Jalapeno-Cheese Bread with a Little Help from a Bread Machine

Sneak Peek: Ditch the dough-kneading-by-hand hassle and fire up your bread machine for this mouthwatering Jalapeno-Cheese Bread recipe! After the DOUGH cycle ends, remove the dough, shape it, let it rise, and pop it into the oven. Pair it with your favorite jam for an irresistible sweet and savory combo. It makes a perfect hostess gift, too!

sliced jalapeno-Cheese Bread on a bread board.Pin

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Craving cheesy, spicy bread from your bread machine? Look no further! I’ve cracked the cheese code after a year of tasty trials.

Learn when to toss the cheese into the dough, how much, which cheese reigns supreme, and even how to avoid an unexpected cheese eruption. Your bread machine is about to become the ultimate cheesy accomplice!

Four Reasons Why You Will Delight in This Recipe

  1. Small chunks of mild Cheddar cheese are dotted throughout the bread along with jarred jalapeno pepper bits for a spicy bite.
  2. The texture of this white bread is soft and tender because of the all-purpose flour.
  3. Best baked in a loaf pan–easy to shape.
  4. Mix and knead on the DOUGH cycle of your bread machine. Bake in a conventional oven for a beautiful loaf with a delicate crust that you will be proud to share with others. You can also mix and knead the dough by hand or use a stand mixer. Details are listed in the recipe notes below.

Happy Bakers Speak Up 🗣️

I made your Jalepeno Cheese Bread yesterday.  Baked it in my gas oven. Turned out great. I used the bread maker dough cycle. Watched it often and saw the dough was slightly wet so added a tablespoon of flour. Was perfect after that, it stuck to the sides slightly and pulled away easily.  Such a great feeling to have such soft bread with a nice crust. Everyone was impressed.” –DIANA M.

Ingredients and Substitutions

All the ingredients needed to make this Cheddar Jalapeno loaf: eggs, salt, potato, butter, yeast, jalapeno peppers, mild Cheddar cheese, AP flour, sugar, and milk.Pin
  • RUSSET POTATO: To make this a “potato” bread, I experimented with different methods. Potatoes enhance strength, flavor, and freshness. Instant potatoes were simple but less flavorful. Boiling potatoes made the moisture content hard to gauge, affecting the flour amounts needed. Microwaving a potato proved easiest and most consistent.
  • MILK: The higher the fat content, the tastier the bread. It’s a bread-making secret.
  • WATER: Cold tap water works fine. If you boiled the potato, use that water instead.
  • EGG: The recipe specifies a “large egg,” which averages 50 grams in American kitchens. If your egg weighs significantly more or less, you will need to adjust the flour as the dough is kneading.
  • GRANULATED SUGAR: I have not tested this recipe with honey or other sugar substitutes.
  • SALT: Use table salt or sea salt. If you want to use Kosher salt, add at least 1/4 teaspoon of extra salt. If you’re watching your salt intake, experiment by reducing the salt slightly, but don’t leave it out.
  • BUTTER: Use salted or unsalted butter. The amount is so small that it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t need to be warm–chop it instead.
  • FLOUR: All-purpose flour or bread flour–use either. Bread flour will make a somewhat chewier loaf. Please weigh the flour for the best results.
  • YEAST: I recommend instant yeast (or bread machine or quick-rise yeast–same thing) for all bread machine recipes. Substitute active dry yeast if that is all you have. See the directions in this post. Read more about using yeast in a bread machine.
  • JARRED JALAPENO SLICES: We like canned pickled jalapeno slices, and always have them on hand. Use fresh jalapenos for a milder taste, or include the seeds for more heat. I buy jarred chopped jalapenos for convenience. Just drain and blot with a paper towel.
  • CHEDDAR CHEESE: Through experience with tons of Cheddar Cheese and Jalapeno Sourdough loaves, I’ve found that mild Cheddar bakes better than sharp or extra-sharp varieties. It doesn’t separate or release as much grease during baking.

