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

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

  • 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 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.

Notes

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.

190 Comments

  1. Hi, Sally! Is it really important to use a dutch oven? Can I use a regular baking pan instead? And can’t it be baked uncovered? Thanks!

    1. Hi Monique! Yes, it is. A dutch oven is KEY to the recipe, but any large oven-safe pot with a lid works.

  2. Would Kosher salt be a good substitute for the coarse sea salt?

    1. Yep, that should be just fine. Let me know how you like it!

  3. Looks amazing! My dutch oven is 5 qts. Will the dough fit?

    1. Hey Dana! Yes, the dough can fit in your 5 quart dutch oven.

  4. Sally, are you again using that Platinum yeast or their regular rapid rise? Also, we can’t have jalapenos, so can we use whole or halved garlic cloves instead do you think or would they pose a problem during the long rise time? Thank you very much for your time!

    1. Hi Rose! Halved garlic can definitely be substituted for the jalapeno. I usually use Platinum yeast from Red Star Yeast, but any instant or active dry yeast works wonderfully.

      1. Hi! I have a packet of ActiveDry Yeast and it says to dissolve in water/sugar then proceed to recipe. Am I measuring a 1/2 teaspoon straight from the packet in powder form or after its prepared? I looked all over for some insight on this to no avail. ( next time, instant yeast) thank you!

  5. Made this last night…BEST and EASIEST bread EVER!!!!!!

  6. Oh Sally this was so good and easy. My brother in law makes candied jalapenos, so that is what I used. I also did not have cheddar cheese on hand, so I used some Italian blend,. It was still incredibly delish, we had it with fresh Roma tomatoes from our local farmers market and a bit of olive oil. Thanks for this wonderful recipe, Loving your blog and videos.

    1. Oh Mary, I bet your loaf was SO GOOD with those additions. Thank you so much for reporting back, I love hearing from readers who try the recipes!

  7. So easy and delicious! I substituted kalamata olives for the jalapeños. No question the easiest bread I’ve ever made! Thanks for the great recipes!

  8. Nikki Chirico says:

    I currently have this loaf in the oven right now with a pot of chili on the stove. My house smells wonderful and we are so looking forward to gobbling this up! Thanks for another amazing recipe

  9. What would the changes be if I omit the cheese?

    1. No changes necessary, simply leave it out.

  10. Hi Sally! I love your blog and successfully made few wonderful desserts. Today My freshly baked bread has a lot of moisture and seems slightly soggy on the bottom. I followed recipe and my cast iron pot was very hot when the bread baked in the oven…it looked good when it came out from oven but after cool down for 30 minutes I found out so much wet on the button…

    1. Hi Meg! I wonder if the bread simply wasn’t baked long enough. Try keeping it in the oven a little longer if you try the no-knead bread again.

  11. Hi Sally,
    Can I replace the parchment paper with foil?

    1. I fear the bread would stick too much, but you can give it a try!

  12. I made this 5 days ago, and it came out perfectly!! I was worried I’d have to let it rise longer because my boyfriend keeps the kitchen temperature pretty darn cool (*shivers*) but it rose great in 14 hours. I used 2 jalapenos instead, because we like the heat, and it was delicious… just enough heat in every bite. I also used Wegmans brand parchment paper and had no issues with the high oven temp. As my boyfriend ate the last piece, he asked “so you’re going to make another loaf of this tonight, right?” It was definitely a hit!

  13. I am so happy with this recipe! I am bad at baking but this bread turned out amazing. Soft, moist and yummy. Super easy and impressively beautiful. Will be a go to for company.

  14. Sally this bread is fantastic! The smell was making me crazy as it baked! I said to my husband if this tastes half as good as it smells I will be happy. It did not disappoint, I am looking for reasons to make it again. We had it with your chicken chili which was also a big hit! Thank you for all your wonderful recipes!

    1. You are welcome, Diana! It pairs wonderfully with chili and I’m so happy that you both enjoyed it!

  15. We made this bread just like the recipe, but with an extra jalepeno. It was perfect! Cheesy, spicy, with a great crust! Two questions:
    -we ate most of it the first day… 🙂 but I stored the rest overnight in a ziplock bag on the counter and the crust was not near as hard and crispy the second day. Do you have any suggestions for storage?
    -also, I’m not super creative with this kind of stuff, do you have a couple other ideas on what might work in this bread? I know you say anything, but maybe one thought of savory additions and one of sweet additions?

    1. Hi Ann! Leaving the bread uncovered overnight will preserve the crispy texture. So happy you tried this recipe and loved it!
      I love my cranberry and walnut no knead bread: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/no-knead-cranberry-nut-bread/
      You could also add some shredded cheese and corn, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh herbs, olives, etc.

  16. I made this last weekend and it turned out DELICIOUS! My husband has already asked me to make more 🙂 I don’t have a 6 qt. dutch oven so I used my 4 qt. one and it turned out just fine. My parchment paper can only stand up to 420F so I baked mine an additional 10 min. with the lid on and maybe 5 additional min. with lid off.

  17. Hi Sally!

    Love your blog 🙂 If I left the bread to rise longer than 18 hrs, would anything catastrophic happen? Just realized I will be at work tomorrow when it’s ready…

    1. 18 hours max is ideal, but a few extra hours won’t do much harm. You can always refrigerate the rising dough if it needs to rise for longer than 1 whole day. Refrigeration will slow down the rise, extending the time.

  18. Cynthia Tucker says:

    Love this bread! So delicious! I am making 4 loaves today . On loaf 3 and my house smells sooo scrumptious!

