This is a really soft, light, moist loaf with a lovely flavour, in fact several lovely flavours are possible, depending on which soft cheese you use.
Makes: Two medium loaves or one large loaf
Time: About 25 – 30 minutes “hands-on” + up to 2 hours proving
Equipment: No special equipment, but if you have a stand mixer you could use it
- 25ml (1 fl oz) lukewarm milk
- half tsp sugar
- 7g sachet of instant yeast
- 500g (1lb 2oz) Strong white bread flour, plus some for dusting
- 10g (1/3oz) salt
- 75ml (2½ fl oz) olive oil
- 250ml (4½ fl oz) water
- 125g (4½ oz) Cream cheese*
- About 4 tbsp finely cut chives
*Flavoured cheeses such as Philadelphia Garlic and Herb work really well and add that bit extra to the overall taste.
1. Stir the sugar then the yeast into the lukewarm milk and set aside for a few minutes.
2. Put the flour, salt, olive oil, most of the water and the cream cheese into a large bowl and mix well, either by hand or in a stand mixer. Add in the yeasty milk and mix some more. Add the rest of the water if it seems too dry.
3. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and blend in the chives. Knead the dough until it’s smooth and elastic. (Maybe 7 – 10 minutes by hand, or using the dough hook in a stand mixer, about 5 minutes.)
4. Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and turn it over a few times until coated in oil. Cover* and leave to rise until doubled in volume – about 60 minutes depending on the warmth of the room. (*I cover mine with an elasticated shower cap – works a treat)
5. Line a baking tray. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a ball. Either leave it as a ball or elongate it into more of a sausage shape with pointed ends. Place the dough on the baking tray and pop it inside a plastic bag without letting the sides touch the dough. Leave for about an hour for its second rise.
6. After about 45 minutes turn the oven on to heat up to 220C/Fan 200C/425F/Gas 7. When the dough has risen again, cut three or more diagonal slashes on top, using a sharp knife or razor blade.
7. Bake for about 30 minutes (single large loaf) or nearer 20 minutes (for two medium loaves.) Cool on a wire rack.
I wish you every success with your bread making. I hope you have a go at this one and enjoy making and eating a lovely loaf. If you want to see more of my bread recipes click here. If you’d like to make a comment or ask a question please do, via the contact page.