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Jarlsberg Cheese Onion Bread

Due to a family crisis, I have ended up in California and am no longer in Hawaii. I am still getting plenty of sun, but it is cooler here. I have a minimum amount of baking equipment, so I am having to improvise and do with what I have.  It was three weeks of not being able to bake when I finally baked up some Jarlsberg  Cheese Onion Bread.

I did bring my kitchen scale , thank goodness! My sister in law, Michelle, who bakes terrific sourdough, shared some of the Italian starter with me that I had brought with me to California a year ago. So I was good to go…

I made up a preferment dough the night before by mixing together:

  • Starter @ 166% – 9 oz/652g
  • Water – 6 oz/170g
  • Bread flour – 8 oz/226g

Mix all of the above together, cover, and let set at room temperature overnight.

This will make a dough at 102% hydration weighing 1 lb 7 oz or 652g

Next morning:

To a large bowl or mixer add:

  • 1lb 7oz/625g  (all) of the preferment
  • Water – 10 oz/283g
  • Soft Butter – 1 oz/28g
  • Bread flour – 1 lb 6 oz/623g
  • Salt – .6 oz/17g

Don’t worry about the autolyse, with an overnight preferment, you can just add the salt to the dough when it is mixed up, because the preferment has been autolysing all night. Mix all of the ingredients together by hand in a large mixing bowl or mix on low for about 3 minutes if using a mixer.

This will make up about 3 lbs 8 oz of dough at 64.7% hydration.

After mixing the dough, allow it to bulk ferment at room temperature for about 4 hours, keep it covered, and fold the dough once an hour.

During the bulk ferment, chop about a pound of onions into medium chunks  and fry them until they are as brown as suits your taste, then cool. Chunk some Jarlsberg or whatever kind of cheese you like into 1/2 inch cubes. I used about 6-8 oz of cheese per loaf, but you can use as many onions and cheese chunks as you like.

After the dough has bulk fermented, divide the dough into two pieces.  Let it rest a few minutes and then stretch it out into a rectangle about the width of the pan and about 12 inches long, more or less, it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Add half the fried onions and the chunked cheese to the top of the dough. I used two different methods of making up the cheese onion bread. In one loaf, I took and worked the onions and cheese into the dough before shaping it. For the other loaf, I rolled the cheese and onion chunks into the loaf, like you would for a cinnamon loaf bread.

I experimented with the two styles and definately liked the mush the onions and cheese into the dough loaf better. It looked better and it came out nicer. The rolled loaf  did well except that part of rolled area inside the loaf, sunk down from the weight of the onions and cheese…still tasted great though!

After the dough was ready, I put it into the large loaf pans for baking soft pan loaves. Then I let it final proof for about two hours. When it was ready I baked both loaves together at 400@ for about 35 minutes. Let them cool! The onions are hot inside!

This bread smells and tastes so good you will have people wandering in to find out what is baking…

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  1. February 5, 2012    

    I am happy you like it Laura, happy baking!

  2. Laura Laura
    February 4, 2012    

    I just used this recipe as my first ever attempt at sourdough. I made my own starter a couple of weeks ago. The only change I made was to use half wholemeal flour and red onions. It turned out fantastic! Thanks very much for the recipe.

  3. Sam Wong Sam Wong
    April 19, 2010    

    Hi Teresa,

    Welcome to CA. I hope everything is well with you by now.

    Which version of the Onion/Cheese bread do you prefer? The mixed-in version looks great.

    Thanks for the info.

    • April 23, 2010    

      Hi Sam, I liked the mixed in version better than the rolled up version. Things are working out better for me, thanks for asking. Teresa

  4. gail gail
    March 25, 2010    

    happened upon your blog and saw your beautiful bread. hope things improve for you.
    keep baking; it’s good therapy
    take care

  5. AuntBones AuntBones
    March 25, 2010    


    Just in case you’re wondering, auntbones is me, Robin. Now that I have a wordpress account to view Shell’s page, that’s how it will post my name to your blog from now on…just so you know.

    • March 25, 2010    

      I figured that Auntbones, I think it’s great, now you just need to get on facebook!

  6. auntbones auntbones
    March 25, 2010    

    Yummy! I’m glad you’re baking again.

  7. Janknitz Janknitz
    March 23, 2010    

    California is a GREAT place to be for sourdough.

    Welcome home and I hope the family crisis is not too terrible.

  8. Mimi Mimi
    March 22, 2010    

    Agh! I hope your family crisis is over and things went well. (I hate the words family crisis!).

    Such beautiful loaves, I’ll have to remember to try them.

    I have such respect for you that you can bake in someone elses kitchen. I gifted starter to a friend in Portland awhile back and I had a hard time baking there. We did a batch of grissini and then she was on her own with the starter.

  9. March 22, 2010    

    Thankyou Sally, as long as I can bake, I will adjust fine!

  10. March 21, 2010    

    This is a picture-perfect loaf! Made me salivate, and I just finish dinner…. 🙂

    Must be hard to leave Hawaii, but I hope you will adjust quickly to your new life

  11. Katie Katie
    March 21, 2010    

    Welcome to CA – I hope you like living here.

    Just curious… do you find the rising of your sourdough bread dough to be any different here than from when you lived in Hawaii? Has the flavor changed?

    • March 22, 2010    

      Hi Katie, California is where I grew up, I love it here. Yes, there is a big difference in how dough is handled in a warm environment like Hawaii and here where it is cooler, but not that much different than you would have in the summertime here.

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