This cheesy, jalapeño studded sourdough bread is flavorful, soft, and absolutely delicious. You’ll use active sourdough starter to make it, along with cheddar cheese and pickled jalapeños. The chunks of cheese melt into gorgeous pockets, and the crust turns golden brown.
When it’s right, it’s SO right.
As if homemade sourdough bread wasn’t delicious enough, I added cheese and pickled jalapenos, and I’m never turning back.
This bread has a soft and chewy crumb, with molten nuggets of melted cheese scattered throughout, a perfect match to the spicy jalapeños! I’m absolutely crazy about this combination, and I think you will be too.
I’ve been working on this sourdough cheese bread for a few months, using my Everyday Sourdough recipe as a starting point. I discovered a few things along the way…..
Tips for Making the Best Jalapeno Cheddar Sourdough Bread:
Use a creamy variety of cheese that melts well, like gouda or cheddar.
Cut your cheese into cubes, rather than shredding it. I found that shredded cheese gets lost in the bread. With cubes, you’ll discover the robust flavor of the cheese hidden in pockets of each slice!
Use pickled jalapenos rather than fresh. Pickling helps to enhance the jalapeno flavor, compared to using fresh. I get mine from Trader Joe’s.
Bread flour gives each piece a chewy, soft bite that I just LOVE and gives it structure to hold up to the mix-in’s, so do not substitute with all-purpose flour.
When to Mix Jalapenos and Cheddar into Dough:
After the 3rd set of stretch and folds, you’ll remove the dough from your bowl and gently stretch into a rectangle. You’ll then distribute the cheese and jalapeños over the dough, leaving a little bit of a border.
Patting the ingredients down lightly helps them adhere to the dough. Then you’ll lightly stretch out one side of the dough, and bring back over into the middle of the dough, then the other side, then top and bottom so you’ll have a ball of dough. This step doesn’t need to be perfect. You just want to make the ingredients are mostly inside the dough.
Bakers Schedule for Jalapeno Cheddar Sourdough
I typically do the final rise overnight in the refrigerator to make things easy. So if you’d like to do that too, here’s a rough timeline to follow:
Feeding sourdough starter around 9 or 10am
Mixing your dough around 2 or 3pm
Doing stretch and folds throughout late afternoon
Finishing the bulk fermentation around 9pm and shaping the dough (this depending of course on how fast your dough is rising, while taking into consideration the temperature in your home)
Putting dough into banneton after shaping and letting go through final rise overnight in the refrigerator
In the morning of the next day, bake the bread, anywhere from 7am to 11am
Digital Scale: A scale is essential for making sourdough bread because all recipes are written in grams. It’s more accurate, less messy, and totally worth the cost.
Dough Scraper: Enables you to move the dough from the bowl to the bench, or help shape.
Challenger Bread Pan: I’m newly in love with this pan, which has a unique shape that allows you to bake any shape of bread in it! Bâtards, boules, demi-baguettes, and other loaves of almost any size. Because of how it’s made, the perfect amount of steam is created inside the pan. I’ve never had better oven spring or thinner crusts. This pan is magical. If you love baking sourdough, it is 100% worth having in your kitchen.
Banneton: For this loaf, I like using an oval shaped banneton, where the bread will embark on its final rise and take shape.
Ways to Eat This Bread:
Wait until you see, and smell the cheese bubbling on the top and sides of the sourdough while it bakes. I guarantee it will be your newest sidekick for soups, stews, and every pot of beans you make.
This sourdough cheese bread makes the most incredible sandwiches, and avocado toast, too!
In a large bowl, mix starter and water with a fork, until starter is dispersed. Add flours, mixing with a spatula first. Then with your hand until a shaggy dough is formed, just enough so that flour is not visible.
Sprinkle salt on top of dough. Cover bowl with a damp cloth and let sit for 40 minutes to an hour.
Now work the salt into the dough, as you perform your 1st set of stretch and folds. Then let rest for a half hour. Perform 2 more sets of stretch and folds, waiting the 30 minutes in between for each, for a total of 3 stretch and fold sequences. After the 3rd set, wait the regular 30 minutes.
When those 30 minutes have passed, you will now add the mix-ins. To do this, use a dough scraper to gently remove your dough from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Use your hands to gently stretch the dough out into a rectangle about 12 inches X 14 inches. Distribute the cubes of cheese and jalapeños over the inside of the dough, leaving about a 2 inch border. Gently pat the ingredients with your hands so that they stick to the dough.
