Cheese and Black Pepper Baguettes

  

I’ve been getting into the habit of baking bread every Saturday morning. This Saturday was no different. My choice of bread today was cheese and black pepper. 

I love fresh bread – making it, tasting it and smelling it. However, I’m ever so lazy when it comes to making it. I don’t spend however many minutes hand-kneading, or waiting several hours for it to prove. I usually prep the dough on Friday night, using my stand mixer. Pop the dough into the fridge overnight, and then on Saturday morning, I shape the dough, let it stand for 1 hour, before baking it. Simple – it works a treat every time! 

This recipe will reflect my laziness in baking bread – I hope it will allow you to also be a little lazier in baking bread! 

The original recipe asked for the bread to be baked in two 450 g (1 lb) coffee cans. I decided to shape them into two baguettes instead. It’s up to you how to shape them, if you want to bake it in a loaf tin (pan), be my guest. 

The resulting bread is delicious, especially whilst still warm from the oven. The crust is slightly crisp, whilst the interior is surprisingly fluffy. There is a wonderful cheese flavor, with a hint of black pepper. It reminded me a little bit of British cheese scones… yumz!

  

CHEESE AND BLACK PEPPER BAGUETTES

Makes 2 baguettes (40 cm or 15 ½ inches long)

Adapted from “Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads”, by Bernhard Clayton

  

Ingredients

  • 240 ml (1 c) warm water (48-54°C/120-130°F)
  • 8 g (2 t) dry-active yeast
  • 30 g (2 T) sugar
  • 15 g (1 T) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 t freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ t salt
  • 450 g (3 c) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 225 g (8 oz) mature (sharp) hard cheese*, grated (shredded)

* I used vintage Gouda, which is superb in this bread 

  

Method

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the water, yeast and sugar. Stir and let to sit for 10 minutes.

2. Add the butter, pepper, salt and flour. Attach the dough hook to the stand mixer and blend the ingredients on low speed, until it turns into a shaggy mess.

3. Continue to knead on low-medium for about 8-10 minutes, until the dough is soft and elastic. If the dough is a little over sticky, add a small amount of flour until you get smooth, elastic and non-sticky dough.

4. Cover the bowl of the stand mixer with cling film (plastic wrap) and chill overnight.

5. Position the bowl back onto the stand mixer and with the dough hook; knead the dough for 1-2 minutes. Add the grated cheese and allow the machine to knead it in, about 2-3 minutes.

6. Divide the dough into two equal portions and shape into two baguettes. Sit on a parchment lined baking tray (pan), cover with a damp tea towel (kitchen towel) and let sit for 1 hour – 1 hour and 15 minutes.

7. 15 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.

8. Slash the baguettes using a serrated knife and bake in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and when tapped on the underside it sounds hollow.

9. Transfer to a wire rack to cool before slicing and serving warm. Enjoy!

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