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Jalapeño Cheddar Sourdough Bread

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Follow my easy instructions to make the best Jalapeño Cheddar Sourdough Bread! Packed with cheddar cheese and spicy pickled jalapeños, this bread makes delicious toast, grilled cheese and paninis, and an accompaniment to soups and pasta!

I’m on the sourdough train and I can’t be stopped! Next, try my Sourdough Bagels, Overnight Sourdough Bread, and some Whole Wheat Sourdough Sandwich Bread!

Overhead shot of a loaf of jalapeño cheddar sourdough bread.

Jalapeno Cheese Bread

Oh baby, this is good bread. Like really REALLY good bread.

Every time I “wake up” my sourdough starter (aka take it out of the refrigerator), I make a double batch of this bread. When you have three men in your life who request it on the regular, it’s a must-make. Who can blame them? It’s my favorite too!

In fact, my youngest just said that his big bro gets more sourdough than him, so he recently started growing his own starter. To be fair, Josh lives 30 minutes away while Zach is three hours away. Uh-hum.

Why this recipe works

  • The TASTE! This bread is PACKED with cheddar cheese chunks and spicy jalapeño slices. When you’re a fan of both of those things, it works really well!
  • SIMPLE. Now I know that sourdough seems like a monster to people who don’t make it regularly. But if you do, this bread just involves adding in the cheese and jalapeños. You’re making a crusty loaf with the extra step of adding in the goodies. That’s it!
  • Doesn’t require a long second rise. Once you form the loaf, it doesn’t need to sit all day. The bread will puff up a bit, but it won’t need to double in size. Therefore, the second rise is quick.
  • Impressive. If you want to impress some guests, make THIS one. It goes well with just about anything – plain butter, cheese slices, pimento cheese spread, etc.
Overhead view of some sliced sourdough with cheddar and jalapeño slices.

Ingredients Used

Only four base ingredients plus two bonus ingredients (cheese and jalapeños!) are required for this delicious bread! I use three different types of flour, however, but they’re always stocked in my pantry.

  • Bubbly Starter – The starter is THE most important part of sourdough bread making. It takes a little time, but you will be rewarded over and over again. I will eventually be documenting how to make a starter, but in the meantime, there are many resources on the internet. 
  • Filtered Water – Use a filtered water, either out of your refrigerator filter system or use bottled water. The water should either be room temperature or slightly warmed before adding it to the sourdough process.
  • Flour – For this recipe, use a combo of unbleached all-purpose flour, unbleached bread flour and whole wheat flour. Organic is normally unbleached, btw.
  • Sea Salt – I recommend using fine sea salt.
  • Cheddar Cheese – I use a sharp cheddar cheese chunk, and slice it up into cubes. If you use shredded cheese, you won’t see those large chunks of cheese in the slices.
  • Jarred Jalapeños – I use jarred and pickled, spicy jalapeños. A little bit spicy, and SO good!

How to make Jalapeño Cheddar Sourdough Bread

Step 1
Carefully measure out the ingredients (in the order listed) and combine in a mixing bowl. Use a fork and stir.

Step 2
Then use your hands to bring the ingredients together. It will look shaggy. Cover with a damp towel and let it sit for 30 minutes. (Be sure to set a timer.) This is the AUTOLYSE.

Step 3
After 30 minutes, add the cheddar cheese and jalapeños. Then start the stretch and folds. Use your hand and lift the dough up on one side, stretching it upward, and then punch into the center of the dough. Turn the dough and repeat. Continue this process for about 30 seconds. This is the STRETCH AND FOLDS.

You’ll want to try to get most of the cheese and jalapeños in the center of the dough during this process. Form the dough into a smooth’ish ball, and place towel back in the bowl.

Step 4
Let the dough rise for 6-8 hours, or overnight. It should almost double in size and appear soft on top. Small air bubbles may appear as well. This is the BULK RISE. (During this bulk rise, I occasionally do additional stretch and folds during the first hour, but this is not required.)

Step 5
Add a light dusting of flour to a baking mat or clean surface. Remove the dough to the mat and gently form into your desired shape, usually round or oblong. Don’t punch the dough down because you don’t want to remove all the air. Let dough sit for five minutes.

Step 6
After five minutes, use your hands to pull the dough toward you, dragging it along the mat to tighten it up. Repeat in the other directions to tighten. (Make sure you don’t have too much flour on the surface when tightening the dough, so there is some needed friction necessary to tighten it.)

Step 7
Place the dough, seem side up, in a bowl lined with a towel or a prepared banneton basket (pictured below). Cover with a damp towel and let it sit for about 30 minutes to an hour. For this bread, it does not need to double again in size. This is the SECOND RISE.

