you wanted. I think “Harvest” was part of the bakery name. Anyway, they had chedder jalapeno bread & I so wanted to replicate it. tomorrow I will purchase sharp chedder & jalapeno peppers, (mild). i have never bought them before. CAN’T WAIT!
    thanks sooo much. i will let you know how my bread comes out.

  11. in re: to my above comment…the bakery was clled “great harvest bread co.” i lived in Brentwood at the time & that’s where the opened.

  12. Hi, Sally! Really excited to bake this, and currently have the dough going through the first rise. The dough is sitting in a silicone bowl that will also act the vessel that the bread bakes in. The top edges of the bowl fold over to create a vented cover to trap steam in. Is it still necessary to remove the dough from the bowl and reshape it to allow for a second rise? I’d love to be able to bake this bread without having to touch the dough, if possible! Thanks!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kelly, we haven’t tested this recipe in a silicone baking vessel so can’t say for sure. Let us know how it went!

  13. SALLY! this bread was so freaking yummy. I used pickled jalapenos instead of fresh because that’s all I had and they added a great flavour, I just eyeballed how much I thought would be appropriate. I also didn’t have a dutch oven but it didn’t really matter because the hack of using the cast iron pan with water in it worked perfectly! I was unsure of what kind of baking pan to use as this is my first time making bread but I chose a round pizza pan with flour on the bottom and it kept the round disk shape. I wish I could show you a picture because I feel like I made you proud lol

  14. Oh, dear. I’ve made this three times now and the “dough” never gets beyond the consistency of runny batter.
    Does not rise when baking. Bought a fresh jar of yeast, and even omitted the peppers to see if they were too “wet.” No luck.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Janet, a sticky and well hydrated dough is key to this bread’s texture, however if it’s not baking, you may want to either slightly reduce the water or slightly increase the flour. Either will help create a firmer (yet still heavily hydrated) dough.

      1. I’ve made this bread countless times. It’s always perfect. This time, all I had was pre-sifted flour. I had the same problems as the baker above, it was flat and couldn’t form a ball at all despite adding more flour. I baked it for a long time and the texture looks ok. Not stellar like usual but I’m blaming the flour. Maybe check your flour. 🙂

  15. Jane Lagacé says:

    Making this for the 3rd time this evening. It will rise overnight and be ready for baking first thing. Love this bread!!!!

  16. Hi,
    Just a curious if Cheddar Cheese is optional here or Maybe we could use different kind of cheese here. One of my family member is allergy to Cheddar cheese, which is why we don’t buy cheddar cheese in our house at all. Mostly we uses all other kind of cheeses to substitute the cheddar cheese. but what would be the good cheese to substitute cheddar cheese with in this kind of jalapeno bread?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Mansi, you can absolutely use another relatively harder cheese such as pepper jack, gouda, or colby cheese. Avoid very soft cheeses. Hope your family enjoys this bread!

  17. I love this bread! It’s amazing and got me over my fear of baking with yeast. I’ve subbed in other ingredients as well like olives and various other cheeses, all were amazing! Thanks for the recipe. Great for beginners but easy for anyone to make.

  18. Could this be baked in a loaf tin and could bread flour be subbed for the all-purpose?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Christine, you could certainly try a loaf pan. The edges should still crisp up, but not to the same extent as they do when baked in a dutch oven. The bake time may vary. You can also use bread flour for a chewier loaf. Hope you enjoy this recipe!

  19. It was by another baker that I know to try high gluten flour for a richer taste. I tried it this time, and the dough did not rise. I have made made this bread about 20 times, and this was my only fail. Should I have increased the water? The dough seems very dry with the high gluten flour.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Joanna! We haven’t tested this bread with high gluten flour so can’t say for sure. It you try it with more water let us know how it goes!

