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Pimento Cheese & Grits Dutch Crunch Sourdough

mrjeffmccarthy's picture

Pimento Cheese & Grits Dutch Crunch Sourdough

This is a popular flavor I do for our local farmers market. The loaves are packed with pimento cheese (that a friend makes,) and topped with a dutch crunch that uses corn grits instead of rice flour. These things are dang tasty. Please excuse formatting, the formulas are cut and pasted from my recipe spreadsheet. 

Grits Dutch Crunch Recipe (prepare the day before)

60g active sourdough starter 
450g cornmeal grits
70g honey
60g olive oil
8g salt
115-175g (or more) water 

Mix all ingredients and mix to combine. Let ferment at room temp until risen slightly and it looks and smells fermented. The amount of water may vary depending on your grits. Add enough water so make a thick paste, not a stiff batter or dough. Extra crunch paste does ok in the fridge for a day or so but will brown up too dark after that. 

 Pimento Cheese Bread  

1232g bread flour
144g kamut flour
72g spelt flour
44g wheat germ
28g salt
1186g h20
220g active sourdough starter 

2 pints of pimento cheese (I didn't weigh this, I just put in what I had bought. Could go more, could go less)  

Scale the first four ingredients and mix to homogenize.

Scale the salt into a small vessel and set aside.

Scale the water into a large bowl. Ladle a small amount of the water over the salt, and set aside 

Autolyse 30 min to overnight (I do all my dough overnight as I am hand mixing) 

Add the active sourdough starter and mix to incorporate. If you did a short autolyse, develop your dough's gluten in the desired fashion. 

Rest the dough one hour before incorporating the reserved salt and water mixture. Bulk ferment the dough 3-6 hours depending on ambient conditions. Stretch & fold the dough every thirty minutes for the first 2 hours, then as needed throughout bulk. Add the pimento cheese during the second set of folds. 

Scale the dough at 360 g, with the added cheese you should get 8 or 9 pieces. Pre shape, rest 20 minutes,  then shape into little boules. 

Transfer the dough to baskets to proof. I do mine overnight in the fridge. When the loaves are ready, transfer to the dutch oven, sprtiz with water and spread on the pre prepared dutch crunch in a thin layer. I've tried these both slashed and not slashed. I think they look nicer without being slashed. 

Bake your breads in preheated dutch ovens at 550F for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 475, rotate the pans, and bake an additional 10 minutes with the lid on. Remove the lid and bake 4-5 minutes more, until the Dutch Crunch is a nice, reddish, golden brown. 

Cool 20 minutes before eating, trust me I burned my mouth. 



merlie's picture

This bread looks delicious ! Sad to say I have never come across pimento cheese so searched it on line. So it is a sandwich filling or dip ? There seem to be many recipes for it - just which to go with ? Have you any idea how your friend makes it ? 

Thank you,  Merlie

mrjeffmccarthy's picture

I'd say they area all basically going to be the same. The key ingredients are: cream cheese, cheddar cheese, mayo, roasted red peppers and jalapenos. There are, as you discovered; a million and one variations to the idea. I'd pick a "drier" recipe, one without a bunch of liquid (lemon juice, chili oil, etc.) so as not to muck with your hydration. Hope this helps! 

merlie's picture

Thank you for the info - I really must try this !


Isand66's picture

Question....why add the starter to the topping?  I am curious to what that achieves. 



mrjeffmccarthy's picture

My assumption is flavor. The crusty has a tangy cracker like taste.