Cheese & Onion Tear and Share Loaf

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This is the bread presented at NottsTV, BBC Radio Nottingham and at the Nottingham Castle Great Food & Drink Festival on 29-5-2016.

Not only a wonderful white and fluffy loaf, the perfect thing for any picnic or work lunchbox, we then turn this into a perfect centerpiece for and dining room table.

The perfect marriage of cheese and onions combines with a slightly spicy butter sauce to make this one of the most comforting eats around.

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Recipe

500g strong white bread flour

400ml whole fat natural yogurt

10g fast action active yeast

10g fine sea salt

50g soft unsalted butter

200g cheddar cheese – cut into thin strips

1 large mozzarella ball – cut into strips

8 good sized spring onions – chopped finely

150g unsalted butter

1/2tsp cayenne pepper

1/2tsp paprika

1/2tsp salt

100g crunchy onions

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A variation I made using onion rings for BBC Radio Nottingham

 

Place the bread flour into the bowl of a stand mixer along with the butter, yeast and salt.  Try to avoid the yeast and salt touching each other as this will kill the yeast.

For the best tasting bread, but the slowest rising, simply add the yogurt from cold.  You can warm the yogurt slightly to blood temperature which will speed up the rising process immensely but you will sacrifice some taste in the final product.  Slowly add the yogurt to the flour whilst running the mixture on slow.

Knead the bread for 5mins in the mixer before transferring to a floured board and finishing by hand.  Your bread should be able to form a nice tight, but slightly stretchy ball when done.  Practice makes perfect with this stage.  You will soon develop a knack for the feel.

Oil the bread and a large bowl before covering and leaving to rise as this will prevent a crust forming on the dough.  If you use cold yogurt as recommended above, this will take about 3 hours.  With warm yogurt, about 1 to 1.5 hours.

Tip the risen dough onto a floured work surface before knocking the air out with your hands.  Roll the dough into a tight ball and place into a large cast iron casserole pot or Dutch oven lined with baking paper.  Cover with the lid and leave to rise in a warm place for 45min.  Pre-heat the oven to 220c.

Once risen, place the covered pot into the oven for 30 to 35mins, only checking the bread after the first 20mins of cooking.  Cooking your bread in a pot this way will give it a fantastic rise and wonderful golden crust.

Once baked, carefully remove from the pot and place onto a cooling rack.  Enjoy as is or proceed onto the next stage.  This loaf will keep until the next day as it makes incredible sandwich bread.

Finished loaf in its pot!

Finished loaf in its pot!

 

To make this into my tear and share loaf cut the loaf using a sharp serrated knife into 1” strips, stopping around ¼” from the bottom of the loaf.  Turn the loaf and repeat the process, checkerbording the loaf.

Stuff cheese, half the spring onions & half the crunchy onions between the bread pieces. I have also used crunchy bacon bits for some of my more meat’atarian friends in the past.

Melt the butter along with the spices and salt in a saucepan until melted.  Pour over the loaf making sure to cover it completely. Place the loaf onto a baking sheet and cover with foil.  Bake for 20mins at 180c.

Remove from the oven, cover with remaining spring onions and crunchy onions and serve immediately.

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