This pull apart bread channels all the great flavours of jalapeño poppers, in bread form! With a soft, buttery bread, stuffed with cream cheese, cheddar and roasted jalapeños.
I’ve played with jalapeño popper bread before, but this time I decided to incorporate a whole jalapeño into the mix (well a half jalapeno, more accurately). I pre-roasted the jalapenos, since experience has shown me that raw jalapeño just doesn’t cook up at all in bread. It also doesn’t bend well and I needed my jalapeños to bend, as you will see in the shaping instructions.
Beyond the basic requirements for jalapeño poppers – cream cheese, cheddar cheese and jalapeños – this loaf features a delicious, soft, buttery bread and a light dusting of panko in the pan and on top.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Yeast – you can use Active Dry yeast or Instant yeast for this bread. I have included instructions for both types.
Potato flour or mashed potato flakes – although optional, this addition makes for a fabulously soft and flavourful bread.
Jalapeños – you will need 5 fresh jalapeños and ideally, they will all be of a similar size.
- I left the jalapeño stem on for fun. You don’t need to leave them on if you’d rather not. Obviously, you won’t be eating that part.
- I baked my bread as one long loaf, using a 4 1/2 x 12-inch loaf pan. A 4×14 inch loaf pan would work as well. If you don’t have that sized loaf pan, you can bake this bread as two 8×4-inch loaves, using 5 stuffed dough pieces in each pan.
- If you happen to have metal English Muffin rings around, they are perfect for cutting the dough circles. If not, use a cookie cutter, jar lid or even a glass with a diameter close to 3 3/4-inches.
- Not a bread baker but want to make this bread? No worries. Simply use a thawed piece of store-bought bread dough (or roll dough) and pick up making it at the rolling/shaping stage in the recipe. If you go this route, just aim for creating ten 4-inch-ish circles of dough that are about 1/4-inch thick and proceed to fill and bake per the recipe.
If making the bread dough from scratch, note that it is a super slow riser! It never really doubles. It just gets puffier. Count on 90 minutes to 2 hours for each of the two rises and don’t stress if it doesn’t seem to be expanding very quickly.
Making Ahead, Storing and Freezing
This bread is best enjoyed on the day it is baked, but will keep well wrapped for a couple of days. For longer storage, wrap well and freeze up to 2 months.
Get the Recipe: Jalapeño Popper Pull Apart Bread
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3 Tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt, reduce to 1 1/2 teaspoons if using salted butter
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast or active dry yeast
- 4 - 4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, spooned and levelled
- Optional: 2 Tbsp potato flour or 1/3 cup instant potato flakes, for super soft bread
Jalapeno Popper Filling:
- 8 oz block cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 cups well-packed shredded cheddar cheese, DIVIDED
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 5 whole jalapeño peppers
- Panko bread crumbs, for pan and topping
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400F (regular bake setting/not fan assisted).
- For the bread dough: Combine the milk, butter, sugar, and salt in a glass bowl or measuring cup. Heat in the microwave for 1 - 1 1/2 minutes or in a saucepan until the butter melts. Let the mixture cool to lukewarm.
- Place the milk mixture to a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the kneading hook. Add the eggs, yeast, 4 cups of the flour and the potato flour/flakes, if using. Mix to form a shaggy dough. Knead the dough (by hand, with a stand mixer or alternately in your bread machine set on the dough cycle) until it's smooth, adding a bit more flour if needed.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for about 90 minutes - to 2 hours, until it's puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk. *Note that this dough is very slow rising. It won't seem very vigorous and will not really double as usual.
- While the dough is rising:
- Prepare the jalapeno popper filling: Combine the cream cheese and 1 1/2 cups of the grated cheddar cheese in a medium bowl. Stir to combine. Season with a pinch of salt and some freshly ground pepper. Set aside.
- Prepare the jalapenos: Prepare jalapeno peppers by cutting in half lengthwise, making sure to cut to one side of the stem, so that the stem is intact on one half and there is no stem on the other half. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and pulp. Place jalapeno halves cut side down on a baking sheet. Roast in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool on baking sheet.
- Grease a 4x12-inch loaf pan or two 8x4-inch loaf pans. Sprinkle a bit of panko in the pans and swirl around to coat the bottom and sides.
- Rolling and Shaping: After the dough has risen, remove it to a lightly floured work surface and gently deflate the dough. Roll the dough into an 11 x 16-inch oval, about 1/4" thick. Cut 3 3/4-inch circles with a cutter, jar lid, glass or English muffin ring. You should have 10 circles. You can discard the remaining dough.
- Scatter 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese over our dough circles. Take a cooled, roasted jalapeno and place it on top of the dough circle, with the pointed bottom of the jalapeno at the 6 o-clock position and the top hanging over the top at the 12 o-clock position. Take a couple tablespoon scoop of your cream cheese filling and place in the top half of the circle. Fold the bottom half of the circle over the top half, pinching it together at the top on either side of the protruding jalapeno top. Place in your prepared loaf pan(s). Repeat with the remaining dough pieces.
- *Note: If using two 8x4 pans, place 5 dough packets in each pan. I alternated my dough pieces between one with stem and one without.
- When your pan(s) are filled, sprinkle remaining 1/4 of shredded cheddar overtop and sprinkle with a bit of panko and some freshly ground black pepper. Cover the pan(s) with greased plastic wrap and let the dough rise for about 90 minutes, until it's puffy and starting to fill the pan.
- Near the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350F.
- Uncover the loaves, and bake them for 25 to 30 minutes for 8x4 loaves or 35-40 minutes for 4x12 loaf, or until deep golden. If your bread seems to be browning too quickly, you can loosely cover with a sheet of aluminum foil.
- Remove the bread from the oven and allow to sit in pan about 5 minutes. Run knife around edges, then remove bread to a cooling rack. This bread is great warm from the oven or you can re-heat gently by wrapping completely in foil and popping into a 350F oven for 8-10 minutes.
Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled by trial and error and almost 40 years of getting dinner on the table! I love to share my favourite recipes, both old and new, together with lots of tips and tricks to hopefully help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and of course, delicious!