Habanero Pepperjack Cheese, Guajillo Pepper and Bacon Sourdough

That title is a mouthful! But that’s exactly what you’ll be doing when eating this bread. This bread is beyond delicious with the overwhelming amount of spicy and savory flavors. I had a block of extremely spicy habanero pepperjack cheese sitting in my fridge just begging to be put in a bread. I had also just pickled some home grown guajillo peppers and had made bacon recently. What else to do aside from combine it all together?!

Using the lazy sourdough method is actually quite simple. The real key to this method is that you can use your unfed starter straight from the fridge without the need to make a levain. There’s also no autolyse which saves about 30 minutes.

Schedule: Here’s a link to the lazy sourdough method.

The exact schedule I used is at the bottom of this post.

Ingredients:

This recipe makes one loaf. Simply multiply all the ingredients by two if you only want two loaves.

Dough

  • 450g bread flour
  • 50g dark rye flour
  • 375g filtered water @ 88’F
  • 105g unfed starter straight from fridge (100% hydration)
  • 11g sea salt
  • 85g habanero pepperjack cheese cut into 1/4″ cubes (or substitute with any pepperjack)
  • 25g chopped guajillo peppers (or jalapenos)
  • 25g chopped bacon (2 thick cut slices)
  • for the top – 45g shredded habanero pepperjack cheese
  • for the top – 7x guajillo pepper rings

Method:

I started with a 30 minute autolyse with the flour and water.

After mixing the salt and yeast into the dough, I performed 4 stretch and folds within the first 2 hours, separated by 30 minutes. I added the bacon, peppers and cheese during the first stretch and fold. The kitchen was hovering around 74’F so I cut bulk fermentation a little short.

After bulk fermentation, I shaped the loaf and put it into a floured banneton where it sat in the fridge for an overnight proof.

I baked the loaf in a preheated dutch oven at 450’F for 20 minutes covered, then removed the lid of the dutch oven and baked for an additional 30 minutes. I added the topping portion of the cheese and peppers when I removed the lid of the dutch oven.

Result:

My sourdough culture had been acting up and not developing a good gluten structure during fermentation so I did a reset on it. I kept a really small amount and then rebuilt it up over the course of a few days. Feeling confident that it was an active and healthy starter I decided to test it out with this loaf.

As I mentioned above, this bread came about after looking in the fridge and wondering what I could throw into some dough to make a really savory loaf. The ingredients definitely didn’t let me down. The habanero pepperjack cheese and the peppers provide the bread with a great amount of flavor and some spice. The bacon adds some much needed saltiness and umami to counter the spice.

I’d say I nailed the amount of cheese, bacon and peppers perfectly. All of the ingredients are well distributed throughout the crumb and the cheese melted into some of the air pockets to give a good pepperjack flavor with each bite.

If you’re not a fan of spice, I would recommend simply using a standard pepperjack or even cheddar (or one of my favorites… smoked gouda). After a few bites you definitely get some lingering tingling in your mouth.

This bread would be excellent for pressed sandwiches, grilled cheese or garlic bread. I find that savory bread like this is good with just about anything (OK, maybe not French toast…).

My Baking Notes

  • Ambient Temperature @ mixing: 74’F
  • Mixed @ 12:25pm on November 9th
  • Dough was 82’F at mixing
  • 4 stretch and folds in first 2 hours
  • Started proof @ 8:00pm on November 9th
  • Preheated oven @ 12:20pm on November 10th
  • Out of fridge and into oven @ 1:20pm

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