Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Honey, Manchego bread parcels

These babies started with a visit to Sheridans Cheesemongers  on South Anne Street in Dublin. Firstly I was hit by the smell, almost damp and papery, but not unpleasant. It's a tiny space, crammed to the rafters with different cheeses all set out on display, where you can nibble on wafery slices that the staff will shave off the huge mounds. I had a look at the different jam accompaniments, saw the huge amount of work that seemed to be going on in a room tucked away behind the till, and went for a young Manchego. (It was six months old, the older one was eighteen months I think). It was mild, fruity, slightly grainy but delicious and perfect with the sweetness of honey.

I wasn't sure what to do with it at first, and my wedge had become the size of a waxy coin by others repeated trips to the fridge. While baking bread, I decided to use it for just that. These are great little mobile snacks, you could bring them on a picnic, lunch, on the bus, whatever. They're mildly sweet, with the tang of the cheese thrown in.


225g strong white bread flour
1/2 tsp salt 
3.5g dried yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
250ml tepid water
2 tsps honey
40g Manchego, (which is all I had left you could more)

Add the flour to a large mixing bowl and make a hole in the centre of the flour.
Add the salt at one side.
In a separate bowl, add the dried yeast, sugar and 100ml of the water. Stir the yeast mixture and leave for a few minutes until it starts to bubble and get frothy, then add it to the space you've made in the flour.
Slowly stir, adding a little flour into the yeast mixture at a time, until the water has been absorbed in.
Add the honey and stir again, before adding the rest of the water and the Manchego. Stir to mix everything, add a little more water if you need to, until it forms a soft ball.
Now you can use your hands and start to knead, although, with this recipe, you don't need to worry to much about kneading, just a minute or two.
Cover and leave to rise for about 30 minutes. 
Get the grill on, at about 180C
When you come back to the dough, knead it gently for about a minute. 
Next, pull balls of the dough out and roll it in your hands, then press it down to flatten it. 
Pop under the grill until golden on both sides, turning over to make sure it is evenly cooked.
If you like you can drizzle over a little olive oil. 

Serve with sauces, dips, salads Yum!

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