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. This is my first time baking a bread. Made it without the Dutch oven. Simple to follow and turned out great. Thank you! We will be making this more often.

  2. I’m at a loss for what I’m doing wrong with this recipe. I’m following it to the letter, weighing my ingredients, but I’m ending up with an extremely wet dough that won’t bake through in the oven. I’ve made no-knead bread in the Dutch oven with out an issue. Do I need to decrease the water? I’m using instant yeast.

    1. Hi Kim, 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 am making the dough right now and I’m noticing the same issue. After pouring in the water, it looks really wet like macaroni salad texture. Definitely couldn’t shape it into a ball. Then I questioned myself if I put 2 or 3 cups of flour! Either way, I’m letting it rise now and we’ll see how it turns out.

        Is it normal for the first step of the dough to be watery?

  3. Hi sally,
    I’ve gone through all the comments and read the recipe over and over again but I’m unclear what I should do.
    I can either bake the bread in a 9×5 loaf pan or on a baking tray. My parchment paper is heat safe for 220 Celsius.
    Should I bake in the loaf pan and cover with foil in the beginning or should I bake on the baking tray with parchment paper at 220 and for longer? Should I cover it on the baking tray as well.

    1. Hi Shanza, use your baking sheet/tray and see my baking instructions under the No Dutch Oven? No Problem. heading. Since your oven will be a lower temperature, the bread will take a little longer. Bake until golden brown and when lightly tapped, the loaf sounds hollow.

  4. Helen Marston says:

    Hi Sally, May I use starter instead of dry yeast since the dough requires an overnight rise? Thank you!

  5. Hi, I had an amazing experience with this bread, it was divine. My husband and I had it with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and we really enjoyed it.
    I’m baking 2 of these loaves tomorrow To take out of town for my mother, how do I make sure it tastes fresh and crispy, does she have to rebake it before she has it? Please let me know. Thank you!

    1. I’m so happy you both enjoyed it, Shanza! If you cover the bread it will be just fine at room temperature for up to a week. She shouldn’t have to rebake it.

  6. Hi Sally! I’d love to make these, but as smaller buns. Is it possible to divide the dough into four equal parts, and then bake it? Any recommendations in terms of the time, and whether they need to all be baked seperately in the dutch oven?

    1. Definitely! I’m unsure of the best bake time, but you can bake until they’re each golden brown and sound hollow when lightly tapped. You can bake each separately in a dutch oven or use the baking sheet method described above. (Which would be quicker because you can bake all at once!)

  7. Hi Sally!
    This is my first time baking bread. I have active dry yeast – the instructions are in polish and I don’t understand a word! Would I just dissolve half a teaspoon in water and then add to the mixture or should I add the yeast directly to the mixture?
    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Miriam, use the yeast you have the same way (quantity/directions) that the instant yeast is used in this recipe.

  8. I’ve been on a baking frenzy this weekend, all with your recipes of course, and this bread was super easy and so delicious! I barely waited for the cool down to dig in it smelled so good. I had to bake at 425 cause my parchment paper is oven safe up to 428, i think i only ended up baking for an additional 3 mins, crispy on the outside and so soft on the inside. Thank you again for the amazing recipe!

  9. Vanessa Cardona says:

    Loved making this bread! It was super easy and tastes great! I did add a little more cheese just because i wanted to finish
    it. it tastes just like spicy grilled cheese but better. Thanks!

  10. Kathy Mills says:

    Want to thank you so much for sharing this recipe! Have made it several times and given several away. We all love it! My granddaughter has made it several times as well. Thank you, ☺️. Have one in oven right now baking for friends.

  11. First time making homemade bread and this was amazing! just the right amount of heat! Made with broccoli cheese potato soup and soaked it all up. Such a great recipe! Will keep it as a regular for sure!

  12. After baking, do you store this in the fridge or in a bread box? I’m in Florida where it’s really hot and my mom keeps the house around 84 degrees inside. I’m wondering if the cheese in this bread will spoil if it’s left on the counter instead of in the fridge. Thanks for your reply!

    1. Hi Shireen, I usually cover tightly and store leftover bread at room temperature for 1 week, but you can definitely store it in the fridge if it’s super hot in your kitchen!

  13. Vicki Greshik says:

    Seriously excellent no-fail recipe. I use whatever cheese I have on hand; it’s a win each time. Thanks so much for the recipe.

  14. I never comment on stuff but I HAD to comment on this recipe. This is the most delicious thing I’ve ever made! You’ve inspired me to make so many breads now! I made the honey butter to go along with it and it was just such a hit!!

    1. I absolutely love your walnut canberry bread which inspired me to try more of your recipes its so delicious.

      When I tried to make this, the outside didn’t come out crispy like the walnut/cranberry does. Ive made that about 4 times.

      What could I be doing wrong?

      1. Rachel Figueroa says:

        Isabelle,

        I think they’re just different breads. My cranberry pecan comes out way crispier than the Jalepeno cheddar but the Jalepeno cheddar still has enough crisp that it’s delicious

  15. Hi Sally,
    This is the best bread I have made so far. Have you every tried using an instant pot on yogurt setting to speed up the rise time with this bread? I would love any advice.
    Thanks in advance.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Heather, I’m so glad you are enjoying the bread! We haven’t tested this with an instant pot but let us know if you try it out.

