Servings: 10 -12 medium slices per loaf
Time: About 2 hrs 50 min. including rising time (less if you use a stand mixer)
Difficulty: Fairly easy
A good, strong-flavoured loaf with a soft, but firm no-nonsense texture.
Credit: Adapted from a Paul Hollywood recipe in his excellent book: “100 Great Breads”
- 300g wholemeal bread flour
- 200g strong white bread flour
- 360 – 370 ml tepid water
- 7g instant yeast
- 10g salt
- 80g Stilton cheese, crumbled into small pieces
- 130g bacon, chopped and fried (unsalted preferably)
- In a large bowl, mix together the flours, salt and yeast. Make sure the salt and yeast do not come into direct contact.
- Gradually add the water and continue mixing either by hand or in a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment.
- Either tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for 12 – 15 minutes (until the dough becomes glossy, smooth and elastic-like) or keep it in the bowl of the stand mixer and change to the dough hook. Set the mixer to slow and knead for about 10 – 12 minutes.
- Lightly oil a bowl and place the kneaded dough into it, turning it over a few times to transfer some of the oil to the outer surface of the dough. Cover the bowl with cling film or a damp tea towel and leave it to rise for about 60 – 75 minutes or until doubled in size. Line a baking tray while you wait.
- Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in the Stilton and bacon, making sure they are evenly distributed. Use a plastic dough scraper to cut the dough into two equal halves (weigh them if unsure). Shape them into two rounds, pulling the outer skin taught and pinching together any loose pieces underneath.
- Put the two dough balls on the baking tray spaced well apart and flatten each one slightly. Pop the baking tray inside a large plastic bag (I use a white swing bin liner.) and leave for about an hour for the loaves to rise again. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200C/fan oven 180C/400F/Gas 6. Dust the loaves lightly with flour and bake for around 30 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.