Sourdough batter bread is a super easy way to use your sourdough starter, even discarded starter works in this batter bread - and adding cheese to it makes it ten times better!
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A batter bread (a yeast bread that doesn't require kneading or shaping) is a super simple way to make yeast and sourdough breads, making it a great way to start your bread-making journey. Plus it's a perfect way to make a loaf of bread with a young sourdough starter that maybe isn't strong enough to raise a traditional loaf.
My family loves this cheesy sourdough batter bread - so much so that my kids started requesting it after the very first time I made it, so I'm sure your family will, too. You can make it as cheesy as you want (of course here, we're firmly on the side of more...) and since it's a batter bread there's no kneading or shaping.
And I love that it's another winning recipe that uses up my sourdough starter along with our favorite waffles, English muffins, and crackers. Why the
obsession interest in sourdough? I don't know. I think it's kind of like growing vegetables from seed - it's that "I did it all by myself!" thing. Growing my own starter and keeping it alive seems very similar to growing seeds and keeping them alive until harvest, don't you think?
I keep my starter in the refrigerator and feed it the night before I want to bake with it to get it nice and active for the morning. I'm sure you'll want to read more tips for using sourdough and my easy guide to all things sourdough because you're going to want to try this easy bread! My biggest tip is always: remember with sourdough, time is key, so start early and let the dough rise fully.
I adapted this recipe from one I found in Discovering Sourdough Part 1, a wonderful ebook by Teresa Greenway that I recommend if you're wanting more recipes using your starter.
Make Cheesy Sourdough Batter Bread
In the morning of the day you will bake the bread, add all of the ingredients to the bowl of a large mixer and stir on medium speed for 2 minutes, until thoroughly mixed, before kneading for another 5 minutes with a dough hook.
Now just cover and let it sit in the mixing bowl for about 4 hours until doubled in volume. I was serious about the "incredibly simple" part, huh?
I like to cover bread doughs, leftovers, and potluck food with these reusable "shower cap" covers (no, they're not really shower caps, but they look like it). I've seen thinner caps sold at The Dollar Tree and similar sturdier ones here on Amazon.
I love being able to reuse them and they stay on flat plates much better than plastic. I've found that they keep in the moisture better than just a cloth towel for covering bread dough, too, so it never develops a hard top when rising.
When the dough has doubled, add 1-2 cups of diced cheddar cheese and stir on low until the pieces are distributed throughout the dough. I strongly suggest sharp cheddar or other sharp, strong cheese like parmesan. It gives the most bang for your buck.
It's cheesier with 2 cups, but you'll need to bake the loaves with a cookie sheet under the pans, because the cheese will ooze over the sides. No oozing with 1 cup, but less cheesy...your choice.
Divide the dough evenly between two greased 8.5 x 4.5-inch loaf pans (they should fill about halfway). TIP#1: make sure all the cheese pieces on top are covered by a bit of dough to lessen the amount that will ooze out in the oven.
TIP #2: Line pans with parchment overhanging the sides and just grease the ends for easier removal.
Cover with oiled plastic (I use my reusable covers again) and let rise for another 2 hours or so (the temperature of your kitchen may affect rise time).
When the dough is at the top of the pans, heat the oven to 400 degrees and brush the tops of the loaves with oil (this helps the loaves brown evenly).
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, turning loaves as needed for even cooking, until nice and browned. Let cool in the pans for a few minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
TIP: can you see the difference between the loaves baked in metal pan vs. a glass pan? The dark metal pan browned the loaf much more evenly and created a nice crust.
Lesson learned: metal loaf pans work best with this recipe.
You'll want to serve this bread warm- it's cheesy heaven.
Cheesy Sourdough Batter Bread
- Two 8.5 x 4.5 inch metal loaf pans
- 2 cups sourdough starter 18 oz.
- 1 cup water 8 oz.
- 1 cup lukewarm milk 8 oz.
- 1 tablespoons olive oil 1 oz.
- 1 tablespoons honey 1 oz.
- 2 ¾ cups unbleached flour
- 2 ⅔ cups whole wheat flour 1 lb. 8 ounces TOTAL flour; I used white whole wheat
- 1 tablespoon salt .6 oz.
- 1 ½ cups diced sharp cheddar cheese* .75 pounds
- The morning of the day you'd like to bake, add to a mixer bowl the active (fed the night before) sourdough starter, water, milk, oil, honey, and flours. Mix for about 3 minutes with a dough hook. Let sit for 15 minutes.
- Add the salt and mix with the hook for another 5 minutes. Cover the mixer bowl with plastic and set aside to rise until doubled, about 4 hours.
- When the dough has doubled, add the cheese and mix with the hook until distributed through the dough.
- Divide between two greased 8.5 x 4.5-inch loaf pans, smoothing the tops as needed (the pans should be filled halfway with the dough). Oil the tops and cover with plastic again to rise for 2 more hours or until the dough is at the top of the pans.
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees. When hot, bake the loaves for 35-40 minutes, turning as needed for even cooking, until browned.
- Cool for a few minutes in pans before turning out onto a cooling rack. Serve warm or toasted.
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