The Dutch are famous for their cheeses. Edam and Gouda (with or without cumin) are named after the towns where they are made. The cheese markets in those towns date back to the Middle Ages and are still conducted in the same manner in the market place. Regional cheeses such as Limburger, Friesian or Maaslander are less available abroad. Matured or old Dutch cheese is also very popular for the intense taste sensation. For this traditional cheese and ham bread from the city of Gouda, chef Geert Elzinga from Sydney's Essen restaurant uses an old and a young cheese.






Skill level

Average: 3.8 (16 votes)



  • 1 tsp dried instant yeast
  • 150 g water (35°C)
  • 75 g (½ cup) white bread flour (see Note)
  • 75 g (½ cup) wholemeal flour



  • 225 g starter
  • 150 g (1 cup) white flour
  • 75 g (½ cup) wholemeal flour
  • ¾ tsp fine salt
  • 100 ml milk, at room temperature
  • 3 tsp olive oil   
  • 105 ml water



  • 60 g young Dutch cheese with cumin (see Note)
  • 60 g aged Dutch cheese
  • 120 g sliced ham, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 thin slices prosciutto


Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.

Resting time overnight

You’ll need to start this recipe 1 day ahead

For the starter, place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Cover the bowl and set aside for 16-24 hours.

Mix the ingredients for sourdough together and knead slowly for 10 minutes in an electric mixer with a dough hook attachment. Cover and set aside for 1 hour or until doubled in volume. Repeat the process until it doubles again.

Preheat oven to 200˚C.

Place the dough on a floured bench and knead by hand for 2 minutes, then add cheese and ham. Mix and knead into the dough well. Form into a rustic loaf shape, place on a floured baking tray, cover with a tea towel and rest for a further 20 minutes. If you like, lay one or two very thin slices of proscuitto across the top to make it extra tasty. With a sharp knife, make a cut into the top of the bread for it to open up a little, and place in the oven for 45-50 minutes, or until cooked through and hollow sounding when tapped on the base.


• Bread flour has a high protein content (12-15%) which gives the bread good structure. A lower protein flour will give the bread a cakey, crumbly texture.

• Gouda with cumin is called spiced Gouda and is available from Dutch food shops.


Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Michelle Noerianto. Food preparation by Nick Banbury.