Apple and cheese go well together, any connoisseur of the cheese board can tell you that. This being so I decided to put the two flavours in a loaf, and then serve it up with a big bowl of tomato and wensleydale soup from the Yorkshire Provender company. I am aware its summer but sometimes I find it really hard to stay away from all the comforting winter flavours, however, since I live in sunny England I don’t think this is too much of an issue. By forming the dough into little buns and arranging them in a round tin, it gives the loaf a nice flower image and also makes it a great tear-and-share structurally.
400g strong white bread flour
200g wholemeal flour
7g (1 and a half tablespoon) of instant yeast
1 brambley apple
200g extra-matture cheddar
Me looking smug with my baked goods
1. The first step to making this loaf is to get the dough going on its first prove. Measure out the two types of flour into a large bowl and mix together. Add the salt to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other, then make a well in the middle to pour the water into. Add the water a little at a time, beginning to bring the dough together with your hands. When all the water is incorporated, tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes. Alternatively, if you have a stand mixer with a dough hook you can knead the dough for 8 minutes-ish in this. It should be elastic to the touch when done, and if you poke it with your finger it will hopefully spring back. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave to prove at room temperature for about 90 minutes or until double in size.
2. Whilst the bread is proving, lightly grease whatever you are going to bake it in. I baked mine in a cake tin to get such a neat round shape.
3. To prepare the filling, grate the cheese relatively finely. Peel and cube the apple- the cubes should be pretty small.
4. Once proven, tip the dough out again on a lightly floured surface. Knock out some of the air by giving it a gentle knead with your knuckles.
5. Divide the dough into 7 equal lumps. I actually weighed my dough and split it pretty equally, but you don’t have to. I was just feeling fancy.
6. Flatten each dough portion out and sprinkle with some apple and cheese. Roll up and lightly knead to get the ingredients nicely spread throughout the lump. Roll between the surface and the palm of your hand until you have a nice roll shape and fit into the cake tin.
7. Repeat for the other 6 bread rolls and arrange them in the tin. Leave a little cheese over for the top of the loaf.
8. Cover and leave to prove for a further hour. Preheat the oven to 200•C.
9. Beat an egg. Brush the surface of the loaf with it to give it some shine.
10. Bake in the oven for 45-55 minutes. In the last 10 minutes, sprinkle any remaining cheese over the top.