Sourdough cheddar and jalapeno bread step-by-step recipe with photos.
About this recipe
The slight tang from the sourdough when combined with cheesy goodness and jalapeno makes a bread that is so divine. The classic combination of cheese and jalapeno make bread you will not forget. This bread cannot be missed for so many reasons - crusty, soft interior, sharpness from the cheese, and spiciness from the jalapeno.
I have shared earlier how to make the no-knead sourdough bread. This bread is a slight variation of the same with the addition of cheddar cheese and jalapeno. The cheesy goodness combined with a spicy kick from jalapeno, when baked in the naturally leavened bread, tastes so delicious.
Ingredients and variations
Sourdough starter: Make sure the starter is active and bubbly.
Bread flour: I use bread flour to make this bread; however, you can choose any flour – for example, a combination of plain flour and whole wheat flour.
Cheddar cheese: Cut the cheese into small cubes and add to the dough. I prefer using cheese cubes and not shredded cheese.
Jalapeno: I used fresh jalapeno; however you may replace it with pickled jalapeno too. Remove the seeds and cut them into small pieces.
Step by step instructions
Combine starter and water. Add flour, mix well and let it rest (steps 1,2).
Add salt, cheddar cheese cubes, and jalapeno. Bring together to form the dough (steps 3,4).
Gently pull the dough to perform stretch and fold (steps 5,6).
Continue to stretch and fold at 30 minutes intervals (steps 7,8).
The dough gains strength after stretch and folds (steps 9,10).
Let the dough sit for bulk fermentation. The dough almost doubles after bulk fermentation (steps 11,12).
To shape the dough, pick both sides of the dough and bring it to the center (steps 13,14).
Roll it to form a log. Place in a well-dusted kitchen towel for cold proofing (steps 15,16).
Next morning remove the dough from the fridge and score it once the oven is preheated. Place in the hot dutch oven and bake with the lid on (steps 17,18).
Next bake without the lid. Cool it completely before slicing (steps 19,20).
Storing sourdough cheddar and jalapeno bread
This bread can be stored like any other sourdough bread. It stays fresh at room temperature for up to 5 days. Keep the bread wrapped in a cotton bag or a clean tea towel once the bread completely cools down. On the day you slice the bread, keep the cut side down on the board and cover it with a clean tea towel. From the next day onwards, place it in a bread box or air-tight container.
If you plan to store it beyond 3-4 days, it is best to freeze it. You can either freeze it as a whole or you can slice and freeze it. Thaw the bread overnight in the refrigerator or for a few hours at room temperature. You can freeze it for up to three months.
Tips and tricks
The amount of jalapeno I added to this recipe gives a strong flavour to the dish. You can adjust this as per your preference.
Make sure you cut the cheese into small cubes. If they are too big, they can be difficult to handle during stretch and fold.
Handle the dough carefully while doing stretch and fold, given the cheese cubes and jalapeno may make it slightly tricky to handle.
Make sure the starter is active. The night before you plan to make the dough, take the starter from the fridge and feed it in 1:1:1 ratio of starter:flour:water. See the detailed process here.
It is important to note that the time taken for the starter to activate depends on many factors. For example, the ambient temperature, the nature of the starter itself, etc. If your starter activates at a much faster rate, you can activate it the same day you are making the dough. Or, you can use either less starter or cold water to slow down the activation.
I have made this sourdough with bread flour, but you can choose any flour – for example, a combination of plain flour and whole wheat flour.
Sourdough Cheddar and Jalapeno Bread
- Combine active starter and water together
- Slowly add the flour and mix well making sure there are no dry bits of flour. Let it rest for 1 hour
- Next add salt, cheddar, and jalapeno to the dough. Mix well, making sure they are incorporated well
- Perform six sets of stretch and fold at an interval of 30 minutes. Wet hands, grab a portion of the dough and slowly stretch it taking care not to break it and fold it towards the centre over the dough. Keep turning the bowl and repeat the process until all parts of the dough is covered. Carefully flip the dough and round it up. This completes one set of stretch and fold. Repeat this process six times at an interval of 30 minutes. See the pictures below or the video here to see the technique
- Let the dough sit for bulk fermentation until it is almost double and has bubbles on the top
- Dust the banneton well with rice flour
- Shape the dough. Flip the dough onto a well-dusted bench. Pick one side of the dough and fold it to the centre. Pick the other side and fold it to centre. Now hold the dough gently and tuck it to form a log. Carefully place the dough seam-side up on the banneton
- Cover the dough loosely and place it in the refrigerator overnight for cold fermentation
- Next day, place the dutch oven in the oven and preheat at 230 C (450 F) for 45 minutes
- Take the dough out of the fridge once the oven is preheated
- Score the dough using a blade or sharp knife
- Place in the dutch oven and close the lid. Bake for 20 minutes
- Take the lid off the dutch oven and bake for 20 minutes
- Turn off the oven and let the bread sit in the oven for 15 minutes for curing
- Cool completely, slice and serve