Guest Post by Bewitching Kitchen: Manchego Cheese Sourdough Bread
I'm excited to announce our first guest blogger - Sally of Bewitching Kitchen! I first came across Sally's blog while looking for a good focaccia recipe. Her no-knead focaccia is my favorite go-to for a quick and delicious focaccia fix, and her library of recipes is huge and full of gorgeous, healthy, flavorful dishes, including meats, poultry, seafood, desserts, and of course, tons of breads! I know bread baking may be new to some of our readers, so please post all questions in the comment section so we can give you any help you need to make this delicious bread. And if bread baking is new to you, I can guarantee you that once you've tasted your first homemade loaf of bread, there's no going back to store-bought loaves. So please join me in welcoming Sally to Feastie - and check out her delicious Manchego cheese sourdough bread.
When Jessica invited me to contribute a post for Feastie, I was thrilled, but struggled a little to decide what would be the subject. Since baking bread is my favorite activity in the kitchen, I chose a sourdough boule to be the focus of my first ever post as a guest blogger. No Photoshop trick was used to add a copper tone to the crust. I promise, folks, this was the exact color of the bread after 45 minutes in the oven. The secret? Grated cheese incorporated in the dough, plus cubes of cheese that eventually find their way through the crust and get irresistibly caramelized. The smell of this bread as it baked was enough to make me pace back and forth, looking impatiently at my watch, eager to open the stove and run away with it! The recipe comes from Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread and is a big winner, having received enthusiastic approval from my husband, the bread taster extraordinaire.
The original recipe used only Parmigiano cheese, both grated and cubed. I opted to include cubes of Manchego cheese as well, because we love its flavor, and it melts better than Parmigiano. It worked very well, so feel free to experiment and use other types of cheese. The secret is to avoid cutting the cheese in pieces that are too small, even if it seems harder to incorporate into the dough. This bread is a perfect match for a bowl of tomato soup, or a hearty minestrone, but a slice, toasted, and spread with a tiny amount of butter, is my favorite way to start the day!
Manchego Cheese Sourdough Boule
for stiff levain
- 5.8 oz bread flour
- 3.5 oz water
- 1.2 oz mature culture
for the final dough
- 1 pound + 10.2 oz bread flour
- 15.7 oz water
- 1.6 oz olive oil
- 2 + 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- 9.3 oz levain (all less 2 T + 1 tsp)
- 3.2 oz Parmigiano cheese, grated
- 3.2 oz Manchego cheese, cubed
note: all temperature measurements are in Fahrenheit
- Prepare the stiff levain about 12 hours before you want to make the dough. Let it ferment at 70 degrees.
- When it is time to make the dough, add all ingredients except the cheeses (bread flour through levain) to the bowl of an electric mixer, and mix on low speed for 3 minutes. Mix on medium speed for 3 minutes more - add the cheese, and mix on low speed until evenly incorporated.
- Ferment at 76 degrees for 2 and a half hours, folding the dough at the 50 minute mark and then again at the 1 hour and 40 minute mark (so 50 minutes after the first folding).
- Divide the dough in two equal portions, and shape as "boules". Let the shaped dough rise for 60 to 90 minutes at 76 degrees, and bake in a 460 degree pre-heated oven for 20 minutes with steam***, then reduce the temperature to 440 degrees, and keep baking for a total of 45 minutes (25 minutes more). If the bread crust darkens too much, protect it with aluminum foil.
- Let the bread cool completely over a rack before slicing. ENJOY!