I’m going to let you in on a little secret of mine. I can’t make bread. Or maybe that should actually be “couldn’t make bread”. At least not without the help of a machine, anyway. For a long time bread has been my nemesis; I’m always accidentally killing off the yeast or under-kneading the dough, and my bricks (no that’s not a typo) are never that lovely, light, chewy bread-like consistency. I’d never EVER survive bread week on Bake Off.
Until now! *Fist pump* I tried making this Halloumi Loaf in the bread maker twice and it just did not work. The first time the machine broke up all the lovely chunks of halloumi until they were were practically invisible, and the second time the loaf was just too dense. So I tweaked the recipe a little and tried it by hand and whaddya know? It not only worked, but my oven spat out the softest loaf I’ve ever made. AND it’s got chunks of cheese inside it. Banging. Take that, technology!
Halloumi Bread (served with Fig Jam)
- 250g strong white flour
- 250g plain flour (and a little extra for dusting)
- 15g fresh yeast
- 200ml soda water (neat trick to help the loaf rise!)
- 100ml boiling water
- 2 tsp of salt
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 50 ml olive oil
- 250g halloumi, chopped into little cubes
- First things first, you’re going to need to activate your yeast. Pour the soda water and boiling water into a bowl. Dissolve the sugar into the water and then sprinkle over the yeast. Whisk and then leave the bowl somewhere warm for 15 minutes (I use my airing cupboard!) until the yeast begins to froth.
- Once the yeast is ready, pour in the olive oil and then add the salt and flour. Stir it together to create a very sticky dough. Turn it out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. This stage is messy; there’s absolutely no avoiding it! But keep stretching the dough and it’ll be worth it in the end! 😉
- Once the dough’s been kneaded, pop in a lightly oiled bowl and leave it to prove somewhere warm for one hour.
- While you’re waiting, make up the fig jam. All you’ll need is three or four figs and some jam sugar. It’s a 1:1 recipe, so take the flesh out of your figs and then weigh what you’ve got to see how much sugar you’ll need. My three figs weighed 100g, so I used 100g of jam sugar and 100ml of water. Boil it all on the hob and once it’s set pour it into a sterilized jar.
- Once the dough’s had it’s first proving, leave it in the bowl and pour in the cubes of halloumi. Fold them into the dough until nicely combined, then turn it out onto a lined baking tray. Shape it, then leave it to prove for another hour.
- After the second proving, set your oven to 200. Sprinkle the dough with a little flour and then poke a few holes into it to help it rise while it’s in the oven. Bake the loaf for 30 minutes.
- Serve warm with a little cream cheese, fig jam and a generous drizzle of honey. 🙂
Happy Monday! Have a loaf-ly week everyone! (…that didn’t work, did it?) ♡