For both the bowl or banneton basket, you’ll need to prepare them. For a bowl, add a thin tea towel dusted with rice flour (or regular flour will work in a pinch). For the basket, add some rice flour as well. The rice flour will help prevent sticking while regular flour may not do this as well.

Step 8
Prepare for baking. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Carefully remove the loaf to a piece of parchment paper, smooth side up. Then take a serrated edge knife or a bread lame (linked below), and score the bread a couple of times. Place the bread (including parchment paper) into a dutch oven.

Step 9
Bake. Add the lid to the pan and bake for 20 minutes. Then remove the lid and bake an additional 30 minutes, or until bread is nice and golden on top and bottom.

Remove pan and then use parchment paper as handles to lift the bread out of the pan. Place on a cooling rack. Let the bread COMPLETELY COOL before slicing.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is sourdough? Sourdough is a slow-fermented bread that doesn’t require store-bought yeast to make it rise. It’s a LIVE fermented culture which creates a natural leavening agent. A starter is required to make sourdough.
  • What is a starter? A starter is a live culture made over a series of days, consisting of flour and water. It can be kept alive for years with periodic feeding.
  • How do you make a starter? A starter can be created in less than a week with a simple combo of unbleached flour and filtered water. It’s a process of removing half of the starter and then “feeding” it every day, storing in a jar on your countertop, and getting it to a bubbly, sour point where it floats in water. More on this later.
  • Is sourdough bread healthy? Sourdough bread is NOT gluten-free, as it contains flour, but its long fermentation helps break down this gluten. It’s easier on the gut because it’s more digestible and easier for the body to absorb. It’s also DELISH!

How to prepare a banneton basket

A new banneton basket will need to be prepped for baking. Spray the basket with spritzes of water (or just us your hand to sprinkle water) and then give it a dusting of rice flour. Let the basket completely dry before using it. (You will want to do this at least an hour before you proof your first loaf of bread.)

Side view of jalapeño sourdough.

Expert Tips

  • Make sure your starter is ready. If you store your starter in the refrigerator between use, make sure it’s active and ready to go before baking with it. I often feed it 2-3 times before using it after resting (i.e. sleeping in the refrigerator).
  • Be flexible. If you’re bulk rise is taking longer than normal, or the starter isn’t as bubbly as you’d like it, be flexible. You can add time to either of these, and still make delicious bread. Many factors will come in to play as to when your sourdough is ready. In the summer months, the humidity and heat will make the process shorter. In the winter months, the process may be longer.
  • Measure carefully and then adjust as needed. Make sure you use a digital scale to measure your ingredients in grams. This is important. Even with measuring carefully, you MAY need to adjust slightly. When your hands are on the dough doing stretches and folds, you will come to feel if more water/more flour is needed to make the dough pliable and soft. This comes with practice. 
  • Practice. Like I said above, as you practice making this bread and enjoying the bounties, you’ll learn all the little nuances to the sourdough process. Practice makes perfect!
  • Let the bread cool. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to slice the bread immediately after coming out of the oven. If you do this, it will be doughy/gummy tasting. Let the bread completely cool before slicing!

This bread is 67% hydration. The higher the hydration, the more open crumb. However, higher hydration dough is harder to handle, but doable!

Side shot of some sliced jalapeño cheddar sourdough bread.

Kitchen Tools Used: (affiliate links)

xoxo ~Sue

A loaf of jalapeño cheddar sourdough bread.

Jalapeno Cheddar Sourdough Bread

Follow my easy instructions to make the best Jalapeño Cheddar Sourdough Bread! Packed with cheddar cheese and spicy pickled jalapeños, this bread makes delicious toast, grilled cheese and paninis, and an accompaniment to soups and pasta! 
5 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Rise/Ferment Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 9 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 12 slices
Calories: 201kcal
Author: Sue Ringsdorf

Ingredients

  • 75 grams bubbly sourdough starter
  • 350 grams filtered water – warmed slightly
  • 300 grams bread flour – unbleached
  • 200 grams all-purpose flour – unbleached
  • 20 grams whole wheat flour – unbleached
  • 10 grams fine sea salt
  • 130 grams sharp cheddar cheese – cubed
  • 50 grams jarred jalapeno slices – patted dry

