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.