Jalapeño and cheese is always a delicious flavour combination. Here it is woven into a light and delicious yeast bread, with lots of cheddar cheese cheese and pickled jalapeños all twisted together into a pretty loaf.
Why you’ll love this Jalapeño Cheese Bread
- Jalapeño and cheese is such a great flavour combination!
- Using pickled jalapeños brings great jalapeño flavour.
- This light bread is perfect for eating out of hand, toasted or for sandwiches.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Flour – You can use either bread or all purpose flour for this bread. Bread flour would be the preferred option. If you don’t have bread flour, go ahead and use all purpose flour. Keep in mind that you may need to use a bit more all purpose flour for the dough.
Yeast – My preferred yeast is always regular Instant yeast (such as SAF Brand Instant Yeast). This is not quick-rise or rapid-rise yeast, which is not recommended for this classic two-rise bread. If you don’t have regular Instant yeast, Active Dry yeast will work here, as well.
Jalapeños – Canned or jarred pickled jalapeños are used here, as they are both the easiest and they bring the best jalapeño flavour, in my opinion. Look for them in with the Mexican foods at the grocery store. If you want to use fresh jalapeños, I would suggest roasting them a bit first, to both soften and mellow the raw jalapeño flavour.
Cheese – Cheddar cheese is the natural here. An older cheddar will bring the best cheese flavour. You can adjust the amount of cheese in the bread, to taste, but I wouldn’t suggest getting too carried away, as cheese releases a lot of oil as it bakes and can make for a greasy bread if you use too much.
How to shape this bread
- Roll dough into a rectangle.
- Scatter shredded cheese and jalapeños over-top.
- Roll up jelly-roll style, starting from a long side.
- Pinch together the seam.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the log in half, lengthwise.
- Twist the two pieces together.
- Form into a “U” shape.
- Twist the two sides together once or twice. Pinch the ends together. Transfer to a loaf pan, let rise again and then bake!
- When it comes to baking yeast breads, don’t get too hung up on the precise flour amount or the precise rising time. Both of these will vary from kitchen to kitchen. You may need a bit more or less flour. Your rising time might be shorter or longer. Trust what you see in the bowl and the pan!
- Weighing the flour with a scale is highly recommended, for best accuracy. If you don’t have a scale, be sure you are measuring the flour using the spoon and level method.
- This bread freezes beautifully, so if you can’t eat it up in the first day or so, freeze it to enjoy later.
Get the Recipe: Jalapeño Cheese Bread
- 1/2 cup water, lukewarm, about 95F (113g)
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons milk or buttermilk, lukewarm, about 95F (127.5g)
- 2 1/4 teaspoons Instant or Active Dry yeast, such as SAF Brand (not rapid or quick-rising instant yeast). (7g)
- 3 1/4 cups unbleached bread flour, measured with the spoon and level method. You can use all purpose, flour *see Note 1 below (397g)
- 1 teaspoon fine salt, use a bit more if using coarse Kosher salt (7g)
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons white sugar, (32g)
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter , melted, or the same amount of vegetable/canola oil (28g)
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded and well packed (255g)
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup pickled jalapeño peppers, drained, dried and roughly chopped (75ml)
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water and buttermilk and whisk in the yeast until dissolved. Let stand 5 minutes. (*If measuring the flour in cups, add only 3 cups of the flour, to start). Add the flour, salt and sugar, along with the melted butter. Mix by hand or with a dough hook until the mixture is combined, about 2 minutes. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
- Continue mixing the dough, adding more flour in very small increments, as needed, until the dough becomes soft, smooth and tacky, but not sticky. The dough should wrap around a dough hook and clean the bowl.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes, adding more flour only if the dough is sticking to your hands or the work surface, then form dough into a ball. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and either refrigerate for up to 4 days, or allow to sit at room temperature until doubled in size (about 60-90 minutes). (*Tip: I like to use an 8-cup glass measuring cup, so it’s easy to see when it’s doubled by the markings).
- Note: If you have refrigerated your dough, remove from the refrigerator 2 hours before you plan to bake, to allow it to come to room temperature.
- Grease an 8-inch by 4-inch loaf pan and set aside.
- Using a rolling pin, roll into a rectangle approximately 10 inches wide and 16 inches long.
- **If you are unclear about the shaping process for this bread, scroll up above this Recipe Card to see photos of the shaping process**
- Scatter the shredded cheddar over the dough evenly and then scatter the jalapeño on top. Starting with a long side, roll the dough up jelly-roll style and pinch the seam together.
- Shaping: Using a sharp knife, cut the roll of dough down the centre, lengthwise. Rotate each piece so that the cut sides are facing upward and place them side-by-side. Pinch together the farthest end. Keeping the cuts sides facing upwards as much as possible, place the right-side piece over the left-side piece and twist the two pieces together. Pinch together the ends closest to you once twisted. Form the twisted dough into a "U" shape and twist the two sides together once or twice, pinching the loose ends together. If any cheese escapes, just place it back on top.
- Using a bench scraper or spatula, carefully lift the dough into the greased loaf pan. Cover pan with a greased piece of plastic wrap and allow to rise until the dough rises to about 1-inch above the side of the pans in the middle, about 30-45 minutes
- Preheat oven to 350° F. (regular bake/not fan assisted). Bake for about 45 minutes total, but after 25 minutes of baking, rotate pan front-to-back in the oven and loosely cover with a piece of aluminum foil if necessary (if bread is already well-browned), to prevent the top from over-browning. Bread should reach at least 190° internal temperature in the centre.
- Remove the bread from the oven and allow to cool in the pans for a couple of minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the bread and carefully remove the loaves to a cooling rack. Allow the loaf to cool for 1 hour before slicing. *Slicing hot or very warm bread will make for a gummy crumb, so resist the urge and let it cool :)
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!