This loaf of Gluten Free Spicy Cheese Bread, filled with pockets of melty cheese, is so good you’ll want to eat the entire thing!
Y’all. This bread is NEXT. LEVEL!!!! If you like bread (you probably wouldn’t be here if you didn’t) and you like cheese with a little spice added, holy moly! With pockets of melty, gooey cheese and crushed red pepper flakes throughout, it is the ultimate in cheesy, spicy bready goodness.
in this post: everything you need to know
- What is spicy cheese bread and where did it originate
- The gluten free bread dough
- The cheese and spice and other options
- How to shape the loaf
what is spicy cheese bread?
There’s a place in Wisconsin called Stella’s Bakery that is famous for its Hot and Spicy Cheese Bread. While I’ve never actually had this bread, my sister lives in Wisconsin and she HAS had it and loves the original. I’m so glad I found out how to make this bread because I’ll be making it on repeat, it’s THAT good!
which gluten free bread dough is the best for this bread?
I chose to use my gluten free brioche bread dough to make this bread. While it’s a little bit harder to shape than my sweet bread dough, I feel like the sweetness is a little too much for this particular bread. My brioche dough can be rolled out and shaped with a little extra planning and isn’t quite as sweet, and it stays soft for days (although this bread won’t stick around long enough).
As with most of my bread doughs, making the dough a day in advance is strongly recommended (especially for this recipe). The coldness of the dough is crucial to rolling it out, filling it, and shaping it properly.
adding the cheese and spice
The original recipe that I adapted for my gluten free needs is from Brown Eyed Baker. She uses provolone and monterey jack cheeses and cubes them into 1/2-inch cubes. I checked the comments on her site and some people said they substituted the cheese cubes with shredded cheese. While I find that shredded cheese would probably be so much easier to roll up, you wouldn’t get the pockets of gooey cheesiness that are, in my opinion, the best part of this bread. Having said that, if you choose to use shredded cheese, I would shred it yourself versus using the pre-shredded kind.
Michelle from Brown Eyed Baker also said that she found the amount of spice (crushed red pepper flakes) to be perfect, but I found it to be not quite spicy enough for my tastes. If you prefer more spice, by all means add more. If you’re not that adventurous, tone it down a little.
shaping the loaf
It’s really quite easy to shape this loaf, but there are a few steps to take so it goes smoothly.
- Knead the dough on a very well-floured surface, adding the crushed red pepper at this time. Make sure you knead it until smooth, not being afraid to “over knead” it.
- Once the dough is nice and smooth, flatten it out slightly. You don’t need to use a rolling pin at this stage. Your hands will do just fine.
- Place it on a greased parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze it for 10-15 minutes. This step can be done as many times as needed, depending on the temperature of your kitchen. My kitchen tends to get really warm in the summer, so I stop often and freeze the dough for a few minutes.
- Roll the dough out to a thickness of about 1/4 inch or slightly thicker.
- Sprinkle the cubes of cheese all over the dough and roll it up. You may get some breaking through and tearing of the dough from the cheese. Just keep going, smooshing (technical term) together any parts of dough that tear, until you’ve rolled the entire loaf. If the dough is getting too warm, stop and freeze the dough before continuing.
- Begin spiraling the dough by simply wrapping it around itself into a coil. Tuck the end underneath the coil.
- Place the loaf in an 8-inch round cake pan that’s been well greased and cover it loosely with plastic wrap. Let it rise until nearly doubled in size. It should be a couple of inches above the rim of the pan.
spicy cheese bread faq’s
YES!! Different cheeses would be great to try. Mozzarella (not fresh), pepper jack (to add even more spice), and cheddar are a few I can think of. Stick with hard or semi-hard cheeses as they shouldn’t change the texture of the dough itself.
You can always just add the cheese cubes and red pepper to the dough and shape it into a boule form or even a loaf. Baking times for the boule should be the same for both, but begin checking the loaf 10-15 minutes earlier.
The bread can be kept at room temperature, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or foil, for up to 4 days. For longer storage, slice it and store the slices in the freezer, well wrapped, for up to two months.
I like to cut it into slices, but it can also be torn apart and served in chunks. My favorite way to serve it is with dipping (extra virgin olive) oil and herbs, but I bet it would be wonderful as a sandwich bread!
If you’re a bread (and cheese) lover, I urge you to make this Gluten Free Spicy Cheese Bread. Once you try it, you won’t want to stop!
Gluten Free Spicy Cheese Bread
- 1 recipe Gluten Free Brioche Dough
- 6 ounces (170 g) provolone cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes, at room temperature
- 6 ounces (170 g) Monterey jack cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes, at room temperature
- 1½ tsp (or up to 1 tbsp) crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 large egg, at room temperature (you can also use one of the egg whites leftover from making the dough)
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- Make the dough as per recipe instructions, adding the 1½ tsp crushed red pepper with the dry ingredients, and refrigerate it overnight.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and knead it until smooth. It is a stickier dough than normal, so you'll need a well-floured surface and you may need to stop and put the dough in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to keep it from getting too sticky.
- Roll the dough out into a rectangle that's about ¼-inch thick. The thickness is more important than the size of the rectangle.
- Sprinkle the cubes of cheese all over the dough and begin rolling it up like a jelly roll. Some of the cheese may poke through in spots, but just keep rolling it up, patching as you go. If it gets too sticky, take the log and place it on a parchment-lined baking sheet and into the freezer for 10 minutes or so.
- Press and pull the jelly roll together and elongate it at the same time. Shape the dough into a spiral by rolling it into a coil. Place it in a greased and parchment-lined 8-inch round cake pan. Cover loosely and let it rise until nearly doubled in size, which can take anywhere from 1-2 hours, depending on the temperature of your proofing area.
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Brush the loaf with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the rest of the crushed red pepper.
- Place the pan on another sheet pan lined with parchment paper or over a piece of foil (to catch any cheese drippage) and bake for 20 minutes. Check the loaf and tent with foil if it's getting too dark, and bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until the internal temperature registers 190-200° F.
- Transfer to a wire rack and let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then remove it from the pan. Cool for 30 minutes before slicing or tearing. Serve warm or at room temperature. Bread will keep at room temperature for up to 4 days, well wrapped, or can be frozen for up to two months.
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker’s Spicy Cheese Bread