For me, there’s nothing better than bread.. and cheese! So bread with cheese must be the ultimate bread. That’s what I set out to test with this bread. Here is my recipe for sourdough bread with cheddar, oregano, and smoked paprika.
Cheddar is one of the most popular cheeses in the world. It’s a pretty good cheese that fits perfectly with other foods and in a sandwich. Personally, I like cheeses with more taste, so I’ve used sharp cheddar in this recipe. If you don’t like sharp cheese you can substitute it with mild cheddar.
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Recipe updated July 2022!
I’ve updated the recipe to follow my current method, so the amounts in the video are off and you will get better results if you use what’s listed in the recipe here.
Cheddar originates from the English village Cheddar in Somerset. Oddly enough it isn’t a protected title like many of the French and Italian cheeses (and a couple of Danish ones as well).
The topping has cheddar but also Parmagiano Reggiano. It gives both wonderful umami and saltiness to the bread, but also a sublime crunch on the top of the bread.
Opposite the cheddar cheese, the Parmagiano Reggiano is a protected title through PDO. That means that if you buy cheese by that name, it will be the original. Again, you can substitute with a generic Parmesan if you can’t get the original. You could use a Danish Rød Krystal, which is a Danish version of this type of cheese.
The formula in this sourdough bread with cheddar recipe
The dough itself does not have any whole grain in it so the crumb will be extra soft. The salt is the common amount of 2%.
The amounts of oregano and smoked paprika have been precisely calibrated to not overpower but to accentuate the taste of the cheese.
|sourdough starter (100% hydration)
If you want to play around with the hydration or the formula, you can do it here in my bread calculator.
The conclusion on this sourdough bread with cheddar recipe
This bread is what you’d call a crowd-pleaser. Every time I make it, a line forms in front of my kitchen and people’s eyes light up when they hear I am going to make it.
The taste of this bread really works. The smoke and the sweetness from the paprika, the green earthy notes from the oregano, and the big hit of umami from the cheddar and the Parmesan. It all works in tandem.
The crumb is soft and lovely. A little bit stretchy like you know from other sourdough bread. The crust, oh my load. A fabulously crunchy crust with extra crisp from the melted Parmesan. It’s really great bread.
I’d recommend this bread for any hearty long-simmered dish. It goes great with a hot chili con carne. I think I’d be hard-pressed to find a dish that it wouldn’t be great with.
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This is my recipe for sourdough bread with cheddar, oregano, and smoked paprika. I hope you will try to bake it. If you make this recipe and post it on Instagram, please tag me as @foodgeek.dk so that I can see it. That would make me happy.
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Sourdough bread with cheddar, oregano and smoked paprika
- 100 g sharp cheddar, grated
- 50 g parmigiano reggiano, finely grated
- You should feed your starter the night before, so it is super active for the recipe.
- Mix all the flour, oregano, and smoked paprika. Add the water (reserve 50 grams for later) and mix it thoroughly. Do not knead the dough; make sure all the flour is hydrated.
- Leave the dough covered for at least 30 minutes.
Mix the dough
- Sprinkle the salt over the autolysed flour. Dissolve the salt with the reserved water. Add 160 grams of starter on top.
- Mix thoroughly to distribute the salt and starter in the dough evenly. Let the dough rest covered for 30 minutes.
- Perform three stretches and folds spaced out by 30 minutes. Mix the cheddar in during the second stretch and fold.
- Let the dough rest until it's grown 25-50%.
Divide & preshape
- Divide the dough into two equally-sized pieces. I usually measure, but you can eyeball it.
- Grab a piece of dough. Grab the bottom part of the dough, stretch it and fold about 2/3 up towards the top.
- Grab the top of the dough, stretch it and fold it down towards yourself.
- Continue with the left and the right side.
- Grab your bench scraper and flip the dough upside down so that the taut surface you've just created is now facing up.
- Now you need to make a ball using your bench scraper.
- Put the scraper behind the dough and pull it towards yourself. Use your other hand to control the dough.
- When you can't get any further, place the scraper in front of the ball and push it back while turning it around so that the scraper gets behind the ball again.
- Keep going until you have a taut surface on the ball.
- Continue with the other ball of dough. When you've shaped them both, let them rest under a dishcloth for 30 minutes.
Shaping the dough
- Flour your bannetons with rice flour.
- Now you are going to be shaping a bâtard. A long bread. Not as long or thin as a baguette, but you know what I mean, right?
- Take one of the dough balls and flip it over with your bench scraper.
- Stretch the dough into a rectangle by pulling the corners.
- You now need to fold the dough like you'd lace a shoe.
- Grab the left side of the dough and stretch it downwards and to the right side. Repeat on the right side a little bit further down.
- Move down a bit and repeat. Keep going until the how bread has been laced.
- Flip the bread into the banneton so that the top is facing downwards. Sprinkle liberally with rice flour.
- Put the banneton in a plastic bag and put it on the kitchen counter.
- Continue with the other dough ball.
- Put both loaves in the fridge for at least 8 hours, up to 48 hours.
Bake the bread
- Turn on your oven to 230°C/450°F. Put a baking steel in the oven and a small pan at the bottom. Do not use fan-assist.
- Boil a kettle full of water.
- Roll a towel small enough to fit into the pan, put it in the oven, and pour over boiling water. Close the oven.
- Turn both loaves out onto a peel with parchment paper. Score the loaves how you want and put them into the oven directly on the baking steel.
- Spray about 8-10 times onto the side of the oven with a spray bottle and close the oven door.
- Bake for about 20 minutes. Open the oven, remove the pan and bake for 20 minutes more.
- Open the oven, and dust off any excess rice flour. Put the cheese on top and bake for five more minutes.
- Take the bread out of the oven and place them on a wire rack. Let them cool to room temperature before you cut into them.