Easy Cheddar Sourdough Bread

This is possibly the best bread I’ve ever made. It’s a cheesy version Easy Sourdough Bread.

And everything is better with cheese.

No starter required and so easy! It tastes like it's from a fancy bakery! Who can resist homemade cheesy bread!!

Unlike most sourdough recipes that require a starter and weeks to complete, this recipe requires neither.

The sourdough taste comes from a combination of Greek yogurt and sour cream that ferments the dough rather than using a starter. The longer you let the dough rise (ferment), the more sourdough-ey the bread tastes.

Easy Cheddar Sourdough - No starter required and so easy! It tastes like it's from a fancy bakery! Who can resist homemade cheesy bread!!

MY OTHER RECIPES

In my last sourdough recipe, I fermented for about 6 1/2 hours and this time went 10 hours. The 10 hour version is more sourdough-ey and also is more ‘holey’ with a more open crumb, but I wouldn’t necessarily say the 10-hour dough is ‘better’. Both tasted amazing and it just depends how sourdough-ey you prefer. And if you prefer it stuffed with cheese and yes, I do.

If you plan on making this bread, please thoroughly read my first sourdough recipe and post because I went into great detail with tips, tricks, and everything I could think of for optimal sourdough-making success.

Easy Cheddar Sourdough - No starter required and so easy! It tastes like it's from a fancy bakery! Who can resist homemade cheesy bread!!

If you’ve ever made bread, this recipe will be a snap. Much easier than cinnamon rollssweet rolls, or dinner rolls, by a long shot.  The recipe looks long but I write yeast recipes with as much detail and give as many tips as possible to set you up for success. Read the recipe at least twice before starting but you’re simply making dough, letting it rise for 6+ hours, stuffing with cheese, letting it rise again for 1+ hour, and baking.

While it’s not imperative to bake the bread in Dutch oven, it really helps develop sourdough’s signature crusty crust because a covered Dutch oven traps in the steam the bread releases while baking, aiding in crust development. If you don’t have a Dutch oven, a cast iron skillet or heavy-bottomed skillet will work, although you will sacrifice some of the crustiness.

Easy Cheddar Sourdough - No starter required and so easy! It tastes like it's from a fancy bakery! Who can resist homemade cheesy bread!!

The bread is hearty, satisfying, and has a firm crust that gives was to a super moist, soft interior with ample hunks of cheddar. The cheese is a perfect complement to the sourdough and really enhances the tangy factor.

My family isn’t big on jalepenos but I’d love something like a jalepeno-havarti or brie, or try smoked gouda, or an intense Blue cheese. The bread can really stand up to bold-flavored cheese so don’t be shy using a strong, bold cheese.

Easy Cheddar Sourdough - No starter required and so easy! It tastes like it's from a fancy bakery! Who can resist homemade cheesy bread!!

It’s so rewarding creating bread in your own kitchen that tastes and looks like something from a bakery. You’re going to be head over heels with it.

If there’s anyone on earth who can resist warm, homemade, fresh bread that’s stuffed with cheese, especially after smelling it bake, then I’d like to have a sliver of your willpower. But it’s worth every last bit of cardio.

Easy Cheddar Sourdough - No starter required and so easy! It tastes like it's from a fancy bakery! Who can resist homemade cheesy bread!!

Easy Cheddar Sourdough Bread

Unlike most sourdough recipes that require a starter and weeks to complete, this recipe requires neither. The sourdough taste comes from a combination of Greek yogurt and sour cream that ferments the dough rather than using a starter. The longer you let the dough rise (ferment), the more sourdough-ey the bread tastes. The bread is hearty, satisfying, and has a firm crust that gives was to a super moist, soft interior with ample hunks of cheddar. The cheese is a perfect complement to the sourdough and really enhances the tangy factor. While it’s not imperative to bake the bread in Dutch oven, it really helps develop sourdough’s signature crusty crust, but if you don’t have a Dutch oven, a cast iron skillet or heavy-bottomed skillet will work. Read the recipe at least twice before starting, but you’re simply making dough, letting it rise for 6+ hours, stuffing with cheese, letting it rise again for 1+ hour, and baking.

Ingredients:

3 cups bread flour (I use King Arthur)

one-17.6 ounce (500 gram) tub plain unsweetened Greek yogurt with active cultures (must say ‘active cultures’, I used 0% Non-Fat Fage)

about 1/2 to 1 cup sour cream (or Greek yogurt, lite versions are okay), or as needed see below step 1

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

scant 1 teaspoon (just slightly less than 1 teaspoon) instant dry yeast (I use Red Star Platinum) for 6 to 12 hours rising (use closer to 1/2 teaspoon yeast if you plan to allow dough to rise for 12-18 hours; see step 4 below)

about 4 ounces cheddar cheese, diced in 1/2-inch cubes (I used Kerrygold Red Leicester, try your favorite)

Directions:

