For me, there’s nothing better than bread.. and cheese! So a bread with cheese must be the ultimate bread. That’s the 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 a sharp cheddar in this recipe. If you don’t like sharp cheese you can substitute with a mild cheddar.
Cheddar originates from the English village Cheddar in Sommerset. 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 a wonderful umami and saltiness to the bread, but also a sublime crunch on the top of the bread.
Opposite the cheddar cheese the Parmagiano Reggiono is a protected title through PDO. That means that if you buy a 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 levain has some whole-grain wheat flour in it, to provide some extra food for your starter. It should be ready in about four hours from when you mix it.
|80g||whole-grain wheat flour||50.0%|
|80g||sourdough starter (100% hydration)||50.0%|
The dough itself does not have any whole-grain in it, so that the crumb will be extra soft. The salt is the common amount of 2%.
The amounts of oregano and smoked paprika has been precisely calibrated to not overpower, but to accentuate the taste of the cheese.
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 breads. The crust, oh my load. A fabulously crunchy crust with extra crisp from the melted Parmesan. It’s a 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.
Ad links! The links in the recipe for ingredients or tools are affiliate links, which means that I get commission if you purchase the product!
Sourdough bread with cheddar, oregano and smoked paprika
- 80 g bread flour
- 80 g whole grain wheat flour
- 80 g mature sourdough starter
- 160 g water
- 500 g water
- 800 g bread flour
- 400 g levain
- 20 g fine salt
- 4 g dried oregano
- 10 g smoked paprika
- 200 g sharp cheddar, grated
- 100 g sharp cheddar, grated
- 50 g parmigiano reggiano, finely grated
Make the levain and autolyse – about 8:00/8 am
- The night before you should feed your starter so it is super active the next morning
- Mix all the ingredients for the levain. Put in a see-through container, preferable with straight sides. Put an elastic band around the container so you can monitor the growth.
- 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, just make sure all the flour is hydrated.
- Leave the autolysed flour under a cloth until the levain has grown to the double size.
Mix the dough – about 13:00/1 pm
- Sprinkle the salt over the autolysed flour. Dissolve the salt with the reserved water.
- Add 400 grams of the levain.
- Mix thoroughly so that both salt and levain is evenly distributed in the dough. Let the dough rest covered for 30 minutes.
Bulk fermentation – about 13:30/1.30pm
- Perform three stretches and folds spaced out by 30 minutes. Mix the cheddar in during the second stretch and fold.
- After the last stretch and fold, you need to do a windowpane test. Stretch the dough slowly with your fingers, if you can make a thin membrane without the dough breaking, you have great gluten development. Not sure how? Watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-Q3gEaZX6Y
- Let the dough rest until it's doubled (about 90 minutes)
Divide & preshape – about 16:00/4 pm
- Divide the dough into two equal 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, put 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 me rest under a dish cloth 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 out out 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. Stretch it downwards and to the right side. Repeat in 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.
- Let the dough rise for about 3 hours, but check it once an hour.
Check if the dough has finished proofing
- Poke one of the breads lightly with your index finger.
- If the indentation fills out completely, you need to proof for longer.
- If the indentation fills slowly and leaves a small indentation, the dough is about ready to bake.
- If the indentation stays the dough has been overproofed, and you need to get it in the oven pronto.
Heat your oven – about 18:30/6.30pm
- Turn on your oven to 260°C/500°F. Put a baking steel in the oven and a small pan at the bottom. Do not use fan assisted.
Bake the breads – about 19:30/7.30pm
- Boil an electric kettle full of water.
- Roll a towel small enough to be able to fit into the pan, put it in the oven and pour over boiling water. Close the oven.
- Turn both breads out onto a peel with parchment paper on. Score the breads 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 and remove the pan.
- Turn the oven down to 230°C/450°F and bake for 20 minutes more.
- Open the oven, dust of any excess rice flour. Put the cheese on top and bake for 5 more minutes.
- Take the breads out of the oven and place them on a wire rack.
- Let the breads cool to room temperature before you cut into them.
I am crazy about food, cakes, snacks and everything in between. I love to do tons of experiments to find the best recipe, so that you don’t have to.