21 Unique Sourdough Add-Ins you Need to Try

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This might sound dramatic, but these sourdough add-ins will change your life! While I will happily eat a loaf of plain sourdough bread, there is nothing better than a loaf stuffed with complimentary flavors and textures to really up your sourdough game. So whether you have been making sourdough for years or are just getting started, you need to try these 21 flavor combinations.

Parmesan, Asiago, and Hot Honey sourdough add-ins and Jalapeno cheddar sourdough add-ins on a cooling rack

How do I make sourdough bread?

If you’re looking for a simple sourdough bread recipe that requires minimal-fuss and a forgiving timeline, you’re going to want this recipe.

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picture of sourdough bread dough with chocolate squares, pink salt, and walnuts

When do I incorporate sourdough add-ins to my dough?

There are two common times to incorporate add-ins, during the stretch and fold phase or during lamination. I personally use both methods depending on the type of add-ins. Most of the time, I add my extra ingredients 30 minutes after making my dough. I prefer this method as it does a better job of incorporating the add-ins throughout the bread. However, when using ingredients like honey or cream cheese, I prefer to add these during lamination as these ingredients can dramatically change the texture.

Lamination is performed after the dough is finished with bulk fermentation and is ready to be shaped. To laminate the dough, gently pull it into a chubby rectangle and add the mix-ins on top.  Fold the bottom two-thirds of the dough on itself and again sprinkle more of the mix-ins to the top layer of the fold. Then fold the top third over it and add one more layer to the top. Once added, roll it up like a cinnamon roll and using cupping hands shape the dough into a ball. Tearing can sometimes happen, depending on the type of add-ins, so be gentle with the dough. If the dough begins to tear quickly get it into the bowl/basket for the second proof. Continuing to touch the dough will only make it worse. Trust me, stop while you are ahead.

chocolate sourdough dough during lamination with cream cheese, heath bits, cream cheese chips, and chocolate chips add ins on top of the dough.

How do I know how much of the inclusions to add to the dough?

I’m going to tell you a secret but you have to promise not to be mad… I don’t measure. If you know me, that probably won’t come as a surprise. My thought is do what the heart wants, within reason. Obviously, the more you add the more it will impact your dough. As a rule of thumb, I lightly cover the top of the dough with the add-ins and then after mixing, if it doesn’t feel like enough, I’ll add a little more. If you prefer precise rules, then shoot for under 20% of your total flour weight.

How do I prepare my sourdough add-ins?

There really is no “right” way. It will depend on what your end goal is. For example, with cheese if you want to bite into a cheesy chunk of bread then you will want to do cubed cheese. If you prefer the cheese flavor incorporated throughout, then I recommend using
shredded cheese. The same principle would apply with chocolate chunks vs shavings, jalapeno slices vs diced, and so on.

Will sourdough add-ins change the texture of my dough?

Yes! Anything that you introduce to your dough can change the texture. If you use an add-in with higher moisture content your dough will be more wet and can be harder to work with. Here are a few tricks to help with that. Use a paper towel to dry the ingredient before adding it to the dough. For example, if you use a jar of jalapeno slices pull them out with a fork onto a paper towel and pat them dry before adding them. You can also modify the recipe by slightly cutting back on the amount of water you add to accommodate the extra moisture from the additional ingredients.

How do I sweeten up a sourdough loaf?

Sweet sourdough add-ins might not be what you initially think of when you think sourdough, but I can assure you it’s delicious! Think chocolate, cinnamon, heath bits, cream cheese, the possibilities are endless! When I make a sweet loaf, I add sugar (4%-6% of my overall flour weight) to really sweeten up the bread. In my simple sourdough bread recipe I add 30 grams of sugar when I mix together all my ingredients.

chocolate squares, pink Himalayan salt, and walnuts

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21 Delicious Combinations of Sourdough Add-Ins

Now without further ado, here are 21 sourdough add-ins to try in your sourdough bread! Make sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to see my absolute favorite combination.

