If, in a cheese bread recipe, you were told to deeply cut into the proofed dough to allow the cheese to ooze out while baking, wouldn’t you be interested in seeing what happens? The potential for a crusty-smoky mess in the oven is high, but don’t let that keep you from trying this recipe out.
The water used for cooking the potatoes is the hydrating agent of choice, so don’t forget to reserve it afterwards. Potato water does magical things to bread. It noticeably softens the crumb and somehow makes the crust more thin and crackly.
With freshly chopped chives kneaded into the dough, the bread reminds me of a baked potato. It’s just begging to be served with a side of sour cream and bacon (probably not a good idea but worth a try).
Potato, Cheddar Cheese, and Chive Bread
(using a liquid sourdough starter)
makes 2 large loaves
For the Liquid Sourdough Starter:
|liquid starter (100% hydration)||2.4||69|
|water, room temperature||1/2 cup||4.0||114|
|unbleached bread flour||3/4 cup + 2 tbsp||4.0||114|
Liquid Sourdough Starter Directions:
- Place the liquid starter in a bowl. Pour the water over the starter and stir to dissolve. Add the flour and mix until thoroughly hydrated.
- Place in a bowl and cover. Let stand at room temperature for about 24 hours before using in the final dough.
For the Final Dough:
|unpeeled potatoes, coarsely chopped||1 to 2 medium||8||227|
|potato water, lukewarm||3/4 cup||6||170|
|all of the liquid sourdough starter||10.5||298|
|unbleached bread flour||4 cups||18||510|
|instant yeast||2 tsp||0.22||6|
|fresh chives, chopped||1/4 cup||1||28|
|sharp cheddar cheese, thinly sliced||4||113|
Potato, Cheddar Cheese, and Chive Bread Directions:
Boil the Potatoes. In a medium saucepan, bring about 3 cups of water to a boil. Add the coarsely chopped potatoes and simmer until soft. Drain, reserving the water. Let the potatoes cool completely before continuing.
Mix. In a large bowl, mix together the sourdough starter, half of the flour, half of the lukewarm potato water, instant yeast, and the cooked potatoes until evenly incorporated. Try to mash the potatoes into the dough at this time.
Rest. 30 minutes
Mix. Add the rest of the flour, lukewarm potato water, and salt. Continue mixing until a shaggy ball of dough is formed.
Knead for 6 to 8 minutes, until the dough is only slightly sticky. Add the chives towards the end of kneading.
Bulk Ferment. 90 minutes at room temperature, or until about double its original size.
Prepare a sheet pan lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
Divide. 2 pieces
Preshape. Pat the dough into rectangles about 6 inches wide by 8 inches long. Layer the slices of cheese on the dough.
Shape. Roll the dough beginning from the 6-inch side to form a spiral of cheese within. Shape into tight ovals.
Final Proof. 60 minutes at room temperature, or until about 1 1/2 times its original size.
Preheat Oven. 450ºF / 230ºC
Score. 1 or 2 deep diagonal cuts, until you reach the layer of cheese inside the dough.
Steam. 1 cup of boiling water poured in a heavy steam pan (preferably cast iron).
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes at 450ºF / 230ºC, rotating the loaves halfway through baking if necessary. The loaves will register about 200ºF / 93ºC in the center. The cheese may ooze out of the cuts and form a crust.
Cool for at least 45 minutes before slicing and serving.
Crusty cheese or cheesy crust?