Cheddar Sage Dutch Oven Bread

Sage and half a pound of white Cheddar pump up the savory, herbaceous volume in a classic dutch oven bread. Let the dough have a long, cold rest in the refrigerator for the best flavor—then let a very hot Dutch oven and 35-minute bake take you the rest of the way.

Cheddar Sage Dutch Oven Bread
Serves: 1 loaf
  • 3 cups (381 grams) bread flour
  • 1 cup (130 grams) whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon (9 grams) kosher salt
  • 2¼ teaspoons (7 grams) instant yeast
  • 1¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons (425 grams) warm water (105°F/41°C to 110°F/43°C)
  • 1 (8-ounce) block (226 grams) extra-sharp aged white Cheddar cheese*
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) rubbed sage
  • Corn flour, for dusting
  1. In a large bowl, place bread flour, whole wheat flour, salt, and yeast. Add 1¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons (425 grams) warm water, and stir with hands until fully incorporated and a sticky dough forms. (Alternatively, place bread flour, whole wheat flour, salt, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add 1¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons [425 grams] warm water, and beat at medium speed until a sticky dough forms, about 30 seconds.)
  2. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) for 2 hours. Then, refrigerate for at least 2 hours (preferably overnight) or up to 5 days. (The longer the dough stands, the more the flavor will develop.)
  3. Divide block of Cheddar into 2 (113-gram) pieces. Cut one half into ½-inch cubes, and finely grate other half. In a small bowl, stir together grated cheese and sage.
  4. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, dust dough lightly with flour, and roll to 1-inch thickness. Sprinkle roughly two-thirds of cubed cheese and grated cheese-sage mixture onto dough. Starting on left side and working clockwise, fold edges of dough toward center, pressing lightly. Reroll dough to 1-inch thickness, sprinkle with remaining cubed cheese and grated cheese-sage mixture, and repeat folding dough to center. Turn dough ball over, and using both hands, cup dough, and pull it toward you. Turn dough 90 degrees, and repeat until you have a tight, sealed round. It is OK if some of the cheese cubes are poking out through the dough.
  5. Heavily dust a sheet of parchment paper with corn flour; place dough on parchment, seam side up. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) for 1 hour.
  6. When dough has 30 minutes left to rise, place a 6-to 7-quart Dutch oven and lid in a cold oven. Preheat oven to 500°F (260°C).
  7. Carefully remove hot Dutch oven from oven; remove lid, and quickly turn bread into Dutch oven so seam is now on bottom. Score top of bread (being careful not to touch hot sides of Dutch oven). Cover with lid, and place back in oven.
  8. Immediately reduce oven temperature to 450°F (230°C). Bake for 25 minutes. Remove lid, and bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 190°F (88°C), about 15 minutes more. Immediately remove loaf from Dutch oven, and let cool completely on a wire rack.
*We used Cabot’s Seriously Sharp Premium Naturally Aged Cheddar Cheese.


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  1. From the picture, it looks like this was baked in a loaf pan. The recipe calls for a hot Dutch Oven. What size is correct for this recipe, both Dutch Oven or loaf pan, if either are OK?


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