Crispy Crunchy Sourdough Grilled Cheese (Two Ways)

Source: Azikiwee Anderson, Rize Up Bakery

Recipe Type:

Rize Up Bakery is a fast-growing San Francisco based Black-owned bakery focused on reinventing and rethinking the traditional sourdough. Founded by Azikiwee Anderson, Rize Up was born as a way to channel energy into something healing during the social unrest caused by the murder of George Floyd. Rize Up’s story began as a home-based quarantine sourdough project that quickly turned into a micro bakery in the Spring of 2020. Within a year, Rize Up outgrew Azikiwee’s backyard ovens and its trajectory has no end in sight. Azikiwee was overcome with a need to make a difference and hopefully inspire young Black bakers to think outside the traditional box. Rize Up wants change the world one beautiful loaf of bread at a time by sharing their love of delicious, thoughtfully baked breads made with naturally leavened, organic and sustainable high-quality ingredients. Find Rize Up Bakery at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market on Saturdays and Tuesdays.

This recipe was demonstrated at the Foodwise Classroom on June 1, 2024.

Serves 2


2 slices of Rize Up Masala Loaf and 2 slices of Rize Up K-Pop Loaf (The star of the show! Sourdough bread works great for a grilled cheese sandwich since it’s sturdy and can hold up to the weight of all those cheeses super well. It also has a distinct tangy flavor that pairs so well with the cheeses here.)
2 tablespoons each of gouda, havarti, sharp cheddar, and pepper jack, grated (This sandwich uses a combination of four different cheeses to create a gourmet taste that’s so melty and delicious. You’ll need Gouda, havarti, sharp cheddar cheese and your other favorite melty cheese for this sandwich.)
2 tablespoons of Volcano Kimchi napa cabbage kimchi, drained and chopped finely
1 tablespoons of Frog Hollow Apricot Pepper Jam
1 stick of salted butter, room temperature (Always use a nice salted butter to help the bread to grill to that beautiful golden brown color, make your sourdough grilled cheese nice and crispy, and add tons of flavor to the sandwich. Alternatively, you could use mayo, which also helps the bread to brown nicely, but I personally prefer the taste of butter on grilled cheese but if mayo’s what you’ve got – go for it!)


Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat that will fit both slices of bread at the same time.

Spread a generous slab of butter across both sides of both slices of the Rize Up K-Pop bread. Yes, you absolutely want to butter both sides, not just the outer sides of the bread! Buttering and toasting the inside of the sourdough gives you more crunch and flavor to your grilled cheese and will help make sure you prevent the bread from becoming dried out during the cooking process. Often when I am making this for my family, I will take a little dollop of bacon grease and season the pan before I add the butter and bread.

Add the buttered bread to the cast iron to start toasting. The bread should start browning but not burning. If it is browning to quickly, lower the temperature of the pan or remove the cast iron from heat until the heat subsides. Check the underside often and flip when the bottom side is golden brown.

After you brown the bottom sides of the toast, flip them, and 1 tbsp of each cheese in thin layers to the top, toasted side of one slice. For the K-Pop toast grilled cheese variation, layer in the chopped kimchi with the cheese.

Top cheesy slice with the other slice of toast to form the sandwich. Using a clean towel or pan weight, press down on the top of the sandwich to compress the layers. Flip the sandwich and toast on low heat until both sides are a gorgeous golden brown color and the cheese has melted through. (About 2-4 minutes per side.)

When making the Masala grilled cheese variation, repeat the above steps, omitting the kimchi. Instead, Spread a thin layer of the apricot jam on the other slice of toast without the cheese.


Always use salted butter. This pairs so nicely with the sourdough and the cheese and really adds flavor to the sandwich.

Butter both sides! This results in so much delicious flavor. You will want to toast the inside of the bread as well before adding the cheese to create an even crunchier, crispier grilled cheese.

Keep your grilled cheese sandwich covered with a pan lid or aluminum foil and keep your heat nice and low when cooking your grilled cheese sandwich. This will help the cheese melt and will give your sandwich an even, deep brown crust without burning. Also make sure you watch your sandwich closely so it doesn’t burn!

Let the grilled cheese rest for a couple of minutes! While I know you’ll want to dive right into this delicious sourdough grilled cheese right away, allowing it to rest just for a minute lets the cheese set lightly and prevents it from spilling out all over the sides and/or burning the roof of your mouth.


Farmers Market Ingredients