RED LEICESTER AND SERRANO BREAD
A twist on the popular cheddar and jalapeño bread – this Red Leicester and Serrano Chilli bread provides extra punch from the chillies and a beautiful colour and rounded flavour from the cheese.
Serrano chillies, blistered on the grill and then jarred in brine are a fabulous ingredient found throughout mexico but have started to become more accessible in the UK – Spicier than jalapeños but with an additional smokey undertone, I think these chillies surpass even the ever-popular pickled jalapeño. The red leicester cheese brings all the flavour you could want to balance out this bread whilst also fabulously marbling throughout the dough, yielding a bread that’s as visually stunning as it is delicious.
500g Strong White Bread Flour, sifted
10g Instant Yeast,
10g Fine Salt,
30g Butter, Softened,
330ml Water, room temperature
150g Red Leicester Cheese, coarsely grated
50g Roasted Serrano Chillies, diced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra Flour for Dusting
- Sift the flour into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the yeast to one side of the bowl and the salt to the other side. Add the water and softened butter into the well in the centre of the flour.
- Mix together with the tips of your fingers, working quickly, until you begin to achieve a shaggy dough.
- Dust your worktop with flour and transfer your dough to the work top. Knead the dough until a smooth, supple dough is formed. About 10 minutes.
- Lightly oil a large mixing bowl and then transfer the dough to the bowl and then cover with a tea-towel. Leave to prove for at least 1 hour until doubled in size.
FLAVOURING THE DOUGH
- Dust your worktop with flour and tip your proved dough onto the surface. Knock out the air from the dough and then flatten out to a large square, knocking out a bit more air with your fingers as you go – a bit like when making focaccia.
- Add the grated Red Leicester and diced serrano chillies in an even layer over the dough. Fold the dough back in on itself and the knead together so that the cheese and chillies are evenly distributed. This can be a little fiddly as the filling may try to escape – just persist with it for a few minutes, it will incorporate eventually.
- Once the dough is smooth again, transfer back to a lightly oiled mixing bowl and leave to prove for a second time. About 1-2 hours
PREPARING THE OVEN
- Place a large, heavy casserole pan with a lid, ideally cast iron or ceramic in the oven and preheat to 230ºC (Fan). You want to leave the pan in the oven for at least 30 minutes before baking to get really hot.
SHAPING THE DOUGH
- Lightly dust your worktop with flour and tip your dough onto the surface. Trying not to knock the air out of the dough too much, shape your dough into a loaf and then transfer to a deep tray lined with baking parchment. Cover the tray with a tea-towel or cling-film and leave for a final prove for 30mins to an hour. It should increase slightly in size and have a spring to it.
BAKING THE BREAD.
- Remove the hot pan from the oven and then, carefully, lift your dough using the baking parchment and transfer into the hot casserole pan. Place the lid on and then transfer to the oven.
- Bake in the oven for about 45-50 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when the base us tapped.
- Brush the crust of the bread with olive oil and return the loaf directly into the oven shelf for 5 minutes.
- Remove the loaf from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Enjoy.