Updated: Dec 27, 2021
These are one of my favourite inclusions for home made sourdough bread and I have been making them time and again. Sourdough bread does involve a lot of patience but once you have come to appreciate this craftmanship, there is no turning back. You can substitute cheddar cheese with any type of cheese that you prefer and even include some chopped herbs for that extra flavour.
If you are new to sourdough, check out my post on #5 Olive Sourdough for some insights.
YIELD: The recipe below makes 1 x 750 g medium loaf
Duration: 2 Days
Level of Patience required: HIGH
35 g Whole Wheat Baker's Flour
35 g Organic White Baker's Flour
70 g Water 24°C
70 g Active Starter
70 g 20% Whole Wheat Baker's Flour
280 g 80% T55 White Baker's Flour (13.5% Protein)
310 g 88% Water
7 g 2% Salt
88 g 25% Ripe Levain
60 g Cheddar cheese - small cubed
40 g Chopped Jalapeño
Note: Below is an idea of a workflow that works for me in preparation of the sourdough bread. You will need to adjust the schedule that best suits you.
Saturday 6:30 am - Autolyze and prepare Levain
When you are planning ahead to make sourdough bread, it is recommended that you refresh your starter by feeding it twice a day at least 3 day prior to making the sourdough Levain that will go into the final dough. The starter is kept at room temperature during refreshing for easier monitoring the activity of the starter.
To prepare the Levain, mix all the Levain ingredients together into a loosely close jar with a rubber band tied around the jar level with the Levain to monitor activity. The Levain used here is a 100% hydration Levain which will take roughly around 4 to 6 hours for it to be ready or double in volume. The time taken relies heavily on the ambient of your kitchen.
Prepare the autolyze by mixing in all of the flours and water into a shaggy mass with no big dry lumps of flour. Cover the bowl of dough and leave to autolyze until the Levain is ready.
12 pm Add Levain
5 hour 30 minutes after Autolyze and Levain are prepared
To test if the Levain is ready to use, gently scoop some and drop them into a jug of water. If it floats on top, this means that it is ready. Be careful not to be too rough while you scoop the Levain as this can knock the air out and will cause it to sink into the water. An active Levain would have doubled if not tripled in volume and have domed a little on the surface.
Once you are sure that the Levain is ready, add the required amount into the autolyzed dough and squeeze and knead into the dough until they are well incorporated. This process takes around 2 to 3 minutes to do.
Cover the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes
12:40 pm Add Salt
30 minutes after the Levain has been added
Sprinkle the salt over the top of the dough, wet your hands a little them rub it over the dough. The same as you would add the Levain into the dough, squeeze and knead the salt until you can no longer feel granules of the salt. This process takes around 2 minutes to do.
Note: You will notice in the summary video below that I dip my hands several times in the water as I knead the salt in to the dough. This is to add slightly more water into my dough. After I have added the salt, I felt that my dough was a little too resistant and tight. If you have a very resistant dough that feels really tough at this point, you can add a slight amount of water by dabbing additional water like I did by hand to loosen it a. A dough that has too much tenacity will not rise well during baking as the extensibility of the dough are too tight. This could be due to two reasons: the protein content is too high and your water content is too low. The only adjustable thing you can do at this point is to add a little more water.
Cover the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes.
From the moment you add the salt, the Bulk Fermentation process begins. The bulk fermentation time for this dough takes roughly around 4 to 5 hours with a coil fold in between with a Lamination method to include the inclusions after the first rest, and 3 coil folds with 30 minutes resting time in between for the first 2 hours. For the rest of the bulk fermentation time, the dough are covered and rested undisturbed.
1:10 pm Lamination with inclusions
30 minutes after salt are added
Lightly spray the workbench with some water (not too much as this can cause the dough to slide around too much and make it difficult to stretch out). Transfer the dough from the bowl on to the damp table then proceed to gently stretching the dough out from the center in to a rectangle. You do not need to stretch it out too thin, just enough for you to spread the inclusions on and to fold the dough on to each other.
Sprinkle the inclusions on top of the sheet of dough. Length wise, fold the top end to meet the center, then fold the bottom ends over to full cover the top of the dough. Now you will have a strip of dough, fold the left side of the dough until the ends meet the center then fold the right end of the dough over to fully cover the rest of the left side.
Grease a container and transfer the laminated dough into it. Cover with a lid and let it rest for 30 minutes.
1:50 pm First Coil Fold
30 minutes after lamination
Perform the First coil Fold as shown in the video. Cover and rest for another 30 minutes.
2:20 pm Second Coil Fold
30 minutes after the first coil fold
Perform the Second Coil Fold. Cover then rest for another 30 minutes.
2:50 pm Third Coil Fold
30 minutes after the second coil fold
Perform the third and final coil fold. Cover and rest for 2 hours undisturbed.
5 pm Final Shape
2 hours after the final coil fold
Lightly dust the work bench with some bakers flour then transfer the dough over. Pre shape the dough then place it into a dusted proofing basket seam side facing up. Dust the seam sides with some flour to prevent sticking, cover then leave at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours before placing in the fridge to retard. You want the dough to increase a little in size to around 30 % after you shaped it before placing in the fridge.
Note: If after shaping the dough you feel that the dough is spreading a little too much, perform another coil fold and leave the dough on the bench covered with a tea towel. Leave for 20 minutes to monitor how much it spread and flattens out again. If it is holding its shape well after the additional coil fold, you can do the final shape again and place it into the dusted proofing basket. When I pre shaped the dough, I find the dough to be holding on to itself pretty well and have skipped the final shaping. Because of the initial fold and lamination before the coil folds, it should be enough to create the necessary strength without having to pre shape. This also depends on how much gluten you have formed through mixing the dough and the flours that you are using. So, it is recommended that you go by feel and your best judgement.
6 pm Retard
Once the dough have rested at room temperature. Retard the dough in the fridge sitting at 3 - 5°C overnight for 14 - 16 hours to be baked in the morning the next day. I find that the dough starts to lose its volume is left in the fridge to retard for over 18 hours. So it is best to bake it around the 14 to 16 hours timeline.
7 am the next morning Pre heat the oven
An hour prior to baking, place the cast iron pot with its lid into the oven and preheat the oven with it to 230°C and leave it standing for an hour. At this point, the sourdough is still in the proofing basket in the fridge.
8 am Scoring and baking
Remove the sourdough from the fridge. lightly dust the top with some flour then place a parchment paper on top. Turn the proofing basket upside down to release the dough. Dust the top with more flour (optional) and score.
Place the dough gently into the hot cast iron pot. Cover with the lid and bake in the pre heated oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the lid and turn down the oven temperature to 210°C and bake a further 40 to 50 minutes or until it turn to the desired crust color.
Remove the baked loaf from the oven and immediately transfer the dough (be careful not to burn yourself) over a wire rack, removing the parchment paper, to cool fully for at least 2 hours before cutting.
10 am ENJOY!