Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cheese,Bacon and Onion Loaf


        Almost 2 months ago my husband surprised me with a series of cookbooks I have on my wish list( I have a reallllllly long list). He'd tell me that I had something coming in the mail soon and did I want to know what it was? I said no because I believed I was way more mature then that. Boy was I wrong. I'm pretty sure I have an inner 5 year old inside of me because the waiting was killing me.


     When the first book arrived I tore into the package and smiled. The Bread Bible by Christine Ingram had arrived. I grabbed a cup of coffe,kicked my feet up and started reading. The first part of the book goes into great detail about the history of bread and how in some cultures the word  bread literally translates into,life. How neat is that? It's true though..bread really is life. A loaf of bread will feed a family for only a few cents. All you need is flour,water,yeast and some salt. The simple act of baking bread fills me with joy that some laugh at. Well, they laugh until they taste the bread and then they smile.The photos in this book are incredible and had me drooling from the get go.

The recipes in this book are broken down into countries and I decided to start with the British Breads. This cheese and onion loaf was one of the first breads I baked from this cookbook. I have since baked this for a neighbor as a gift,friends of ours..infact I will be teaching her how to make this in a few weeks, and of course I have baked this for us..over and over again. I have since tweaked this recipe with the addition of bacon. I can't tell you how awesome this is.


    I have also turned it into a monkey bread. I've added more sharp cheese and each time it gets better and better. This is such an easy recipe to make and adding what you and your family likes can only make it better. How about adding in some olives or pepperoni and making it more like a pizza bread..It's going to be great no matter what. I will give you the basic recipe and below I will tell you my additions.

Cheese,Bacon and Onion Loaf

1 Onion,Finely Chopped
3-1/2 TBS Butter
4 cups (450g) Bread Flour or All-purpose Flour
2-1/4 tsp. Rapid Rise or Active Dry Yeast
1 tsp. Dry Mustard Powder
1-1/2 cups (6oz) Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
2/3 cup Lukewarm Milk
2/3 cup Lukewarm Water
Salt and Ground Black Pepper

Lightly grease a 10x4 inch loaf pan or 10 inch tube pan;set aside.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the onions in the butter until soft and light golden. Set aside to cool.

Sift the flour into a large bowl and stir in the yeast,mustard,salt and pepper. Stir in 1 cup of the cheese and the cooled onions. Make a well in the center and add the milk and water;blend to a dough dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 mins until smooth and elastic ( I needed to add additional flour to reduce it from becoming to sticky.)

Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl,cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm spot,for about 45-60 minutes,until doubled in bulk.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface,punch down, and knead gently. Divide into 20 equal pieces and shape into rounds. Place half into the prepared loaf pan and brush with half of the remaining butter thats been melted. Top with remaining rounds of dough and brush with the remaining butter.


    Cover with oiled plastic wrap and leave to rise for 45 minutes,until dough reaches the top of the pan. Meanwhile,preheat oven to 375 or 190 celcius. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.


       Bake for 40-45 minutes or until risen and golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack and carefully tip it out. Serve warm or at room temp.

** Ok here are my additions..I went ahead and sauteed bacon and then sauteed the onion in the bacon drippings. As to how much bacon to use? thats up to you. The bacon over here is not the same as home. It's thinner so I used 10 slices and crumbled them up and added them in along with the cheese and onion. I also add in way more cheese now. I add close to 2 cups of shredded cheese into the flour and then 3/4 cup on top. If you use a tube pan I cut the dough into 4 strips and cut each strip into 15-16 pieces and squish them into tiny rounds. I add half,brush with some melted butter,add half the cheese and repeat with remaning layers. I allow it to rise the 45 minutes and bake slightly less than the 45 minutes but my own tends to run slightly warm.**

Yiled: 1 10-inch loaf or Monkey Bread
Source: The Bread Bible