Cranberry Pepper Jack Cheese Sourdough Bread Recipe

Last Updated on June 12, 2024 by TheFarmChicken

slice of bread with loaf of sourdough cranberry pepper jack cheese

Dried Cranberries and Pepper Jack Cheese wrapped up in a soft sourdough white bread dough. This combination is right up there with one of my favorites and my husband said it might be his favorite inclusion. The sweet and tart dried cranberries pair nicely with the spicy cheese. This new flavor combination is perfect for just enjoying, making into a grilled sandwich or serving with soup. You can use this bread for about anything you can use a regular loaf for but with a twist. I hope you enjoy this Cranberry Pepper Jack Cheese Sourdough Bread Recipe.

I love how flavorful this bread is. The spicy jalapeno peppers from the cheese come through strong in the flavor and this complements the cranberries so well! Enjoy this bread plain, toasted, or made into a sandwich or French toast. It’d make a delicious grilled cheese sandwich. This is a delicious sourdough bread; the cranberries and pepper jack cheese are the perfect match of flavors!

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whole loaf of sourdough pepper jack and cranberry bread

Ingredients in Cranberry Pepper Jack Cheese Sourdough Bread:

Active Sourdough Starter

You want your sourdough starter to be fed, active and bubbly. A good rule of thumb is a sourdough starter that has doubled in size and has lots of bubbles.

If you don’t have a sourdough starter, be sure to check out Learning Sourdough with Agnes to get your own starter started. It is basically a collection of natural yeasts cultivated in water and flour.

Sourdough starter was what was used before commercial or instant yeast was created.

Water

Any distilled or filtered water should work well for this recipe. The biggest thing is that you don’t want chlorine in your water so try to avoid tap water.

Bread Flour

When making bread a high protein flour, like a bread flour, is helpful to get good success with your sourdough bread crumb, oven spring and overall texture.

Kosher Salt

I like using Kosher salt but sea salt or similar should also work well.

Pepper Jack Cheese

This ingredient adds so much to this bread. Flavor, softness, and a little spice. I used Tillamook Pepper Jack Cheese. Your favorite pepper jack should work just as well.

What is Pepper Jack Cheese?

Pepper Jack cheese starts with a base of Monterey Jack cheese and then Jalapeno peppers are added to the mix. These jalapeno peppers are what gives pepper jack cheese its signature spice.

What is your favorite cheese? Have you tried it in sourdough bread yet?

Dried Cranberries

I considered using whole fresh cranberries but decided against it and decided to do dried cranberries instead. The bread almost rehydrates the cranberries a little which makes them soft and delicious! I think if I had used the fresh cranberries, it would have been a wet mess.

up close of the crust of the bread

Incorporating the Inclusions in the Bread:

There are different ways you could do this but here is what works for me:

  1. Add half of the inclusions on the 2nd round of coil folds.
  2. Add the last half of inclusions on the 3rd round of coil folds.

This seems to be the most efficient way and it also distributes the inclusions so well throughout the bread, so they aren’t all in one spot in the middle of the dough.

I usually like to make 2 loaves at a time but specialty breads I will usually do a small batch – one loaf. Either that or freeze one loaf for later.

inclusions on the bread cranberry and pepper jack cheese

How to store sourdough bread:

You can either freeze this bread sliced or whole for up to 3 months. Really, it is whatever your personal preference. You can also store your bread in a plastic bag or linen bread bag, and it will keep for up to 3-4 days at room temperature.

If you decide to freeze the bread, make sure to let it thaw completely in the bag before opening the bag. This allows the bread to retain its moisture.

