So this week, I was looking at some of the blogs I follow and I came across a really interesting blog – http://fromagehomage.co.uk/ which is all about cheese. I am not sure about you, but I love cheese and my husband loves it too! So imagine my delight when I stumbled across this blog and I was even more delighted to see that every month they run a Cheese Please blog challenge where each month a different cheese is selected and then you come with a recipe using that cheese. So this month, was Feta, there were numerous things which I thought about for this, but decided to make bead in the end as it is something slightly different.
So that being said, here is my entry for the August’s Cheese Please blog challenge – Feta Cheese, Sundried Tomato and Oregano Bread. Big thank you to my wonderful husband for his assistance throughout, couldn’t have done it without him!
- 1 x Large mixing bowl
- 1 x either proving basket, bread tin or simply a baking tray/stone
- 1 x shower cap
- 1 x dough scraper (or just use your hands!)
- 500g Strong White Bread Flour (I used Stoneground Organic Flour from Stoates Flour – feel free to use whatever you normally use but make sure it is bread flour).
- 17g Polenta (you can use Semolina)
- 14g Fresh Yeast
- 6g Salt
- 260g Tepid Water
- 40g Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 70g Sun Dried Tomatoes
- 150g Feta Cheese Crumbled (I used Waitrose essential – you can use whatever you like as long as its feta!)
- 1g Dried Oregano
- Firstly put the flour and the polenta in a big mixing bowl
- Then put the yeast in and coat it in the flour by crumbling it in the flour – you just need to coat it, don’t overwork it.
- Next add the salt, sundried tomatoes, oregano.
- Then add the water and olive oil. Mix together in the bowl until you have a rough dough like consistency in the bowl and then tip onto your work surface using your dough scraper or hands. (Don’t worry if there are bits left in the bowl, either scrape them out or leave them in.
- Check the time and knead for about 10 mins until you have an elastic quality and the surface is smooth. The dough should not be wet or sticking to your hands at this stage, it should be easy to work and should ease back when you stretch it out.
- Using your hands flatten out the dough into a rectangular shape – something like this –
6. Then sprinkle the feta cheese over it and start to roll it up from the one side – should look like this –
7. Once rolled up, flatten it out again and repeat the process until you have incorporated all the feta cheese. Once you are finished, it should look something like this –
8. You can then put it back into the same mixing bowl that you used and then cover it with a shower cap (if you don’t have a shower cap, use cling film!) –
9. Set your time for 45 mins to 1 hour (depending on the weather – if warmer towards 45 min mark, if cooler, towards the hour mark). After you have let it prove then it should’ve doubled in size and look something like this –
10. You then gently flatten it down with the knuckles of your hand so that you knock the air out. Now you need to pull out a section and fold it back into the middle and you need to do this all the way round the dough on your work surface – the next sequence of photos will give you an idea –
11. Once this is done and all the sides are folded in, carefully turn it over and shape it into the size of the tin/proving basket or whatever you are using (do this gently and don’t make it the full size, as it will rise again – so at this stage it will look like this –
12. Carefully place it in the bread tin/proving basket and cover with the shower cap (make sure that you make it into a pyramid shape so that it is not flat as the bread will stick to it and you don’t want that! If no shower cap, at this stage use a plastic shopping bag – not cling film!).
13. Set your timer for 45 mins, check that it has risen and if so, turn your oven onto 220 Degrees (*Top Tip – if you have a fan, don’t use it as it doesn’t distribute the heat evenly and you don’t get a nice bake, so just a normal none fan assisted oven). Set the timer now for 10 mins (purely to allow the oven to get hot. When the time goes, you should have a loaf that looks like this –
14. You then need to carefully using a VERY sharp knife or carefully using a razor blade make between 3 to 6 slices over the top of the bread – like this –
I sliced it 6 times, you can slice it 3 or however many you feel and in any shape/design you like!
14. You then spray it with some olive oil and sprinkle the top with dried oregano – should look something like this –
15. Pop the bread in the oven and bake it in the oven for 37 mins. You will be able to tell that it is done by when you take it out the oven, tap it lightly on the bottom of the loaf (be careful as it is hot!) and it should sound hollow. Your loaf at this stage should look like this – Looks good hey?! 😉 Your kitchen at this stage should smell awesome! That wonderful Mediterranean herby smell! Mmmmm!
16. Leave to cool on a wire rack (don’t cut into it no matter how good it smells!) and once cool cut into it and enjoy – I made this in the evening and once it was cooled down put a clean dish towel over it to protect it until I came to eat it the next morning – this will help to retain the crust on it.
17. This is what it looks like cut into –
Pop into a toaster or put some butter and your topping of choice on it and enjoy – I used avocado.
I am entering this recipe into the August’s Cheese Please! Recipe Challenge.