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!

Print
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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.

188 Comments

  1. If you don’t have a Dutch oven you can fill a shallow baking tray with water and bake along with the bread. The effect of the steam generated is the same as using a Dutch oven. You can also mist the dough lightly with water before baking which ensures a high humidity and perfect results.

  2. I finally tried this recipe – I used white cheddar and substituted in olives (about 8 olives sliced but a few more for the top before the 2nd proof). Personally I had to add more flour in step 2- about 50g more as it was really way too sticky and a flat mass of “goop” that wasn’t going to become a ball at all that so I tentatively added a little more flour so it was marginally less sticky but not dry either. Thankfully the end result baked bread was still soft and tasty!
    It could be my temperature environment and/or different brands of ingredients that affected my extra sticky dough…appreciate all your guidance Sally, pretty happy with it and I’ll try again.

  3. This is SO good! Thank you Sally!

  4. Hi there! I have a dinner party in two days so was thinking of making the dough tomorrow morning so that I can bake it tomorrow evening – if I’m not serving it until the following evening, do you recommend leaving it whole or should I cut it after it cools? Not sure if it matters but wanted to check! This recipe looks great and I’m super excited to try it 🙂

    1. Hi Anna, I would wait to cut it until before serving so that the inside stays fresh. Enjoy!

  5. I just bought the Lodge Dutch oven and it specifically states “Do not heat an empty Dutch oven or covered casserole”. Yet your recipe calls for placing the empty Dutch Oven in the heated oven for a half hour… can you comment please…

    1. Hi Pam! While I’ve never had an issue, I would follow the instructions on that specific product. To be safe, you can skip that specific pre-heating step.

      1. Hi-
        If I skip the pre-heating (dutch over instructions state to not pre-heat empty), should I bake longer? (I’ll still pre-heat the oven.)
        Thanks.

  6. I’ve only ever made quick breads before. This was my first try making any kind of yeast bread. It turned out great! I used Red Star Active Yeast, let it rise/ferment for 16 hours and swapped fresh jalepeno for 1/4 c diced jarred ‘tamed’ jalepenos. I followed all other instructions to a T. Loaf was moist and perfectly slightly chewy inside, with a good chewy crust. Thanks Sally!

  7. Hi! Could I use an 8qt dutch oven for this? Should I double the recipe or leave the same? Thank you!

    1. Hi Lea– you can, yes. The bread will have lots of room to cook inside. No need to double the recipe or anything.

  8. Thanks for this recipe. I am going to try it tomorrow. A local bakery used to make it but I have not found it for several years. I believe this bread was invented for turkey sandwiches, and with Thanksgiving around the corner………

  9. Hi. How long after baking does the bread stay fresh if I don’t cut it?

    1. Up to 1 week.

  10. Made this without the jalapeños for a small holiday party and it was a big hit. I kept half of it for my family, and the bread was still fresh several days later. With the remainder, I made some croutons by adding a bit of olive oil, and baking at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes and they were fantastic!

  11. I finally made this bread this weekend after so long of having it on standby because I really wanted to make it in a Dutch oven. My whole family, including 6 and 3 year olds love it! Will definitely be making again and trying different mix-in’s.

  12. Thanks Sally, this bread was easier than I thought it would be to make. I brought it to my office and it didn’t last long before it was all gone! Everyone loved it!

  13. Can you use bread flour? or does all purpose work better?

    1. You can use bread flour in place of all-purpose flour here. No other changes to the recipe needed.

  14. It was absolutely delicious and so so easy.My son and grandsons couldn’t stop eating it and I had to send the rest home with them.i guess I’ll just have to make another one.Thanks

  15. This is an absolutely fail proof recipe! I love making bread and sometimes I don’t want to deal with the kneading when I came across this recipe. I make it often and in the last two weeks I’ve made it 4 times as it has been requested by my family to make it again 🙂 Great taste, it’s crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. The best!

  16. If I don’t have a Dutch oven, do I leave the tray of water in the oven for the entire ~35min? Thanks!

    1. Hi Jess, Yes leave it in the oven the entire time. Enjoy!

  17. Hi Sally,
    We LOVE this bread. We’d like to make it into a sandwich loaf. I have USA brand metal bread pans.
    Any tricks for how to achieve this?

    Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Julie! 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.

