Cheese Bloomer Loaf

While I was in Canada visiting family a couple of weeks ago I decided to experiment with a white bloomer loaf, and add some cheddar cheese in to give it some additional flavour.  The loaf turned out very well indeed and was very quickly consumed.  So today I am making it again, for this blog.

The recipe is really just the same as for a normal white bloomer, but with 210g of grated cheddar mixed into the dough. Because of the volume of ingredients the dough would be too large for my stand mixer to knead effectively so I decided to do everything by hand. 

As with most breads it is quite straightforward to make it, but it does take quite some time as the dough has to be given time to rise between kneadings, until it is ready to be shaped and baked.

The loaf turned out very well indeed, just as my previous effort, and it tasted wonderful.  Although the cheese seemed to disappear completely within the dough as it was kneaded the flavour, when baked, came through perfectly.  It was ideal to eat just with some butter, and to make sandwiches.  But for me it was even better toasted, when the heat really brought out a wonderful aroma of the cheese to complement the flavour.

Cheese Bloomer Loaf

Cheese Bloomer Loaf

Ingredients:

  • 675g(5 1/2cup) Strong white bread flour
  • 210g(2 cups) grated cheddar cheese
  • 430ml(1 2/3 cups + 2 tbsp)lukewarm water(43C/110F)
  • 7g(1 packet) active dried yeast
  • 1 1/2tsp salt
  • pinch of sugar

Method:

  1. Place a pinch of sugar into 100ml of lukewarm water and add the yeast, then allow to activate for ten minutes.
  2. Place the salt and flour into a large bowl and stir around to mix one into the other.
  3. Add the grated cheese and stir around again.
  4. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the activated yeast mixture and the remaining water.
  5. Mix together with a spoon until it all starts to clump together.
  6. When the mixture has clumped together use your hands to knead the mixture, in the bowl, until it starts to come together well.
  7. When the mixture has come together into a large mass tip it onto the counter, scraping down the bowl too, and knead for 10 minutes.  Add more flour if everything gets too sticky, but only add a little at a time.  The dough should be smooth and slightly springy to the touch after ten minutes.
  8. Form the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl, turning it over to ensure all is coated in the oil.
  9. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to prove until it has doubled in size, which may take up to two hours.
  10. When the dough has doubled in size tip it out onto a lightly floured work surface and knock it back to release the air.  Then knead for another five minutes.
  11. Form the dough into a ball again and place back in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap, then allow it to prove again, until it has doubled in size.
  12. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, knock the air out and knead for a further 5 minutes.  Then leave it rest for 5 minutes.
  13. Roll the dough out, or press it out with your hands until it is a rectangle about 12 inches(30cm) by 8 inches(20cm) then pull one long side of the dough up into the middle.
  14. Pull the other long side over the top of the dough and and press the edge all the way along to seal the seam.
  15. Turn it over so the seam is on the bottom and leave the dough to rest for 15 minutes (covered with a clean towel)while the oven starts to preheat to 220C190C fan/430F.
  16. Line a baking tray with parchment paper, and make sure the tray is large enough to take the dough.
  17. After 15 minutes transfer the dough onto the baking tray and leave again for 15 minutes(covered with a clean towel).
  18. Prepare 2 tablespoons of water with 1/2 tsp salt for brushing over the dough.
  19. With a very sharp knife cut 5 or 6 diagonal slashes on the top of the dough, about 1/4 to 1/2 inches deep. Cover and leave for another 10 minutes.
  20. Place a tray of water on the bottom of the oven.
  21. Brush the salt water mixture over the top of the dough and then place it into the oven and bake for 35 to 45 minutes by which time it should have risen well and the top should have browned nicely.
  22. The bottom should sound hollow when tapped if the loaf is baked.  If it doesn’t sound hollow bake for a few more minutes.
  23. If you want to test the internal temperature, to indicate if it is baked, it should reach 93C/200 F or thereabouts.
  24. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool completely before slicing.

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