The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

smoked cheddar

isand66's picture

I haven't made bread with my Yeast Water starter in a while so I figured I would try making a YW levain using my proofer set at 86 degrees F. and see how it came out.  I was hoping the proofer would allow the YW levain to develop better than it usually does and it did not disappoint.  The levain was made in 2 builds with the first one lasting 7 hours and the second about 4 hours.

Since I was not going to use my sourdough starter in this one I figured I would use some buttermilk to give the dough a little bit of tang.  I wanted to make at least a 50 plus percent whole grain bread so I used the Turkey Hard Red Wheat flour again along with some Organic Bread flour from KAF, Barley flour, Wheat Germ for some nuttiness and some Potato flour to round it out.

I picked up some smoked cheddar just for this bread and added some walnut oil to add a bit more nuttiness as well.

I followed a similar time schedule using my proofer as I did for my last bake using my normal bulk fermentation for the dough to develop the flavor.

The final dough came out as good as expected with a nice dark crust with cheesy goodness throughout the tender open crumb.

Levain Directions Build 1

Mix all the levain ingredients together for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.  (Note: I used my proofer set at 85 degrees).

Either use in the main dough immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day before using.

Levain Directions Build 2

Add all the ingredients listed to the levain from Build 1 and mix well.  Let it sit in your proofer or a warm place about 85 degrees for 4-5 hours until the starter is nice and bubbly and has doubled in size.

Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours, buttermilk and water together in your mixer or by hand until it just starts to come together, maybe about 1 minute.  Let it rest in your work bowl covered for 20-30 minutes.  Next add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), walnut oil, and mix on low for 4 minutes.  Next add the cheese (cut into small cubes) and mix on low-speed for another 2 minute to incorporate the cheese evenly.  Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds.  Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold.  Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold.  (Note: I used my proofer set at 80 degrees). After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours.  ( I used my proofer set at 80 degrees F.)   Remove the dough and shape as desired.  I made 1 large miche but you can make 2 boules or other shapes.  Place your dough into your proofing basket(s) and cover with a moist tea towel.

I put the dough in my proofer set at 85 degrees F.  The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature or it will take 1.5 hours in the proofer.  Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 500 degrees F. and prepare it for steam.  I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf.  I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.

Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

After 1 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees.  For the large Miche I baked at 450 F. for 35 minutes and another 40 minutes at 425 degrees.

Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.

isand66's picture

I was reading someone elses post the other day and they commented that they were using a smoked flour for their next bake.  I love just about anything smoked...ribs, brisket, name it as far as I'm concerned it tastes better after smoking with some wood.  Unfortunately the flour in question is only available in England and Amazon UK will not ship to the USA, so I figured the next best thing would be to add some smoked cheese to my next bake.  I did not know when I bought this smoked cheddar at the local Shoprite that it would be so good.  I could have eaten the whole block just by itself!  Anyway, I managed to save enough to add to the bread dough along with some Queso mexican cheese I had used in my last corn sourdough (unfortunately this one ended up as bird food due to its refusal to rise properly and my changing of its schedule).

I had a request from someone at work to add some carmelized onions and if you have read my blog you know you don't need to ask me twice to use onions in a bread.  I used my new shipment of flour from KAF including my favorite European Flour, Durum Flour and for some nutty flavor I added some wheat germ and cracked wheat.  I also added some potato flour for good measure along with my AP 65% hydration starter.


71 grams Seed (Mine is 65% AP Flour Starter)

227 grams AP Flour

151 grams Water (85 - 90 degrees F.)

Mix seed with water to break up for a few seconds and then mix in flour until the starter form a smooth dough consistency.  Put it in a lightly oiled bowl and loosely cover and leave at room temperature for at least 10 hours.  The starter should double in volume.  Put the starter in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 days or use it immediately.

Main Dough


425 grams Starter from above (all of the starter)

290 grams European Style Flour ( can substitute bread or AP flour or a combination of the two)

150 grams Durum Flour (make sure not to use Fancy Semolina as it is too gritty)

25 grams Potato Flour

40 grams Wheat Germ

40 grams Cracked Wheat

78 grams Carmelized Onions

60 grams Queso Cheese

40 grams Smoked Cheddar

8 grams Olive Oil

400 grams Water (85 - 90 degrees F.)

18 grams Sea Salt (or table salt)

Total Hydration (I included Wheat Germ and Cracked Wheat as flour which is not necessarily correct, but that's what I like to do): 71%


On baking day, cut a medium size sweet onion into thin rings and sweat the onion in a frying pan with a couple of teaspoons of olive oil for 5 minutes or so until they are nice and soft and you have drawn most of the moisture out.  Set them aside in a bowl to cool to room temperature.

Next, mix  the flours, wheat germ and cracked wheat together with all the water except for 50 grams and let them autolyes for 30 minutes up to an hour.    Next add the levain, oil and the water with the salt and mixed on speed #1 for 2 minutes.  Now add the onions and mix for another 2 minutes until they are well incorporated.  Lastly add the cheese and mix for an additional  minute.  Remove the dough from your mixing bowl to your work surface.  If necessary you can lightly oil or flour your surface, but I didn't need to do this.  I then did a stretch and fold, rested the dough uncovered for 10 minutes.  I then did another stretch and fold, covered the dough and let it rest for 10 minutes.  Repeat this S & F procedure one more time and let it rest another 10 minutes.  Do one last S & F  and put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl for 2 hours.  I then put it in the fridge overnight.

The next day when I returned from work I removed the dough from the refrigerator and  I let the dough sit out at room temperature for 2 hours.  After 2 hours I formed it into loaves and put them in floured bannetons and let them rise covered for 2 hours.  Score the loaves as desired and prepare your oven for baking with steam.

I then baked on my oven stone with steam at 450 degrees until both loaves were golden brown and reached an internal temperature of 200 - 210 degrees F.

The loaves were oozing cheese and the whole house smelled like a grilled cheese sandwich....that's not a bad thing by the way!

The crust was perfect with a nice bloom and oozing cheese and the crumb wasn't too shabby either.  I think the combination of onions, cheese, and flours make this one a keeper.

This bread has been submitted to Yeast Spotting here at

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