Are you a sourdough lover with a taste for adventure? If so, get ready to embark on a delightful journey into the world of artisan baking with our delicious recipe - the Sourdough Jalapeño Cheddar Loaf! This mouthwatering sourdough combination has the perfect amount of spicy heat from the jalapeño’s paired with rich gooey pockets of cheddar cheese. It’s sure to be a crowd pleaser amongst friends and it’s surprisingly easy to make.
Start with your sourdough bread recipe. Once your dough is ready to shape, flip the floured side of your dough onto the bench so that you have the sticky side of your dough facing up. Stretch the dough out into a rectangle and place on your add-ins. A handful of pickled Jalapeños (make sure they have been patted dry) plus a handful of cubed cheddar. Keeping the cheese in cube shapes rather than grating means you’ll get these nice pockets of gooey cheese throughout the bread.
Then you’ll begin shaping your dough as you normally would and fold the dough over so that all your fillings are hidden in the dough. Proof your dough, either on your bench or in the fridge overnight for a more pronounced flavour. Score and bake your bread as normal.
Make sure you wait until your loaf is cooled before slicing into it and enjoy the fiery kick of jalapeños and the rich creaminess of cheddar cheese. We are confident this combo will be added to your baking rotation.
What you’ll need:
- 150g (⅔ cup) active sourdough starter
- 350g (1 ⅓ cup) room temperature water (filtered)
- 500g (3 ⅔ cup) bread flour
- 10g fine salt
- ⅓ cup Chopped Jalapeños (jar works best for more flavour but fresh works well too)
- ½ cup Cheddar Cheese, cubed
- Mixing bowl
- Dough whisk
- Plastic wrap, or bowl cover
- Dough scraper
- Banneton proofing basket
- Bread lame
- Dutch oven
In a bowl, add 150 grams of your active sourdough starter (make sure it’s nice and bubbly) to 350 grams of room temperature water. Mix well so the sourdough starter is well distributed throughout the water.
Add the starter-water mixture to 500 grams of bread flour and 10 grams (1 1/2 tsp) of fine salt (non-iodised) and mix with the dough whisk. Make sure there is no dry flour left in the bowl.
At this stage the dough will be a sticky, shaggy mess. You need to leave it for 30 minutes to ensure all of the flour has time to fully hydrate (this is called the ‘autolyse’). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap during this stage.
Now it’s time to knead, but not in the traditional sense as sourdough is quite a wet dough and it’s extremely difficult to handle without making an extreme mess. This really is a no knead sourdough. We are going to utilise a method called ‘stretch and fold’ which develops the gluten in the dough and makes it nice and strong. Every 30 minutes during the bulk fermentation time, you will grab one side of the dough and fold it back onto itself (while it's still in the bowl). Wet your hands first to stop the dough sticking, then fold the dough 4 times clockwise from top to bottom (handle gently to keep the bubbles inside the dough). Do this a total of 4 times (every 30 minutes, over 2 hours which includes the stretch and fold right after the autolyse stage). Each time you do this you’ll notice that it’s much easier to stretch, as the gluten is getting stronger and stronger. Watch this video for a great example of the stretch and fold technique.
Complete the remainder of the bulk fermentation. Depending on the temperature in your kitchen, total bulk fermentation time (including the 2 hours for stretch and fold) could take anywhere from 3 to 8 hours. The ideal temperature for sourdough fermentation is somewhere between 25℃-28℃. Bulk fermentation is complete when the dough has risen by approximately 30%.
It’s time to add your Jalapeños and Cheddar!
Empty your dough out onto the bench and give your dough a ‘pre-shape’. You want to use your bench scraper to help you create some tension on the surface of the dough and make a round shape. Let it rest for about 10 minutes. Flour the top of the dough, then flip it over so that the floured side is on your bench and sticky side is face up. Stretch the dough out to a rectangle shape, sprinkle on your Jalapeños and your cheddar cubes, making sure they are evenly spaced out.
Now it’s time to shape your dough. We are using a round banneton for this loaf so we shape the dough to fit. Take each corner of the dough and fold it into the centre.
Flip the dough over and use your bench scraper to help you form a round ball, pulling the dough underneath itself to cause tension on the surface. Place the dough ‘pretty side’ down into the floured banneton (we like to use rice flour as it helps the dough not to stick)
8. Complete the secondary fermentation (proofing) of the dough. This can either be done at room temperature for 1-4 hours (depending on kitchen temperature), or overnight in the fridge (for more pronounced flavour). Your sourdough is ready to bake when it passes the poke test, which is where you poke a finger in and it springs back but leaves a small indent.
9. Time to bake! Place a Dutch oven in your oven and preheat to 250℃. If you don’t have a Dutch oven you can use a normal baking tray with an additional tray on the rack below that you will pour boiling water in as you put your loaf in the oven. This helps to create steam which will give your bread a great oven spring. Turn the dough out of the banneton onto a piece of baking paper. Score the top of the dough with the bread lame (the tool with the razor blade) – one long slice down the middle should work well. You can even get creative with your scoring patterns!
10. Place the loaf with the baking paper into the Dutch oven, turn the temperature down to 220℃ and bake with the lid on for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the lid and continue baking for 25-30 minutes. The bread is cooked when the internal temperature reaches at least 97℃ or if it sounds hollow when tapped on the base. It should be a deep golden brown.
11. Remove your sourdough loaf from the oven and leave it to fully cool for at least an hour. Resist the urge to slice it early! It will dry out and become gummy if you cut it too early, as it will let a lot of moisture escape.
12.Enjoy your bread! Don’t forget to tag us as @youkneadsourdough on Instagram, or use the hashtag #YouKneadSourdough so we can see your finished sourdough masterpieces.