Crusty cheese bread studded with jalapeños is an easy bread recipe guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser. Perfect for grilled cheese or as a side to soup.
Full recipe + amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
- Flour. I used bread flour but all purpose will also work. The more artisanal your flour, the longer the rising time will be.
- Instant yeast.
- Warm water.
- Cheddar cheese.
How to make cheese bread
- Make the dough: I prefer using my stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment but you can absolutely make this bread recipe by hand. Combine the yeast and sugar with the warm water. Allow to stand for 5 minutes until frothy. Add the flour and salt to the bowl of the mixer and mix. With the mixer running, pour in the water and yeast mixture. Mix until the dough comes together. The dough should be sticky but not so soft that it pools at the bottom of the bowl. Add a little more flour, one spoonful at a time until the dough comes together. Add the cheese and jalapeños and knead in. Dust with flour and turn the dough in the flour to coat.
- Allow to proof: Cover with plastic or a damp kitchen towel and allow to rise for 60-90 minutes until the dough has doubled in size. When the dough has doubled, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and fold the edges in towards the center, pinching the seams together. Transfer to a floured bowl, seam side up, cover and allow to rise for another 30 minutes while you preheat the oven. Place a Dutch oven or oven-safe pot with lid in the oven to preheat.
- Bake the bread: Carefully remove the pot from the oven then tip the dough into the pot. Cover with the lid then place in the oven and allow to bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid then bake for another 10-20 minutes or until the bread is deeply golden and crisp. The bread is ready when it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
- Allow to cool: Avoid temptation and don’t slice into the bread immediately. I know your kitchen smells like heaven right now, but don’t do it. Cutting into a hot loaf of bread can result in a gummy interior texture. Leave the bread to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving.
- Make a perfect grilled cheese sandwich. I used a combination of mozzarella and cheddar.
- Easy roasted tomato soup
- Mexican chicken soup with charred baby corn
- As part of a cheese and charcuterie board
Easy crusty jalapeño cheese bread
- 1½ cups warm water (When you put your finger in the water, it should feel like nothing. This is called blood temperature. 98.6°F or 37°C)
- 10 g (2 tsp) instant yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 4 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2-3 jalapeños thinly sliced (you can also chop some of the peppers finely which is what I did) The amount of jalapeños you add depends entirely on how spicy you like your food.
- 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water, sugar and yeast. Allow to stand for 5 minutes until foamy.
- Add the flour and salt then knead with the dough hook for 5 minutes.
- The dough will be slightly sticky but shouldn't be wet. If it is, add 1-2 tbsp flour and knead in.
- Knead in the jalapeños and cheese.
- Bring the dough together into a ball with your hands. Dust over 1-2 tbsp flour (you want it to be well covered).
- Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise for 1 hour until doubled in size. Leaving the dough in a warm spot will aid the rising.
- When the dough has proved, turn it out onto a floured surface. Fold the edges into the center of the dough, pinching the seams together then place into a floured bowl, seam side up. Dust over more flour.
- Cover with the tea towel and allow to rise for another 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Place a pot (dutch oven) with a lid into the oven to preheat.
- Carefully remove the pot from the oven and remove the lid. Transfer the dough to the pot and cover with the lid.
- Place in the oven and allow to bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the lid and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the bread is golden brown.
- Remove the bread from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 20-30 minutes (or until it has cooled to room temperature) before slicing and serving.