Sourdough Bread 101 – Chapter 1 – Cheese Bread

Welcome to 2020 – a New Year and hopefully lots of adventures on the blog – by the time you read this, you may have heard some of my fellow bread makers on the CBC talking about the resurgence of bread making at home. If you are just checking in now – as in today – well, that feature is still in development.

Sourdough – My starter goes back to around 2008 – as handed to me in a ziploc bag by friend and colleague “Corey” – despite my best attempts and neglect, I have yet to kill my sourdough starter.

We’ll call this chapter 1 on the subject despite the fact that I need to offer a complete tutorial on sourdough breads and starters — that is, if you are not inclined on looking up a myriad of resources about the subject online and on But, for my own edification, I should really write it all down in my own words if only to get a better understanding of the subject. It’s not rocket science but things can go awry if you don’t observe a few cautions about the subject. Anyway – let’s get to it with this little recipe.

50 g OR ¼ cup Sourdough starter
365 g OR 1 ½ cup + 1 tsp warm water
280 g OR 2⅓ cups bread flour
200 g OR 1¾ cups all purpose flour
20 g whole wheat flour
Option: Use 500g bread flour and skip the variety of flour types.
9 g OR 1 ½ tsp fine sea salt
Optional – 50 g OR ⅓ cup sliced pickled Jalapenos
135 g OR 1 heaped cup Sharp cheddar cheese cubed into ¼ inch
Optional – 12 g OR ¼ cup minced chives


In a large bowl add starter and water and mix well.

Saturday evening – Add all purpose, whole wheat flour and bread flour combine everything and set aside for 30 minutes –

Me – I actually just used all bread flour – but mixing up the different grain types is ok.

Add salt and mix again and set aside for another 8-12 hours in a room with an air temperature of 17-23 Degrees ©

Sunday morning – mix in cheese, jalapenos and chives then shape and transfer to banneton or steel bowl.

Proof at room temperature or in fridge for 4 – 8 hours.

Pre-heat oven to 450F. Transfer the dough to a suitable oiled steel or glass (pyrex) bread pan.

Bake for 10 minutes at 450F and then reduce the temperature to 425 F and bake 25 minutes.

Bake until loaf develops a golden colour + when you tap the loaf it makes a hollow sound or registers 95C-210 F internal temperature.

Cool the loaf for 10-15 minutes – cut it into slices and enjoy.

Colin Newell has been a Victoria resident and coffee expert for 25+ years and dabbles in food and cocktail culture.