I try and make something either food or drink related each month that ties in with the theme of the month, which for March is 'Growth'
One of the ingredients that I think of when I think of 'growth' is Yeast! Yeast is a 'live' product and it is this, that together with the flour and the warm water - and a nice warm place to prove - makes the dough rise!
The ingredients to me are the beginnings. When they are all mixed together and left to prove, we must wait a while before we see growth. It is this patience that ensures that we have a brilliant end result - in this case a beautiful warm and delicious loaf.
The following is a recipe from my lovely friend Rachel Pattersons blog on her website and having made it, can confirm that it was indeed worth the hour and 3/4 wait to prove, plus the 20 minute cooking time! Absolutely delicious!
Smoked paprika and cheese tear and share bread
This is an easy to make bread and perfect to share.
500g/17 1/2 oz strong white bread flour
7g (heaped teaspoon) sachet dried yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
325ml/11 fl oz warm water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
Handful of diced cheddar cheese
Pop the flour into a large bowl and add the yeast and salt. Mix then add in the oil. Stir in the warm water to form a dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes.
Return the dough to the bowl, cover and leave in a warm place for about and hour until it has doubled in size.
Tip the dough out and add in your paprika and cheese. Knead until the cheese and paprika are well dispersed.
Shape into a round and using a rolling pin roll out slightly. Place on a baking sheet dusted with flour.
Make 8 slices into the dough, not quite to the centre. So that it looks like a flower with petals. Then give each 'petal' a half turn over.
Cover and leave to prove for a further 45 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.
Photo: my own