Jalapeno Cheddar Dutch Oven Bread
Jalapeno Cheddar Dutch Oven Bread is perfectly crusty on the outside, with a soft fluffy inside, and is made using simple ingredients. Deliciously savory with a bit of spice, it’s perfect with a pat of butter, or for grilled cheese! Plus, this dough doesn’t have to sit overnight, so you don’t have to plan ahead to have great bread.
This Jalapeno Cheddar Dutch Oven Bread is one of those recipes that is so fun to make. We also love easy bread recipes like my original No Knead Bread and Honey Beer Bread. This is one of my Bread Recipes I know you’ll want to keep on hand!
DUTCH OVEN BREAD RECIPE
Are you a fan of those breads from the bakery, you know, the one’s with that deliciously crunchy crust and soft, fluffy inside?
Yep, this bread tastes just like that. Except with plenty of sharp cheddar cheese and jalapenos!
All the nooks and crannies are just BEGGING for some creamy salted butter. Although my favorite thing to make with this bread… is grilled cheese! Seriously, it’s amazing.
I have another suuuuuuper easy no-knead bread on my website, but it requires a really long rise/rest time… so you have to make it the night before you want to bake the bread.
It tastes amazing, but I wanted to tweak that recipe to see if I could make a no-knead dutch oven bread that DIDN’T require a rise overnight.
Like most breads, it does have to rise two different times, however, it’s virtually hands-off, since you just fold the dough with a rubber spatula in between the rises… you don’t even have to get your hands dirty!
Let’s break it down… it may sound complicated, but I promise you it’s not, and I took step by step photos to show you.
HOW TO MAKE DUTCH OVEN BREAD
These steps correlate to the picture collage above!
- Add flour, salt, cheese and jalapenos to medium mixing bowl. Bread flour gives the best texture and rise for this bread, and I find shredding my own cheese helps it melt better.
- Add warm water and yeast to large mixing bowl – then add flour mixture. The water should be warm to the touch, but not hot. Like a baby’s bath water.
- Stir together and fold dough in on itself. Fold the dough from the outside of the bowl towards the center, turning the bowl a little each time, until you’ve folded the dough in on itself 8-10 times.
- Cover and let rise 1 hour. Picture 4 is what the dough will look like after this first rise.
- Fold dough in on itself again. Same method as before, although you’ll notice the dough looks and feels a bit more elastic, like in picture 5.
- Cover and let rise again for 1 hour. Picture 6 is what the dough will look like after this second rise. A little looser and more wobbly than the first time.
- Halfway through this rise time, preheat oven to 450°F with your dutch oven inside it. Let it preheat the full 30 minutes.
- Turn out dough and shape into a rough ball. Lightly flour your surface and your hands, then flip dough over and fold the corners of the dough in towards the center, about 6-8 times, until a rough ball is formed. Flip the dough over onto the piece of parchment paper.
- Use a sharp knife to score the dough, spray with cooking spray (so the toppings stick), then add more shredded cheese and sliced jalapenos.
- Use parchment to transfer dough to dutch oven.
- Bake dough with the lid on for 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake 20 minutes. This creates a steamy environment for the bread to bake and rise, then when the lid is off, it let the bread brown and crisp nicely. Picture 8 is right when I removed the lid, after it had been baked 30 minutes.
- Remove bread from pot and parchment paper and let cool for 1-2 hours.
ADDITIONAL COOKING TIPS
- FLOUR – All purpose flour may be used instead of bread flour, but may result in a denser loaf.
- PEPPERS – Canned or jarred jalapenos may be used instead of fresh.
- YEAST – Active dry yeast may be used instead of instant, but when you add the yeast to the warm water, you want to stir to dissolve it and let it sit a few minutes before adding the flour mixture.
- POTS – Other sizes of dutch ovens can be used, although I wouldn’t go any smaller than 3.5 quarts, as this bread will be right up to the top of the dutch oven. Keep in mind, the wider the dutch oven, the wider and flatter your loaf of bread will be. It will spread out to be the size of the bottom of the pot.
VARIATIONS OF THIS RECIPE
- MILDER – for a jalapeno flavor, but very mild spice level, try using pickled jalapenos. The jar I buy from the store says “tamed” jalapenos.
- SPICIER – feel free to add additional jalapenos to this bread, or even mix in some serrano peppers.
- CHEESES – I opted for a classic sharp cheddar, but you can use any shreddable cheese you like. Colby, PepperJack, mild cheddar, etc.
