Cheddar Sourdough Bread Recipe

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Warming and tasty, this rustic Cheddar Sourdough Bread recipe is real winner in the colder months. Add in some chillies and you have a spicy version for your winter charcuterie board too! So settle in, and I’ll walk you step by step through the timeline to create your little masterpiece…

A loaf of cooked cheddar sourdough in a blue Dutch oven

As you may know by now, we love bread! So much so, I wrote a book about it!!

But this year, I’ve been trying to perfect the sourdough. My starter is strong, I make Sourdough sandwich bread a couple of times a week, and Wednesday is stew day during the winter, so I am getting some good practice in!!

Eating it every week has meant I’ve ventured into different additions.

You cannot beat a chilli loaf with a creamy soup, but our new favourite is this cheddar loaf. It really does go with everything, and is only a slight variation on this easy sourdough beginners loaf

If you can mix, and stretch, you can make this bread. A few minutes here, a few minutes there, its al worth the wait, I promise.

Benefits of cheddar sourdough bread

Sourdough may take some time, but it is an ancient way of baking that has nourished humans for thousands of years. Some of the health benefits include:

  • Long fermented sourdough is easier to digest(1) and is more nutritious(2)
  • It can sometimes be tolerated by those with mild intolerances to gluten, but always seek medical advice first.
  • It contains fewer preservatives than store bough bread, yet the fermentation process means it lasts longer than homemade white bread.
  • Since every starter is unique, the sourdough bread will be unique to you and the flour you have maintained your starter with.(3)

Getting started with sourdough

If you’ve never made sourdough at all, the best place to start is with a Sourdough starter. They are easy to make, all it takes is flour, water and time. It also gives you a feel for spending time over your food.

You can buy sourdough starters on the internet, but they’re super simple to make and in about a week to 10 days, you have a strong enough starter to bake with. (it’s worth noting that even bought ones take a few days to revive and become ready to bake with.)

For full details on making a starter, click here.

Timeline of making Cheddar Sourdough Bread

The biggest thing most people struggle with is how long it takes to make a loaf of sourdough bread, but in reality its only a few minutes here and there, but over a long stretch of time. I thought it would be useful to go through a timeline of how I made this bread, to show you what’s involved;

  • 7am: Feed Gerald, the sourdough starter (1 min)
  • 1pm: Gerald has doubled in my warm kitchen so I mix the dough ingredients and leave to rest (3 mins)
  • 1.30pm: I begin my stretch and fold series. Stretch and fold 1 (30 secs)
  • 2pm: Stretch and fold 2. (30 sec)
  • 2.30pm: Stretch and fold 3 (30 secs)
  • 3pm: If dough is strengthened and rising, I leave to rest for bulk fermentation. If it’s still spreading, I repeat stretch and fold one more time. Allow to rest for a few hours. (30 secs)
  • 8pm: Time to shape. Here is where I add the cheddar. after shaping, I add to a fresh bowl, cover and place in the fridge overnight for the final retarded rise. (5 mins)
  • 8am: Heat the oven and remove the dough. Turn out, score and bake. (scoring, 3 mins, Baking, 45 mins)
  • And the hardest 15 mins in the world, waiting for it to cool enough to slice nicely and eat!!!!

So as you can see, It isn’t a lot of work, it just takes time, but that is what we want! We want to give the yeast and the bacteria time, to do the wonderful work of fermenting the dough for us.

How to make Cheddar Sourdough Bread

Sliced Cheddar sourdough on a wooden chopping board with a knife

Lets get started!!

You’ll need:

A glass bowl

Digital scales

Wooden spoon or dough whisk

Clean tea towel or bowl cover

Dutch oven

Parchment paper or bread sling


350g Warm water

100g Active bubbly sourdough starter

375g Strong white bread flour

100g Wholemeal flour

10g salt

200g grated Cheddar


  • Place a glass bowl on a digital scale and set to 0.
  • Weigh in the water and add the sourdough starter. (Starter floats when it’s ready to bake with) Mix the starter into the water until you have a milky liquid.
A glass bowl containing water and sourdough starter on a digital scale ready to make cheddar sourdough bread recipe
Milky liquid in a bowl on digital scales
  • Add the flours and salt, and roughly mix until all the flour is incorparated. It will be a lumpy, ‘shaggy’ dough. Leave to rest for the flour to absorb the water fully (called autolyse)
Shaggy dough in a glass bowl
  • After about 30 mins, we begin a series of ‘Stretch and folds’. This is the gelt form of kneading the dough and developing the gluten without being too rough with it. This allows the lovely crumb texture to develop (the big open bubble-type pattern of sourdough inside.)
  • We start with wet hands, so the dough doesn’t stick. take one side other dough and stretch it upwards. We then fold it over the top of the dough and lay it on top. We repeat that with the other 3 sides of the dough, so each quarter has been stretched.
Dough being stretched to demonstrate stretch and fold technique for cheddar sourdough bread recipe
Neat bread dough in a glass bowl
  • This is what it looks like after the first stretch and fold. Cover and leave for 30 mins.
  • Repeat the stretch and fold process every 30 mins, with wet hands, until the dough starts to hold it’s shape.
Stretched dough in a bowl

This is after the second fold

  • Continue to stretch and fold every 30 mins, until it begins to hold it’s shape a little when folded. Cover and allow to rise for bulk fermentation for 4-6 hrs.
  • Shaping: Flour your surface and turn out the dough.
  • Pull your dough gently into a rectangle shape
Flat rectangle of dough on a floured work surface

Add the grated cheese on top.