  1. Everything but the Bagel Seasoning & Cheddar
    • Everything but the Bagel Seasoning is my favorite seasoning of all time. What’s not to love about sesame seeds, sea salt, garlic, onion, and poppy seeds? Then add in my other love, cheese, and it’s a match made in heaven. When adding the seasoning, I like to mix it into the dough and add it to the top. To do that, place the top of the dough into a plate of seasoning, as shown here. TIP: When I flip the dough onto parchment paper to bake, I will spray the loaf with water and again add more of the seasoning to ensure an even coating.
  2. Parmesan, Asiago & Hot Honey
    • Have you ever heard of Mike’s Hot Honey? It’s honey infused with red chili peppers and is sold in most grocery stores. It’s not overly spicy, when added to the dough, but does give it a nice kick. Then, for extra deliciousness, sprinkle more cheese to the top of the loaf right before baking. parmesan and hot honey sourdough loaf
  3. Sun Dried Tomatoes & Mozzarella
    • These sourdough add-ins are the perfect pair for pasta night. When picking sun dried tomatoes, I recommend the ones in the jar with oil. Pat them dry and rough chop them before adding to your dough. Italian seasoning also works great in this loaf.
  4. Chocolate & Cream Cheese
    • It’s a dream combination. I even have this recipe ready for you here!
  5. Cinnamon & Raisins
    • Raisin lovers, this one is for you. If you have time, soak your raisins beforehand to plump them up and add extra flavor.
  6. White Chocolate & Almonds
    • My husband won’t eat chocolate… I KNOW WHO DOES HE THINK HE IS? This is the loaf we make for him when we want a sweet loaf he will eat. For an extra punch of flavor add a splash of almond extract to the dough.
  7. Honey Butter & Cinnamon
    • I have three words for you: Texas Roadhouse Rolls. Add chunks of the honey butter and cinnamon during lamination to avoid changing the dough. These sourdough add-ins are great for french toast!
  8. Lemon & Rosemary
    •  This loaf tastes so fresh with lemon zest and rosemary. For herbs, I always recommend using fresh when possible for the most flavor. But in a pinch, dried herbs will work.
  9. Italian Seasoning & Parmesan
    • If you have a Trader Joe’s nearby, go now and buy Italian Style Soffritto Seasoning Blend. It is THE BEST and makes this bread so dang good. This blend has crispy onions, sun-dried tomatoes, sea salt, garlic, red peppers, parsley, rosemary, and sage. Can’t go wrong there. Then throw in shredded Parmesan cheese and you have the perfect side for pasta!
  10. Caramelized Onions & Cheddar Cheese
    • I’m calling this my “pierogi loaf”. One day, I was perusing the aisles of Kroger and came across Caramelized Onion Jam and knew immediately it was going in my next loaf of bread. I added the cheddar cheese and some paprika when I added salt but waited to add the onions until right before shaping. Go get some of that jam right now and make it because YUM!
  11. Lemon & Blueberry
    • These sourdough add-ins just feel like summer. When adding blueberries, I highly recommend going with fresh instead of frozen. Frozen, when melted, will add additional moisture to the loaf which can make it hard to work with.
  12. Pesto & Mozzarella
    • This loaf was *french kiss* perfection. I’ve added pesto to slices of bread, so I thought why not add it to the dough? I added a light layer of pesto and sprinkled mozzarella pearls during lamination. Don’t get heavy handed with the pesto or it will start seeping out during shaping and can get hard to work with.
  13. Cranberries & Orange
    • The thought of sweet orange bread baking is making my mouth water. For
      the orange you have two options, you can either swap out half of your water with orange juice or keep it all water and add orange zest instead, or both. I recommend using dried cranberries which you can soak in orange juice beforehand for an extra flavorful punch or just add them straight from the bag. You could also add sugar to the dough to really sweeten up the bread.cut in half cranberry orange sourdough loaf
  14. Olives & Parmesan
    • A charcuterie board in a bread. I’m going to be honest though, I hate olives… So this one is going to be a hard pass for me. But olives do pair so well with bread that if you do like them, try this and report back!
  15. Pepperoni & Cheese
    • West Virginia is known for their pepperoni rolls and the homemade ones are almost heaven… see what I did there? This combination of sourdough add-ins is a fan-favorite at our house. I like to add some Italian seasoning in as well to really take it to the next level.
  16. Honey & Oats
    •  What’s not to like about rolled oats and honey in a loaf? I like to add the oats on top and in the dough. For the honey, you can add some to the water at the beginning to sweeten the overall loaf or add it during lamination for a more swirled effect.
  17. Apple Cider & Pecans
    • When the fresh apple cider hits the stores during apple season, you know this is the first loaf I make. The more fresh the cider is the more flavorful the loaf will be. I sub out all my water for cider and then add some sugar, toasted pecans, cinnamon, and sometimes even apples. WOW! Here’s the recipe
  18. Pumpkin & Chocolate Chips
    • You had me at pumpkin! I shared a recipe for a savory pumpkin loaf on my Instagram. Then, if you want to sweeten it up, add sugar and chocolate chips or chunks.pumpkin flavored sourdough loaf in the shape of a pumpkin
  19. Cream cheese & jam
    • Yes, I can confirm this combination is delicious! Really any type of jam works great but my favorite is Red Raspberry. After I laminate my dough, I disperse chunks of cream cheese and jam throughout and then shape it.
  20. Chocolate Shavings & Walnuts
    • Milk chocolate and toasted walnuts were made to be in a bread together. Sometimes, I shave the chocolate with a grater. Other times, I will rough chop the chocolate. It all depends on the end result I want. For the chopped walnuts, I sometimes will toast them beforehand, if I have time, to enhance the flavor and add an extra crunch. You could also sub out the walnut for your favorite type of nut.
  21. Jalapeno & Cheddar
    • Last but certainly not least, we have my all-time favorite sourdough add-ins, jalapeno cheddar. For the jalapenos, I like to use the jar of sliced jalapenos. I typically put them onto a paper towel before adding them to the dough to help get rid of any extra moisture. I also mix in 1 gram of ghost pepper sea salt to add an extra kick.cut in half jalapeno cheddar sourdough loaf

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jalapenos and a block of cheddar cheese next to a jalapeno cheddar sourdough loaf