- GARLIC – sometimes I like to add a teaspoon of garlic powder to this bread to give it a different flavor profile.
MAKING DUTCH OVEN BREAD AHEAD OF TIME
Freshly baked breads, like this one, taste best when they are fresh. While your bread will still taste good 1-2 days after it’s baked, it will always best the day of.
Bread should be kept at room temperature. Refrigerating bread actually causes it to go stale quicker (at least with homemade breads), so keep it out of there for best results.
I like to store my baked bread that hasn’t been sliced, just out on the counter.
Once it’s been cut, I like to add the bread, cut side down, to a paper bag.
Baked bread freezes very well! You can either freeze the entire loaf, or pre-slice the loaf and freeze it that way.
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT FOR THIS RECIPE
- Dutch Oven – this is the dutch oven I used, and LOVE, but it’s certainly pricey. I’ll link a more affordable one below. Bottom line is, this 3.5 quart size is the PERFECT size for a nice round loaf of bread.
- Affordable Dutch Oven – at more than 1/4th the price of the dutch oven linked above, this one is still a great quality pot, and it’s a 3.5 quart size.
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Jalapeno Cheddar Dutch Oven Bread
TO A MEDIUM MIXING BOWL
- 3 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided
- 1 large jalapeno diced
TO A LARGE MIXING BOWL
- 2 cups warm water
- 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast (1 standard .25oz packet)
SET ASIDE FOR TOPPING
- 1/3 - 1/2 cup shredded cheddar
- 10 round slices jalapeno (or more, to taste)
- To a medium mixing bowl, add bread flour, salt, 2 cups cheddar cheese, and diced jalapenos. Stir and set aside.
- To a large mixing bowl (pretty large - your bread will be rising in this bowl), add the warm water and yeast. Water should be warm, but not hot (like a baby's bath water). Add flour mixture to the yeast and water, using a rubber spatula to stir it all together until no flour streaks remain.
- Use spatula to fold the dough from the outside of the bowl towards the center, turning the bowl a little each time, until you've folded the dough in on itself 8-10 times.
- Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour, use the rubber spatula to fold the dough in on itself again, 8-10 times. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 more hour.
- Halfway through this second rise, add your dutch oven, with the lid on, to your oven and preheat it to 450°F. Let it preheat for a full 30 minutes. Set out a piece of parchment paper large enough to go inside your dutch oven with a bit of overhang.
- Lightly dust a counter or cutting board with flour, and flour your hands as well. Turn out the dough onto the floured surface. Flip the dough over and brush off any excess flour.
- Fold the corners of the dough in towards the center, about 6-8 times, until a rough ball is formed. Flip the dough over onto the piece of parchment paper.
- Use a sharp knife to carefully score the dough (I like to make an "X"). Give the dough a quick spray with some cooking spray (or brush with oil), then sprinkle with set aside 1/3-1/2 cup of cheese and add sliced jalapenos.
- Use oven mitts to remove hot dutch oven from your oven and remove lid. Carefully use the parchment paper to transfer the dough to the dutch oven. Put the lid on, and return to the oven.
- Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on, then remove lid and continue baking another 20 minutes.
- After you've removed the dutch oven from the oven, tilt it slightly and use the parchment to sort of slide the bread and parchment out of the pot. It will come out easily.
- Remove parchment paper and let bread cool on a wire rack for 1-2 hours before slicing. Texture is best when bread is completely cooled before slicing.
- All purpose flour may be used instead of bread flour, but may result in a denser loaf.
- Canned or jarred jalapenos may be used instead of fresh.
- Active dry yeast may be used instead of instant, but when you add the yeast to the warm water, you want to stir to dissolve it and let it sit a few minutes before adding the flour mixture.
- Other sizes of dutch ovens can be used, although I wouldn't go any smaller than 3.5 quarts, as this bread will be right up to the top of the dutch oven. Keep in mind, the wider the dutch oven, the wider and flatter your loaf of bread will be. It will spread out to be the size of the bottom of the pot.
- For a nice warm spot, run the microwave for about 30 seconds, then turn it off and add the bowl to the microwave. Preheating the oven for about 2 minutes then turning it off will work as well.
NO DUTCH OVEN?
- Boil about 1 1/2 cups of water.
- Add to a metal or ceramic pan (I like to use my 8x8 baking pan) on the bottom rack in the oven.
- Add parchment paper with shaped and topped dough to a baking sheet, and add to the middle oven rack.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes, checking for doneness.