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pin image for sourdough pepper jack cheese and cranberry bread

Cranberry Pepper Jack Cheese Sourdough Bread Recipe

  • 100g active sourdough starter
  • 275g water, room temperature
  • 450g bread flour
  • 10g kosher salt
  • 90g pepper jack cheese, in ½ in. cubes
  • 90g dried cranberries

Instructions:

  • In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer measure out the sourdough starter and water. Mix this together by hand or dough whisk until it forms a slurry.
  • Add in the bread flour and mix with the dough hook or whisk until a shaggy dough forms, 1-2 minutes. Let rest for 30 minutes. This is the autolyse.
  • After the 30 minutes autolyse knead the bread for 6 minutes.
  • While the bread is kneading measure out the cranberries into a small bowl and cube the cheese using a sharp knife and cutting board.
  • When the bread is done kneading place it in a large, greased bowl. You will then let it rest for 30 minutes before doing the first set of coil folds.
  • After the 30 minutes perform the first set of coil folds. I usually will fold a minimum of 1 time around and maybe a little bit more. I usually do my coil folds until the dough starts to stiffen and doesn’t stretch as easy. You will be able to tell this as you are doing the coil folds.

How to do a coil fold:

  • First slightly wet your hands. Then taking both hands put them under the center of the dough and pull upward. Do not break the dough. After it has stretched up place the dough back in the bowl, rotate the bowl a quarter turn and repeat again at least 3 times, working until the dough comes together.

Completing the rest of the coil fold:

  • After the first coil fold let the dough rest for 30 minutes before you complete the next set of coil folds. On this coil fold place half of the cranberries and half of the cheese cubes on top of the dough before you begin to fold.
  • Let it rest for another 30 minutes and then do another coil fold adding the remaining inclusions (the cranberries and cubed cheese).
  • Let the dough rest for another 30 minutes and then complete the last coil fold. This will be the 4th coil fold. Let the dough rest for another 30 minutes before beginning the shaping process.

Shaping the Loaf:

  • Once the last 30 minute rest is done now it is time to shape your sourdough loaf. I do two shapes with a 15 minute rest in-between shaping.

How to Shape:

  • First take the dough and remove it from the bowl onto a clean work surface. Flatten the dough gently into a rectangle. Then take and fold a third into the center and then the other side third into the center. Roll up the dough and cupping your hands lift and pull on the loaf creating tension but NOT ripping the surface of the dough.
  • Let rest and repeat.
  • After the final shaping of the loaf take and place it in a lightly floured proofing basket seam side up. Stitch your seam together gently using the dough and your hands. Then place in a plastic bag tying up the open end.
  • Let rest on your counter for 1 hour before transferring to the fridge for an overnight proof or 8-10 hours.

Bake Day:

  • The next day a half an hour before your proofing is done preheat your Dutch oven in your oven to 500 degrees.
  • Remove your bread from the fridge and flip seam side down onto a piece of parchment paper. Now is when you will do your scoring and your large expansion score into the side of the dough. Be sure to cut your expansion score at a 45-degree angle about 1 inch deep.
  • Using the parchment paper as a lifter place the bread in the preheated Dutch oven and then place the Dutch oven into the oven.
  • Reduce the heat to 450 degrees and bake with the lid on for 25 minutes then remove the lid of the dutch oven and bake for 15-20 minutes more or until nicely golden brown.
  • Remove from the Dutch oven to a cooling rack.

Makes 1 Loaf

cut in half and showing the inclusions

Cranberry Pepper Jack Cheese Sourdough Bread Recipe

The sweet and tart cranberries pair so well with the creaminess and spicy pepper jack cheese. So many delicious ways to enjoy this bread! Next time I want to try grilled cheese!
Print Recipe
sourdough cranberry pepper jack bread loaf

Ingredients

  • 100 g active sourdough starter
  • 275 g water room temperature
  • 450 g bread flour
  • 10 g kosher salt
  • 90 g pepper jack cheese in ½ in. cubes
  • 90 g dried cranberries

Instructions

Instructions for Mixing up the Bread:

  • In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer measure out the sourdough starter and water. Mix this together by hand or dough whisk until it forms a slurry.
  • Add in the bread flour and mix with the dough hook or whisk until a shaggy dough forms, 1-2 minutes. Let rest for 30 minutes. This is the autolyse.
  • After the 30 minutes autolyse knead the bread for 6 minutes.
  • While the bread is kneading measure out the cranberries into a small bowl and cube the cheese using a sharp knife and cutting board.
  • When the bread is done kneading place it in a large, greased bowl. You will then let it rest for 30 minutes before doing the first set of coil folds.
  • After the 30 minutes perform the first set of coil folds. I usually will fold a minimum of 1 time around and maybe a little bit more. I usually do my coil folds until the dough starts to stiffen and doesn’t stretch as easy. You will be able to tell this as you are doing the coil folds.

