No bread is an island

...entire of itself. (With apologies to John Donne!)
I live and breathe breadmaking. I’m an evangelist who would like everyone to make his or her own bread. I want to demystify breadmaking and show it as the easy everyday craft that it is. To this end I endeavour to make my recipes as simple and as foolproof as I possibly can.

I call my blog 'No bread is an island' because every bread is connected to another bread. So a spicy fruit bun with a cross on top is a hot cross bun. This fruit dough will also make a fruit loaf - or Chelsea buns or a Swedish tea ring...
I'm also a vegan, so I have lots of vegan recipes on here - and I'm adding more all the time.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Cheese and onion slices

Cheese twists at the top, and cheese slices at the bottom
Ingredients:
1 mug (200g) strong white flour
1 teaspoon bouillon powder
1 tsp mixed herbs
1/3 mug (125ml) lukewarm water
1 teaspoon yeast, fresh or dried
1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)

Filling:
1 medium onion, chopped and gently fried
100g grated Cheddar cheese

Method:
1. Place the flour and salt in a mixing bowl, measure the water and stir in the fresh yeast. Pour the yeast liquid in with the flour, then add the olive oil if using.


2. Have a little water to hand to add if necessary, remember, it is better for your dough to be wetter (slack) rather than drier (tight). Begin to mix by stirring the ingredients together with a knife (or use your fingers), cutting through the dough as it forms. When it gets too stiff for the knife, use your hand to squeeze the mixture together. As it forms into a solid mass, keep turning it over and pressing it down to pick up the flour at the bottom of the bowl – but make sure it stays soft. Don’t be afraid to add more water to keep it soft! When all the flour has been mixed in, wipe the bowl around with the dough, turn it out onto the worktop and begin to knead.

3. Knead by flattening the dough out, folding it over and flattening it again. Knead until the dough becomes smooth – and then stop before you get fed up!

4. Cover with a dry tea towel and leave for an hour or so – or go straight ahead.

5. Divide the dough into 2 pieces and form each piece gently into a cob shape. Have plenty of flour to hand and liberally scatter flour over the dough and worktop. With a rolling pin, roll each piece of dough into a circle around 20cm across. As soon as the dough becomes hard to roll, put it to one side and work on another piece. Dough made with strong flour resists this process, but after a 'rest' it's possible to work it a little more. Place one piece – the base – on your baking sheet.

6. Mix the onions and grated cheese together and spread over the base. Place the other circle of dough on top and divide it into 9 pieces as if you were about to play noughts and crosses – but not cutting all the way through. (Cut twice one way and twice the other.)

7. Leave it to prove until the dough has become puffy at the edges and place in a hot oven, 220C, 425F or gas mark 7 for 15-20 minutes. When it’s done the bread will lift up all along one side when you check underneath, using a palette knife. The bottom should be browning from the edges.
Variation:
Fry the onion with a teaspoon of curry powder

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