How to Mix Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese Bread Recipe in Your Bread Machine

Loading the bread pan with the dough ingredients--shown on a digital scale, the best way to measure flour.Pin
Weigh and add the dough ingredients (except the cheese and jalapenos) to the bread machine pan in the order listed. Select the DOUGH cycle and press START.
The dough should clump as shown in this picture within the first minute.Pin
Open the bread machine lid during the first minute to ensure the paddle(s) are engaged and the dough is starting to clump.
Small diced Cheddar cheese on a paper plate.Pin
While the dough kneads, dice the cheese into small quarter-inch cubes. Set aside.
Toward the end of the kneading phase, the dough should be smooth and elastic as seen here.Pin

During the final kneading stage, the dough should stick to the side and then pull away cleanly. If it’s too dry and doesn’t stick, add milk a tablespoon at a time. If it’s too wet, sticking without pulling away, add flour a tablespoon at a time until it achieves the right consistency.
Adding the cubed Cheddar cheese and jalapenos.Pin
In the last minute of the kneading phase (check the bread machine manual), add the cheese and jalapenos. If you miss the beeps, wait until the DOUGH cycle ends, then knead them into the dough by hand.

If you add the cheese and jalapenos too early, the paddles will smash the cheese into the dough so thoroughly that you won’t recognize them. It doesn’t ruin your bread, but it changes the character of the bread when you slice it.

At the end of the DOUGH cycle, the dough should be double the original size.Pin
Let the DOUGH cycle finish. The dough should double in size by the end of the kneading period. If not, leave the dough in the bread machine pan until it doubles.

How To Shape Jalapeno-Cheese Bread

Pulling the dough out of the pan onto a lightly floured silicone baking sheet to prepare for shaping.Pin
Pull the dough out of the bread machine pan onto a lightly floured surface, such as a silicone baking sheet, which is convenient and dishwasher-safe.
Shaping the dough into a rectangle.Pin
Use a rolling pin or your hands to press the dough into a rectangle approximately 9 x 10 inches. If the cheesy pieces are not well distributed, this is a good time to reposition them. (See the video.)
Rolling up the dough before dropping into a loaf pan.Pin
Roll up the dough without stretching or leaving air holes.
Sealing the seams and repositioning cheese with fingers.Pin
Pinch the seams to seal them. Fold up each end and seal, also. Wherever you see exposed chunks of cheese, pull the dough over the cheese and seal with your fingers. All larger chunks of cheese should be covered to prevent a cheesy eruption in the oven. This process is illustrated in the video.
shaped loaf in a loaf pan ready for the final rise.Pin
Cover the bread with a tea towel or plastic wrap and allow the bread to rise just below the top of the pan. Don’t let it reach the top before you put it into the oven.
Shaped loaves--one in a loaf pan and one in a boule shape, sprinkled with grated cheese.Pin
Sprinkle the shaped loaves with shredded Cheddar cheese, if desired. Arrange 3-5 jalapeno slices across the top, if desired. Bake.
Baked cheese loaf with jalapeno slices and grated cheese on top.Pin
Let the loaf cool in the bread pan for about five minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool. Note: Notice this loaf had cheese sprinkled on top before baking.
Jalapeno Cheddar loaf with no cheese on top and an egg glaze instead.Pin
Jalapeno Cheddar Loaf has no cheese on top and an egg glaze instead. Choose which one you like best.
Cheese Bread in a boule or round shape--nice for parties.Pin
Bake the loaf in a loaf pan or shape it into a boule–nice for parties.

FAQs About Bread Machine Jalapeno-Cheese Bread

Why did my cheese bread collapse when I removed it from the oven?

Three possible reasons:
1. The loaf rose too much or was overproofed before you put it into the oven. This bread rises quickly. Watch it closely, especially if your kitchen is warm.
2. The cheese chunks weren’t evenly distributed in the bread.
3. It wasn’t allowed to cool for a full hour before it was sliced.

