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Cheese and Onion Braided Loaf by Patrick Ryan

Makes: 1 loafMealtime: Lunch, DinnerMachine: MixerType: BreadsTotal time (min.): 95
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This is my version of the perfect cheese and onion braided loaf. In this recipe I use dried onion, but you can use thinly sliced sautéed onion if you wish. This recipe is a great savoury accompaniment for any occasion.

Ingredients

Tools

Method

  1. Mix together the flour, dried onion, and salt in a bowl. Stir the yeast into the water. Form a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the water. Bring the ingredients together to form a rough dough. Turn out on to a clean kitchen surface and knead for 10 minutes or until the windowpane effect is achieved.
  2. Add the grated cheddar and mix through the dough just enough to distribute evenly.
  3. Put into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and let it prove for one to one ½ hours or until doubled in size.
  4. Turn out the dough on to a clean kitchen surface and knock back. Portion the dough into three even portions and shape each into a ball. Roll each round into a sausage like shape, arrange each side by side and pinch together at one end. To form the braid begin by taking the left hand piece of dough and bring to the centre. Now take the right hand dough and bring to the centre, overlapping the other. Repeat each time taking the outside dough and bringing to the centre. Pinch together at the end to seal. Just like you would braid your hair.
  5. Place the braided loaf onto a tray and leave to prove for a further 45 minutes.
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 230°C/425°F/Gas 7 and place a baking tray in the bottom of the oven. Flour or glaze the dough with egg wash as required and place into the oven. To create steam, to the preheated baking tray in the base of the oven add a handful of ice cubes or pour in some water from a boiling kettle. This will release a blast of steam into the oven. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a good crust has formed and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the base.