Thursday 8 September 2016

Bake Day Wednesday 2016: Week 3: Bread week

Bake Off is now in its third week and the baking theme of last night's episode was bread.
Cheese and ham swirls

Yesterday was a busy day as my son went back to school, but I did manage to fit in bread making between other chores. I've made quite a lot of bread over the years, so I decided to invent my own recipe based on basic white bread: cheese and ham swirls. The swirls were made over several hours (mixing, kneading, proving, rolling, filling, proving, baking!), but were ready in time for my son to eat after school. He really liked them! They'd also be a great snack to eat whilst playing board games or watching Bake Off.

If you fancy having a go for yourself, here's the recipe.

Cheese and ham bread swirls


500g strong white bread flour
7g sachet of dried yeast
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp salt
25g soft butter (if your butter is fresh from the fridge, microwave it for a few seconds to soften it)
300 ml lukewarm water (I used 250ml cold water from the tap and 50ml hot water from the kettle)

200g Gruyere cheese, grated
120g wafer thin honey roast ham


  1. Mix the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in the water using a blunt knife.
  2. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (5-10 minutes).
  3. Return the dough to the bowl. Cover the bowl (use cling film, a clean, damp tea towel or a lid) and leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size (at least an hour).
  4. Knock the dough back by kneading it gently a few times. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle shape. Make the dough as thin as you can, mine was 0.5-1cm thick.
  5. Lay the ham evenly over the dough sheet, then sprinkle with the cheese. Roll the filled-dough up like a Swiss roll. Chop the roll into slices approximately 2.5cm thick, then transfer the slices to a flour dusted baking sheet, allowing plenty of space between the rolls for them to rise.
  6. Cover the swirls (use a clean tea towel or a sheet of kitchen roll) and leave to prove until doubled in size.
  7. Bake the swirls in an oven pre-heated to 200 C/180 C (fan)/gas mark 6 for 20 minutes or until golden. The base of a swirl should sound hollow when tapped.
  8. Allow the swirls to cool a little, then remove them from the tray and place on a wire rack to cool fully (or eat them warm; warm bread is the best!).
Let me know how it goes! If you wish to share this recipe, please credit me and link to this post; do not copy without acknowledgement.

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