  16. Sally, do you think pickled jalapenos would work for this?

    1. I can’t see why not!

      1. Thanks for your response! I made both the cran walnut and jalapeño cheddar loaves today. The cranberry one was pretty wet and sticky even after the first rise, more so than your pictures, but it still turned out okay, just didn’t rise too much. The jalapeño one was extremely wet even after first rise, and spread a lot when I baked on parchment paper. It also hardly rose.. any idea as to why this might have happened? Should I maybe add more flour to the dough the next time I make it?

      2. The liquid from the jalapenos– my pictured loaf (and whenever I make this version) doesn’t rise as much. A little extra flour, perhaps 1/4 cup, helps soak up the moisture and you can try adding another scant 1/8 teaspoon of yeast, too. (But the extra flour is enough to help!)

      3. So many great reviews and mine didn’t come out right now I haven’t tasted it yet but I had to let the dough go longer because it just didn’t seem it had risen enough and when I went to make the “ball”, it was kinda soupy. I’m not an expert bread maker but also not a novice. Any ideas what happened in case I make it again?

      4. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Hi Jamie! This is a very wet dough, flour your hands generously so you can shape the dough. It should turn out just fine!

  17. I’ve made a number of no-knead breads over the last few years, but Sally’s jalapeno cheddar bread tops them all. This is by far, hands down, unquestionably, emphatically, the tastiest bread I’ve ever made. Yes, the dough is wet, but a bench scraper helps tame the blob for transfer to parchment. Many thanks, Sally; I look forward to trying your other recipes.

  18. hi Sally, I just took this bread out of the oven and my husband devoured the whole lot. I don’t eat spicy foods so it was all for him and he sure loved it_ it’s all thanks to this wonderful recipe! def making it again

  19. Hi Sally,

    Do you use the seeds and the middle of the jalapeno or do you throw that out?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

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

  20. Sally wasn’t kidding when she said this bread is super easy! I have never made bread or anything with yeast before so I was a little nervous. I followed the steps and recipe to a T and it came out perfect. I have some to my family and friends and it was a huge hit. I will definitely be making this again!

  21. So, I am at 5000 ft elev with typical 10% humidity (high desert). Do you have any tips on better bread, rising, let sit longer/shorter periods of time, etc. Add flour, more or less yeast ? Thanks !
    Just took this out of oven, looks a bit low, have not cut into it yet…looks & smells GOOD 😀

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Barbara, I wish I could help, but we have no experience baking at high altitude. I know some readers have found this chart helpful: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/learn/high-altitude-baking.html

  22. This was really good with just the right amount of heat. Everyone loved it! Thanks.

  23. Hellena Stokes says:

    I have tried you cranberry walnut bread and the cheese and they are a hit with my family. The base recipe is simple and works for adding other additions easily. I tried adding apples, raisins and walnuts to the dough after the rise, and it turned out great. Thanks for sharing your recipes.

  24. This recipe is absolutely delicious and I followed it exactly. Can you please share the best way to store bread at room temperature? For example, should it be placed in a air proof container like a zip lock bag or stored in a paper bag or some other way?

    1. Hi Mari! I usually wrap it in aluminum foil and keep it sealed in a zipped-top bag. Storing it in a paper bag works, too! After a couple days, I would move it to the refrigerator to help retain freshness.

  25. Maria Angeli Berdux says:

    Love the jalopeno cheddar cheese bread.. smells so great and the taste is amazing..loving it , THANKS!!

  26. This was amazing. I baked it exactly as written using the no-Dutch-oven instructions. Although it came out very flat, the flavor and crisp is perfection, while the inside is moist. Have already enjoyed a couple slices with butter and planning to serve with veggie chili for dinner. I will definitely make this again!

  27. Thanks so much for you quick response, Sally! Over the past 48 hours, I’ve made your focaccia (2 loaves), jalapeño cheese bread, artisan bread loaves (2 plain and and 1 with rosemary and garlic), cinnamon swirl quick bread (2 – one with nuts in cinnamon sugar mix) and,lastly, crumb cake donuts. My husband had to go out and buy a freezer to store everything LOL. All were amazingly delicious! Thank you for your clear instructions and videos.

  28. The only reason I didn’t give this recipe five stars is because of me, apparently. This bread is delicious and I’ve made it several times but I can’t seem to get the consistency correct. My dough is basically a puddle, and I can’t form it into a ball of any kind. I measured the ingredients using a scale so I know I am using the correct amount of flour but the dough is literally runny. I let it prove for about 15 hours. What am I doing wrong? Help!

    1. Hi Laura! Try adding another 1/2 cup (perhaps around 60g) of flour to help bring the dough together. A dough’s consistency relies on many different factors beyond a recipe including weather, humidity, brand of ingredients, etc.

  29. This is one of the best recipes/techniques ever for bread. I find The bread is best shortly after cool down it has a nice crispy crust. So delicious Thanks for sharing.

  30. Made this tonight with my dad for our family Sunday dinner and we all LOVED it! This is my first recipe to try of yours, but I’ve looked through and saved many – look forward to making some of your others next 🙂

    Will definitely make this one again!

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