Chances are, if you’ve been around here for a while, you know that one of my favorite places in the entire world to spend a Saturday morning is the farmers market.
Specifically, the Madison farmers market, which wraps all the way around capitol square in the dead center of Madison, Wisconsin. There are tons of vendors selling the most beautiful produce at the peak of its season, stunning floral arrangements, & artisan-crafted specialty goods like honey, jams, hot sauces, & so on. But the greatest part of the Madison farmers market awaits you as you turn the corner at State Street: Stella’s hot spicy cheese bread.
Stella’s hot spicy cheese bread is what dreams are made of. The pillowy loaves are soft, cheesy, &, if you’re lucky, still warm in the middle from being baked that morning. We’d always buy a loaf to take back home with us, but it never lasted that long; we’d tear chunks off the loaf of cheese bread bite by bite until it disappeared.
Our trips to Madison have since grown few & far between, & sadly so has the opportunity to devour inappropriate amounts of warm cheesy bread on a bright Saturday morning. So, it was time to create my own recipe for the hot spicy cheese bread we love so much & give it a permanent spot on PWWB.
This no-knead spicy cheese bread is seriously a cheese lover’s dream!
The EASIEST Spicy Cheese Bread Recipe Highlights
You guys, this no-knead spicy cheese bread – it’s SO good. I don’t even know where to begin. You’ll love this No-Knead Spicy Cheese Bread because it’s…
- QUICK & SIMPLE. First there’s the fact that it takes only 10 minutes & 5 ingredients to throw together. Plus, all you need are some pantry staples (you know flour, yeast, salt – typical bread stuff) & Tillamook’s Special Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar (more on that in a sec!).
- FULL OF CRAVEABLE TEXTURE. This no-knead spicy cheese bread’s texture is insanely good. Unlike Stella’s bread, which is pillowy & soft, I wanted this bread to have a crusty exterior & good chew. It’s truly perfection.
- DELICIOUSLY CHEESY. There is no question that this is extra cheesy cheese bread! You’ll find pockets of molten, melty, delicious cheese oozing out of every piece.
This no-knead spicy cheese bread is great for football parties, with soup & chili, your Thanksgiving menu (who needs rolls anyway?!), or even just as a fun snack – it’s that easy to make.
It’s absolute spicy cheese bread heaven! ♡ Read on to learn more about this No-Knead Spicy Cheese Bread, or jump straight to the recipe & get baking!
How Spicy Is This Spicy Cheese Bread?
This no-knead spicy cheese bread is spicy – definitely spicy enough to let you know that the crushed red pepper flakes are there, but not so spicy that it’s overwhelming. As the dough rests, the red pepper flakes infuse their flavor (& spice) into the dough so each bite is super cheesy and a little bit spicy. Feel free to customize it to your taste preferences!
- For less spicy bread, use 1 teaspoon total of crushed red pepper flakes (1/2 teaspoon in the dough & 1/2 teaspoon on top).
- For even spicier bread, use 1-2 teaspoons of crushed red pepper flakes in the dough & 1 teaspoon on top.
Not into spice at all? Skip the crushed red pepper flakes completely for a loaf of no-knead cheese bread!
How to Make No Knead Spicy Cheese Bread
Even if you’ve never made homemade bread before, you can throw together this spicy cheese bread like a pro! It’s a wonderful bread recipe for beginners – you literally cannot mess it up. Promise!
No knead bread takes a little bit of planning ahead. You’ll need about 13 hours from start to finish BUT only about 10-20 minutes of that time is active, hands-on time.
Here’s what you’ll do:
- Prep the dough: Prep your dough about 12 hours before you’d like to bake your no-knead spicy cheese bread. This gives the dough a chance to rise! It takes a little bit of planning, but when it comes to making the dough, it’s really just a one-bowl, 10 minute task. If you’re serving the bread with dinner you could even quickly prep the dough in the morning before you head to work. Once the dough is prepped, keep it in the bowl, cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rest.
- Preheat the dutch oven: The secret to achieving the perfect crusty texture of this no-knead spicy cheese bread lies in a roaring hot dutch oven. Once the dough has risen, & about 30 minutes before you want to bake your bread, pop your dutch oven into your oven while it preheats. This gives the dutch oven time to heat thoroughly & evenly, & creates the most gorgeous crust while the bread bakes inside the pan.
