Cheddar Cheese and Chilli Bread.

So, it’s been awhile…

…..apologies for that, I have been busy with my parents coming to stay, getting a new website built and most importantly of all, going on holiday and having a blessing celebration with my lovely husband. I had such fun and ate soo much yummy Greek food, that I do believe I probably gained some weight, but I guess that is what holiday’s are for.

As I was going away for most of September, I was unsure of where or not I would be able to take part in this month’s Cheese Please challenge over on the wonderful Fromage Homage, however, when we got back from holiday, as per usual there was no bread, or anything in the fridge (apart from a wonderful meal cooked by a friend of ours who was staying over), so yesterday, myself and my partner were wondering what type of bread to make and so we decided to make Cheddar Cheese and Chilli bread, which ties in neatly with this months challenge.

You will see from my previous post for the cheese please challenge when I entered the Feta, Oregano and Sundried tomato into the August Cheese Please challenge that I went into more details and had more photos, so for guidance on how to knead the bread and when to add the cheese extra and how, please see that post, which you can find by simply clicking here.

Now for the recipe –

Chilli and Cheddar Cheese Bread:

  • 500g Strong White Bread Flour (you could also use 250g Strong wholemeal and 250g Strong white).
  • 17g Polenta (or Semolina)
  • 14g Fresh Yeast
  • 6g Salt
  • 300g tepid water (if using fresh chillies, put those in before the water and then deduct the amount they weigh from the total water)
  • 50g olive oil
  • 5 or 6 fresh red chillies OR 15g of dried chilli flakes. You should add the amount of chilli you are comfortable with, if you don’t like chilli, then add less, but if you like, add more, but do add some as you need the flavour.
  • 150g Cheddar Cheese (any brand will do)


1. Put flour, and polenta into a big mixing bowl, add the fresh yeast and crumble it into the mix.

2. Add the salt, fresh chilli (or dried if using) and give it a mix around so all the ingredients are combined.

3. Add the water and olive oil and combine in the bowl under a rough dough is formed.

4. Tip the dough out onto a clean surface and then knead for ten minutes until the gluten has started to work and the dough is nice and stretchy as per the images in my previous post here. At this point you want to add the cheddar cheese as you would the feta cheese in the previous post.

5. Shape the dough into a rough ball and return to the bowl, cover with a shower cap or clingfilm and set aside in a warm place for an hour.

6. After an hour the dough should have doubled in size, if it hasn’t this could be due to a particularly cold day so maybe give it a bit more time.

7. Tip the dough out and then knock back the air gently. Then flatten out on the clean surface before stretching out the dough and folding it back onto itself, again, if unsure of how to do this look back to this post. Once this is done, gently turn the dough over and shape it into the size or shape of the tin that you are using, or free form if that is how you wish to style it. I used a loaf tin for mine as we like the shape of our bread to be in a loaf.  Should look something like below:

Chilli and Cheese dough

Ready for second rise

8. Cover with the shower cap and set aside for 45 minutes, after which time check that it has risen to your liking, if so switch your oven onto 220 degrees C non fan, set your timer for a further 10 minutes to check if the oven is ready.

9. If oven is ready, remove the shower cap, slice the bread in 2 or 3 places using a sharp knife to let the air out (if you forget, its not a drama!) and gently place in the oven for 37 minutes.

10. Remove from tin and place on a cooling rack and allow to cool. TOP TIP – to check bread is ready gently tap the bottom of the bread and if it is ready it will sound hollow. 

11. Once the bread has cooled sufficiently, then either slice it open to eat it, or put a clean tea cloth over it to allow it to return the crust and eat when you like. To help it last longer, you can freeze it or store it in a plastic bag.

So good we made two!

So good we made two!

Cheddar Cheese and Chilli

Cheddar Cheese and Chilli

Cheddar Cheese and Chilli Bread

Cheddar Cheese and Chilli Bread

Enjoy and I hope you try this sometime, it is a firm favourite in our house!

I am entering this recipe and blog post in to September’s Cheese, Please! Cheddar Challenge.


A weekend of baking.

Hello and welcome to the start of a new week. I hope you all had a great weekend and looking forward to the week to come, as much as that is possible! 😉

I had a great weekend this past weekend and did rather a lot of baking and my husband made some nice bread for our lunch yesterday as well.

