I’m always on the lookout for new chefs’ in the culinary world, although I can’t say that this chef is rather new in particular. Lorraine Pascale has done some pretty awesome recipes, both cooking and baking that are easy to follow and a pleasure to watch. When she made this bread, I knew it’s something I’d have confident enough to get my hands on doing. Know something bout me, bread scares me. To be more exact; yeast scares me. I know it sounds really ridiculous, I guess it’s more the fear of failure rather than the fear of trying. I hate it when the yeast doesn’t seem to proof up and things would be running through my head as in ‘Did I leave it at the right temp’, ‘Was my water not lukewarm enough’, etc, etc.
I only came across her on YouTube while doing a search for Nigella Lawson. She calls this bread ’21st Century Bread‘ but I thought the name might be a little too confusing. First, if you call 21st century, people might expect something so outrageously modern or bizarre. Second, that name itself could mean anything or nothing at all if you get my drift. So to dispel any mindsets, I’ll just call it as it is, a ham and cheese bread. And what’s awesome about this bread is that, it is quick bake, no yeast, no proofing and very moist and fulfilling. During the beginning of the year, I did say I was going to bake more breads as a resolution, so does making this count? Haha, this is a real cheat’s bread.
Hubster and I had this bread for dinner, just this bread and nothing else. Because inside the bread you already have things like the cheese, ham and scallions. We kinda like to eat our savoury breads Italian style, with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. This is totally optional of course, you can just eat the bread as it is. But I imagine this would taste just as good with some salad on the side.
Two slices of this was enough to do us in. But that’s the great thing about this bread, there’s still more for breakfast and tea for the next day. I mus put a little note of disclaimer though, this is not those types of bread where you get that brown crusty exterior, you still get some sort of crust but it’s not to that golden brown extent. I guess looking at the final outcome, maybe I would skip sprinkling the cheese on top, so it would look nicer but more cheese never hurt anyone. 🙂
HAM AND CHEESE BREAD RECIPE
(adapted slightly from Lorraine Pascale)
425 gms self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 slices of honey baked ham, cut into small squares
1 cup of grated medium/sharp cheddar
1/3 cup of chopped scallions
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons of olive oil
200ml of water
1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C. In a large bowl, mix in all the dry ingredients first; flour, baking powder, salt, garlic powder and black pepper.
2. Next, toss in the ham, cheese and scallions.
3. Pour the water mixed together with the olive oil into the bowl, and stir with a large spoon.
4. Use your hands, gather it into a ball and tip it out onto a floured surface.
5. Form the dough into a ball. Make scores on top with a sharp knife and sprinkle the rest of the cheddar on top.
6. Bake in the oven for a good 45 mins.
7. Eat while it’s still warm anyway you like it.