Can I substitute other cheeses?

If using Cheddar, it’s best to stick with cheese that has aged for less than a year–mild or medium cheddar.1 Sharp Cheddar Cheese and Extra Sharp Cheddar don’t melt as well and tend to be greasy. Other possibilities are Gruyere, Monterrey Jack cheese, or Provolone.

How should I store this bread?

Store the bread in a bread box or plastic bag for 2-3 days. Freeze it if you won’t eat it all within that time. I don’t normally recommend storing any bread in the fridge because of the humidity, but some people feel more comfortable with that choice due to the cheese.

Why is my cheese bread dense and heavy?

Dense bread can result from using the bread machine to mix and bake your bread from beginning to end. Use the DOUGH cycle and bake your loaf in a conventional oven for more control over the proofing, a much nicer crust, and overall appearance. Accurate measuring is crucial; weigh the flour to avoid mistakes. During kneading, ensure the dough is tacky but not too sticky, adjusting with more flour or water as needed.

Can I actually bake this bread in my bread machine?

I’m not a fan of any bread baked in a bread machine, so I haven’t tried it. If you do, tell me and other readers how it turned out in the comments below.

Parting Thoughts: This is a good “munching” bread. Offer it sliced at gatherings alongside your favorite jelly or small pieces of cold cuts. It’s a great addition to a charcuterie board, offering a tasty alternative to crackers. Plus, it’s an excellent gift for your host to enjoy later.

p.s. When I give homemade bread as a hostess gift, I try to mention to the host that it is not meant to be served immediately. I don’t want to hijack the party menu.

Recipe Help at Your Fingertips: For questions or suggestions, email Paula at saladinajar.com. If you need help, I’m happy to troubleshoot via email (faster than leaving a comment). Attach pictures and as many details as possible for the best advice.

Sliced Bread Machine Jalapeno Cheese Bread on a cutting board.Pin
Yield: 14 slices

Jalapeno-Cheese Bread (Bread Machine)

This slightly sweet and spicy cheese loaf is extremely munchable. Once it cools, cut or slice it into chunks for snacks or make toasted cheese sandwiches with your preferred jelly. It’s a sweet and savory treat.

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Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 31 minutes
Shape and Rise Time: 3 hours
Total time: 3 hours 46 minutes


  • ¼ cup (60 g) potato, cooked and mashed with a fork See the recipe notes below for preparing the potato.
  • ¼ cup (57 g) milk, cool
  • ¼ cup (57 g) water, cool
  • 1 large (50 g) egg, cool
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon table or sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter (chopped)
  • 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour
  • teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2-3 tablespoons jarred jalapeno peppers, drained and diced (use a paper towel to blot and remove any excess moisture)
  • 4 ounces (113 g) mild Cheddar cheese (cut into ¼ to ½-inch cubes)


  • 1 large (50 g) egg
  • pinch salt


Mixing the Dough

  • Add ¼ cup (60 g) potato, cooked and mashed with a fork, ¼ cup (57 g) milk, cool, ¼ cup (57 g) water, cool, 1 large (50 g) egg, cool, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon table or sea salt, 1 tablespoon butter (chopped), 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour, and 1½ teaspoons instant yeast to the bread machine pan.
  • Start the DOUGH cycle on your bread machine and check after a minute to see if the paddles are working and the dough is forming a ball. After 15 minutes, ensure the dough sticks to the sides then pulls away cleanly. If too wet, add flour 1 tablespoon at a time; if too dry, add liquid gradually.
  • While the dough is kneading in the machine, prepare the 2-3 tablespoons jarred jalapeno peppers, drained and diced . Use a towel to pat them as dry as possible. Cut the Cheddar cheese into small 1/2-inch chunks. Let the cheese sit out to warm up a bit.
  • Add 4 ounces (113 g) mild Cheddar cheese (cut into ¼ to ½-inch cubes) and 2-3 tablespoons jarred jalapeno peppers, drained and diced during the last two minutes of the kneading phase. If you add them too early, the bread machine paddles with obliterate the cheese. If you forget or miss the beep your machine sounds to add ingredients, you can knead them in by hand when you get ready to shape the dough later.
  • Leave the dough in the machine until the DOUGH cycle ends and the dough grows to double its original size.

