Salut messieurs et madames, welcome to the third post in my Great Blogger Bakeoff series! I must admit to being somewhat relieved that this week's Bakeoff theme was bread: despite being a huge sweet tooth as a child I much prefer savoury food now. Whilst a sweet treat here and there doesn't go amiss (see weeks one and two, I admittedly polished off my fair share of these concoctions!) I was excited to get stuck into a more savoury recipe instead. So, this week I have written up the recipe for a Comté cheese and red onion loaf. It is based on a Pain de Savoie recipe by Paul Hollywood, but the recipe is altered for those of us who don't eat meat. Enjoy!
This recipe is for a red onion and Comté cheese loaf: you will require a 20-inch deep springform cake tin, and the following ingredients:
500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
1tbsp of wholemeal flour (optional)
8g dried yeast
20ml olive oil, plus extra for oiling
1 red onion
200g Comté cheese, cubed
This is a snapshot of the recipe this post is based on, from Paul Hollywood's 2013 'Bread' book. As you can see this recipe has been well used in our family. My parents made it for the first time according to the original recipe and we later devised this meat-free alternative.
Begin by oiling a work surface ready for kneading. Add the strong white bread flour, and an optional tablespoon of wholemeal flour, to a large bowl. Add the salt to one side and the yeast to the other. Add the olive oil with 250ml water and mix by hand. Add some more water to form a soft dough.
Tip the dough onto the oiled work surface, knead for at least 10 minutes. The dough, when ready, will become smooth and elastic.
Finely chop a red onion. Depending on the size of the onion, you will use approximately a third of the onion. Work the chopped onion well into the dough - start by using a small amount, you can always add more.
Form the dough into a ball and put into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to rise for at least 2 hours. It will become 2-3 times bigger over this time.
Lightly flour a surface. Work the dough with your hands, stretching it out and folding it in on itself, then split into three evenly sized pieces, forming them into balls. Put two of the pieces aside.
Roll the first ball into a circle to fit the tin, about 1.5-2cm thick. Lay it in the bottom of the tin and scatter half of the cheese over the top. Repeat this process with the second ball of dough, scattering the rest of the cheese on top, then roll out the third ball to the same size and place it on top.
Note: I would advise keeping the cheese further in from the edges than pictured here, as when I took my loaf out of the oven some of the cheese had melted down the side of the loaf. It doesn't affect the taste, but it doesn't look as pretty and uniform if the cheese is visible from the outside!
Dust the loaf with flour and put the tin inside a plastic bag. Leave this to prove for about an hour, when it should be nicely puffed up. Preheat your oven to 220 degrees.
Bake the loaf for 30 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
All this waiting and proving and cooling meant I had lost the light before I had chance to photograph my bread! However, I hope you like the look of it, with the cheese running throughout and the small pieces of red onion. It was really delicious, and very popular.
I would advise making this loaf to eat it the same day.This is only because red onion has a nasty habit of losing it's colour. Whilst the bread tastes great and is still moist the day after making, the red onion becomes greyish in colour which looks less appetising! Besides, the bread is really delicious eaten warm: it's a brilliant recipe to keep in mind as autumn approaches.
Overall I was really pleased with the outcome of this recipe: I've made bread less than a handful of times and whilst I enjoy it I couldn't say I'm hugely confident! I'm definitely detecting a pattern, though: my recipes always taste a hell of a lot better than they look ahah! As an illustration student maybe that should be worrying?! Do you enjoy making bread, would you try this recipe?