First up, I made a picnic loaf which was totally delicious even if I do say so myself! It was quite an involved process though as I had to start the pre-ferment the evening before. I will do a separate post later this week with full details of the picnic loaf and how to make it, but in the meantime this is what it looks like –

The Finished picnic loaf

The Finished picnic loaf

The bread which my husband made was a basic olive oil loaf but he added chilli, onion and olives to it – it was delicious and when served with homemade bruschetta, oh my – tasty! Here is a picture of the bread fresh out the oven –

Chilli, Onion and Olive Loafs

Chilli, Onion and Olive Loaves

So as you can see very busy.


As we were having friends over for lunch yesterday (Sunday) I made the Gin and Tonic cake – all I can say is wow! It really is tasty and I totally think everyone should try it at least once in their lives, its that good! And as it is so good, I will share the recipe with you – I found this recipe on, however so that you don’t have to keep clicking I detail it below.

Word of warning though, make sure that your cake tin has clipped in securely – mine unfortunately had a little bit of leakage out the side due to not being lined properly!

Recipe for Gin and Tonic Cake:

It makes an 8″ round cake; serves 10-12)
3 small limes
45 juniper berries (about 1 tablespoon) waitrose or Tesco sell these.
2 large eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup gin, divided (preferably St. George Spirits’ Terroir) I used Tesco own brand and it was still divine.
¾ cup tonic water (fresh; not flat)
2 cups icing sugar
Line an 8” cake pan with parchment paper; lightly grease paper and sides of pan.  Preheat oven to 350 F.  Finely zest limes; set aside zest.  Juice limes and measure out ¼ cup juice and, separately, 1 tablespoon juice; set both aside. Using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, mash 30 of the juniper berries until small flakes are formed; set aside.  In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, granulated sugar and vanilla until even and smooth. You can use your paddle attachment of the mixer here, no need to use a whisk attachment.
Sift over the egg mixture: flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix on low speed, gradually adding 1/4 cup lime juice and 1/3 cup gin.  Beat until smooth. Toss in the lime zest and crushed juniper berries, mixing until evenly disbursed. Gently fold in the tonic water with a spatula, then quickly pour into prepared pan.  (If desired, watch the batter bubble, brown and gloriously raise in your oven!)
Ultimately, bake the cake for about 40-45 minutes, checking center with a wooden skewer or toothpick at the 35 or 40 minute mark; cake is done when golden, domed, and no wet batter appears. Remove cake from oven and let cool in pan at least 20-30 minutes. (For a stronger gin flavor, brush the cake with 1-2 more tablespoons of gin at this point, if desired.) Loosen sides of cake with a butter knife, and carefully transfer cake to a wire rack placed over a baking sheet (this is important as when you pour the icing over it will drip down the sides and make a mess of your surface!).
While cake cools a bit longer on rack, place the powdered sugar, remaining tablespoon lime juice, and remaining 1/3 cup gin in a saucepan. Whisk over low/medium heat until just bubbling. Let bubble for about 20-30 seconds (longer will turn sugar into a clear sticky glaze). Remove from heat and keep stirring.
Working quickly, pour half of the glaze over cake; it will harden quickly.  Immediately repeat with second half of glaze, letting it drip down the sides of the cake. Reserve a bit of glaze in pan, tossing the remaining 15 juniper berries in it.  If glaze in pan is already too hard, place pan over low heat momentarily. Using small tongs or baking tweezers (I didn’t have either so just placed the berries in and poured them onto the cake at the very end and arranged them by hand) , quickly place glazed juniper berries evenly around edges of cake and a few in the center.  (You will note that mine are not neatly arranged, but you can arrange them neatly around the edges if you so desire!)   Store the cake covered at room temperature (don’t refrigerate); eat within 2 or 3 days.
Finished Gin and Tonic Cake

Finished Gin and Tonic Cake

This is quite a boozy cake but seriously tasty and was eaten very fast! So next time you have a gathering or fancy making something a bit different, then I seriously recommend that you give this a try!
That’s all for this post – I hope you enjoyed reading and seriously, if you do one thing this summer – make this cake, you won’t regret it!
Until next time.