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#18 Sourdough - Jalapeño and Cheddar

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

Final Dough

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


Time Flow

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