Picnic season has officially started, A few weeks ago we had a picnic on the side of a very windy hill to watch some racing at Dingley race course. Its a bit of a family tradition to go to Dingley, The racecourse is built in a natural valley so the view is spectacular. I remember as a child spending many a happy afternoon rolling down the hill then racing back to the top to admire the horses and their colourfully clad jockeys. Key ingredients for the day are always good food and good company, everyone brings a contribution to the picnic and the afternoon is spent catching up with friends and family whilst watching the racing.When thinking of something delicious but relatively stress free to make bread always seems to fit the bill nicely, this is a basic bread recipe with impressive results for fairly little input. I even made the dough and the filling the night before so the dough could prove up overnight. All I had to do on the day was assemble and bake- easy!
The kitchenaid with it’s dough hook attachment does come in handy here, but if you don’t have one a handheld electric mixer with dough hook attachment would work just as well, I have never attempted to make bread without either of these tools, it can be done, just takes a little longer. I’m quite impatient!
For the dough:
500g plain flour
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp dried fast action yeast
30ml olive or rapeseed oil
330-350ml warm water- blood temperature
For the filling:
2 medium red onions
1 clove garlic- crushed
50g chorizo diced into small chunks, about 5mm diameter
1 tbls tomato puree
salt and pepper to taste
75g mature cheddar cheese- grated
A 6″ cake tin with a removable base
Place the plain flour, salt, yeast and sugar into a mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer. Stir the mix with a spoon to combine all the ingredients.
Add the olive oil, start the mixer and slowly stream in the warm water until the mix comes together as a dough and no flour is stuck to the sides of the bowl. The dough should be fairly soft and elastic in texture and only slightly tacky to the touch, it may not need all the water or it may need a little extra. If the dough looks sticky and soggy then too much water has been added, but it’s fairly forgiving, just add extra flour. Continue mixing/kneading the dough for 5-6 minutes to develop the gluten and the dough is smooth and stretchy. Cover the bowl with cling film and set aside in a warm place to prove.
To make the filling gently fry the onions and chorizo for around 5 minutes until the onions are soft and golden, add the garlic and fry for a further minute. Stir through the tomato pure and season to taste. Set the filling aside until completely cool.
Once the dough has doubled in size it’s ready to roll out. Dust a work surface with flour and transfer the dough to the worktop. Dust the rolling pin with a little flour to prevent the dough sticking and roll the dough out into a rectangle roughly 35cm x 25cm spread the onion and chorizo filling over the dough and then sprinkle over 1/3 of the cheese, reserve the rest for sprinkling over the top of the loaf later.
Roll up the dough tightly and cut into 8 pieces. line a baking tray with parchment and place the cake tin onto the tray. Place the rolls cut side up into the cake tin. Cover the cake tin with cling film and set aside to prove again for an hour or so, in the meantime pre-heat the oven to 160°C
Place the loaf onto the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 40 minutes, then sprinkle over the remaining cheese and bake for a further 10-15 minutes- the usual way to test if a loaf is cooked is to tap the base to check for a hallow sound, this is a little difficult here so use a skewer to test- insert the skewer into the centre of the loaf, if it is clean and warm to the touch the loaf is ready, if it is cool and a little tacky bake for a few minutes longer.
The loaf was still warm as it travelled in the car with us to the races, which made it quite difficult to resist! It did arrive in one piece and was well received by all who managed to get a slice!