The Fresh Loaf

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Old Cheddar, Pickled Jalapeño and Chives Sourdough 

Danni3ll3's picture

Old Cheddar, Pickled Jalapeño and Chives Sourdough 

It was time to redo this one! I just changed some of the grains from the last time I made this and reduced the jalapeño amount because that’s what I had. I also couldn’t get fresh chives so freeze dried had to do. 



Makes 3 loaves



55 - 100 g sliced pickled jalapeños (to taste)

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

3 g freeze dried chives or 24 g fresh chopped chives


Main Dough

100 g freshly milled Selkirk wheat flour 

100 g freshly milled rye flour 

100 g freshly milled Red Fife wheat flour 

775 g unbleached strong bakers flour

775 g filtered water + 25 g

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



The day before:

1. About 8 hours before bedtime, take 2 g of refrigerated starter and feed it 4 g of filtered water and 4 g of wholegrain flour. Let sit in a warm spot. 


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.
  3. Cube the cheddar, add a tablespoon of flour and toss with your fingers to separate the chunks. Place in the fridge overnight.
  4. Drain the jalapeños and chop them into smaller pieces. Mince the chives if using fresh, put with the jalapeños in a bowl, and refrigerate overnight.
  5. Feed the levain 20 g of water and 20 g of wholegrain flour. Let that rise at room temperature for the night.


Dough making day:

1. Feed the levain 100 g of filtered water and 50 g of wholegrain flour as well as 50g of strong baker’s flour. Place in a warm spot. Let rise until doubled (about 5-6 hours). Take the cheese and the chives/jalapeños out of the fridge to warm up before being used in the dough. 


2. About two hours before the levain is ready, 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 8 minutes. Put in the add-ins and extra water if needed, and  mix until well integrated. This takes 3-4 more minutes at least. 

I tried a bit of an experiment. For the last two batches, I dumped everything into the bowl and set the time for 10 minutes. I read that Hamelman said that it didn’t make a difference if one put the add-in at the beginning or near the end of the mixing. Surprisingly, it still needed time at the end to fully distribute and integrate the cheese. 


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 coil folds at 30 minute intervals and then 2 other sets at 45 minute intervals, and then let the dough rise to about 30%. It should have irregular bubbles visible through the sides of the container and bubbles on top as well. This took only another half hour after the last coil fold.


6. Tip the dough out on a bare counter, sprinkle the top with flour and divide into portions of ~835 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

The second batch is still in the oven but it looks like I got better oven spring than the first batch. Maybe putting all the add-ins at the beginning of the final mix is better than during the last couple of minutes. ?

Danni3ll3's picture

Loaves on the left had add-ins added near the end of the mixing and loves on the right had the add-ins dumped in at the beginning with the yogurt, salt and Levain. I wouldn’t have believed that it would make that much of a difference! 

Danni3ll3's picture

Benito's picture

This is very unusual Danni.  Typically your first and second sets are identical, but this time the oven spring on the second set if noticeably better than the first set.  All of them look great.


Danni3ll3's picture

from my usual procedure was when I put the add-ins in the dough. ??‍♀️

HeiHei29er's picture

Great looking bake as always!  

Curious...  Does the jalapeno flavor permeate throughout the loaf, or do you get the flavor whenever you find a piece of it?  The perfect grilled sandwich loaf.  Just add meat.  No toppings required!  

Danni3ll3's picture

I made this a year ago and I don’t remember.