Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese Swirl Bread | Soft swirled bread with layers of warm dough, melty cheese, and spicy pickled jalapenos. This bread is easy to make, requires simple ingredients but the presentation is so beautiful.
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And if you haven't seen Auntie Judy in a long time and you REALLLLY want to impress her, then make one of these beautiful loaves and drop it off on her doorstep. She'll love the comforting gift.
This cheese swirl bread loaf is pretty and cozy and delicious and easy to make. If you've made cinnamon rolls then this will be a breeze. If you haven't, don't worry because I've included step by step photos below to help you in the process of shaping this loaf. I've also tried to describe the process in detail below. I really want you to make this recipe successfully and enjoy this beautiful bread.
Ingredients you'll need
- all-purpose flour
- salt and sugar
- an egg
- jarred, pickled jalapenos
For different fillings, try:
- Parmesan and pesto
- Mozzarella and pizza sauce
- Gruyere and thyme
- Gouda and chives
How to Make a Swirl Bread Loaf
This cheese swirl bread is pretty easy to make even if though it may look a bit difficult. The process is as simple as making and rising the dough and then stuffing, rolling, and twisting the dough into shape. I'll describe exactly how to do this and include step by step photos. Ask questions in the comments if you have any.
First, we'll start by making the dough. We're using active dry yeast so we'll need to activate it by mixing it with sugar and warm milk. Leave it to sit for five to ten minutes or so until it's foamy and frothy.
Now add the room temperature egg, the flour, and the salt.
Stir everything together until you have a shaggy ball of dough. Tilt it out onto the counter and knead it by hand for about five minutes or so or until it's smooth.
To make the dough in a stand mixer, knead for about 2-3 minutes or until smooth.
Set the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a towel. Set it aside and let it rise until doubled in size, about an hour. It'll take over the whole bowl, like in the top left photo below.
Punch the dough down and let sit for 5 minutes or so (top right photo).
How to Shape the loaf
Now roll the dough into a rectangle shape about 12 x 18 inches. (bottom left photo above)
Brush with the melted butter but make sure to leave an inch around the perimeter uncovered so we can stick the dough together to close it. (bottom right photo above) Sprinkle the cheese all over. Do the same with the chopped jalapeno. (top two photos below)
Now start rolling it up, trying to keep the dough pretty tight. Pinch the seam closed. (Bottom two photos above)
Place the log seam side down. (Top left photo below)
Take a sharp knife and start from about an inch from the end and slice the log in half, lengthwise. (Top right photo below)
Turn each half so the filling faces up. Now cross the two halves over each other to create a twist (Bottom two photos above).
Place the log on a prepared baking sheet. (Left photo below) You can use a silicone mat or parchment paper so the loaf doesn't stick. Curl each end into the center, in opposite directions, like an 'S' shape. Cover the loaf again, with greased plastic wrap. Set aside for 30-45 minutes and let rise. (Right photo below)
Heat oven to 350ºF. Bake the bread loaf for 30-40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the bread is cooked through.
Tips and Tricks
When it comes to rolling, slicing, and twisting this loaf, just go slowly and move the bread carefully so it doesn't fall apart on you. It's not as difficult as it might seem.
Yes, it is a little bit spicy. You can leave the jalapenos out if you don't like them.
More great homemade bread recipes
Jalapeno + Cheddar Cheese Swirl Bread
- In a large mixing bowl, (or the bowl of a stand mixer, if using) whisk together the warm milk, sugar, and the yeast. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, until foamy and active.
- Add the egg, flour, and salt and mix together until you have a shaggy dough.
- Place the dough onto a countertop and knead for 5 minutes, until dough is smooth. (Or do this in a stand mixer for 2-3 minutes.)
- Set the dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a towel, let sit at room temperature, until doubled in size, about an hour or so.
- When the dough has risen, punch it down, let it rest for 10 minutes on the counter and then roll it into a rectangle shape about 12 x 18 inches.
- Brush with melted butter.
- Sprinkle with cheese and jalapeno.
- Starting with the long edge, roll the dough into a log, keeping it pretty tightly rolled, as you would with cinnamon buns. Pinch the seam closed and roll so the log is seam side down.
- Using a sharp knife, slice the log down the center, lengthwise, leaving about an inch or so at the top unsliced.
- Carefully turn each half of the dough so the filling is facing up. Twist the two lengths over each other, like a braid but with only two pieces. You will end up with one long twist of dough and should see the layers of cheese and dough from the top.
- Carefully lay the loaf on a parchment or silicone mat lined baking sheet.
- Curl each end of the bread in towards in opposite directions, toward the center of the loaf, to make an "S" shape. Cover with greased plastic wrap and a towel and let rise for 30 – 45 minutes or so.
- Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, or until done.
- When measuring flour, I go by 120 grams per cup. If you’d like to use cup measurement for the flour, then I’d say start with about 3 - 3.5 cups (360 - 420 grams) of flour, measured lightly by scooping your flour into the measuring cup, and not digging your cup into the flour and add more from there. You’ll get the best results by using a scale though.