Monday, January 26, 2009

Cheesy Sourdough Bread

This was my first attempt at solo-sourdough, after receiving some starter from King Arthur Flour. The King Arthur folks also include very helpful instructions on getting your starter started, keeping it alive, and a couple of recipes. So far, I've made this basic sourdough recipe a few times with different variations, always with excellent results, so this is something you can play around with a bit.

The first time I made the bread, I used the basic sourdough recipe, and added about 1 ounce of Humboldt Fog cheese to the dough at the end of kneading. I shaped the loaf by hand into a round shape. The bread had a wonderfully crispy crust and a soft crumb. It wasn't too sour
, and had a very subtle cheese flavor--I would definitely add more next time (I was just using some leftover cheese so I didn't have very much). Although I know I'm not supposed to cut into just-baked bread, I wasn't able to resist with this one, and it was amazing warm out of the oven. Cutting into the loaf early didn't seem to hurt anything, and the rest of the loaf was quickly consumed! Feel free to double this as it made a relatively small loaf.

The next time I baked the bread, I made two loaves and baked them in loaf pans. This worked well: the trade-off is that the crust was less crispy, but the loaf pan made the bread easier to cut into slices for sandwiches or toast. For the first loaf, I left the bread plain (without cheese), and the result was a mild, tasty sourdough that was a perfect pairing for my Mom's peach jam. For the second loaf, I added 1/2 ounce grated Parmesan cheese and 2 ounces grated sharp Cheddar cheese. This loaf had a much cheesier result than the Humboldt Fog bread and was perfect for any and all savory uses.

Don't forget to check out other awesome yeast-y goodies at YeastSpotting (round-up posted every Friday).

Cheesy Sourdough Bread
(adapted from King Arthur Flour)
1 round loaf

1/2 cup (4.25 ounces) sourdough starter
3/4 cup (6 ounces) lukewarm water
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp instant yeast
1 cup (4 ounces) unbleached bread flour
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, more as needed
1-3 ounces crumbled or shredded cheese, optional

1. Combine all the ingredients except the cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer. Briefly mix to combine, and then knead to form a soft, smooth dough. Add more flour as needed; the dough should be only slightly sticky.
2. Crumble the cheese into small pieces. Flatten the dough into a circle or square on a cutting board or another flat surface. Sprinkle the cheese over the dough and roll up the dough. Knead briefly to distribute the cheese throughout the dough.
3. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled, about 90 minutes.
4. Shape the dough into a round loaf. Place on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise until very puffy, about 60 minutes. Slash the top, and bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and hollow-sounding. Cool on a rack.

My housemate even gave this bread an award! The plain loaf is on the left and the Cheddar-Parmesan loaf is on the right.


  1. Nice job on the bread! It looks fantastic!~

  2. Very nice, I would love to make sourdough.

  3. That is a beautiful loaf - great complexion :)

  4. Wow! Your bread is beautiful!

    Thanks for commenting on my blog, I'm excited to have found yours!

  5. Yummy, I am trying to get over my yeast fear.

  6. i know that ur like, WAY older than me, but we havve the same taste in books, LOL :)

  7. Well done! I have been to chicken to try to make sourdough myself hehe :)

  8. Looks totally delicious. I've been craving cheese bread lately! Well-done with the sourdough, too!

  9. Haha how cute - a bread award! Love the sound of that sourdough loaf. Especially when paired with the word "cheesy"!

  10. How did you like the King Arthur starter? I was thinking about getting it for a friend who wants to start making bread.
    Are you keeping it going or did you use it all?

  11. @ Janet:

    I liked the KA starter a lot...easy to revive from the little container it was sent in and it's been going strong ever since! I have been keeping it going...I just always feed the starter a little more than I need for the recipe, and then there's some left to save at the end.

  12. Wow, delicious! Good to see you really going to town on your sourdough baking.

  13. Bread with cheese is always good. I bet it smelled amazing while baking!

  14. I got here from Wild Yeast. I was inspired by your bread and made small Cheesy Sourdough loaves to serve as bowls for Superbowl Chili.

    They were great! Thank you.

  15. @ trainlady:
    That sounds like an awesome use for this bread! Yum. I'll have to try making this into soup bowls too. :)

  16. ooooh
    i like it tooo much
    and i will go right now to the kitchen and try it
    it's soooo lovely