Bake Off Bake Along // Spanish Deli Soda Bread

Well, what a treat  bread week was! I think it is becoming my new favourite form to work with. I've never been much of a bread maker myself. Up until recently, anything with chocolate and sugar in was top of my priority list, but then this weird thing happened at around age 22 where all I would think about was cheese three times a day. Alas, a savoury craving was born.

The cheese detox I had been keeping up since coming back from Paris was well and truly blown by the time I'd watched last week's episode. As they say, when you've seen a lion made from bread and rosemary you've seen it all (at least I think people say that...) When it came to choosing a bake for the #BakeOffBakeAlong I was stumped. I'd love to try a baguette, but that strange material contraption seemed like a lot of faff. A bread sculpture? Perhaps best left to those who know what the heck 'spelt flour' is!

Alvin seems to win my heart more every week. Perhaps it's his 'flavours from home' that make me glassy-eyed. Perhaps it's the constant sincerity pouring out of his very being. Perhaps it's his penchant for pink shirts. All I know is that I saw his prosciutto bread and went from 'skeptical' to 'oh my God put it in my mouth' in about 30 seconds.

So, here's my attempt at Alvin's 'Prosciutto, Manchego and Balsamic Onion Bread', except I've called it Spanish Deli Soda Bread, because the cabin smelt like a tapas factory when I was baking and to be honest, the former is a bit of a mouthful. Prosciutto, strong manchego cheese, fresh basil, homemade balsamic onions - what more could you ask for in a bread?! Find the recipe here.

Baking Notes

// I found this one really simple to follow for a bread recipe. The lack of proving time freaked me out a bit and I was overly worried about handling the dough in case it melted before my eyes. The dough is verrrrrry sticky. I was wearing doughy gloves for the most part! Use a knife to bring your dough together and turn out onto a well floured surface.

// Distribute the ingredients evenly. There are a lot of added ingredients in this recipe, so make sure you distribute the cheese, cured meat, basil and onion well to ensure your loaf stays together after it's baked.

// Make sure you leave a tablespoon of ingredients to go on top of the loaf. If they start browning too quickly, cover the bread with foil.

// If you suspect it's not cooked after 40 minutes, leave it in for another 10. The amount of cheese in this thing made it impossible to flip over to check for a 'hollow' tap. I baked mine for 50 minutes in total, until the top had totally browned.

This was devoured straight out of the oven before it had cooled down (largely by me). The warmth meant the cheese was still gooey and it didn't need any butter (your arteries will thank you). I suspect this would be perfect served with a leafy, bitter salad and fresh sliced tomatoes. Next time perhaps, when I have more will power!

I'm linking up with Amanda and Ala for the #BakeOffBakeAlong, so don't forget to use the hashtag if you're joining in too.

See all my baking posts here.

What was your favourite bake from last week?

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