The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

What's the rule of thumb

Anonymous baker's picture
Anonymous baker (not verified)

What's the rule of thumb

When adding cheese and cayenne pepper to a sourdough? How much is too much? Don't wish to spoil the integrity of the dough.

Ford's picture

I have used this procedure with success.

Cheese Bread


[40 sl./lf., 1/2" sl., 23g, 63 cal, 2.5 g pro, 2.5 g fat, 7.9 g carb., 8 mg cholesterol, 138 mg Na]

 Makes four loaves.


 white or sourdough bread recipe (102 oz., 2,892 g) (normally 3 loaves)

32 oz. wt. (907g, 16 cup) grated Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese (8 oz ea. loaf)

6 oz. wt. (170 g, 1 1/2 cup) grated Parmesan cheese

1 Tbs. dry mustard

1/4 tspn. ground cayenne pepper (optional)

solid shortening for greasing pans

white corn meal for dusting pans

1/4 cup (1.3 oz., 37 g) toasted (325°F for 20 min.) sesame seeds (optional)

water in a sprayer


Make dough as called for by the recipe, that normally makes three loaves.  Grate cheddar cheese and divide into four parts.  Thoroughly mix Parmesan cheese, mustard, and cayenne pepper.  Grease and dust with corn meal four 20" French bread loaf pans.

After the dough has risen, turn it out on to floured board.  Divide into four (4) equal parts and knead as usual.  Let dough rest for about 10 minutes then roll out into rectangles about 12" square.  Lightly spray the dough with water.  Distribute a quarter of the Parmesan cheese mixture (~1/3 cup) and a quarter of the grated cheddar cheese evenly over each rectangle; then again lightly spray the surfaces with water.  Roll up the rectangles, then flatten, and fold over the ends to seal in the cheeses, prick with a fork to let out trapped air.  Let rest about ten minutes.  Roll out into rectangles a second time, and fold in thirds; prick with a fork to let out trapped air.  Turn the dough, roll out a third time, and fold in thirds.  Let rest for about 10 minutes, then shape to fit the greased and dusted (with corn meal) French bread pans.  Of course, you may shape into four freestanding bâtarde and not use the pans.  Spray with water; sprinkle sesame seeds {optional} on each loaf; and again spray with water.  Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled.

Alternatively, regular bread pans may be used, without using the corn meal or the seeds.  Place loaves in the greased pans, seam side down.  Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled.

Preheat oven to 400°F with a pan of boiling water on the bottom shelf, and the middle shelf reserved for the bread pans.  When the dough has risen, make shallow diagonal cuts in the tops (French bread type only) with razor blade or very sharp knife.  Spray again with water, and place immediately into the oven.  Spray the loaves 3 additional times at 1-2 minute intervals to permit additional rising.  After 15 minutes reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.  Bake until the loaves sound hollow when thumped with a finger on the bottom (195 to 200°F interior temperature), an additional 60 minutes (about 1 1/4 hour total).  Return to oven in the pan, if not done.  Turn out on to a cooling rack, cover with wet towels.  If sesame seeds are not used the loaves may be brushed with melted butter.  After cooling, the bread may be packaged and frozen.  Bread is best when toasted.



Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

for the excellent explanation. I actually had mature cheddar in mind. Thank you for taking the time to write up your method which I can follow and you've include how to incorporate it to. Always helpful! 

- Abe

P.s. we think alike :) Toasted I'd imagine would be so good.

Elsasquerino's picture

Ford's advise on quantities sounds spot on to me. Only thing i might say is from experience I prefer to chop rather than grate the cheese, I just love the little pockets of cheese you find rather than it all disappearing into the crumb. Can't wait to see what you turn out this week.

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

Thanks Elasquerino. I actually don't have a grater so earlier today I went to look for the particular cheese in mind, Arvo Cheddar, already grated but couldn't find any so it'll be all by hand. 

It'll be a variation of last week's Broa de Milho. It went so well with cheese on top that I had an idea to put it in and for some reason I thought some chilli pepper would be a nice addition as well. I've done the Levain build ahead of time. It's now maturing and gathering flavour in the fridge.