Paul Hollywood’s Bacon and Stilton Bread

Well it’s official – we’re obsessed with Bake Off! It has its detractors (masonry my arse – did you see that peacock?? Magnificent!) but we love it and we can’t wait to see what they bake up next. We’re celebrating bread week with something that’s definitely not one of our recipes – Paul Hollywood’s Bacon and Stilton bread, taken from his book Bread.

This book is packed with doughy pictures. And some bread.
This book is packed with doughy pictures. And some bread.

We love our own recipe for bread, and make it all the time – we rarely buy bread any more – but sometimes it’s nice to try something new. Bird received Paul Hollywood’s book as a present earlier this year (if anyone’s reading – more recipe books please!) and it’s great! We’ve been working our way through it and the recipes usually work a treat (although some of them are more challenging than others) and the meal ideas that accompany the breads are all delicious. We’re working up to trying some of the enriched doughs with our new food mixer – thanks nanny Bird! – and broadening our doughy horizons.

Paul’s recipe for Bacon and Stilton bread is super easy. It’s pretty similar to our recipe done with pure strong white flour, butter rather than oil, 2 or 3 rashers of bacon, and a lump of Stilton – we used about 40 grams. The only things to remember are that because of the salty bacon and Stilton, we used a bit less salt than we usually would, and because of the fatty cheese and butter (Mmm fatty – Fats) you should use flour to cover the surface where you’ll be working it instead of oil, since oil is a bit fatty itself.

We made half the amount suggested (by halving all the ingredients) and found that it made a really stiff dough, but this was easily remedied by adding a bit more water than suggested. The dough came together really nicely in the end – I think we’re really getting to know our breads!

Our bread looks a little craggy next to Hollywood's rolling hills...
Our bread looks a little craggy next to Hollywood’s rolling hills…

You’ll see from the pictures that we have a lot to learn when it comes to shaping bread! Not to worry though, it tasted absolutely delicious, and I think the man himself would be proud of our “regular crumb structure” and a complete absence of soggy bottoms! We ate it with the celery soup as suggested in the book, which was another winner. Although I think Paul’s food processor must be a bit better than ours as we struggled to put it through a sieve afterwards to achieve the silky texture – I think next time we’ll be going straight for the hand blender.

The soup was creamy and delicious! Definitely not as healthy as the name would suggest, no negative calories here...
The soup was creamy and delicious! Definitely not as healthy as the name would suggest, no negative calories here…

You can find some of Paul Hollywood’s actual recipes on his BBC page, and in our experience they’re pretty good. We’ll keep your posted on our adventures into enriched dough land… In the mean time, we’re looking forward to next week’s floating islands and wizard hats!

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