California red-legged frog jalapeno cheddar bread

California red-legged frog jalapeno cheddar bread

The California red-legged frog is the state amphibian of California and the largest native frog found in the Western United States. Listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, learn what you can do to help with California red-legged frog conservation:


  • 1 ¾ cups water, warm 

  • 3-3 ½ cups bread flour 

  • 1 large jalapeno, diced 

  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese 

  • 1 2/14 tsp. fast acting yeast 

  • 1 tbsp. granulated sugar 

  • ½ tbsp. garlic powder 

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil 

  • 1 tbsp. salt 

  • 1 egg (for egg wash) 

Step 1. 

Warm water in the microwave until it is warm to the touch, but not so hot you can’t touch it. Add the yeast and sugar to the water and set aside for a few minutes until the yeast has bloomed.  

Step 2.  

Add olive oil, garlic powder and salt to the yeast mixture. Add flour one cup at a time and mix using a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. If the dough is not coming together after adding three cups, continue to add flour 1 tbsp. at a time. Form the dough into a ball.

Step 3. 

Oil a medium sized mixing bowl and place dough into the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 30 minutes. 

Step 4.  

While dough is rising, dice jalapeno (can keep or remove seeds) and combine it with the cup of shredded cheddar cheese in a small bowl. Keep the two smallest slices of jalapeno intact so that you can use them as eyes when creating the frog shape. 

Step 5. 

Once the dough has finished its first rise, flour a clean surface and take the dough out of the bowl. Knead the jalapeno cheddar mixture into the dough with your hands until it is well incorporated. If there is any extra, you can add it to the top of the dough right before it goes into the oven. Reform dough into a ball and place back into the oiled mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for another 30 minutes. 

Step 6.  

Now it is time to form the shape of a frog. As you are forming the frog, be sure to work on a parchment lined baking sheet otherwise you will have to transfer the finished frog later which could be difficult. Take a large chunk of the dough (a little more than half) and form it into a ball. Then squish one end to make it a bit oblong. This is the frog’s body. 

Step 7.  

Use a portion of the remaining dough to make a ball. Cut the ball in half and place each half on either side of frog’s body (on the side of the body that is oblong). This forms part of the hind legs. 

Step 8. 

Take two small pieces of dough and roll them into balls. Gently press them into the body of the frog to make the eyes. 

Step 9.  

Take another small portion of the remaining dough and cut it in half. Then make two cuts in each half of the dough to create toes (three toes on each side). Place the dough in front of or underneath the hind legs to create the hind feet. 

Step 10.  

Repeat Step 9 with a smaller piece of dough to create the front feet. Place the front feet underneath the body of the frog. 

Step 11.  

Preheat oven to 400 F. While the oven is preheating, sprinkle any left-over jalapeno cheddar mixture over the top of the frog. Gently press the two small slices of jalapeno into the eyes of the frog. 

Step 12. 

Using a knife, you can give your frog a smiley face. Beat your egg and brush it over the entire frog so that it is entirely covered in egg wash.   

Step 13.  

Bake for about 35 minutes or until the bread has nicely browned. Let cool for a few minutes and then enjoy!  

Original jalapeno cheddar bread recipe inspired by