Cheddar Jalapeño Sourdough
Over the weekend we got the last of our stuff out of the old apartment and are officially moved in to our new place. In the chaos of moving and having 90 degree heat for the first time all summer I haven’t gotten around to making any bread yet in the new apartment.
Fortunately I still have one loaf of bread left to share. This cheddar jalapeño sourdough was the last loaf of bread I made in our old apartment and one of the best, if not the best. I had wanted to make a bread like this for a long time and finally got the push I needed when I unexpectedly found two jalapeños in the bottom of our produce bin.
The smell of the cheese as it bakes is absolutely incredible. There are lots of great breads that you can make with cheese that cook at lower temperatures (like these gruyére stuffed loaves or asiago bread) but the taste and smell of the cheese combined with the texture of the crust when cooked at higher temperatures is beyond compare.I took out the seeds of the jalapeños so the bread was not uncomfortably spicy but had a good amount of heat. If you don’t use them in cooking often I encourage you to give jalapeños a try, there is a lot more too them than just being spicy (and as far as hot peppers go they are pretty mild). Soon I will have some breads from the new apartment to share, in the meantime I hope you’ll have a chance to enjoy this!
- 400 g bread flour (80%)
- 100 g AP flour (20%)
- 75 g active sourdough leaven (15%)
- 400+25 g water (85%)
- 4 oz cheddar cheese, cut into small cubed (22%)
- 2 jalapeños, seeded and diced
- The night before (or at least 7-8 hours) you make your dough combine 2 tablespoons of unfed sourdough starter with 100 g of water, 50 g of all purpose flour, and 50 g of whole wheat flour.
- Stir until there are no dry bits of flour, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let sit out overnight. This will be your active starter the next morning. A drop of the starter will float in water when it is ready.
- When ready, disperse the starter in 400 g of water in a large bowl. Add all flour and mix by hand until there are no dry bits. Cover and let rest for one hour.
- After the hour is up add salt and remaining 25 g of water. Mix well and cover the dough again.
- For the next two hours ‘turn’ the dough every 30 minutes. This means grabbing the underside of the dough, and stretching it up and over the rest of the dough. Perform a few of these turns each time you handle the dough.
- After the first turn work in the cheddar cheese chunks and jalapeño. After two hours is up, let the dough rest for another hour before you turn it again.
- After the third hour, let the dough rest another 30 minutes. Then turn it out onto an unfloured surface. Flour the top of the dough and flip it over. Work into a round shape and let rest for 30 minutes.
- Following the bench rest flour the top of the dough again, flipping it over after so the flour side is face down. Fold the third of the dough closest to you inward, and then stretch the dough out to the sides. Fold the right, and then left, sides in toward the center. Fold the top of the dough inward, and then wrap the bottom part of the dough over it all.
- Work this into a round shape, and place seam side up in a proofing basket lined well with flour.
- Let rise for 3-4 hours (or overnight in the refrigerator). One hour before baking place a dutch oven, with the lid on, in the oven and preheat to 500 degrees.
- Once hot, place the dough into the pan and score the loaf. Immediately place the top back on and return to the oven. Turn the heat down to 450 degrees and cook for 25 minutes.
- After 25 minutes remove the top of the dutch oven and rotate the pan. Continue to bake the bread for another 20-25 minutes, until the crust is deeply caramelized. Enjoy!