- An egg wash: Just before you transfer the spicy cheese bread dough to the heated dutch oven to bake, finish it with an egg wash. This creates a beautiful glossy finish, similar to Stella’s *insert heart eyes here*.
No-Knead Bread FAQs
Does No-Knead Bread Rise?
Yes! No-knead bread will rise because there is yeast in the dough. While we aren’t kneading this dough like traditional yeast breads, the dough will rise, slowly (12+ hour rise time), as the yeast forms gluten and essentially kneads the bread for us.
What Pan Do I Use for No-Knead Bread?
The key to making crusty bread at home = a Dutch oven! Use an oven-safe dutch oven (at least 4-quart) with a lid.
It goes without saying no-knead spicy cheese bread is about to be your new favorite food. If you do give it a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your PWWB creations!
Love easy snack recipes? We’ve got you covered! Try our Creamy Pumpkin Hummus, Goat Cheese Balls with Tart Cherries & Walnuts, or our Easy Marinated Olives next. Happy cooking! ♡Print
No-Knead Spicy Cheese Bread
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Total Time: 13 hours (includes inactive time)
- Yield: 1 loaf bread, serves 4-6 1x
- Category: Snack Recipes, Breads & Cakes
- Method: Baked, No-Knead
- Cuisine: American
A foolproof recipe for making No-Knead Spicy Cheese Bread at home in a dutch oven like a pro! No-Knead Spicy Cheese Bread is ridiculously easy to make (only 10 minutes of prep & 5 ingredients needed!), & it’s especially ridiculously easy to eat. Great with soup, chili, to serve at a tailgate party, or just as a snack!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, divided
- 8 ounces Extra Sharp Cheddar, diced into ½-inch cubes
- 1 ½ cups lukewarm water
- 1 large egg yolk
- Make the no-knead spicy cheese bread dough: About 12 hours before you’d like to bake your no-knead spicy cheese bread, make the dough. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, yeast, & 1 teaspoon of the crushed red pepper flakes. Whisk to combine. Add in the diced cheese, gently tossing the cheese to coat it in the flour mixture. This helps prevent the cheese from sinking to the bottom of the dough. Slowly & gradually pour in the lukewarm water, mixing the dough with a wooden spoon until just combined. The dough will look shaggy & will be very sticky at this point – & that’s totally fine! Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel & let rest in a warm, dry place for 12 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit about 30 minutes before you are ready to bake the no-knead spicy cheese bread. Make sure one of the oven’s racks is positioned in the middle of the oven, & place an oven-safe dutch oven (at least 4-quart) on the rack, with its lid on, to heat along with the oven while it preheats. Once the oven is preheated, let the dutch oven sit in the hot oven for 20 minutes longer to really make sure it’s up to temperature – I literally set a cook timer for 20 minutes once the oven is preheated.
- Prep the dough: Meanwhile, as the oven preheats, transfer the no-knead spicy cheese bread dough to a large piece of parchment paper. I like to quickly spritz my hands with nonstick cooking spray – it makes it so much easier to handle the dough without it sticking to your hands! Using a pastry brush, brush the surface of the dough with the egg yolk, then sprinkle on the remaining 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes.
- Bake the no-knead spicy cheese bread: Once the dutch oven is up to temperature, very carefully remove it from the oven. Quickly & carefully remove the lid of the dutch oven, place the no-knead spicy cheese bread dough inside (you can just drop the parchment paper right in!), put the lid back on the dutch oven, & place the dutch oven back into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid from the dutch oven & bake, uncovered, for an additional 20 minutes, or until the dough is crusty & golden brown (see photos above for reference).
- To serve, carefully remove the bread from the dutch oven. You can just lift the parchment paper right out of the dutch oven. Allow to cool slightly before slicing or tearing the bread – remember it’s got molten-hot pools of melty cheese! Devour! Enjoy!!!
- This no-knead spicy cheese bread is spicy – definitely spicy enough to let you know that the crushed red pepper flakes are there, but not so spicy that it’s overwhelming. If you have an aversion to spicy foods, you can simply scale back or omit the crushed red pepper flakes.
- I have been making no-knead bread for several years, after first coming across the technique here. I have made it my own over time, but this method is literally foolproof!
