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A stack of slices of crusty bread
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5 from 7 votes

Jalapeño Cheese Bread

This jalapeño cheese bread is deliciously savoury and loaded with the strong flavours of cheddar cheese and piquant chillis. The beer in this cheesy jalapeño bread recipe adds greater depth and flavour to the loaf.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Worldwide
Servings: 6
Calories: 444kcal


  • 500 g/ 4 cups Strong White Bread Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 tsp Fast action dried yeast
  • 30 g/ 1 oz Butter
  • 160 ml/ ⅔ cup Lager or Pale Ale
  • 160 ml/ ⅔ cup Water
  • 125 g/ 4 ½ oz Cheddar (sharp) cheese - finely grated
  • 2-3 Jalapeño chillis (mine were approx 2.5 inches long) Add more/ less to personal preferences


  • Cut the chillis open, remove the seeds and dice finely. Fry in a little oil until soft, then set aside to cool
  • Put the flour, salt, yeast and butter into a large mixing bowl. Mix the water and lager/ ale in a jug, then pour ¾ of it into the mixing bowl
  • Stir with your hands to form a dough, adding more of the liquid as required – the dough should be soft and not flaky, but it should also not be too wet or sticky
  • Knead for around 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. This can be done in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook or by hand
  • Clean the mixing bowl and lightly oil it. Then put the dough into it and cover with a clean tea towel. Leave to rise until doubled in size (approx 1-2 hours depending on how warm your kitchen is)
  • Knock back the dough in the bowl using your fist. Grate the cheese and scatter into the bowl along with the fried chilli pieces. Mix briefly (again with the dough hook attachment) until the ingredients are evenly distributed
    (if not using a stand mixer flatten the dough out to a rough rectangle, scatter the grated cheese and chilli pieces over it, fold it up and knead for a few minutes to distribute the additions throughout the dough)
  • On a lightly floured worktop, shape the dough into a round or an oval. Lay it onto a floured baking sheet and put it inside a large plastic bag to prove for another hour or so until nearly doubled in size. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 220C/ 425F/ GM7 and put a roasting tin into the bottom shelf
  • When ready to bake slash the top of the loaf with a very sharp knife (or a razor blade) and sprinkle with a little flour. Put the loaf into the oven and at the same time fill the baking tin with water. Cook for 20 minutes then turn the heat down to 200C/ 400F/ GM6 and bake for another 5-7 minutes until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped underneath
  • Leave the loaf in the oven, but turn off the heat and let the bread cool down in the oven with the door ajar


  • Rising and proving times are approximate. Exact times will depend on how warm your room is. My timings assume ambient air temperature of around 20C/ 68F. If your dough hasn’t doubled in size after the allocated time, leave it a while longer
  • On very warm days your dough will likely take less time to rise – keep an eye on it and don’t let it over-prove
  • On cold days airing cupboards can provide a good atmosphere for proving dough
  • You can leave the beer out - just substitute tepid water in place of it and proceed with the recipe. The flavour of the loaf will not be quite so full, but a decent loaf should nonetheless result
  • Catering to the tastes of my family, a mid-level of chilli heat is sufficient. You can ramp up the fieriness by adding extra chilli or tone it down by using a milder chilli altogether
  • And of course, you can chop the chilli chunky if you are looking for a blast of intense heat every few bites or chop it finely for a more uniform scattering of heat throughout the loaf
  • Remember to wash your hands thoroughly after handling the chilli to avoid that burning sensation if you accidentally touch your eyes later on. I’ve heard that rubbing hands in a little oil prior to washing them is particularly beneficial as it helps breaks down the chilli oils that cling to skin.
Do I need a Dutch oven?
I make this loaf without a Dutch oven. Instead, I shape it and place it on a baking tray for the final rise and then transfer the tray to the oven to bake.
If you aren't keen on the free-form method you could always shape the dough to fit into a large loaf pan for the final rise and bake it in that. Don't forget to line the tin with baking parchment to ensure your loaf comes out easily.
Storage and Freezing Instructions
It's fine to store this bread at room temperature. In fact, storing bread in the fridge can adversely affect the texture, so definitely don't do that. Ideally, wrap the bread in a paper bag (once cold) and store in a cool dark place, like a pantry or a cupboard.
This bread freezes very well. You can freeze it whole, chop it in half or even slice it before dropping it into your freezer. Always freeze the bread as soon as possible (once completely cool) and double wrap it to ensure no air can get to the loaf in the freezer. The fresher the bread that goes into the freezer, the fresher the bread that comes out.
To defrost, remove from the freezer, knock off any ice that may have attached itself to the loaf, re-cover and let the bread sit at room temperature until soft 


Calories: 444kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 559mg | Potassium: 193mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 480IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 167mg | Iron: 1mg