‘Weekends are sometime insane with children not being in school and baking comes in handy if you need some activities to keep them going. This is one of those ideal bakes to make with them [and for them !] and most of the ingredients are going to be in the store cupboard. They usually like the idea of ‘creating magic in the kitchen’.
This is another economical bake, an amber coloured loaf with the addition of smoked paprika, great with soup or a salad and economical finger food to serve with drinks or pre-dinner drinks especially if you are expecting a weekend crowd. The crust caramelizes and is really delicious, and having no yeast, no need to wait for the loaf to double in size.
When kneading the bread and forming the loaf, add as little flour as possible. If there is too much flour it will make it rubbery. The result is a smoky caramelized flavour crust with the inside retaining moisture and remaining soft’.
This is one of those quick-breads that you can make using store cupboard ingredients. The 'vintage' cheddar is the star ingredient as the flavours really come out in the finished bread and I recommend vintage, mature or extra mature rather than mild.
500g self raising flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
250g vintage cheddar
150g black olives
2 tablespoons greek yoghurt
1 heaped teaspoon smoked paprika
For the top: 30g extra grated vintage cheddar, around 9 - 12 olives, olive oil to brush spray
You will also need a baking tray, baking paper and some non stick cooking spray
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Prepare the baking tray with baking paper and baking spray.
Sift the flour twice into a large bowl.
Cut up the butter into small pieces and rub into the flour using your fingertips until the mixture looks consistent and fine.
Add the baking powder, paprika and salt.
Grate the vintage cheddar and mix in. Cut the olives into small pieces and mix in.
Beat the eggs and add the Greek yogurt. Mix in well.
Add to the flour mixture and use your hands to bring together.
Knead the dough for a couple of minutes. Do not over-knead.
Place the dough on the prepared baking tray.
Flatten it out gently with your fingertips.
Make some incisions on the surface and then place some whole olives on the top and sprinkle the rest of the grated vintage cheddar.
Bake in a hot preheated oven for around 25 minutes. Brush with olive oil while it is still warm. Allow to slightly cool before removing from the baking tray.
Great served fresh while still work. Toasts very well the next few days after baking.
For a gluten free loaf use the same amount of gluten free self raising flour and gluten free baking powder
For a lactose free recipe use lactose free yoghurt and cheese.
For a vegan recipe use a plant based yoghurt, vegan cheddar and replace the eggs with 3 tablespoons linseed ground in 9 tablespoons of water
Cathedral Cheddar available at George Borg Ltd Telephone 21 472 177
Plain Flour by Allinson at Borg & Aquilina
Butter by President, Fry Light Baking spray by Rimus Group
Greek Yoghurt by Kolios and Olives by Kos at Quality Foods
Kitchenware by Pedrini, Prestige and Bialetti at K&Co Telephone 79415384