Cheddar and caramelised onion bread

wpid-IMAG1143-2-300x169A while back you joined me in my first nervous steps into bread making, so I thought it was time to bring you back to bread making and some of the fabulous new breads I’ve learned.

Cheese breads are a favourite of Kate’s, and cheddar and caramelised onion was an idea of hers.

This loaf is packed with flavours and has a lovely soft crust, perfect for ripping and sharing with family or friends. It’s best served warm to get it at it’s very best.

Ingredients for bread

  • 400 grams of strong white bread flower
  • 100 grams of wholemeal bread flour
  • 40 grams softened unsalted butter
  • 10 grams yeast
  • 7 grams salt
  • around 330 ml water

Ingredients for filling

  • Two chopped and caramelised onions
  • 150 grams grated cheddar cheese

Be careful with your salt addition as the cheddar will add saltiness to your bread.

Method

There are 4 stages to making your bread;

1. mixing and kneading the bread dough

2. rising

3. knocking back & proofing

4. cooking

The reason I lay out the stages like this, is to make it easier to be organised about what you have to do or at least, how I like to do it.

Stage 1.

Add the flour, softened butter, yeast and salt to a large bowl and bring together a little using your hands, then begin to add the water a bit at a time making sure to really mix it all together and incorporate it before adding any more.

I said around 330ml of water and you may not need it all or you may need more, the trick is to take your time and mix.

Once you have a dough – a little sticky – you want to empty the bowl out onto a surface and begin to knead the bread dough. Remember from last time that the sticky dough will become less sticky and more soft and pliable as you knead (takes around 7 or 8 mins).

Stage 2. Letting the dough rise.

You need to put the dough back in its bowl and cover with some cling film then leave it somewhere warm (not hot) for at leat an hour, or until it has doubled in size. Don’t be over eager to force this to happen quickly, the longer rising and proving take – the better the flavour of the bread.

Once the bread is proving, this is your chance to grate your cheese and cook your onions ready to add them once they have cooled.

If you have ever caramalised onions before, you can go here to learn http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_caramelize_onions/

Stage 3. Incorporating the onions and cheese and proofing the bread.

Once the bread has risen, you need to do what’s called knocking it back. This means knocking all the air out of the bread by kneading it again for a minute or two. This is also the stage where you add your cheese and onions. Add them a bit at a time and knead them into the dough. If you get any random bits which fall out of the dough, simply poke them back in again.

Again you want to leave the bread to rise for about an hour or until it’s doubled in size, but this time you don’t put it back in its bowl. This time, shape your dough to look the final loaf you want and then cover it with cling film before leaving it to rise.

Stage 4. Cooking

To cook your bread and fill your home with the most amazing bread smells, pre-heat your oven to 220 degrees (or 200 for a fan) and cook for 20 mins. When it’s had 20 mins, turn it over and tap the bottom, if it’s cooked it should sound hollow.

Guaranteed, your house will smell amazing and your bread will be wonderful.

 

 

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