Rectangle of dough covered with grated cheese

Now comes the shaping. Take one side of the dough and fold it to the middle

Folded dough containing cheese

Then the same the other side.

narrow rectangle of dough on a worksurface

Next we roll the dough up from the bottom

Rolled ball of dough on a worksurface

Next we use the work surface to roll the dough into a ball and create tension on the surface of the dough.

Shaped ball of dough on a floured worksurface

Place upside down in a lined bowl, cover, and place int he fridge overnight

Dough in a tea towel lined bowl

The next day:

  • Heat the oven, with the dutch oven inside.
  • Take dough out of the fridge and turn out onto parchment paper, or a bread sling.
  • Using a bread lame, or sharp knife, score and slash the dough. (The large slash will give the dough a place to expand, and the scoring makes a pretty pattern.) As you can see, I’m not the best at scoring, but with practice, it gets easier.
Scored dough ready for baking

Quickly place into your hot Dutch oven and bake for 25 mins with the lid on.

Scored dough in a dutch oven ready for baking
Half cooked sourdough cheddar bread on a dutch oven

Continue baking until golden brown. Remove from the Dutch oven and allow to cool.

cooked sourdough bread in a dutch oven

This bread is delicious just smothered in butter, but add some hard cheese and chutney for a truly decadent treat!!

Other add ins:

Try adding chillies for a kick of heat

Caramelised onions would make for a great addition, make sure to add cold though.

Chopped walnuts would add a beautiful crunch and pair with the cheddar perfectly

So there you have it. Don’t forget to check out our other sourdough recipes for some great ideas of how to use up the sourdough discard in yummy ways!

Other posts you might like:

Quick Sourdough Discard Waffles

The BEST Sourdough Discard Brownies

Sourdough Discard Peanut Butter Cookies

Sources and further reading:

  1. Sourdough Fermented Breads are More Digestible than Those Started with Baker’s Yeast Alone: An In Vivo Challenge Dissecting Distinct Gastrointestinal Responses – PubMed
  2. Sourdough Microbiome Comparison and Benefits – PubMed
  3. Yeast diversity of sourdoughs and associated metabolic properties and functionalities – PubMed

Cheddar Sourdough Bread Recipe

Warming and tasty, this rustic Cheddar Sourdough Bread recipe is real winner in the colder months. Add in some chillies and you have a spicy version for your winter charcuterie board too! So settle in, and I'll walk you step by step through the timeline to create your little masterpiece…
Prep Time 1 day
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 day 45 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Global
Servings 10
Calories 266 kcal


  • Glass bowl
  • Kitchen Scales
  • Measuring spoons
  • Dutch Oven
  • Knife or Bread Lame


  • 350 g Warm Water
  • 100 g Active bubbly sourdough starter
  • 375 g Strong white bread flour
  • 100 g Wholemeal flour
  • 10 g Salt
  • 200 g Grated cheddar


  • Day 1 PM – Feed starter 4-12 hrs before using, so it is bubbly and doubled in size. To test if your starter is ready to use, place a spoonful into some water and if it floats, it's ready.
  • Day 2 AM – Place the starter in the water and mix until milky. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix into a shaggy dough.
  • Cover and leave for 30 mins to Autolyse
  • Stretch and fold – After 30 mins, wet hands and take hold of one side of the dough and stretch upwards before folding over onto the ball of dough. Turn the bowl a quarter turn and repeat until all 4 sides have been folded over. Cover and leave for 30 mins. Repeat 2 more times.
  • After 3 set of stretch and folds, cover and leave somewhere warm for a bulk ferment of 4-8hrs, until doubled in size.
  • Shaping – Once doubled, turn onto a well floured surface and gently stretch into a flat rectangle. Add the cheddar to the top and press in gently. Fold one end into the middle, then the other, forming a roll. Add any remaining cheddar to the top before you roll up. Take the end of the roll and roll that up, making a tight ball of dough. Roll the ball lightly forwards and backwards to create tension in the dough (see pics above)
    Place the dough face down into a lined bowl or banneton basket, cover and place in the fridge overnight (12-24 hrs)
  • Day 3 AM – Place a Dutch oven into the oven and preheat to 250c
  • Take the dough from the fridge and place onto floured parchment paper or a bread sling
  • Using a sharp knife or lame, slash a deep cut in the bread to tell it where to expand, and score a pretty pattern lightly in the dough if desired.
  • Remove lid from Dutch oven (carefully!), and then use the parchment paper to lift and place dough into it, place on the lid and bake for 25 mins
  • After 25 mins, remove the lid, turn down the temp to 180c and bake for a further 20-25 mins, until golden brown.
  • Remove and cool, slice and enjoy!
Keyword Bread, Sourdough,

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