  19. I can’t even! This is SO GOOD! I made it to have with your southwest chicken salad tonight for dinner. It will take all my self-control to not eat it before then. The texture is amazing!

  20. So I made this Jalapeño Cheddar bread for the first time, followed the instructions exactly but mine didn’t rise. It is kind of flat and seems hard. Any suggestions of what I might have done wrong?

    1. Hi Nancy! I’m curious why the dough didn’t rise over 18 hours. What type of yeast are you using? It’s supposed to be super crusty, but the center should be nice and chewy.

  21. Kim Caldwell says:

    Can you use this recipe make it sweet? Like a sugar cinnamon type? I’m not sure how the sugar and yeast will affect each other?

    1. I have a cranberry version that has honey in the dough! https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/no-knead-cranberry-nut-bread/
      I also have a cinnamon swirl bread you can try: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/homemade-cinnamon-swirl-bread/

      1. Kim Caldwell says:

        Thank you for the awesome feedback! I made this bread and it was a real hit in my house. Used about 1.5 peppers, and saved the remainder for the topping. I am normally horrible at baking, but with these rustic dutch oven bread recipes, I can do it, and look like a champ!!

  22. I do traditional yeast breads with regularity and have known about no-knead bread for well over a decade, but I finally decided to actually make my first no-knead loaf this weekend. Why did I wait so long???? This is so easy with great results. Will definitely make again.

    1. I’m glad you finally tried it and enjoyed it, Rachel!

  23. Liz Koehler says:

    What is the purpose of using a lid? I dont have any pots deep enough . What happens if I don’t use a lid?? Does the bread continue to rise while baking?

    1. Hi Liz! The lid is actually pretty imperative to the bread’s texture. It traps the moisture inside a small enclosed space. The steam gelatinizes the bread’s starches, which creates a golden crispy crust with a voluminous loaf underneath.

  24. Donny McKinney says:

    Made this bread for the first time this weekend and it was fantastic! Great recipe and definitely a keeper. Bread had an excellent texture, soft and moist on the inside with an excellent chewy exterior. I have a couple of hacks that might help people out about this recipe. If people are worried about their parchment with the high temps then try using nonstick foil. That’s what I did and the bread absolutely slid off the foil with ease. Plus the foil kept the bread is the correct shape with ease. Didn’t seem to affect the bottom texture of the bread at all. Also if someone is worried about damaging their Dutch oven then try this. Ages ago I searched thrift stores until I found an old sturdy and very inexpensive Dutch oven. I use it for high temp cooking and keep my more modern one for regular use. I’m very much looking forward to experimenting with this bread. The options are just endless. I believe my next one will have a variety of mixed olives and caramelized onions. Thanks for the great recipe!

  25. Ellen O'Steen says:

    I love the idea of a no-knead savory bread, but I can’t stand the taste of jalapenos. Would this recipe still work if I used mozzarella cheese and olives or sundried tomatoes?

    1. Hi Ellen! It absolutely would 🙂 I’d love to know what you think if you try it!

  26. Could you use a Pyrex casserole dish to bake?

    1. Hi Shirley! The oven may be too hot for the pyrex, so I would double check it. You also need an oven-safe lid, too.

  27. What would you recommend if you don’t have anything with an oven-safe lid? Could I bake this in my cast iron pan and tent some tinfoil over it in place of a lid? Because I feel like I need this bread in my life lol

    1. Hi Jennifer! You’re exactly right– the next best option would be to use your cast iron pan with tented aluminum foil over the dough.

  28. I made this for a dinner party last night. My friends generally don’t like spicy food so I omitted the jalapeño. This bread was amazing! Just the right amount of cheddar flavor and so easy. Another great recipe!

  29. Hi Sally
    My son loves jalapeño cheddar bread so I’d like to make this next time he comes into town. I’ve never made bread before but this looks so good I’d like to give it a try. I have a Calphalon Dutch oven that is oven safe to 450 degrees and I have If You Care parchment paper that is oven safe to 428 degrees. How long do you recommend I cook the bread for? How will I know when it’s done?
    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Maggie! Your dutch oven will work wonderfully and that parchment paper will be fine to use since the bread will do most of the cooking with the lid on. Bake for about 25 minutes with the lid on. Carefully remove the lid and continue baking for 8-10 more minutes until the bread is golden brown all over. I like a nice toasty crust!

    2. I would caution people about using glass lids in the oven. Most are not safe to use at that high of a temp. If your cookware is only safe to 425 then your lids are only safe to that level or lower. Keep in mind as well that baking dishes (Pyrex type) purchased after the 1980’s may not be safe either. If in doubt check it out.

      1. Dr. Margaret Dolan says:

        Thanks, Diane. I made the bread twice using my pan with the glass lid but cooking at the temp limit recommended. Everything went smoothly. However the heat really discolored the sides of the pan and lid. I found a BK dutch oven on sale and used that for the next loaf. It was perfect and no discoloration.

  30. I made the recipe and we loved it. My loaf was maybe under-cooked on the very bottom? Did I not cook it long enough? Only the very bottom seemed to be flat. This is my favorite site and my go-to when I need a no-fail recipe for a work treat. Tonight I am going to put together the Cranberry Nut recipe. Thanks for all of the awesome recipes.

    1. I’m so glad that you loved it! If it was slightly undercooked on the bottom make sure the lid of your pot is on well and try cooking for a few minutes longer next time. I hope you love the cranberry nut bread also!

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