This is the most favorite sourdough loaf at my house. The white sourdough is a regular but this one has our hearts for sure. It is such a flavor-packed loaf of bread. I love adding stuff to my bread and being the true Sri Lankan I am, I go all in when it comes to flavor. Have you tried my Rosemary & Olive sourdough? If you like adding fruit, have a look at my Blueberry loaf or my Spiced Fruit loaf.
I love spices, herbs, pickles, chutneys, relishes and specially chili peppers. This bread is no exception.
What about them? well, they are loved by many, all around the world. Pickled, fresh, dried, cooked, baked you name it! These can be enjoyed in any form. They pack a punch along with the unique taste. It is not the heat though, that I am after, when it comes to this bread, but the flavor. I have tested my recipe with fresh, pickled and charred. I couldn’t pick a winner there, as they are all brilliant in their own unique way. But, charred jalapeños scored extra points as it adds a smokey, buttery flavor to the crumb. Also As the flesh is softer, it is easier to incorporate to the dough.
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You can use any method to charr the jalapeños. Use a grill, open flame, the oven grill or a griddle pan. I usually use my pizza oven. I usually get this done while pre-heating the pizza oven. Once charred, let them cool and refrigerate in an air tight container.
I’ve been asked why I always use cheddar. and the simple answer is that this(jalapeño/cheddar) is a well known combo in many parts of the world. But, I first tasted this is Australia. The jalapeño & cheddar scroll is super popular over there and all the bakeries used to carry them. So, in a way this flavor combo is kind of nostalgic to me. Any cheese with less moisture content should work. I also love extra sharp cheddar. If that is not your cup of tea, by all means use a milder version.
The process is very similar to that of my high hydration bread, just that you add chopped up jalapeño and cheddar at the third fold. Lets jump into the process then;
get your starter ready as usual
dissolve the starter in water and then add it to the flour mixture. I use a mix of strong white and whole grain. You can use all white bread flour. If using all-purpose flour, reduce hydration to about 230g
mix everything until all the flour is hydrated. use slap and fold to knead a wet, sticky dough.
Set this aside covered for about an hour
add salt and knead (for about 1-2 minutes) until a fairly smooth dough is developed. Now let the dough rest, covered in a warm place. Perform 2 coil folds at 45 minute intervals.
in the mean time prepare the jalapeno and cheddar by chopping them in to small cubes
after the third 45 minute rest, stretch the dough as wide as you can and spread the chopped up jalapeno and cheddar evenly.
fold/roll the dough back to a ball and place in the same ball, covered in a warm place for about 2 hours.
after the two hours the dough will be risen and would look puffy. Tip the dough over on to a floured surface.
pre shape the dough into a ball and leave to rest for about 20 minutes
shape the dough and place in a proofing basket. Cover and refrigerate overnight (18-24 hours)
when you are ready to bake the bread, pre-heat the oven. Once the oven is ready bring the bread out, score and bake!
You can either use a dutch oven or open bake this bread. My setup is shown in the video. I pre heat my oven with convection setting on and use a heavy baking steel (find the link below). I also use an oven thermometer to get accurate reading. For steam, I use a pan with boiling water along with ice cubes and a good spray of water. Remove the pan of water after the first 20 minutes.
Temperature setting: preheat to 500°F for 30minutes, 450°F while the bread is baking (40 minutes)
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once cooled slice using a serrated knife