So the heater is broken again. Well, not exactly broken but all the wires that connect it to power have apparently burned up and melted into a molten non-conductive mess. This happened on Thursday night, of course, because our weekend starts on Friday. And it's still COLD!
So Friday I made soup – will post that recipe later because it turned out quite delicious – and yesterday I baked bread. This recipe was adapted from one of my favorites, from the great doyenne of British cookery, Delia Smith. Her version was with goat cheese and thyme but I have figured out that you can put any cheese and any herb and this will taste fantastic.
4 oz or 110 g strong cheese of your choice (I used a combo of blue and cheddar.)
4 spring onions, finely sliced
1 medium potato weighing approximately 6 oz or 175g
At least 1 rounded tablespoon fresh herbs (I used rosemary this time.) plus a few extra leaves for the top when baking
6 oz or 175g flour
1 1/2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon or generous pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon English mustard powder
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk
Olive oil for greasing the cookie sheet
Preheat the oven to gas 375°F or 190°C.
Pare the rind from the cheese, if there is one, and cut it into 1/2 inch or 1 cm cubes. Remove the rosemary leaves from the stalks and mince all but a few.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a big, roomy mixing bowl, holding the sieve up high to give the flour a good airing.
Peel the potato and grate it straight into the flour, using the coarse side of the grater. Lightly mix the potato in with a fork.
Mince your spring onions.
Add the spring onions, rosemary and two-thirds of the cheese to the potato/flour bowl. Add in the cayenne and mustard powder.
Still using a fork, gently mix everything thoroughly.
After that, beat the egg with the milk, then pour the mixture into the bowl, just bringing it all together to a loose, rough dough, still using your fork. It will seem too dry to come together but just keep mixing and turning the bowl and the dough and your patience will be rewarded. It will come together.
Rub a little olive oil on your baking sheet and transfer the dough on top of the oil.
Pat it gently into a 6-inch or 15 cm rough round.
Now lightly press the rest of the cheese over the surface, and scatter the reserved rosemary leaves over it as well.
Bake the bread on the middle shelf of the oven for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove it to a cooling rack or cutting board and serve it still warm if possible. We slathered ours with butter and called it lunch!