A Bloomer is a large loaf, shaped as an oblong with some slashes in the top. It is perfect for sandwiches.
I do love a nice Bloomer for my lunchtime sandwiches. I have made a Cheese Bloomer in the past but today I decided to add even more flavour into the bread, with some garlic and onion. The flavour combination of cheese with garlic and onion is one that I love. It works perfectly just sliced and toasted or as sandwich bread.
The process of making the bread is time consuming, since the dough has to be left to proof a couple of times, but the actual effort in terms of activity isn’t that much, particularly if the dough is made in a stand mixer. Of course the whole thing can be done manually, as you can see if you click the link above for the Cheese Bloomer.
Bloomers are, of course, readily available in all the supermarkets. But they are most often just the simple plain white versions. So for a flavoured version it is best to make your own. The combination of flavours is endless. I have opted for my favourites here, but I also like the bread with some dried herbs in too, and with some toasted sesame seeds on the top.
The loaf is a large one, so if it isn’t going to be eaten within about two days I always slice it and freeze the slices in pairs to use later. That keeps everything nice and fresh for my sandwiches.
My loaf turned out very well indeed. The texture was wonderfully soft and moist and the flavours of garlic and onion came through very well with the pecorino cheese adding additional flavour too.
Garlic, Cheese & Onion Bloomer LoafCourse: BreadDifficulty: Medium
675g(4 1/2 cups, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) bread flour
50g(2/3 cup) grated pecorino, parmesan or other hard cheese
430ml(1 2/3 cup +2 tbps) lukewarm water
7g(1 packet, 2 1/4 tsp) active dried yeast
9g(1 1/2 tsp) salt
12g(3 tsp) garlic granules
12g(3 tsp) onion granules
4g(1 tsp) sugar
- You can do this all by hand but the following directions show how to do it with a stand mixer.
- Place all the dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer stir around to combine.
- Add the grated cheese and stir around again.
- Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the activated yeast mixture and the remaining water.
- Mix on a low speed, with the dough hook, until it all forms a shaggy dough.
- Increase the speed to medium and knead for about 8 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Tip the dough onto a floured work surface and give it a quick manual knead and form it into a ball.
- Place the ball of dough into a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
- Allow the dough to prove until it has doubled in size, which may take up to two hours.
- 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 3 to 4 minutes.
- 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.
- Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, knock the air out and knead for a further 3 to 4 minutes. Then leave it rest for 5 minutes.
- 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.
- Pull the other long side over the top of the dough and and press the edge all the way along to seal the seam.
- 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 you preheat the oven to 220C/190C fan/430F.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper, and make sure the tray is large enough to take the dough.
Transfer the dough onto the baking tray.
- 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.
- Place a tray of water on the bottom of the oven.
- Brush some salted water over the top of the dough and then place it into the oven and bake for 25 to 40 minutes by which time it should have risen well and the top should have browned nicely.
- The bottom should sound hollow when tapped if the loaf is baked. If it doesn’t sound hollow bake for a few more minutes.
If you want to test the internal temperature, to indicate if it is baked, it should reach 93C/200 F or thereabouts.
- Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack until it is completely cooled before slicing.