Spicy Kimchi Cheddar Bread

Recipe by Sarah Jampel

If you’re a fan of kimchi mac and cheese or kimchi grilled cheese, you already understand the pleasures of pairing rich, sharp dairy with the heat, tang, and subtle crunch of the spicy Korean pickled vegetables. It just works! For this tender, sesame-crusted cheddar bread, which is like a more laidback version of kimchi-cheddar biscuits, you’ll take the flavor a step further by also incorporating the kimchi's brine. Pair this bread with scrambled eggs for a savory breakfast or with soup or salad at dinnertime. 

15 mins
38 to 45 mins
1 hr 15 mins
one 8" square pan
Spicy Kimchi Cheddar Bread  - select to zoom
Spicy Kimchi Cheddar Bread  - select to zoom
Spicy Kimchi Cheddar Bread  - select to zoom


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  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the center. Grease an 8" square pan. Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons (18g) of the sesame seeds in an even layer across the bottom of the pan. 

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and black pepper. Grate the cheese and the butter on the large holes of a box grater. Add the cheese, butter, and scallions to the dry ingredients, toss to coat, and place the bowl in the refrigerator while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. 

  3. In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the kimchi liquid, buttermilk, and egg until well combined. (If you are not able to get 1/4 cup kimchi liquid from straining and pressing the solids, add enough buttermilk to reach 1 1/4 cups or 283g total liquid.) Set aside. 

  4. Add the chopped kimchi to the dry ingredients, tossing to combine. 

  5. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients and stir with a fork or flexible spatula just until everything is evenly moistened.  

  6. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth out the top. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining 2 tablespoons (18g) sesame seeds. 

  7. Bake the kimchi cheddar bread for 38 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick or paring knife comes out clean and the temperature in the center of the bread registers at least 200°F on a digital thermometer.  

  8. Let the kimchi cheddar bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Let it cool for another 10 minutes before slicing. 

  9. Storage information: Store airtight at room temperature for 3 days; to reheat, wrap in aluminum foil and bake at 350°F for 10 to 15 minutes, until warmed through. 

Tips from our Bakers

  • Kimchi varies widely in flavor, heat, ingredients, and juiciness. For the most flavorful bread, do not use “mild” kimchi. Not all kimchi is vegetarian, so be sure to read the label if that’s a consideration for you. Finally, taste the kimchi on its own to see if you’d like to reduce the salt in the bread to 1/2 teaspoon.