Cheese, Onion and Bacon Bread

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Substantial, rustic breads make great breakfasts, and this loaf, using cooked quinoa to add extra sustenance, is lovely when fresh from the oven for a late brunch, or toasted for a weekday breakfast. Serve sliced and buttered, or as toast, with scrambled eggs, for a breakfast that will keep you going through the most active morning.

Ingredients

  • 225 g/8 oz/2 cups strong white bread flour
  • 175 g/6 oz/ cups strong wholemeal (whole-wheat) bread flour
  • 300 g/12 oz/2 cups cooked pearl quinoa
  • 10 ml/2 tsp easy blend (rapid-rise) yeast
  • 7.5 ml/ tsp salt
  • 60 ml/4 tbsp sugar
  • 300 ml/½ pint/ cups lukewarm water
  • 15 ml/1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 4 rashers (strips) streaky (fatty) bacon
  • 50 g/2 oz/½ cup mature (sharp) Cheddar cheese, grated
  • milk, to glaze

Method

  1. Sift the flours into a large bowl, add the cooked quinoa, yeast, salt and sugar and stir to mix. Make a well in the centre and gradually mix in enough lukewarm water to form a soft dough.
  2. Knead for 6-8 minutes, on a floured board, by holding the dough with one hand and stretching it with the palm of the other hand. Turn the dough and repeat this action, to stretch the dough and activate the yeast. Alternatively, knead with a dough hook in an electric mixer for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and leave in a warm place for 1-1½ hours, until nearly doubled in size.
  4. Meanwhile, in a frying pan, heat the oil and add the onion, frying for 4-5 minutes until soft but translucent.
  5. Add 2 of the bacon rashers to the pan and fry for a further 3-4 minutes, until brown and crispy. Snip the cooked bacon rashers into small pieces with some kitchen scissors. Set aside.
  6. When the dough has risen, knock back (punch down) and knead for a further few minutes by hand, or with an electric dough hook. Add the bacon, onion and three-quarters of the grated cheese, and fold in and knead just enough to incorporate.
  7. Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Oil a 450 g/1 lb loaf tin (pan), or a large baking sheet if you don’t have a tin. Shape the dough to neatly fill the tin, or shape into a bloomer shape if using a baking sheet. Leave to prove for another 20-30 minutes in a warm place.
  8. Brush the top of the loaf with milk and bake for 15 minutes. Briefly remove from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining cheese and 2 bacon rashers. Bake for a further 15-20 minutes, until the loaf is risen and golden, then remove it from the tin. It should sound hollow on the base when tapped. Return it to the oven for a further few minutes if required.
  9. Transfer the loaf to a wire rack and leave to cool. Serve sliced and buttered.

Nutritional Information: Energy 314kcal/1325kJ; Protein 12g; Carbohydrate 51g, of which sugars 10g; Fat 8g, of which saturates 3g; Cholesterol 14mg; Calcium 103mg; Fibre 3g; Sodium 585mg.