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Hot and Spicy Cheese Bread, or Wisconsin Cheesy Bread is a food created and popularized in Madison, Wisconsin. The bread is sold at farmer’s markets across the city and at local bakeries.


The bread was created by accident when Coralia Harn of Stella’s Bakery attempted to make an empanada that would appeal to the people of Madison. After getting frustrated with her empanada dough, she simply mixed the empanada filling into bread dough and sold it at the Dane County Farmers' Market the next day.[1] Over the years the recipe has been refined. Today, the bread is made with a brioche-like yeasted dough, mixed with Provolone cheese, Monterey Jack Cheese, and topped with crushed hot red peppers[2]. It also contains chives and parsley.[3] The bread is often eaten as a snack bread, pulled apart and eaten while walking around the farmers market.[4]

The bread quickly became an important part of Madison’s food culture. Over 2000 loaves are sold every Saturday at the Dane County Farmers Market, and in 2015 It was named by the Wisconsin state journal as one of 30 plates that define Madison.[5]


  1. ^ Siciliano-Rosen, Laura. "WISCONSIN'S TO-DIE-FOR SPICY CHEESE BREAD". The Daily Dose. OZY. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  2. ^ "Spicy Cheese Bread". Cooks Country. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  3. ^ "Campus Eats: Spicy - Stella's Bakery (Wisconsin)". Big Ten Network. Big Ten network. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  4. ^ Shaw, Tucker. "America's Test Kitchen discovers Wisconsin spicy cheese bread". America's Test Kitchen. The Splendid Table. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  5. ^ Arnold, Amber. "30 plates that define Madison: Stella's spicy cheese bread". Wisconsin State Journal. Retrieved 15 April 2019.