Shaping the Dough:

  • Pull the dough from the bread machine pan onto a lightly floured surface. (I like to use a silicone mat because clean-up is super easy–throw it into the dishwasher.)
  • Knead the bubbles out of the dough. Use your hands or a rolling pin to shape the dough into a rough rectangle approximately 9 x 10 inches. If the dough seems bouncy and hard to handle, cover it with a tea towel and allow it to relax for 15 minutes.
  • Roll up the dough starting from the shortest side. Avoid leaving any air holes in the layers of dough, rolling tightly without stretching. Pinch the seam shut with your fingers. Pull the ends toward the seam and pinch them shut.
  • Place the shaped dough seam-side down into an 8½ x 4½-inch loaf pan. Cover and allow it to rise until the dough rises one inch above the top of the pan. Letting the dough rise too much can be disastrous and cause the bread to cave in the middle or the sides while baking or when it comes out of the oven.


  • Whisk 1 large (50 g) egg with a pinch salt. Brush the raised loaf with egg glaze. Add jalapeno slices for decoration and glaze again.


  • Preheat the oven for about 15 minutes before you think the bread will be ready to bake.
  • Bake at 375˚F (190˚C) for 31 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 195˚F (91˚C).
  • Let the loaf cool for about 5 minutes. Turn out the loaf onto a wire cooling rack. Allow to cool for at least 1 hour before slicing or else risk crushing the loaf or causing it to fall. This is very important: please don’t cheat.


Microwaving a Potato:

Stab a small to medium-sized potato a couple of times with a fork. Wrap loosely with a paper towel. Microwave for 5-6 minutes until the potato is soft and cooked through. Times will vary according to your microwave’s power and the potato’s size. Allow to sit on the counter for a few minutes until cool enough to handle. Cut the potato in half and dig out the soft innards with a spoon. (A grapefruit spoon works really well). Measure and add to the bread machine as directed.

Using a Stand Mixer:

  • In a heavy-duty stand mixer, add the ingredients to the bowl in the specified order.
  • Begin mixing on low speed until all the ingredients are moistened.
  • Switch to a dough hook attachment and increase the speed to 2 or 3.
  • Continue beating/kneading until the dough becomes smooth and elastic, typically about 5-10 minutes. Add finely chopped cheese and jalapenos and mix for less than a minute–just long enough to evenly distribute the cheese throughout the dough.
  • Cover the dough and let it rise in a warm place.
  • Once risen, gently deflate the dough and shape it as the recipe directs.

Making by Hand:

  • Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl until they form a shaggy ball.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface.
  • Knead the dough with your hands until it becomes smooth and elastic, which may take around 10-20 minutes, depending on your experience. During the last minute, knead in the cheese and jalapenos.
  • Place the dough ball in a greased bowl.
  • Cover the bowl and allow the dough to double in size.
  • After rising, gently deflate the dough and shape it according to the recipe’s instructions.
Please Note: You can use active dry yeast as a substitute. Dissolving it first is optional. Active dry yeast may have a slower initial rise but will catch up eventually. Alternatively, add 1/4 teaspoon extra yeast to make up for the slowness. 


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 207kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 327mg | Potassium: 116mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 300IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 150mg | Iron: 0.5mg

All images and text ©️ Paula Rhodes for Salad in a Jar.com

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1 Editors at America’s Test Kitchen, Bread Illustrated (Penguin Random House Publisher Services, 2016), 314.

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