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! 
Simple crusty no-knead jalapeño cheddar bread recipe made in the dutch oven on

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. It’s incredible. And I’m definitely embarrassed to admit how many loaves of this jalapeño cheddar bread I’ve baked recently!!

Remember when I said I wasn’t a bread person? Lololol.

Simple crusty no-knead jalapeño cheddar bread recipe made in the dutch oven on

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.

Simple crusty no-knead jalapeño cheddar bread recipe made in the dutch oven on

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!

Ingredients and dough for jalapeno cheddar no knead bread on

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. I recommend this if you’re making my homemade cheese bread, too.

Rising dough for jalapeno cheddar no knead bread on

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.

Rising dough for jalapeno cheddar no knead bread on

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-knead jalapeño cheddar bread recipe made in the dutch oven on

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. 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 baking pan) 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.

Simple crusty no-knead jalapeño cheddar bread recipe made in the dutch oven on

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.

  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. 🙂

Crusty jalapeño cheddar bread with homemade spicy nacho cheese sauce on

Crusty jalapeño cheddar bread with delicious honey butter on

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!

Simple crusty no-knead jalapeño cheddar bread recipe made in the dutch oven on

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 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). No dutch oven? See post above for alternative.
  3. Special Tools: Glass Mixing Bowls | Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven | Le Creuset Dutch Oven
  4. 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 1jalapeño is perfect.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.


  1. 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!

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

  3. 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.

  4. Hi Sally! Can I rest this dough for over 18 hours? What would happen? Say I make it 7pm Monday night, rest 18 hours until 1pm but I want it for dinner that night (about 5-6pm) would that be okay to leave the extra few hours? Thanks!

    1. Hi Jazmin! I don’t recommend much longer than 18 hours. You can bake it in the early afternoon to serve for dinner that night.

  5. 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!

  6. 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. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. I need to make 20 loaves of this. I have several oversize heavy duty baking sheets. Can I do it on there with Foil Over top.

    1. Hi Cindy, That’s a lot of bread! 🙂 I really recommend using a dutch oven for this recipe but if you would like to try it on your sheets I would try just one loaf first to test how it turns out.

      1. Great thank you! One more question – do you have to proof the yeast or just poor and stir all together?

  11. 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 🙂

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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………

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

  17. 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!

  18. 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

  19. 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!

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally