This is a sourdough version of a previous recipe I wrote about quite a while ago on here. I have just subtracted the flour and water quantities of the starter sponge from the rest of the ingredients and adjusted the recipe accordingly. This is still one of my favourite recipes because I can never get sick of the combination of marmite and cheese. Also the fact that you can just tear off pieces of dough makes it much easier to eat more than you intended, without realising. It’s also fun to make because you can’t really go wrong with the stacking of the pieces of dough. Small imperfections, like if one piece is a little bit bigger than another, just add character. It’s like a mini unique construction project. You can definitely be like ‘I meant to do that!’ – and that’s why this is the perfect de-stressor! This is also a really nice soft dough to work with! I am currently going through a croissant making phase, and writing this post is making me seriously miss not having to worry about getting everything so precise all the time!
Ingredients for sponge:
50g active starter (mine is at 100% hydration, equal weights strong white flour and water)
100g strong white flour
Ingredients for final dough:
All of the sponge
280g strong white flour
65g melted butter
The night before you want to make the bread, mix together all the ingredients for the sponge in a bowl, then cover and leave to ferment overnight.
In the morning, mix the sponge with the rest of the ingredients for the dough. It helps to mix it with the water first, as this loosens the sponge.
Place into a bowl, cover, and let rise at room temperature for a few hours, depending on your kitchen temperature (mine took about 4 hours).
When roughly doubled in size, the fun part begins, assembling the dough! Roll the dough out into a rough rectangle. Brush on an even layer of warmed marmite, then sprinkle on the grated cheddar. It helps to warm the marmite for a few seconds in the microwave, and add a tiny amount of warm water, as this makes the marmite less viscous so it’s
easier to brush on.
Slice this rectangle into four long strips. Then, layer these strips on top of each other to create a tower of dough. There should be dough, followed by a layer of marmite/cheese, then dough, then more marmite/cheese, and so on, finishing with a layer of marmite and cheese on top. Like a little monument.
Next, slice this block into 6 equal pieces. One by one, place these pieces on their side into a loaf tin (I use a non stick loaf pan, which I do not line or grease my tin, and the loaf comes out easily). See pictures below for a more visual explanation of how to assemble this in the tin! Once assembled, cover loosely with cling film, and let rise at room temperature again until roughly double in size. Mine took 3 hours but I think the kitchen wasn’t very warm!
When finished rising, brush with beaten egg, then sprinkle a little cheese on top.
Bake for about 35-40 minutes in a preheated oven. Bake for 10 mins at 200C, then the remainder of the baking time at 180C. Best to keep an eye on it as it may need tenting with foil during the last 10 minutes to avoid it browning too much!
Look how soft and fluffy it is!! You cheddar believe it! Even the cats are turning their backs to it – they’re definitely jealous that there’s something else competing for my attention! I do wonder if the cats think I’m more cat-like when they see me kneading dough. They must do, right?