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Sourdough discard loaf with cornmeal, cheddar, and jalapeno

Sourdough Discard Loaf with Cornmeal, Cheddar, and Jalapeno

A discard-starter-leavened loaf with southwestern flavors.

Course Breakfast, Side Dish, Snack
Keyword discard starter, discard starter recipe, recipe for discard starter, sourdough, sourdough bread, sourdough crackers, sourdough discard, sourdough discard recipe


For the bread:

  • 230-240 g spring water or bottled water at room temperature; divided (see recipe and notes)
  • 270 g bread flour
  • 30 g whole wheat flour
  • 30 g discard sourdough starter
  • 6 g table salt or fine sea salt
  • 65-75 g cornmeal porridge (see recipe below)
  • 1 medium jalapeno pepper seeded and finely chopped
  • 56 g extra sharp cheddar shredded

For the cornmeal porridge:

  • 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal (I used medium grind)
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup water
  • dash salt


  1. In a large, wide mixing bowl, combine 210 g spring water and the bread flour and whole wheat flour. Mix until no dry bits of flour remain, and then set aside for 1 to 2 hours. (This is the "autolyse.")

  2. Meanwhile, make the cornmeal porridge: In a small bowl, combine the cornmeal with 1/4 cup boiling water, and allow it to sit for 10 minutes to soften. In a small saucepan, combined the softened cornmeal mixture, 1 cup water, and a dash salt, and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, and simmer, stirring constantly, until a thick porridge forms. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the cornmeal porridge to a small bowl to cool.

  3. Add the discard starter and 10 to 15 g spring water to the autolysed flour, working it in with your hands and/or a bowl scraper until thoroughy incorporated. Cover lightly and allow to rest for 30 minutes.

  4. Add the 6 grams of salt and an additional 10 to 15 g spring water to the dough, again working it in until incorporated. Cover lightly and allow to rest for 20 minutes.

  5. Lamination: Turn the dough out onto the counter and stretch it into a large rectangle. Distribute 65-75 grams cornmeal porridge evenly over the dough, spreading it gently. Sprinkle the chopped jalapeno and shredded cheese on top of the cornmeal porridge, pressing down slightly to help the mix-ins adhere. Now, fold the dough in thirds like a business letter. Rotate the resulting rectangle 90 degrees, and gently press and stretch it into a slightly larger rectangle. Do another buisness letter fold. Again, slightly flatten and stretch the resulting rectangle and fold it in thirds one more time. Transfer this little package of dough to a bulk rise container, cover it, and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.

  6. Strech-and-folds: After 30 minutes, perform your first stretch-and-fold. Repeat at 30 minute intervals 3-4 more times (for 4-5 total stretch-and-folds). Then allow the dough to rise undisturbed until it has increased by 50-60% in volume. (This could take anywhere from 6-12 hours.)

  7. Shape the loaf: When the dough has sufficiently risen in the bulk rise container, gently tip it onto your work surface and do a gentle preshape. Dust with flour, cover with a light tea towel, and allow to rest for 15-20 minutes. Now shape the dough as desired (boule, batard, whatever), transfer it to a well-floured banneton, cover, and place in the refrigerator overnight (preferably 12+ hours).

  8. Place a cast iron dutch oven or similar bread-baking vessel in the oven and preheat the oven to 475 f.

  9. Flour the top of the dough, and gently turn the loaf out onto a piece of parchment. Score as desired. Remove the preheated vessel from the oven, carefully place the dough inside, replace the cover, and bake covered for 20 minutes. Remove the cover from the dutch oven, reduce the oven temperature to 425 F, and continue baking for another 25 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.

  10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool fully before slicing.

Recipe Notes

- I've specified spring water/bottled water for the bread in the recipe above because, where I live, the tap water is heavily chlorinated, which will kill the wild yeast in my starter. But you may be able to use tap water in your community.

-You'll note that I've given ranges of quantities for some ingredients--specifically, water and the cornmeal porridge. When I made this bread, I used the amounts on the high end of these ranges, and my dough was extremely soft and puffy, which made it quite tricky to shape, though the resulting bread was lovely. For slightly easier handling, use the smaller amounts of spring water and cornmeal porridge.

-Because I was concerned about the additions hindering gluten development, I used bread flour here, but I think unbleached all-purpose flour would also work (at least King Arthur brand)

-For other relevant thoughts, see my original Country Loaf with Discard Sourdough Starter post.