Instructions

  • This bread is 67% hydration.
  • Carefully measure out the ingredients (in the order listed) and combine in a mixing bowl. Use a fork and stir.
  • Then use your hands to bring the ingredients together. It will look shaggy. Cover with a damp towel and let it sit for 30 minutes. (Be sure to set a timer.) This is the AUTOLYSE.
  • After 30 minutes, add the cheddar cheese and jalapeños. Then start the stretch and folds. Use your hand and lift the dough up on one side, stretching it upward, and then punch into the center of the dough. Turn the dough and repeat. Continue this process for about one minute. This is the STRETCH AND FOLDS.
  • You’ll want to try to get most of the cheese and jalapeños in the center of the dough during the stretch and folds. Form the dough into a smooth’ish ball, and place towel back in the bowl.
  • Let the dough rise for 6-8 hours, or overnight. It should almost double in size and appear soft on top. Small air bubbles may appear as well. This is the BULK RISE. (During this bulk rise, I often do additional stretch and folds during the first hour, but it's not required.)
  • Add a light dusting of flour to a baking mat or clean surface. Remove the dough to the flour and gently form into your desired shape, usually round or oblong. Don’t punch the dough down because you don’t want to remove all the air. Let dough sit for five minutes.
  • After five minutes, use your hands to pull the dough toward you, dragging it along the mat to tighten it up. Repeat in the other directions to tighten.
  • Place the dough in a bowl (lined with a floured towel) or a prepared banneton basket (smooth side down). Cover with a damp towel and let it sit for about 30 minutes to an hour. For this bread, it does not need to double again in size. This is the SECOND RISE.
  • Prepare for baking. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Carefully remove the loaf to a piece of parchment paper, smooth side up. Then take a serrated edge knife (linked below) or a bread lame, and score the bread a couple of times. Place the bread (including parchment paper) into a dutch oven.
  • Add the lid to the pan and bake for 20 minutes. Then remove the lid and bake an additional 30 minutes, or until bread is golden brown on the top and bottom..
  • Remove pan and then use parchment paper as handles to lift the bread out of the pan. Place on a cooling rack. Let the bread COMPLETELY COOL before slicing.

Notes

This bread is a 67% hydration dough.
You will need a sourdough starter for this bread. A starter can be created in less than a week with a simple combo of unbleached flour and filtered water. It’s a process of removing half of the starter and then “feeding” it every day, storing in a jar on your countertop, and getting it to a bubbly, sour point where it floats in water.
When using a bowl or banneton basket for the second rise, you’ll need to prepare them. For a bowl, add a thin tea towel dusted with rice flour (or regular flour will work in a pinch). For the basket, add some rice flour as well. The rice flour will help prevent sticking while regular flour may not do this as well.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to slice the bread immediately after coming out of the oven. If you do this, it will be doughy/gummy tasting. Let the bread completely cool before slicing!
There are MANY MORE TIPS on the blog post!

Nutrition

Calories: 201kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 462mg | Potassium: 64mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 180IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 87mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @Suebeehomemaker or tag #suebeehomemaker!

11 Comments

  1. This bread is like crack cocaine (I really wouldn’t know). But I know that I could sit down and eat half a loaf without getting up. It’s that good.
    I followed Sue’s instructions for making my own starter (Mr. Jimmy) and now I’m hooked. I have the big Emile Henry ceramic bread pan so I can make double loaves and I’m using the bread to bribe neighbors and friends. The neighbor across the street is a doctor and he was able to hook me up with some… oh, I probably can’t talk about this.
    Get on the band wagon. This stuff is crazy good and fun too!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Ha! You make me laugh! Mr. Jimmy and you make a great team! 🙂

  2. My sister SueBeeHomemaker (yes, she’s my sis) brought this to Cali for a visit and bread will never be the same for me. We both love spicy, cheesy things and OMG,this is the ultimate. Toasted with more cheese on top, delicious!! I think I’ll have to go to Texas to visit just to have more please!!!

  3. Traci Boyte says:

    I LOOOVVVVEEEW this bread. This was my very first sourdough recipe to ever make, and it was surprisingly easy – and so DELICIOUS. Just enough cheese and spice, and not too dense or dry. I especially love it toasted and it also makes a typical ham sandwich over the top yummy. Thank you, Sue, for teaching me the sourdough “ropes” and sharing this amazing recipe. It is quickly becoming a staple in our home.

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      You are an A+ student, Traci! I love seeing how much you are enjoying the best bread ever! 🙂

  4. Cathy Hanson says:

    Your boys are so right! This is the very BEST bread you will EVER put in your mouth!! My hubby and teen daughter agree!! Almost finished the whole loaf in one night!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Yay! I’m so glad they enjoyed the bread, Cathy!

  5. Zach Ringsdorf says:

    Mom, you’ve outdone yourself with this recipe. I mean – you’re simply amazing! This bread is my favorite, and I think you should send me a truckload and not give any to Josh. Now that would be funny! I can taste this bread all the way from Abilene!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Well, thank you Zachary! 🙂

  6. This is probably my favorite recipe on the blog… and that’s saying something! This bread makes for a panini of a lifetime. My all time favorite combination is this bread, with SueBee’s pesto for a sauce, with the spatchcock turkey as a protein.

    The recipe lifts my soul to places I never dreamed of. Warning – store bought sourdough will never be the same!!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      I know you love it, Josh! Making more for you soon! 🙂

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