Monday, September 10, 2012

Secret cheese and onion bread

Next time I plan to spend the weekend in the garden I'm going to check the weather forecast first. For instead of sitting on the back steps thinking about doing some weeding, I spent both days indoors, worried that either our roof was going to lift off or the windows were going to blow out.
The one good thing about being housebound was that I transformed a few basic ingredients into a magic loaf of bread. Who needs gardening, anyway?


Secret cheese and onion bread
This magic loaf and its secret molten centre is inspired by Lora at CakeDuchess and her TwelveLoaves project with Jamie at Life's A Feast and Barbara at Creative Culinary.
I've also used some of the principles I learned last weekend with Dean in making the dough, which are easy to do but slightly difficult to explain. There's a very short video that shows how easy it is to knead this way.

500g strong or high-grade flour
1 1/2 tsp dried yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
320ml warm water
2 onions, finely sliced
1 tsp brown sugar
olive oil for brushing
120g cheese, sliced into pieces about 2cm x 1cm x 0.25cm thick
4 Tbsp good chutney (I use this recipe, or if you are buying it, this one is amazing)
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper

Put the flour and yeast in a large bowl and stir well, then add the salt and stir again. Make a well in the centre and add the oil and water. Mix well with your hand until a soft, sticky dough forms. Tip this out onto the bench. Pick up one side of the dough, stretch it up, then bring it down again on top of itself. Repeat from the opposite corner.
Do this another three times, then scrape the dough from your hands and walk away. Seriously. Leave the dough to rest for five minutes, then come back and repeat the pick up and stretch process again. Then leave it again for five minutes. Do this process twice more, then scoop the dough into a well-oiled large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for an hour or so, or until doubled.

While the dough is rising, cook the sliced onions in a tablespoon of olive oil over low heat, stirring occasionally. When they are soft, turn the heat up a little and sprinkle over a teaspoon of brown sugar. Let caramelise for another five minutes, then set aside to cool.


When the dough has risen, tip it out onto a lightly floured bench and roll out until it measures about 30cm x 40cm. Cut in half lengthways. Brush one side of each strip with olive oil, then spread the other side with chutney. Layer the cooked onions and cheese on top, then season well with salt and pepper. Fold each strip in half lengthways again to enclose the filling and press down to seal. Pick up the end of the folded strip and concertina it - as if you are folding a piece of ribbon so you end up with a square pile. Repeat with the other strip. Pack both gently into a large, well-greased loaf tin.
Cover the tin loosely with plastic and set aside in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 200C. Brush the loaf with the beaten egg, then bake for 35 minutes, until well-risen and golden. Carefully tip out of the tin and let cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing.


  1. That looks like my kind of loaf of bread. Yum. Hope the weather improves for you, but I reckon time spent in the kitchen is always a great way to spend your weekend ;0)

  2. What a brilliant idea! That would be perfect with a bowl of soup.

  3. Oh wow - yummo!!! I must make this. Simple marriages of classic ingredients like bread, cheese and onion are always so perfect. Bravo hon! Becks xxx

  4. Yum, it looks delicious Lucy. No way I could stop at one piece of that... Perfect for the hideous weather this weekend too :)

  5. That looks awesome! I'm going to have a go at making it with some of my sourdough starter.

  6. First let me say that my husband was inordinately happy with the comment you left on my blog! Especially as I was filming him yesterday with our grandson and he saw his thinning hair from the back which had seriously depressed him - so thanks for reminding us both!
    He would also approve of your cheesey surprise bread and as he is one who makes the bread, I'll definitely point out this hearty and delcious recipe. We are just heading into autumn so comfort food is back on the agenda.

  7. I have to check out the video from Dean and am curious how he teaches to knead the dough. Love this cheesy surprise with caramelized onions-so good Lucy:)Thank you for baking with Twelve Loaves this month. xx

  8. Wow. What more can I say...those onions peeking out did it for me! Thanks so much for joining us; I just love seeing what everyone does.

  9. we've had dreadful winds over here as well - i fear the house will be knocked off its foundations! hats off for making this decadent bread. I can bake brad for peanuts and so have unbounded admiration for anyone with this talent.

  10. oh crikey that looks goooooooooooooood ....

  11. This looks just amazing, and it combines all my favourite ingredients - cheese and bread! Bookmarked to make during the cooler months! Karen

  12. I had the pork mince in my hand this morning but went for the lamb mince to make meatballs instead. I'll have to wait till next week now to try this out. Sounds delicious however devious your intentions.

  13. Oh hell, my comment is for your meatloaf post. It's snowing and it's made me stir crazy. That's my excuse at least!

    Wish your optimistic forecast had come true.

  14. That sounds like an utterly delicious loaf. I love the idea of combining chutney caramelised onions and cheese all together in the bread. It would be perfect for soup, and we're definitely coming into soup weather here, far too quickly for my liking.

  15. Oh bread, love this is perfect!

  16. Haha, that always happens when I decide to take a trip - it just storms the whole car ride! Your cheese and onion bread look marvelous!


Hello - thanks for stopping by. If this was real life I'd make you a cup of tea and open the biscuit tin, but in lieu of those things, let's have a chat anyway...