The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Old Cheddar, Pickled Jalapeño and Chives Sourdough

Danni3ll3's picture

Old Cheddar, Pickled Jalapeño and Chives Sourdough

I needed to try something different and an old cheddar/jalapeno combo appealed to me. I took my Pain de Campagne recipe and added the cheddar, jalapeños and some chives. Hopefully, it turns out yummy.



Note: Don’t skip the parchment paper lining on this one. You’ll never get the loaves out if you do. 




Makes 3 loaves



100 g sliced pickled jalapeños 

250 g old cheddar cheese, cut into 1/4 inch cubes

24 g minced chives


Main Dough

100 g freshly milled spelt flour (125 g Spelt berries)

100 g freshly milled rye flour  (125 g rye berries)

100 g freshly milled Kamut flour (125 g Kamut berries)

775 g unbleached strong bakers flour

800 g filtered water

20 g Himalayan pink salt

30 g local yogurt

250 g 100% hydration levain (procedure for this is in recipe)

Extra whole grain and unbleached flour to feed the levain 


Two mornings before:

1. Take 2 g of refrigerated starter and feed it 4 g of filtered water and 4 g of wholegrain flour. Let sit at cool room temperature for the day. 


The two nights before:

1. Feed the levain 20 g of water and 20 g of wholegrain flour. Let that rise at cool room temperature for the night. 


The morning before:

1. Feed the levain 100 g of filtered water and 50 g of wholegrain flour as well as 50g of strong baker’s flour. Let rise until doubled (about 8 hours). 

2. Place into fridge until the next morning. 


The night before:

1. Mill the grain on the finest setting of your mill or measure out commercial whole grain flour of the various grains if you don’t mill your own.

2. Place the required amount of each freshly milled flour in a tub and add the unbleached flour to it. Cover and set aside. 

  1. Cube the cheddar, add a tablespoon of flour and toss with your fingers to separate the chunks. Place in the fridge overnight. 
  2. Drain the jalapeños and chop them into smaller pieces. Mince the chives, put with the jalapeños in a bowl, and refrigerate overnight.


Dough making day:

1. When ready to make the dough, take the levain, the cheese and the chives/jalapeños out of the fridge to warm up before being used in the dough. I usually give the levain a good stir to redistribute the food for the yeast and bacteria. This seems to give it a head-start. 

2. Using a stand mixer, mix the water with the flours, and mix on speed 1 until all the flour has been hydrated. Let this autolyse for a couple of hours. 

3. Once the autolyse is done, add the salt, the yogurt, and the levain to the bowl. Mix on speed one for a minute to integrate everything, then mix on speed 2 for 9 minutes. Put in the add-ins and mix until well integrated. This takes a good couple of minutes. 

4. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and place in a lightly oiled covered tub. Let rest 30 minutes in a warm spot (oven with light on). 

5. Do 2 sets of stretches and folds at 30 minute intervals and then 2 sets of sleepy ferret folds (coil folds) at 45 minute intervals, and then let the dough rise to about 50%. It should have irregular bubbles visible through the sides of the container and  bubbles on top as well. This took another hour and a half after the last coil fold. 

6. Tip the dough out on a bare counter, sprinkle the top with flour and divide into portions of ~850 g. Round out the portions into rounds with a dough scraper and let rest 30 minutes on the counter. 

7. Do a final shape by flouring the top of the rounds and flipping the rounds over on a lightly floured counter. Gently stretch the dough out into a circle. Pull and fold the third of the dough closest to you over the middle. Pull the right side and fold over the middle and do the same to the left. Fold the top end to the center patting out any cavities. Finally stretch the two top corners and fold over each other in the middle. Roll the bottom of the dough away from you until the seam is underneath the dough. Cup your hands around the dough and pull towards you, doing this on all sides of the dough to round it off. Finally spin the dough to make a nice tight boule. Note that the cheese cubes like to pop out so I pulled them off the outside as much as possible and tucked them under the dough. In retrospect, that was a really good idea since it helped to minimize the sticking of the loaves to the sides of the pots. 

8. Sprinkle a  mix of rice and all purpose flour in the bannetons. Place the dough seam side down in the bannetons. Let rest for a few minutes on the counter and then put to bed in a cold (38F) fridge overnight. 

Baking Day

1. The next morning, heat the oven to 475F with the Dutch ovens inside for 45 minutes to an hour. Turn out the dough seam side up onto a cornmeal sprinkled counter. Place rounds of parchment paper in the bottom of the pots, and carefully but quickly place the dough seam side up inside. 

2. Cover the pots and bake the loaves at 450 F for 25 minutes, remove the lids, and bake for another 22 minutes at 425 F. Internal temperature should be 205 F or more.

Be aware that the loaves might stick to the sides of your pots due to the cheese. I ran a thin knife down the sides to break the stuck spots and with the parchment paper on the bottom, the loaves popped right out. 


Danni3ll3's picture

Danni3ll3's picture

Elsie_iu's picture

Usually cheese gets melted pretty completely so you only get the flavor but not the texture. I wonder if it resisted melting because it was aged. How mature is your cheddar? 

Danni3ll3's picture

Old cheddar, no name brand. I was very surprised to see that it hadn’t completely melted. 

Hubby thought that maybe my chunks might have been too big. 

ifs201's picture

I love that flavor combination. I would make a similar loaf today if I had cheddar or if the supermarket line wasn't two blocks long ;) 

MontBaybaker's picture

Can't wait to try it!  When time doesn't permit baking, that wonderful flavor combo is in every grocery store here in central CA (and NM when we visit).  Long batards, rolls, and a bialy-looking version. 

Danni, your bakes are so consistent.  Are you SURE you don't have a machine to shape those perfect loaves and flour the bannetons?  Be well!  Baking is good therapy during this strange time.

Danni3ll3's picture

I use a tiny kitchen strainer/sieve to dust my bannetons and I always shape my loaves the same way. That might account for the consistency. 😊

isand66's picture

Great flavor combo. Looks perfect for a nice spicy sandwich or with some chili!

Danni3ll3's picture

With soup, white chili, hummus and on its own. Yummy with everything!

alfanso's picture

and we've mentioned the consistency thing in the past.  But what is old cheddar?  Just some cheese laying around for too long, or is it a thing as I'm only familiar with levels of sharpness to the cheese.


Danni3ll3's picture

Been laying around longer to increase the sharpness. Thing of aged cheddar. We have mild, medium and old categories here. The first two are rather insipid as far as I am concerned. Don’t know why anyone would buy them. 😂