Today marks the first anniversary of The Gingerbread Woman. Where on earth has the last year gone?! It really has been a whirl wind, involving new career opportunities, recipe writing, turning 30 (Eeek!) and not forgetting marrying my best friend, The Chief Taster. As for the next year I’m sure there will be more adventures and a few more exciting chapters will unfold. Watch this space!
In the mean time I’m going to continue as I started, with another recipe for what I love baking best, real bread. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, nothing beats baking your own loaf of bread from scratch. It’s rewarding, therapeutic and its tastes sublime.
Bread and cheese in my opinion are two of life’s great pleasures. When you combine the two you’re on to a winner. One of my favourites is goats cheese. Its a healthier alternative to cream cheese with almost twice as much protein and half the fat and cholesterol. It’s also a very versatile ingredient when it comes to cooking and baking.
Paired with fresh basil, goat’s cheese will transform an ordinary loaf into an extraordinary loaf, which will go rather nicely with balsamic vinegar.
225g of strong white bread flour
225g of whole grain bread flour
15g of dried active yeast
1 tsp. of salt
300ml of water
1 tbsp. of runny honey
60g of goats cheese crumbled
One good handful of chopped fresh basil
The Baking Bit…
1. Sift the flours and salt into a mixing bowl and make a well in the middle.
2. Mix the yeast with 1 tablespoon of water and add into the well with the rest of the water and the honey and mix into a soft dough using your hands.
3. Dust your work surface with flour and knead by hand for 10 minutes. Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and let it rest in a warm place until it has doubled in size, which normally takes an hour.
4. Heat the oven to 180 ◦ C
5. Knock back the dough and knead both the goats cheese and chopped basil into it, again on a floured work surface. Shape your loaf and score lattice patterns on top.
6. Place back into an oiled bowl covered in clingfilm until it is one and a half times larger again and cover, using a pastry brush, with a milk and honey glaze.
7. Bake for 30 minutes and leave to cool before slicing.