Using lightly floured hands, gently pull the sides of the dough and into the middle to enclose the fillings. Then gently roll the dough onto itself and use your hands to give it a little tension to get it into a ball. This step doesn’t have to be perfect, it isn’t the final shaping.
Let the dough bulk ferment on your counter, covered with a damp cloth for about 5-6 hours if your house is around 72 degrees. It will take more time if it is cooler, or less time if it warmer.
When your dough is a little short of doubling in size, has a glossy top and has a few bubbles peaking through the top, it is ready for shaping.
Gently move the dough out of the bowl onto a floured work surface. Let the dough rest there for 10-15 minutes. Then, shape the dough. Once shaped, use a bench scraper to put the dough into a flour dusted, linen lined banneton (proofing basket), seam side of the dough facing up.
Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise for a final time, on the counter. This will take about 1 1/2 hours, if your house is around 70 degrees. OR you can slide the banneton into a plastic bag and refrigerate overnight for the final rise. The dough can be in the refrigerator for up to 10 hours at this stage. (If you do the final rise in the fridge, score and bake straight from the fridge. This makes it easier to score and hold its shape.)
Once your dough has gone through its final rise and has risen slightly and is puffy on top, you’re ready to bake. You can test to see if your dough is ready by doing gently pressing a floured thumb into the dough. If it indents and gradually releases, but still holds a finger shape, you're ready. If it indents and the dough springs right back to the surface, it still needs time to rise. Let it ferment in half hour more increments, until ready.
Preheat oven with dutch oven inside of it, to 450 degrees F. Wait until oven is preheated, then place parchment over the top of your dough and flip over, so that the seam side is now on the parchment paper and you are able to score the top of the dough. Score the dough with a bread lame, making sure to go at least 1/2 inch deep in a few spots so that dough can release gases. Otherwise your bread will not rise.
Place dough on parchment paper into dutch oven, and put cover on it. Bake for 25 minutes, covered at 450 degrees F. Then remove cover, turn oven down to 435 degrees F and bake for 20 more minutes, until bread is golden brown and crackly.
Remove from oven and place load on a cooling rack. Let cool for AT LEAST ONE HOUR before slicing. Otherwise the crumb will be squished and the texture will be gummy.
This sourdough was absolutely perfect. I used a white English cheddar and modified the bake time slightly to accommodate our oven. Amanda’s recipes are so easy to follow.
your photo of your bake on instagram was beautiful!
I made this bread yesterday. I had some cheese to use up. Everything went well, only I had to do a few more rests and folds than the recipe stated. I’m glad I finally have developed a keen eye for when the dough is ready to final shaping, and then to be put in the fridge. This has always been the most challenging part of a sourdough recipe for me. I’m finally trusting my instincts! Thanks for a lovely bread recipe!
Hi Amanda! I’ve been learning the art of sourdough since December and I find your recipes easy and straightforward,,,oh and this is my favorite loaf to date! I have used this dough and incorporated Roasted garlic, Parmesan cubes and rosemary and it’s great too! Since I typically bake 3 loaves at once what I started doing is laminating the jalapeños and cheddar right before shaping and second fridge ferment and it still turns out great! Since your recipe is a great base, I’ll sometimes add other flavors to the other loaves. Anyway, I use your whole wheat recipe as a base for flavor mix ins as well. Thanks for these super recipes!!
Roasted garlic is my next thing to try! I’m so glad using this as a base recipe has worked well for you.
With the addition of cheese (something usually stored in the refrigerator ), how long is this bread safe at room temperature – four hours or four days?
Hello! It can be kept on the counter for about 3 days (if it lasts that long before being eaten). With remaining bread, you can slice and freeze. Do not refrigerate bread, it will accelerate staling.
I’m so happy to have found this recipe! I’ve tried multiple and this is my new go-to favorite. I made it with the cheese the first time (husband requested no peppers), then used it without the cheese as well. I’ve made 6 loaves over this last week and they all turn out beautifully. Thank you!
So glad to hear that, Pam! And 6 loaves over the week, nice!
Great recipe. My loaf was amazing, even though my gas oven won’t get up to a good temperature and hold it.
So glad you had a great bake!
I followed the instructions and it came out perfect. I’ve tried other recipes, but this was the best. I’m going to try the sundried tomatoes and Gouda recipe.
I’m glad you liked the recipe! And yes, the sundried tomato sourdough is also so delicious!
Followed the recipe, using stone ground bread flour (white and a specialty bread blend)… turned out amazing! Ate it with a sauce of roasted veggies.
sounds amazing with roasted veggies!
