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Jalapeño Cheddar No Knead Sourdough Bread (Beginner Friendly)

A favourite in our house, this is a fancier version of a basic no knead sourdough. The recipe is broken down step by step, with tips for success at every step. The sourdough flavour complements the tangy cheddar and spice of the jalapeño really well. (I've also added a non-sourdough version of the recipe using instant yeast in the recipe notes for those that don't have sourdough starter laying around. But using sourdough starter really does take this to the next level!) Give it a go, you will be addicted!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Resting Time2 d
Total Time2 d 40 mins
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Brunch, Side Dish, Snack
Keyword: sugar free, Vegetarian
Servings: 2 loaves (boules)

Ingredients

For the Levain

  • 50g active sourdough starter (fed)
  • 135g room temp water
  • 135g unbleached bread flour (or unbleached all purpose flour)

For the Dough

  • 10g salt
  • 25g room temp water (for the salt slurry)
  • 900g unbleached bread flour (or unbleached all purpose flour)
  • 90g milk
  • 470g room temp water (for the dough)
  • 2-3 jalapeño, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup shredded aged cheddar
  • 1 cup rice flour/semolina (any one or a mixture will work)

Instructions

Day 1 - Make the Levain

  • Measure out your 50g of active sourdough starter, 135g of water, and 135g of bread flour and mix in a large plastic bowl. Make sure everything is well mixed. Cover with a tea towel, and let sit for at least 6-12 hours in a warm place (the kitchen counter, or in the oven with the light on works really well in cooler places).
  • The levain should double in size, be nice and bubbly and smell like a yeasty sourdough before you move to the next step.

Make the Dough

  • In a separate small bowl or measuring cup - mix the 25g of water and 10g of salt to form a salt slurry. Set aside.
  • In your large bowl with the levain, add the 900g flour, 90g milk, 470g water, sliced jalapeños and 1 cup grated cheddar. Mix well so there are no more dry bits of flour (you can use your hands or a wooden spoon or spatula).
  • Cover with a kitchen towel, and let this rest for 30 minutes to 1hr.
  • Add the salt slurry and mix gently with your hands till it is incorporated into the dough. You want to gently squeeze and fold the dough over on itself a few times.
  • Cover again, and let rest for 1-1.5 hours.
  • Again gently squeeze and fold the dough on itself a few times, cover and let rest.
  • Repeat this rest-folding cycle at least 3 times (over a total of approx. 3 hours).
  • Once you have completed the above bulk fermentation, you will let this rise in the fridge overnight (delayed fermentation). Let the dough sit in the fridge for 12 to 48 hours. Technically, you could just go straight to shaping and baking now - but it won't really be sourdough)

Day 2 - Shape the Dough

  • After your delayed fermentation in the fridge is complete, and you are ready to shape and bake.
  • Remove the dough from the fridge and let it rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
  • On a lightly floured, clean counter, gently remove the dough onto the counter and cut in half.
  • Working with one half at a time, gently flatten and stretch out the dough into a rough square. Fold it over onto itself envelope style. Flip it over and gently start to pull and the ball toward you, rotate and pull a few times to shape it into a round. Make sure not to punch down or deflate it as you go. Be gentle here. (Theres a few good shaping videos on youtube if you need some guidance on this).
  • When the dough is nice and round and smooth all over. Set it aside.
  • Repeat with the other half of the dough.
  • Cover both rounds with a kitchen towel and allow them to rest for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare your 'banneton' for the dough. I dont own a proper banneton, so I make my own - just line a round bowl roughly the size of the loaf I want to make with a thin kitchen towel. Sprinkle the banneton with some rice flour and semolina to coat the bottom and sides.
  • Back to your dough - remove the kitchen towel and give them one more gentle shaping.
  • Using a bench scraper, or your hands gently lift the dough off the counter and place in the banneton upside down (so you should see the seam side up - smooth part down).
  • Sprinkle with more rice flour and loosely cover with a kitchen towel. Let this rest and rise at room temp for a final proof. About 2-3 hours.
  • The dough should rise up about 25%. Don't let it get any bigger than this or you will end up with over proofed dough which will deflate when you bake it (it will still taste fine though - so don't worry if you do overproof).

Bake

  • Pre-heat your oven to 500F (260C). Make sure you also preheat the empty dutch oven with the lid for at least 45 minutes before you want to start baking.
  • Prepare a sheet of parchment (larger than your dough round) by sprinkling with rice flour.
  • Carefully turn your banneton with the dough onto the parchment, and remove the kitchen towel. The smooth side should now be facing up.
  • Now you can get fancy and use a lame (or a very sharp knife) to carve a pretty pattern into your sourdough. But just a slash down the centre or a cross pattern will do. Make sure it gets pretty deep (at least 1/2 inch to 1 inch deep).
  • Take the pre-heated dutch oven out and remove the lid.
  • Carefully lift up the parchment with the dough and place it into the pre-heated dutch over. Cover and place it back in the oven.
  • Turn the heat down to 450 F (232 C). Bake for 20 minutes.
  • Take off the lid. Bake for a further 10 - 15 minutes or till the internal temperature reaches 205F (96 C). It should also turn a lovely golden brown on top. If you are finding that it is getting too brown, and still not fully cooked internally, place the cover back on and cook till you reach the required internal temperature.

Cool & Serve

  • Once the bread is cooked, remove from the oven. Carefully remove the parchment and bread from the pan and let it rest on a cooling rack for a couple of hours till fully cooled. Making sure the bread has fully cooled will ensure a light and fluffy bread.
  • Slice and serve, or freeze for later!

Notes

To substitute Instant yeast for sourdough starter - Use 1/2 packet of yeast (About 4.5 g or 1 tsp) and 40g of water in place of the sourdough starter. You wont need to make levain, or ferment the dough for as long.
Skip straight to the dough stage, mix all the ingredients together with the yeast and let them rise for 2-4 hours. You can also skip the overnight delayed fermentation if you like. Just shape, rest for about 30 mins to 1 hr, and bake!