How to do a coil fold:

  • First slightly wet your hands. Then taking both hands put them under the center of the dough and pull upward. Do not break the dough. After it has stretched up place the dough back in the bowl, rotate the bowl a quarter turn and repeat again at least 3 times, working until the dough comes together.
  • After the first coil fold let the dough rest for 30 minutes before you complete the next set of coil folds. On this coil fold place half of the cranberries and half of the cheese cubes on top of the dough before you begin to fold.
    inclusions on the bread cranberry and pepper jack cheese
  • Let it rest for another 30 minutes and then do another coil fold adding the remaining inclusions (the cranberries and cubed cheese).
  • Let the dough rest for another 30 minutes and then complete the last coil fold. This will be the 4th coil fold. Let the dough rest for another 30 minutes before beginning the shaping process.

Shaping the Loaf:

  • Once the last 30 minute rest is done now it is time to shape your sourdough loaf. I do two shapes with a 15 minute rest in-between shaping.

How to Shape:

  • First take the dough and remove it from the bowl onto a clean work surface. Flatten the dough gently into a rectangle. Then take and fold a third into the center and then the other side third into the center. Roll up the dough and cupping your hands lift and pull on the loaf creating tension but NOT ripping the surface of the dough.
  • Let rest and repeat.
  • After the final shaping of the loaf take and place it in a lightly floured proofing basket seam side up. Stitch your seam together gently using the dough and your hands. Then place in a plastic bag tying up the open end.
  • Let rest on your counter for 1 hour before transferring to the fridge for an overnight proof or 8-10 hours.

Bake Day:

  • The next day a half an hour before your proofing is done preheat your Dutch oven in your oven to 500 degrees.
  • Remove your bread from the fridge and flip seam side down onto a piece of parchment paper. Now is when you will do your scoring and your large expansion score into the side of the dough. Be sure to cut your expansion score at a 45-degree angle about 1 inch deep.
    scored sourdough bread ready to bake
  • Using the parchment paper as a lifter place the bread in the preheated Dutch oven and then place the Dutch oven into the oven.
  • Reduce the heat to 450 degrees and bake with the lid on for 25 minutes then remove the lid of the dutch oven and bake for 15-20 minutes more or until nicely golden brown.
  • Remove from the Dutch oven to a cooling rack.
    whole loaf of sourdough pepper jack and cranberry bread

Notes

Makes 1 Loaf
Servings: 1 loaf

Such a fun and tasty inclusion. I hope you enjoyed this recipe. If you have any questions of comments, be sure to leave a comment below. I love hearing from you guys! Thanks for stopping by TheFarmChicken.com.

Mariah N. | TheFarmChicken

Other Cranberry Recipes to try:

Other Sourdough Bread Inclusions to Try:

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Mark 16:15

Frequently Asked Questions:

When should I add inclusions to sourdough?

There are many ways to add inclusions to sourdough but here are two that work best for me:
1. Like this recipe I like adding the cheese and cranberries half during the second set of coil fold and the last half during the third coil fold.
2. In my Cinnamon Raisin Sourdough Bread with a Swirl I add in the raisins during the kneading/mixing process.

How do you store sourdough bread with inclusions?

Simply store in a plastic bag loosely tied or a linen bread bag. Depending on the inclusion the bread may only last up to 3 days.

Can I add sourdough inclusions after bulk fermentation?

es! I have done this before. Basically, that means you are adding your inclusions during the shaping process, and this can be done successfully. However, I do prefer adding the inclusions during the coil folds as it seems to incorporate the inclusions the best.

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