  1. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook (or use a large mixing bowl and wooden spoon and your hands), add the flour, Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup sour cream, salt, and yeast.
  2. Turn mixer on low speed and allow it to knead dough for about 5 to 7 minutes (about 7 to 10 minutes by hand using a wooden spoon and then switching to your hands). Add sour cream as needed to form a very moist and wet dough. If it’s at all dry or crumbly, add more sour cream (or Greek yogurt) until it comes together. I used one-17.6 ounce tub of Greek yogurt and almost 1 cup lite sour cream. Dough will be seem like it’s almost too wet and it’s very heavy, but this is what you want. Err on the side of wetter than drier because flour and yeast love moisture when rising.
  3. Remove dough from the mixing bowl, spray a large bowl with cooking spray, pat dough into a round ball, place it in the bowl, and flip it over once so it’s lightly oiled on both top and bottom. It will look like a dimply head of cauliflower.
  4. Cover bowl with plasticwrap (spray it with cooking spray in case dough rises high enough to touch it) and place bowl in a warm, draft-free place to rise for about 6 to 8+ hours (I did 9 hours), or doubled in size. If you want to start this before work or before bed and made as an overnight dough and it’ll go 8-10 hours, that’s fine (I started it before bed and finished in the morning). There’s really no harm in letting it rise for up to 18 hours and the longer you let it go, the more of a classic sourdough/fermented flavor that will develop. If you suspect you’re going to allow it to rise on the longer side (12-18 hours), reduce yeast to about 1/2 teaspoon so dough doesn’t get too puffy and overflow the bowl.
  5. After 6+ hours of rising, turn dough out onto a floured surface (without punching it down to preserve the air pockets and bubbles that have been created) and knead lightly for about 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. With your fingers, make a flat 8 to 10-inch oval, evenly sprinkle with cheese. Tuck in sides so cheese is fully contained and pat into a round mound. Make sure cheese is fully enclosed and contained or it will burn.
  7. Place mound back into large mixing bowl, seam side down. Cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for 60 to 120 minutes, or until doubled in size (I did 75 minutes; I suspect the longer you let the second rise go, the more ‘holey’ the bread will be). Placing the bowl on the stovetop is a nice spot for this rise because you’re going to turn on the oven and the residual heat emitted helps with rising.
  8. Shortly after dough begins the 60-120 minute rising, turn oven on to 450F and place a covered Dutch oven (empty) or heavy-bottomed skillet into the oven and allow it to heat for about 45 minutes. Dutch ovens are so heavy and take so long to get truly hot, and when you’re ready to bake the bread, you want the Dutch oven screaming hot.
  9. After about 60-90 minutes or dough has doubled in size, remove Dutch oven from oven (careful, it’s screaming hot, use two pairs of hot mitts) and carefully place a piece of parchment paper on the bottom of Dutch oven to prevent bread from sticking.
  10. Carefully transfer dough from rising bowl to Dutch oven, cover it, and bake covered for 30 minutes. Don’t open the oven door or the Dutch oven lid to peek; you want to seal in the steam.
  11. After 30 minutes, uncover the Dutch oven, and allow bread to bake uncovered for 5 to 10 minutes (I did 8 minutes) or until it’s as browned as desired. Traditional sourdough has a darker crust than most bread (sometimes almost burnt-looking, but I prefer mine on the lighter side).
  12. Remove Dutch oven from oven, and remove bread from Dutch oven. Place it on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing. As tempting as it is, don’t slice too early because the cooling process is important and should be considered an important extension of the baking process. Slice or break off hunks, and serve with butter, jam, hummus,  cheese, cheese spread, dip, etc. Bread is best fresh, but will keep airtight at room temp for up to 3 days. Older bread may be better toasted or make as grilled cheese.

Adapted from Easy Sourdough Bread

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52 comments on “Easy Cheddar Sourdough Bread”

  1. I’m sooo trying this! I didn’t even realize it was possible to make sourdough without starter! Awesome!

  2. Wow, this looks awesome. I’ve just been on a sourdough bread making course, but this certainly looks like a delicious easy option!

  3. OMG do I need this in my life right now or what! Ok ok so I’m lazy, and still haven’t gotten around to making the easy sourdough bread (even though I drool over it every time I look at the pictures)…now I need get my butt in gear and make this one too! I love love love Kerrygold products, so now I’m on the look out for their cheddar!

  4. I wish you were my mom!

  5. I made this recipe using sourdough starter (made my usual bread dough with home made starter) and omitted the cheese. I was looking for a way to improve my basic sourdough loaf. The cooking technique works like a charm. Steaming it inside a Dutch oven at a higher than usual cooking temperature created the best loaf I have yet made. Pre-heating the Dutch oven worked really well Thanks for the tips!

  6. Would you still need to line the dutch oven with parchment paper if it’s an enamel coated dutch oven? I have some greek yogurt in the fridge, and assuming I have enough for this and the recipe for which I bought it, I will be making this maybe this weekend. If I don’t have enough, I’ll make this as soon as I buy more greek yogurt!

  7. Can you freeze this bread?

  8. I really wanted to love this bread. I make dutch oven breads regularly. I followed directions, but my bread came out very dense, almost dough-like, but it was baked through. Not sure what happened. I love trying new recipes, but this one didn’t work out for me. It has for others, so that is good.

    • I’m not sure what happened either. Possibly not the freshest yeast if it was dense and doughy? Thanks for trying the recipe and sorry it didn’t work for you. As you said, it worked for others and it’s worked great for me but bread making can by tricky sometimes.

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