Here’s a lovely, tasty loaf that’s soft and chewy with a great cheesy taste.
Makes: 1 quite large loaf, giving about 12 – 15 slices
Time: Steps 1 – 4: 15 – 20 min. then 60 – 90 min for first prove. Steps 5 & 6: 10 – 12 min. then 40 – 50 min for second prove. Finally 30 – 35 min in the oven. *All this assumes the use of a stand mixer, but it’s only a little longer if made by hand.
Need: A stand mixer makes it easier, but it’s not essential. Likewise a large baking/pizza stone is good, but also not essential.
- 400g/14oz strong white flour
- 100g/3½oz strong wholemeal flour
- 7g instant dried/fast action yeast
- 10g/¼oz fine salt
- 10g/¼oz sugar
- 25ml/1fl oz olive oil*
- 25g/1oz melted butter*
- 300ml/10fl oz tepid water
- About 125g/4½oz grated cheddar cheese, or similar
- About 3 Tbsp finely chopped chives
- ½ egg for glazing
* You could use 50g/1¾oz of either oil or butter; I couldn’t decide, so I went half & half, which seems to have worked well.
1. In a large bowl, mix together the flours, yeast, salt and sugar. (Make sure the yeast and salt don’t come into direct contact before mixing.)
2. Add in the olive oil, melted butter and warm water. Mix everything together well.
3. Knead the mixture – about 8 minutes in a stand mixer using the dough hook, otherwise 15 – 18 minutes by hand on a lightly floured surface, maybe more.
4. Place the ball of dough into an oiled bowl and turn it over a few times, pulling handfuls of dough up and folding over itself. Keep turning the bowl or the dough and repeat a few times then cover and leave it to rise.
5. Once risen, knock it back and spread it out, then fold in the cheese and chives. Bring it into a ball and weigh before dividing it into three equal pieces.
6. Work the three pieces into lengths of about 30cm/12” – or a little longer. They need to be equal in length. Lay them out parallel and squeeze one end together. Now plait the strands. Squeeze together the second end then tuck the ends under if necessary, to neaten the appearance.
7. Place on a parchment covered metal baking sheet. I put my loaves into a large white kitchen bin liner for the second prove. Wrap the loose ends of the bag under the tray to create a “balloon like” inner area.
8. During the second prove, turn the oven on to reach 230°C / fan 210°C / 450°F / Gas 8. If you have a baking stone, put it in the oven now, or you could use a metal baking tray. (A hot surface in the oven to slide the loaf onto helps tremendously with the bake.)
9. When the loaf has risen for a second time brush it with beaten egg. Slide the loaf (with or without the parchment) onto the hot baking stone or metal tray.
10. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped underneath. (After 15 – 20 minutes, have a look to see if it’s getting too dark too quickly. If so, turn the oven down a little and/or cover the loaf with foil.)
11. Once baked, place on a wire rack to cool fully, trying very hard to overcome the temptation to cut and eat immediately.
I hope you enjoy making and eating this lovely loaf. For more of my bread recipes click This link.
Here are some quite different breads that I hope you try: