Cheese, Bacon & Onion Bread


This is a superb recipe, consider it a ready made bacon sandwich, a meal in a loaf.  Wonderful with a simple seasonal Cauliflower soup, which really shows off the good quality ingredients.

I’ve used some best quality dry cured bacon from a local farm, some really nice cheddar and one of my own fresh onions from the garden.  Best ingredients = best flavours

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 400g Strong White Bread Flour
  • 100g Strong Wholemeal Bread Flour
  • 10g Fast Action Yeast
  • 10g Salt
  • 30g Soften, salted butter
  • 330ml cold Water
  • 225g Dry Cured Bacon
  • A little Olive Oil
  • 1 medium Onion, thinly sliced
  • 150g Cheddar Cheese, grated

Method

  • In a bowl make up the dough by mixing in the flours, yeast, butter and salt before adding most of the water
  • Work into a rough, soft dough, adding a little more water if necessary
  • Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead well for 5-10 minutes until the gluten develops and the dough turns smooth and evenly developed
  • Lightly oil a bowl and put in the kneaded dough.  Cover with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about an hour
  • Meanwhile, gently fry off the bacon in a little oil until lightly cooked through (I like to ensure that any fat is nice and brown and crispy).  Remove from the pan and sweat the onion until soft.  Break the bacon up into small pieces
  • Once risen, add the bacon, onions and grated cheese into the bowl with the dough and work in crudely with your fingers
  • Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knock back, folding the dough to incorporate the bacon, onion & cheese evenly throughout
  • Cut the dough into 4 even pieces and shape into little loaves.  Place onto 2 baking sheets, lines with parchment/silicon and set aside somewhere warm & draft free to prove until doubled in size – about an hour
  • Bake in a pre-heated oven, 200oC Fan, for about 20 minutes
  • Remove to a wire rack to cool – but best whilst still a little warm!

Aside:

This was an interesting example of what happens if you head off into the garden whilst your dough is proving for an hour, only to get distracted and return 2 hours later.  I’d slashed the top of the loaves before proving, for effect.  The dough was proving very fast when I left it, and when I returned, it had gone way too far – it had lost it’s shape and collapsed back into an misshapen mess.  I reworked 2 of the loaves gently back into shape and left the others for comparison.  Apart from being a little flat, the structure was still very good in both

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