Cheddar Jalapeno Levain
This bread is perfect for your Halloween celebration or whenever you want a little spice in your life. It is perfect by itself with no added toppings. It’s best served warm to your family and friends. As discussed in most of my recipes, this style of bread is not kneaded but instead is gently stretched 3 or 4 times. The dough is stretched to aid the formation of a gluten network. This is done during the first fermentation when the dough is folded onto itself. Stretched breads are typically high hydration doughs (high water content). This recipe is a high-hydration bread yet lower than many, around 77%, making it easier for the baker to handle and stretch. Don’t be fooled by the lower water content; its crumb is soft and moist and light as a feather.
The salt in most of my stretch bread recipes may appear high at 2.5%, but the salt aids in the overall structure of the crumb. There is no kneading to a stretch bread, the gluten formation is achieved using high water content, higher salt and light folding.
My levain is stored at room temperature (60 to 77 degrees), not in the refrigerator. Please read my blog on starters for more information.
Autolyse and the first fermentation are at a much lower in temperature just room temperature about 70 degrees.
I always perform a bench rest. The bench rest for this recipe is 30 minutes. Proofing is retarded in the refrigerator for 12 hours which helps to slow the fermentation down a bit and adds structure when turning the loaf into the dutch oven. you can omit the jalapenos and eat just cheese bread or omit the cheese.
Quail Hollow Kitchens’ Chedder Jalapeno Levain
Overall Formula - Makes 2 large 500 gram loafs
100 g Red Wheat (whole grain Central Milling – milled fine in a KoMo grain Mill)
300 g AP flour (Central Milling Organic) See note below
600 g bread flour (King Author Organic) See note below
750 g water non-chlorinated (hold back 4 TB approx. 50 grams)
200 g AP flour starter (feed in the last 6 hours, do a float test)
25 g sea salt
200 g cheddar cheese shredded
200 g cheddar cheese cubed
8 oz pickled jalapeno (1/2 jar sliced)
1 fresh red jalapeno thinly sliced
Liquid-Levain Build (your starter build)
200 g AP Flour
200 g water
50 g mature starter
Day 1. Mix liquid levain about 6 to 12 hours before the final mix and let stand covered at room temperature about 65 degrees F
Day 2. Next day mix water at room temperature about 65 degrees. Mix levain and water (except hold back). Next add Wheat and AP flours. Slowly incorporate in bread flour until soft dough forms.
Allow to rest covered for 3 hours at room temperature. After the 3 hours gently fold in water salt and graded cheddar cheese.
Continue to proof at room temperature; this dough needs time to develop its sourdough flavor. For the first hour and a half, gently fold dough every 30 minutes. There should be three additional folds after the salt and cheese addition. Allow the dough to rise slowly for an additional 3 hour to 4 hours, you will see an increase in volume, large fermentation bubbles, and the dough will have a slight spring to its texture.
Next, empty contents of bowl onto a lightly floured bread board. Split dough in ½ and layer on the jalapenos and cubed cheese before you allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes. Fold and form into a ball (see Kamut levain recipe for more details).
After your bench rest, shape dough into boule and place into well-floured proofing basket. Cover with plastic. Retard dough overnight in refrigerator for 12 hours.
Day 3. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F with a Dutch oven inside. Make sure you preheat long enough to bring the dutch oven up to temperature. Remove breads from refrigerator, slash with bread lame, and bake in a covered dutch oven which has been fully preheated to at least 465 degrees F for 25 minutes. Due to the cheese content, this loaf takes longer than most of my recipes.
Remove dutch oven lid and continue baking for an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until the internal temperature is above 200 yet below 210.
We hope you enjoy this recipe comments and suggestions are always welcome. Happy Dia De Los Muertos!