Saturday, 26 January 2013

Becs Bakes: Bacon and Cheddar Loaves

At Christmas this year, I was thrilled when I unwrapped How to Bake - the carbtastic food porn recipe book by Paul Hollywood of Great British Bake Off fame. Ash - known to many as the world's most sensible man - also kindly gave me the Hairy Dieters' recipe book too, probably in an attempt to ensure that I don't home-bake myself to a coronary. We've tried some of the Hairy Dieter's recipes - which have been good - but let's face it, none of them are ever going to be quite as exciting as Paul's baps and buns.

I should probably just learn to embrace the fact that low carb and low fat does not a happy Becs make. I'm a pretty rubbish dieter, and as much as the Hairy Dieters book is full of lovely stuff, it's also full of lines like "serve with a tiny portion of rice, or half a slice of bread" - which is probably the worst thing you can say to a woman who likes carbs as much as I do.

On the other hand, I'm good at baking and I'm really good at eating the stuff I bake. I had a short spell of working as an assistant manager at a bakery on my gap year, and I like to think that if there's something about a custard doughnut that I don't know, it's probably not worth knowing. I'm pretty marvelous with bacon too - so awesome, in fact, that I have it on good authority that my ex-boyfriend stayed with me for two years mainly because of my ability to make a top-notch bacon sandwich. It seems that Paul Hollywood's book was always meant to be in my house - especially with recipes like Cheddar and Bacon Loaves - which marked my first foray into How to Bake today.

I've made bread a few times before, but this was my first experience of filled bap making. It has to be said, making four small Cheddar and Bacon Loaves was a fairly long process - involving carrier bags, kneading, rising, prooving, frying and baking - that could probably only be done at a weekend (and when your arteries are feeling strong enough). If you'd like to see exactly how I made them, there's a recipe here - although I really would recommend buying the book. How to Bake's clear, step-by-step instructions and accompanying photographs for each technique mentioned were a bit of a life saver and made quite a drawn out process very easy.  

They ended up loooking pretty bloomin' tasty, even if I do say so myself. We had them for dinner, served with some leaf, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, chorizo slices, a little bit of stilton and some chutney which went down very well indeed. As you can imagine, the richness of the bacon and cheddar means that a little goes a long way. About half a small loaf each was more than sufficient, meaning that we have enough to last a couple of meals this week too - hurrah!


  1. Ah I too have the Hollywood's book of bread porn and have spotted these beauties. Yours look great, and I love the fact you had them with even more cheese and meat. Boom!

  2. Thanks Lauren! I basically treated them a bit like an edible cheese board...Saturday treat! What else have you made from the Hollywood bible? Anything you'd really recommend for my next bake?