Cheddar Jalapeño Country Loaf
This delightfully savory Dutch oven boule delivers big on flavor. We used extra sharp white cheddar cheese and fresh jalapeños, but any cheese can be easily substituted. Watch video below for scoring tips.
Yield: 1 boule
For the Poolish:
  • ¾ cup (95 grams) bread flour
  • ½ cup (120 grams) warm water (90°F/32°C to 100°F/38°C)
  • 2 tablespoons (16 grams) stone-ground whole wheat flour
  • ¼ teaspoon (1 gram) Platinum Yeast
For the Dough:
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons (285 grams) warm water (110°F/43°C to 115°F/46°C), divided
  • 2 teaspoons (6 grams) Platinum Yeast (rest of packet)
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2½ cups (318 grams) plus ⅔ cup (85 grams) bread flour, divided
  • ¾ cup (94 grams) stone-ground whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon (9 grams) kosher salt
  • 8 ounces (226 grams) shredded extra-sharp white Cheddar cheese
  • ⅓ cup (48 grams) ¼-inch-diced seeded jalapeño
  1. Step 1. For poolish: In a medium bowl, stir together bread flour, ½ cup (120 grams) warm water, whole wheat flour, and yeast until thick and no dry bits of flour remain. Cover with plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours.
  2. Step 2. For dough: In a small bowl, whisk together ½ cup (120 grams) warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  3. Step 3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, place poolish. Add yeast mixture and remaining ½ cup plus 3 tablespoons (165 grams) warm water. Add 2½ cups (318 grams) bread flour, whole wheat flour, and salt. Using the paddle attachment, beat at low speed until a rough dough forms, about 1 minute. Scrape sides of bowl, cover, and let stand for 15 minutes to let flour hydrate.
  4. Step 4. Switch to the dough hook attachment. With mixer on low speed, gradually add remaining ⅔ cup (84 grams) bread flour, and beat until a soft, elastic dough forms and starts to pull away from sides of bowl, 14 to 16 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl and dough hook. Slowly add cheese and jalapeño, beating until combined, about 1 minute. (If needed for more even distribution, knead by hand in bowl 2 to 3 times.)
  5. Step 5. Lightly oil a large bowl. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 30 to 45 minutes.
  6. Step 6. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Using just your fingertips, gently press dough into a 9-inch square. Fold right third of dough over to center; fold left third over first fold. Cover with a kitchen towel, and let stand for 20 to 30 minutes.
  7. Step 7. Using just your fingertips, press dough into a 10x7-inch rectangle, flouring work surface as needed. Grab bottom edge, and gently stretch and fold bottom third over to center. Stretch right side out, and fold right third over to center; repeat with left side. Fold top third over previous folds. Roll loaf away from you, and using both hands, cup dough and pull it toward you to seal. Turn dough 90 degrees, and pull until a tight, smooth boule forms. Place, seam side up, in a banneton or a medium bowl lined with a kitchen towel heavily dusted with bread flour. Loosely cover dough with towel, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until puffed, 30 to 45 minutes.
  8. Step 8. Place a Dutch oven and lid in cold oven. Preheat oven to 500°F (260°C).
  9. Step 9. Turn out dough onto a sheet of parchment paper lightly dusted with flour. Using a lame or razor blade at a 45-degree angle, score top of loaf no more than ¼ inch deep. (See Note.)
  10. Step 10. Carefully remove hot Dutch oven from oven; remove lid, and place dough, still on parchment, in Dutch oven. Cover with lid, and return to oven. Immediately reduce oven temperature to 425°F (220°C).
  11. Step 11. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove lid, and bake until deep golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 205°F (96°C), 10 to 15 minutes more. Immediately remove loaf from Dutch oven, and let cool completely on a wire rack.
Note: Make quick, decisive cuts for the most clean, straight cuts. Hesitating can cause the dough to cling to the blade, causing tears and uneven cuts.
Recipe by Red Star Yeast at