Paul Hollywood’s Cheddar and Apple Sourdough. (and a cheese and pickle variation)

Since I got my sourdough starter (Pauline) in July, I have made quite a few loaves. Some have been good, some not so good, some got welded to the surface of the baking stone because I was too impatient to wait for it to properly come up to temperature………….

However, all have been just the standard loaf so I thought it was high time I gave something else a go.

I got Mr H’s book from the local cut-price bookshop, and he has a large number of sourdough recipes as sourdough is his passion…….. along with staring his icy blue stare across the countertops.

The problem, or of course the joy, with sourdough recipes is the slow proving process, this is no Chorleywood. But it means careful planning is required to make sure you have sufficient time to prove the dough at each stage, and bake.

Cheddar and Apple Sourdough Recipe – taken from How to Bake by Paul Hollywood.


750g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting

500g sourdough starter

15g salt (I used Cornish Sea Salt)

350-450ml tepid water

Olive oil for kneading

200g cheddar, grated, plus extra for sprinkling over the top

3 dessert apples, cored and roughly chopped note: I did half with apple, then half with something else…


Put the flour, starter, and salt into a large bowl. (note: a tip from the lovely Patrick Ryan at the Cake and Bake Show was to mix the salt through the flour before adding the yeast, if the yeast comes into contact with too high a concentration of salt – game over)

Add 350ml water and begin mixing with your hands, adding more water if you need to, until you have formed a soft rough dough, and picked up all the flour from the sides of the bowl.

Coat the work surface with a little olive oil, then tip the dough onto it and begin to knead. Keep kneading for 5-10 minutes. Work through the initial wet stage until the dough starts to form a soft, smooth skin.

When your dough feels smooth and silky, put it into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel.

Note: my proving place was on a step stool, under my worktop, next to the radiator. You can’t see, but I took the thermometer out of the fridge and checked the temperature and it was about 20C

Leave to rise at 22-24C (no cooler than 15C and no warmer than 25C) for 5 hours, or until at least doubled in size.

Cover two trays with cloths, and dust them heavily with flour.

Tip the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface, and fold it in on itself a few times to knock out all the air. Divide the dough into 2 pieces, and flatten each piece into a rectangle about 30x20cm and 1-2cm deep.

Sprinkle half the grated cheese over one side of the rectangle, and top with half of the apples, leaving a 1cm clear margin along the edges. note: one loaf had this, on the other, I added the cheese just the same, but applied a light layer of pickle to the other half.

Fold the dough over to make a smaller rectangle and press down the edges firmly to seal.

Put each loaf on a floured cloth and place inside a clean plastic bag.

Leave to prove at 22-24C for 13 hours, or until the dough is doubled in size and springs back when lightly prodded with your finger.

Confession: My poor loaf only got about 9 hours on the second proving. Next time I will try and do it properly!

When the dough is ready, heat your oven to 200C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.

Transfer your loaves to the prepared baking trays.

note: I went for counting to 3 and flipping it over onto the tray. It seemed to work ok.

Sprinkle some more grated cheese over the surface of the loaves, and make an indentation along each loaf.

Bake for 35 minutes, until the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the base.

Cool on a wire rack.

On the inside?

Well they looked like this:


…and this:



Pretty tasty. Especially the original cheese and apple loaf, but both were pretty good.

Both were however a little flat…. possibly due to the reduced proving time. Next time I will try and have it so they can have the full 13 hours, then I am sure they will be perfect 😉

p.s. if you want some more recipes from Mr Hollywood, some of his recipes will be given away inside the Telegraph this weekend.


  1. Having made sourdough for a long time and trying Paul Hollywoods starter and recipes I was disappointed by the results hit and miss and dense by comparison to others. Looking at your loaves it’s obvious you have the same issue, as Paul uses a strong starter it’s likely too aggressive based on the proving time 13 hours which will result in a flatter loaf. The best sourdough recipe I’ve followed is plain sourdough by Emmanuel Hadjiandreou it rises perfectly and makes Paul’s method seem over complicated and amateur. Give it a go you won’t be disappointed.

    1. I guess it’s just a balance of time and temperature, I think my kitchen is just a little too warm for the timings he uses, that and not using a basket to support the loaf as it rises.

      I use a Hobbs House starter, and have no problem when the basic recipe that is proven in the cane basket, but always find it takes less time than they say too.

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