  18. I had a wheel of Flamin Jack cheese that was close to expiration and used it on a microplane. Let’s just say I’ve made this three days in a row and my wife and friend say it’s their favorite. I’m now trying to find folks to make it for. I found letting it bake with the lid off a little longer really helped with the crust. I think I’m going to try mozzarella and olives next or cheddar and hatch chiles. Either way this recipe is super easy and awesome. Thank you!

    1. I love it, I love all your recipes,they taste amazingly good

  19. Baking in Isolation says:

    My bread looks great so far. Just have a question that I didn’t see answered in the previous comments or in your post above. I also checked your artisan bread post with no luck. So my apologies if I am asking something you’ve already addressed because I skimmed through the post looking for an answer. :S

    I am making this in a tin without a lid as my Dutch oven has a lid that can’t withstand that temperature. Do I add the water to the lower rack only, or do I add water AND a foil lid? I only ask as some replies indicate the foil lid does the same action as a regular lid by containing the steam inside the cooking vessel.

    Again – sorry if this has been addressed!

    1. If you’re using the water method that I describe in my artisan bread recipe, there’s no need to bake in a dutch oven with a lid. If you still want to use your dutch oven, no need to use the lid too!

  20. Just baked this, and had a hard time waiting 30m before breaking into it. I used 1c of finely shredded cheddar, but feel like the flavor could be more pronounced. I think next time I will use more cheddar, or a larger size shred. I find the texture and final outcome of this bread is better than my standard no knead bread!

    I wonder if anyone has any tips on how to cook this in a loaf pan….as I am new to bread making?

    Thank you for this recipe!

    1. Hi Angela! So glad you enjoyed this. You could certainly try a loaf pan for your next batch. The bake time may vary.

  21. Matt Kilishek says:

    Hi Sally,

    I just want to share my story with you. I’ve always wanted to bake bread but I’m not a “baking” kind of guy…I’d rather grill everything haha. I found this a few months ago and I want you to know that I’m probably 200 loaves in. I make it for friends, family, take it to work for clients, etc. I’m known for being the bread(and bagel) guy. Especially in this time, I make extra loaves and deliver them to doorsteps of less fortunate or elderly in our town. I’m so glad I stumbled on this recipe and it’s been such a blessing!

  22. On your artisan bread recipe, you do the majority of fermentation in the fridge, and for this one the dough stays at room temp. What is the resulting difference? Which method is better?

    1. Hi Derek! The artisan bread recipe uses more yeast, so a cold rise works effectively. Using less yeast, the dough can rest/rise at a warmer temperature and still have the same result. I hope this helps!

  23. Hi Sally, can I follow your artisan bread steps to make this into 2 loaves instead of 1? Bake time would be the same as the artisan bread?

    I just made your artisan bread and it was a hit! Thanks!!

    1. Absolutely!

  24. Hi Sally!
    Thank you for sharing your amazing recipes… I made this bread yesterday for Easter Lunch and it was a success, I used jalapenos from my garden… yum so good!
    The bread took 15 more minutes to cook completly but it depends of the oven… great recipe! Thank you!
    Veronica

  25. Angie McKenna says:

    Hi Sally, have you tried using bread flour for this recipe and if yes, do you recommend it? I only see all purpose and wheat mentioned. Thanks.

    1. Hi Angie, You can use bread flour for a slightly chewier texture.

  26. Can I use canned jalapenos if I don’t have fresh?

    1. Definitely. They’ll make the dough a little wetter, but adding another 1-2 Tbsp of flour should help.

  27. When you dice the jalapeño, do you leave in the seeds and everything? Or do you remove the seeds first? I just made the cranberry nut version and it was great!

    1. If you like extra spice, you can leave the seeds in.

  28. Hi Sally! I’m very excited to bake my first loaf of quarantine bread! I’m 13 hours into step one and just went to the grocery store to get parchment paper, but they’re all out. I think it might be because everybody is on Sally’s Baking Addiction!

    Is there a parchment paper-free dutch oven method I can use!?

    Thanks!
    Audrey

    1. Hi Audrey, Without parchment paper I recommend using a generously floured baking pan and following the directions in the post above under the section “No Dutch Oven, No Problem.”

    2. i’ve made this recipe loads of times and i have never used parchment paper. before i put the bread in the dutch oven i add some cornmeal to the bottom to prevent sticking. it’s always worked just fine.

  29. First time making any kind of bread and this was so easy and so delicious! Definitely making it again!

  30. My parchment paper states oven safe to 425, what should my baking times be?

    1. 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.

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