Keywords: no-knead bread, dutch oven bread, cheese bread
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erin..just have to tell you. re: my previous comments, the jalapeno i added were ‘pickled’I i only had chedder slices so i cut squares & pressed them together..it worked! i did sprinkle red pepper flakes on top. the bread was absolutely fantastik! i kept going into the kitchen & cutting & eating slices. did not even butter it. didn’t need it. sooo good. today i saw & bought the tillamook special reserve as you stated. the cheese block was 7oz. but i think that will be enough & although i still have 1/3 of the loaf i made last week in the freezer, can’t wait to make another loaf tomorrow morn w/the special reserve cheese. molten cheese…yum! thank u so much for this.
just mixed ingredients, covered w/plastic wrap & put into the oven w/only the pilot lite. added diced jalapeno instead of red pepper flakes.i use to get bread from a bakery in Colorado & ‘jalapeno chedder’ was one of my favorites. i will probably let if proof for about 18hrs…can’t wait!
Hi there! Our apologies for the delay – comments do not post until we see them & can have a chance to respond! As mentioned in your previous comment, this recipe should not require a second rise but you can certainly do one if you’d like. Plus, your addition of diced jalapeno sounds amazing – we can’t wait to hear how it turns out!
it was deliciously delicious! right now i am about to put another loaf in the oven. this time i will put an egg wash & then the pepper flakes as you recommended. no jalapeno peppers like last time. my mouth is watering. so very glad i came across your recipe, your site. thanks.
no second rise? i really want to make this recipe,however, wondering about a 2nd rise. thankyou….
Hi there! This recipe does not require a second rise, you can certainly do so if you’d like – let us know how it goes if you choose to do so!
I made this recipe, did not have a 4 Q Ditch oven so divided into two loaves and used my Henri Emile Pullman covered loaf pan and baked as separate batch loaves; PERFECTION!! Needed no butter, nor dipping olive oil but excellent to eat plain and to sop up pasta sauce. This recipe is a keeper!!
Martha, we are so glad to hear that you enjoyed! It is such a good bread to pair with pasta or your favorite cozy soups – thank you for sharing!
Can’t wait to try this out! I have tried several other no-knead cheese bread recipes before which call for shredded cheese not cubed, but I am really seeking those beautiful cheesy pockets. One question though: I’m just not comfortable leaving cheese out for 12 hours, and I’ve always found 1 to 2 hours sufficient for the dough to double in size. Is there another reason it needs to rest so long, or do you think 2 hours would be ok? Thank you!
Made this dough last night. Let it rise for 18 hours, then baked it today. It has excellent flavor. Perfect amount of heat for me. Though, I would guess that a lot of my fellow “Winnesotans” ( I live on the Wisconsin/Minnesota border) would say that it’s too spicy. As a former Texan, I thought it was just fine. I saved myself a bundle of money and used Aldi’s Happy Farms brand sharp cheddar cheese. At a dollar fifty for an 8 oz block, that is a huge savings. I am one who typically likes to tinker with recipes to make them better. I don’t think this recipe needs any tinkering whatsoever. It is quite chees-a-licious! My only complaint would be that I thought that the crumb was a little too moist. I know that it was fully baked however, because I temped the bread with an instant-read probe thermometer before pulling it out of the oven and it registered at 210 degrees. Good job kiddo! I will make your recipe again. And again.
Hey Mari! Wow, what a thoughtful comment! Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I agree that the crumb is a little moist – this has been my experience with most no-knead style Dutch oven bread recipes. If you have any tips or tricks for achieving a better crumb, I’m all ears. =) So glad you enjoyed the recipe, though. We sure love it in my house, too!
This bread is AMAZING! I’ve made this for several family dinners and work potlucks, and it’s always something I’m asked to bring again. Also – SO EASY?! It can’t get better. Thank you so much!
THE BEST!!! I’m so glad you & your family (& your work family!) enjoy it as much as we do. Thanks for sharing!! xx
Can fresh minced garlic be added to the dough, or, would it burn and turn bitter?
hey hollie! i would be worried about the garlic burning, especially if any bits get mixed into where the outer crust develops against the dutch oven. instead, i’d suggest using granulated garlic (1/2 teaspoon, or so), or if you grate fresh garlic against a microplane, it should be fine enough to avoid burning. let me know if you try! xoxo