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!
You’ve been asking for another no knead bread recipe and I’m so excited to share my latest creation with you. This time we’re making a savory bread filled with spicy jalapeño and plenty of sharp cheddar cheese. I’m embarrassed to admit how many loaves of jalapeño cheddar bread I baked last week!!! Between testing the recipe, photographs, and step-by-step shots… we were at 6. Our freezer cookies to bread ratio is seriously lopsided right now.
Remember when I said I wasn’t a bread person? Lololol.
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
- 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.
- 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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
What to Serve with Jalapeño Cheddar Bread
Between dips, spreads, and main dishes, here are some deeee-lish 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 pan of easy baked macaroni & 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!
No Knead Jalapeño Cheddar Bread
- 3 cups + 2 Tablespoons (390g) all-purpose flour, 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 shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) warm water (about 95°F (35°C))
- 6 quart or higher dutch oven or any large oven-safe pot with a lid (lid is crucial)
- *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.
- 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, 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. 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.
- Cover and store leftover bread at room temperature for 1 week.
Make ahead tip/Freezing: 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.
- Feel free to increase or decrease the amount of diced jalapeño based on your spice tolerance. I like mildy spicy and think the heat with 1jalapeño is perfect.
- 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.
- 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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