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Cheddar Parmesan sourdough anyone?
Homemade bread can be intimidating. It doesn’t have to be of course. There are super easy loaves that you can make with little equipment.
Then there is sourdough. Making a sourdough starter is a labor of love, for sure. It requires patience, commitment, and lots and lots of flour. I have several sourdough starters in my fridge, one that is more than ten years old. For real. It makes bread that is tangy and full of flavor. The kind you probably don’t need to add to cheese to. Or maybe you do?
A little while ago, I read Flour Water Salt Yeast. If you’re interested in bread-making at all, this is a great place to start. It makes it easy to get make good, crusty, sourdough in your oven at home. The starter I used for this cheddar Parmesan sourdough came from this. It’s not as old, but still has a little bit of tang.
Before you make this recipe, you’ll need a sourdough starter. I’m not gonna go in-depth about that here, but it will take about five days to get a starter going so that you can make bread with it. You’ll basically mix equal parts flour and water, let it sit at room temperature, remove some, and then add more flour and water every day. The starter will pick up yeast from the air and should be enough to make some bread. You can save it in the fridge, but to reactivate it, you’ll need to refresh it, which takes a few days.
This recipe uses less than a tablespoon of culture, so I get mine out when I’m in the mood to make a lot of bread. Usually that is just when the weather starts to get chilly and soup is on the menu.
This recipe uses a leaven, which is just a mix of sourdough starter, more flour and water. It may sound intimidating, but I promise it’s not. Just read through the recipe before beginning, make sure you have enough time (you’ll start the day before you bake) and you’ll be fine.
Cheddar Parmesan Sourdough Boule
Perfect for soups and stews, this cheddar Parmesan sourdough with a molten lava of cheese on top is exactly what fall needs.
Combine the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until it forms a thick batter. Cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 12 hours.
After 12 hours, it should be very bubbly. If not, let it sit for a couple more hours. If it still isn’t bubbly, your starter is not active enough and you’ll need to feed it another day or two.
Make the dough:
When your leaven is ready, add it to a mixing bowl with the warm water water. Mix until the leaven is fully mixed with the water.
Add the salt, flour, 1 cup cheddar, and Parmesan cheese. Stir with a wooden spoon until you have a very shaggy dough.
Cover with a clean towel and let rest for 2-4 hours.
Fold the dough by lifting one side of the dough and folding over itself. After each fold, turn your bowl, and fold four times. Let the dough rest for a half hour, then fold again. Repeat this process four times, resting for a half hour between each one.
After folding, form the dough into a ball. Let rise for 3-4 hours. Form into a tight ball and place on parchment.
After forming the dough into a ball, place a large Dutch oven in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.
When done resting, carefully remove the Dutch oven and lift the parchment with the dough into the pot. Using a sharp knife, make an X on top of the loaf.
Put the lid on and return to the oven.
Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, remove lid.
Sprinkle the remaining cheddar on top of the loaf.
Put back in the oven without the lid. Continue baking for 30-40 minutes until crust is dark golden brown and cheese is browned.
Carefully remove the bread from the pot and cool on a rack.