The best loaf yet. Wow!!!!!!
yay, glad to hear that!
Great recipe instructions! Followed her Amanda’s clear instructions And it turned out so pretty and more importantly tastes so yummy! ! Pics of my version of her jalapeño sourdough on ig: @bunnee.bakes 💕
so glad you enjoyed it!!
Sounds fantastic. How do you store it? Is it okay on the counter? For home long?
Yep, okay to store on the counter! I keep it covered with a linen, cut side down, on the counter for the first day. Then I transfer it to a sealed plastic bag after that. Will last about 4 days.
Since there are only two of us in the house, we can never finish a loaf before it stales. Does this adapt to rolls?
Hi! I haven’t tested this in rolls. You can always cut the loaf in half after its finished cooling, and freeze that wrapped in foil then stored in plastic bag in freezer.
I live alone, my answer to this problem is to slice the bread and individually freeze them, when frozen store in an airtight bag in the freezer and use as required; no wastage.
Incidentally have an alternative to the Challenger Baking pan; Brunswick Bakers Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Bread Baking Pan, Size 39 x 26 cm Black. I have been using it for over a month, it has taken my baking to another level. Here in Australia.
Second time to make this recipe bc first was so yummy. First loaf I used shredded cheddar cheese, because it’s what I had, with jalapeños and it was a hit. This round I added chopped pepperoni, cubed mozzarella, a few chopped pepperoncini and pesto. Delish! Thanks for a tried and true recipe that adapts well.
so glad you enjoyed the recipe. and the chopped pepperoni is a great idea! i’m going to try it too.
This is wonderful! Worked great with cheddar. Will make again and again!
So glad you liked this sourdough recipe! I especially love making a sandwich out of it with grilled veggies.
Subbed black olives instead of jalapeños and cheese. It was so yummy. Thank you for all your sourdough sage, much appreciated.
Hey Amanda, I have used your recipe to make two batches of sourdough each month for the past year. I’m running into trouble now that it’s cold here. The crumb is doughy, and there is no ear. Should I proof the dough before baking it, or is there a way to give my starter a boost to make it more robust? Thanks for your great recipe!
You can make the starter more robust by making it a little thicker, closer to the bread dough consistency, but still thinner. Also use warmer water, like 100-110 F.Proof it in the warmest spot in your house. You can also proof it overnight in the refrigerator, wrapped in a plastic bag to retain the moisture. IF IT STILL IS NOT PROOFED TO THE FINGER POKE TEST: turn on your oven to a low setting (mine only goes down to 170F), then turn it OFF. put the proofing basket in the oven with only a wax paper cover. usually after a half hour-hour it will be ready.
This turned out so good. The only charge I made was to use Tillamook Cheddar. Thanks so much for the easy detailed instructions!
I love Tillamook Cheddar! The loaf looked so amazing on your Instagram.
I just found this recips on Pinterest and cannot wait to make it today and let it rise in fridge overnight….looks absolutely wonderful! Can you tell me what the little red/brown chips are in your picture? I’d love to know since I plan on using this for Avocado Toast when it’s done! And….thank you for all your hard work developing all the recipes….very much appreciated!
Hi Patty! The avocado toast is sprinkled with red pepper flakes and flaky salt. Enjoy!
Tried it and turned out so nice, definately will make it again! My friends loved it!
Wonderful news, so glad you liked the bread!
Yummy bread! I used cheddar cheese since it’s all I had! Turned out wonderful!!
So glad you enjoyed it, Marilee!
Loved it, the bread didn’t last an hour in our house once cut! Excellent recipe 😊
So great to hear, Lorraine! It doesn’t last long in our house either. :)
So so delicious, have to restrain myself from eating half the loaf in one sitting. Can’t wait to make it again, also seems like it would be pretty easy to change out what you mix in :)
Absolutely wonderful, my new favorite sourdough loaf! Thank you so much for sharing!
so glad you liked this recipe!
This bread was AMAZING. My first time making sourdough with mix-ins and I’m glad I used this recipe. Shared the load with my dad who said “that is the best bread I’ve ever had”. Can’t get better than that! :)
Yay, so glad you and your dad enjoyed this loaf! Thank you for sharing your joy.
This bread is sooooooo good!! I highly recommend you make it because you are going love it. It’s a great sourdough recipe. I might have to get me a slice right now!!
Can this be made with the All-Purpose Flour Sourdougj Bread?
I’ve made Jalapeno Cheddar Sourdough several times now & am excited to try your recipe, because you KNOW how much I love your Sourdough Recipes!!