  20. Just took my bread out and it is pretty flat and not rounded. I used a new flour. I did add more jalepenos (not sure if that’s what did it). Any idea why it’s flat and not rounded? or what I can do in the future?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Katie! The added moisture from the extra jalapeños could have weighed the dough down. How did the dough look before baking? Make sure to handle it very gently to avoid deflating the air out of the dough before baking. Thanks for giving this bread a try, we hope it’s still tasty!

      1. Ok. Maybe it was the extra jalapeños then. The dough was sticky, but I couldn’t get it into a ball shape. It just spread out to the bowl shape. Can’t wait to try it! It’s cooling now. I’ll try it without the extra jalapeños next time.

  21. Thank you, Sally! This recipe is absolute perfection! I’ve never left a recipe review, but I’m a very experienced baker, and this is probably the easiest and best thing I’ve ever made. I have my friends and neighbors asking when I’m making this bread again. I’ve made it at least 10 times with various flavor combinations: jalapeño cheddar, rosemary parm, basil parm, dried cherries with mini chocolate chips, and sundried tomatoes with basil & mozzarella and parm. This bread is perfect every time, the possibilities are endless. Use the Dutch oven, measure your ingredients properly, make sure your yeast is fresh, and your water is 95 degrees. You cannot go wrong.

  22. Can I substitute the jalapeño with garlic?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Cynthia! Definitely, we’re unsure how much garlic would be the best amount, but let us know what you try!

  23. Hi. I love your recipes – am a relatively competent baker, we’re currently devouring your soft dinner rolls as I type this. We are going camping next weekend and I want to try this in an open fire. I have a cast iron bread pan that I often bake bread in. Do you think this will work for this recipe?

    1. Hi Sue, thank you! While I haven’t tested the recipe that way, I can’t see why it wouldn’t work. I’d really have to test it to give some instruction. Let me know how it turns out if you try it.

  24. Absolutely in love with this recipe! I’ve substituted the jalapeno with Thai chilies and it comes out great! I also add extra cheese on top at Step 5 when the lid comes off and goes back in the oven for another 8-10minutes.

  25. This was so EASY! I always buy this bread, in muffin form, at my local grocery store… is always the first to be sold out! Thank you for this recipe! It tastes great & will save me a ton of money making it at home! This is the second recipe I have tried from your site & BOTH are excellent!

  26. EssEss EssEss says:

    I had a complete brain freeze…. My brain was thinking that 2pm to 2pm the next day was 12 hours so I intended to leave the dough for 16 hours but I left my dough from 2pm until 6pm the next day for a total of 28 hours. I was worried I’d overproved it. However, my house was rather chilly both days and it ended up being absolutely perfectly proved when I baked it. It kept a perfect round shape even after cooling. My husband and I tore into the loaf as soon as it cooled for 1/2 an hour and enjoyed it warm with butter and olive oil. I’m going to use more of the loaf for avocado toast for lunch tomorrow.
    I’m going to definitely try your other cranberry nut version of this soon!

  27. Hi Sally, does this require more water if I substitute half of the APF with whole wheat flour? I just mixed the dough and it’s not as wet and sticky as it should be. Also, I’m nervous if the jalapenos left inside the dough for 18 hours would hinder the yeast from doing it’s work. The first time I tried this, my dough did not rise. In contrast, I’ve had great luck, all three times, of baking the cranberry walnut version of this recipe. Not sure if it’s the jalapenos. Can I add them right before baking?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Namitha! Whole wheat flour will always dry out baked goods. We haven’t had issues with the jalapeños inhibiting the dough from rising. We don’t suggest adding them right before baking because that would knock out all the air bubbles you gained with the slow rise. Best to stick with the recipe for best results!

  28. Deborah B Lamplough says:

    The bread sounds delicious! Is it really just 1/2 tsp of yeast? Many recipes require an entire package of yeast. Just checking before I make the recipe. Thanks!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Deborah! Yes, this low and slow rising bread only requires a small amount of yeast. Hope you love it!

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