Sunday, 2 May 2010

Time for Bread

It's National Bread Week.... Ho-Hum!

Apparently we're supposed to celebrate this important national event by buying trolley-loads of nasty white-sliced 'Bread', and thinking really hard about the 'roll' (ha-ha!) that this (ahem!) 'Bread' plays in our excessively processed, nutritionally challenged lives. Right-O!

Well stuff that, we're doing our bit for bread by going the extra mile and making real, tasty, proper Cider & Cheese Bread, with real cider, and real cheese. Bread, Cider, and Cheese are of course a classic combination, and the very heart of a proper Ploughman's (of which I have very strong opinions... Celery! Sweet Peppers! Fruit!.... No!). So combining the three elements in one delicious home-baked loaf is a no-brainer really. Here's the recipe in American/Irish measures, which seems to suit baking more than weights in my opinion:

One Cup Strong White Flour
One Cup Strong Wholemeal Flour
One Cup Grated Cheese
Tbsp Vegetable Oil
Pinch of Salt
Tsp Dried Yeast
3/4 Cup Cider

I'd be lying if I said we did the whole mixing and kneading thing. In reality, all the ingredients went into a bread maker, with a 5 minute extra kneed when the machine had done its thing...

A word about the ingredients. We used Claybrooke Mill flour, because we've tried the rest*, and now we stick with the best. The cider was a bottle of Spalding Scrumpy Yellowbelly Cider, a smooth, clean, very well made Eastern Counties style cider from... erm... Spalding. Quite dry, which is what we wanted for this bread. The cheese was a delicious French Comte, sweet and nutty like a grown-up Emmental.

So how did it taste? Absolutely bloomin' delicious actually. Very cheesy, with a lovely tangy fruitiness from the cider. Lacking in imagination as we are, we enjoyed the bread fresh from the oven with a glass of cider, and a slice of cheese... but if pushed for a recommendation, I'd say try it with a good homemade Winter soup.

*Obviously we haven't tried 'all' the rest, but it's flour we're talking about here, not chocolate!

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