There are very few things that make me as happy as a freshly baked homemade Cheddar Caramelized Onion Sourdough Loaf. This bready gem is worth feeding your starter for month after month, year after year. I wrote this recipe down in hopes you will enjoy it this holiday season, as I know my family will be.
Ingredients for Cheddar Caramelized Onion Sourdough loaf:
- 350 grams water (80 F) plus 25 grams
- 100 grams leaven (sourdough starter)
- 420 grams white bread flour
- 75 grams whole grain wheat flour
- 5 grams wheat germ
- 10 grams sea salt
- 50 grams cheddar cheese diced
- 50 grams caramelized onions (recipe below)
Let’s make bread:
- With a scale weigh 350 grams of water and pour into a large plastic mixing bowl. Then add 100 grams leaven, 420 grams white bread flour, 75 grams whole grain wheat flour, and 5 grams wheat germ to the water.
- Mix thoroughly by hand or with a rubber spatula until you no longer see any dry flour bits. Cover the bowl with a plastic lid and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
- After the resting period, remove the lid and sprinkle the 10 grams of salt and 25 grams of water to the top of the dough. Mix with your hands or a rubber spatula by folding the dough onto itself until all salt and water are combined into the dough. The dough will now begin it’s first rise (bulk fermentation). Cover the bowl with a plastic lid and allow to rest for 30 minutes.Dough rises best in warmer temperatures of 80 t0 90 degrees fahrenheit.
- Fold the dough every 30 minutes for 3 to 4 hours during bulk fermentaion. To fold, wet one hand with water (this will prevent your hand from sticking) and grab the underside of the dough, stretch it out and fold it over onto itself. Rotate the bowl and repeat this method on the other side. I like to to fold about 4 to 5 times.
- After 3 to 4 hours the dough should feel billowy, soft when you dig your hands in and have bubbles within the inside. You will see a 20 to 30 percent increase in the doughs volume. Careful with the dough at this point… handle it gently to avoid pressing the gas out of the dough.
Shape and fill the dough:
- Place the dough on a floured working surface and spread it out into a long disk. Then sprinkle in the cheese and caramelized onions.
- Fold the dough over itself from 4 different directions with a dough scraper to enclose the fillings.Then turn the dough over so the folds are on the bottom.
- Prepare a 1 cloth lined banneton and sprinkle with flour. Place to the side.
- With the dough scraper create a tight boule by shaping the loaf by folding sides in and then turning upside down and pulling it toward you.
- Slip the dough scraper under the dough and carefully place in prepared banneton.
- Cover the dough with a clean tea towel and place in the fridge for an overnight rise.
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit with dutch oven inside the oven.
- Turn out the bread dough into the dutch oven, then score top of dough with a lame or razor blade. I cut a star shape on top and little x’s on the sides.
- Place lid on top of dutch oven and place in the oven and lower heat to 450 degrees, bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove the lid and continue baking for 25 minutes.
- Remove the loaf from the dutch oven using a long metal spatula, and allow to cool on cooling rack for a minimum of an hour.
- Cut with a serrated knife and eat fresh or toast.
Ingredients for Caramelized Onions:
- 3 – tablespoons olive oil
- 2 – large onions thinly sliced
- salt and pepper (to your liking)
- 1 – teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 – tablespoon white wine
- In a large non stick pan over a medium flame add in olive oil and allow to coat the pan.
- Pour in sliced onions and mix to coat with olive oil.
- Cook stirring every 3 minutes for 20 minutes. Sprinkle in brown sugar and mix to combine.
- Drizzle wine into onions and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until onions reach a beautiful brown color.
- Season with salt and pepper.
If you have some left over caramelized onions… try my vegetarian tamales!