Yep, you heard me. BACON & CHEESE BREAD! How freaking amazing does that sound eh? Well I can assure you, it tastes as amazing as it sounds. Once again, the legendary Paul Hollywood doesn’t disappoint with another epic recipe from his How to Bake book. Here is what you will need to make 4 small loaves. (I say small loaves, one loaf will easily make 2 awesome doorstop sized sandwiches!)
- 400g Strong White Bread Flour
- 100g Strong Wholemeal Bread Flour
- 10g Salt
- 10g Fast Action Yeast
- 30g Unsalted Butter, softened
- 330ml Cool Water
- 8 rashers Smoked Back Bacon, fat removed*
- 150g Strong Cheddar Cheese
- Olive Oil
* (Yes I know, it’s practically a crime to take out the best bit of the bacon but just do it! It won’t work as well if you leave the fat on as it gets a second cooking when you bake the bread. So if you do, you’ll pretty much cremate the bacon, NOT COOL!)
Right, down to business!
Tip both flours into a big mixing bowl and add the salt to one side & the yeast to the other. Make a well in the centre and add in the butter & 3 quarters of the water.
Get your hands in and mix it all up, keep adding more water until you have picked up all the loose ingredients from the bowl & formed a rough dough. You might not need all the water or you might need more – aim for a soft dough but not soggy.
Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and knead well for a good 10-15 minutes or until you can stretch the dough quite far without it breaking.
When the dough is ready, place in a large, lightly oiled bowl – cover with cling film and allow to double in size for at least an hour. If it goes past this point by an hour or two though, it doesn’t matter.
Divide the dough into 4 equal portions & shape into ovals by doing the following.
2. Fold the sides over each other (image 2)
3. Repeat steps 1 & 2
4. Roll them up, a bit like a baguette. Turn seam side down & point the ends.
5. Dust the tops with flour & slash the tops deeply (image 3)
Having two loaves to a tray, put each tray either into a clean plastic bag or loosely cover with cling film. Leave to prove again for 1 hour or until when poked lightly, the dough springs back quickly.
Preheat your oven to 220°C/Fan 210°C.
Just look at it, isn’t it beautiful? I can’t imagine that I could ever make bread in my kitchen that is better than this. I may as well give up now! Well, I won’t obviously – but you know what I mean!
I have had this for my packed lunch at work. Naturally, slicing the bread like the picture above makes really small slices, so I overcame this problem by using half a loaf and slicing horizontally to make a sort of doorstop sandwich. It was amazing! And very filling too, so a great lunch to see me through the rest of the day until tea time.
If you were toying with the idea of getting into bread making, you should give this one a go. It will totally convert you I promise!
Well, until next time my lovelies.