Sometimes I get stuck in a rut with bread falling back on my favourite recipes. In local markets Claybrooke Mill often have a stall. They are a Leicestershire based mill that has milled award-winning flour since 1987 and are well-regarded locally. Many local producers use their products. As well as regular flour they sell strong flour mixes that are great for bread making. A few weeks ago I bought some of their chilli mix flour to experiment with. I want to try their Woodhouse flour mix (poppy & fennel seeds) next.
The chilli flour I’ve used here is a white flour with chilli powder, bell peppers and mixed herbs. Of course you could make your own chilli mixture but sometimes it;s nice to cheat. The first loaf with this flour was just a bit too spicy for my liking so after a bit of tweaking I found that 50:50 strong white to chilli flour mix works the best for us.
We have a fridge full of cheese at the moment thanks to a hamper I’ve been sent so I decided to try this bread with some Oxford Blue in i,t as inspired by an amazing Stichelton bread I’ve tasted from Welbeck Bakehouse. The Oxford Blue works well and isn’t over-powering. It gives a nice earthiness to the bread and works well with the chilli.
To give the rolls a bit of festive cheer I decided to make wreaths use the pain d’epi method. Simply roll in to a sausage, turn in to a ring, make slits at 45° angle, then spread the cuts outward to give the look of a spiky wreath. I also had a go at making a knotted roll. Simply bend a short bread plait to make a circle. As the bread rises it closes in the centre and knots in the centre.
This bread is perfect warm from the oven and dunked in a steaming bowl of soup.
Chilli & Blue Cheese Bread
Makes 6 rolls
250g strong white bread flour
250g Chilli flour mix
5g fast action yeast
8g table salt
300ml warm water
1 tbsp olive oil
80g blue cheese, cubed
1) Mix all the dry ingredients together then add the water and olive oil.
2) Mix the ingredients until you have a dough then knead for 5 minutes.
3) Add the cubed blue cheese to the dough and knead for a further 5 minutes. If the dough gets too sticky add a small amount of flour.
4) Put the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Allow to rise in a warm place until dough has doubled in size.
5) Split the dough in to 6 equal pieces and shape the dough how you wish. Place on a floured baking tray and allow to rise for 30 min.
6) Bake at 220°c for 10 minutes then turn down the oven to 180°c and bake for a further 10 minutes. The rolls are cooked once they are golden and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Once cooked transfer to a wire rack to cool.