Chipotle Cheddar Sourdough Bread

The taste of sourdough, cheddar, and chipotle are well-balanced in this bread – with a light but insistent heat in the back of the throat from the pepper.

A few weeks ago, I made a hard-cider and sesame bread using bacon fat instead of oil or butter. I rather liked it, so I did the same here. Honestly, the flavor in this bread is strong enough that you can’t recognize the small contribution the bacon fat imparts.

One of the six rolls from the muffin tin.

Earlier this month, I baked a recipe with chipotle and fresh creamed corn that was really nice. I didn’t have corn on hand for this one, so I used a half cup of medium hot salsa – and because everything is better with cheese, I marbled in a brick of grated sharp cheddar.

Good air pockets with bits of melted cheese.

Some breads make better toast than others. This bread as toast, the day after baking, is out of this world.

Do note: this bread does pack some heat – which is not to everyone’s liking. Silly people.

Lastly, I’m still walking in baby boots when it comes to making sourdough. Which is why I added the teaspoon of yeast. You may of course vary this recipe as you see fit.

Sourdough Chipotle Cheddar Bread

The taste of sourdough, cheddar, and chipotle are well-balanced in this bread - with a light but insistent heat in the back of the throat from the pepper. I went pioneer-style with this one... used bacon grease for the fat.
Prep Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings 1 boule and 6 muffins
Author Mark Oppenneer

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sourdough starter
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon raw agave
  • 2 cups warm water about 110 degrees
  • 1 tablespoon bacon fat
  • ½ cup your favorite salsa
  • 2 dried chipotle peppers ground
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese grated
  • 4½-5½ cups unbleached flour

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, stir starter, yeast, and agave. Add water, fat, salsa, and ground peppers - but not the salt yet - and 2 cups flour. Beat vigorously for two minutes. And... now add the salt.
  2. Gradually add flour, ¼ cup at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the side of the bowl.
  3. Turn dough out onto a floured work surface. Knead, adding flour a little at a time, until you have a smooth, elastic dough.
  4. Put dough into an oiled bowl. Turn to coat the entire ball of dough with oil. Cover with a tightly woven towel and let rise until doubled, about one hour (or more depending on the strength of your starter).
  5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface. Flatten the dough into the size of a large serving platter. Sprinkle the grated cheese evenly across the dough, roll it up and knead it a few times to marble the cheese throughout. I cut the dough in half and made one portion into a boule that I let it rise in a proofing basket (this one I baked in a parchment-lined cloche). The other part, I separated into six pieces and let rise in a large well-greased muffin tin. Cover with a tightly woven towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes (or more depending again on the strength of your starter).
  6. About 15 minutes before baking, preheat the cloche in the oven at 450 degrees.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes, check the muffin tin - when the internal temperature of the bread reaches 190 degrees, take them out. At the same time, remove the cover of the cloche and bake for 10-15 minutes more (again, until the temperature reaches 190 degrees).
  8. Immediately remove bread from pans and cool on a rack.

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