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If I’d known you were coming I’d have baked…

Is the world ready for Bacon and Black Pudding Bread?

That was the question posed by our good friends at Gingerbread Bakery Limited. GBL’s Andy Walker explains below just how he set out to create black pudding bread that would always rise to the occasion. However one look at the finished product (right and below) and it is clear that the answer to his question is a resounding Yes.

I wouldn’t normally buy large pieces of black pudding because I’m the only person in the house who eats it but on this occasion it was on offer at half price and at 86p it seemed like a bargain.  As with most bargains, I’d purchased something that I didn’t intend on buying and I needed to prove that I hadn’t wasted my money.  And so Bacon and Black Pudding Bread was born.

The process is relatively straight forward and uses standard bread quantities with slightly more yeast than normal because the dough has to lift the bacon pieces.  If you cut the bacon into very small pieces then you may be able to reduce the yeast quantity.

Ingredients: (makes 10 rolls)

500g Strong Bread Flour (you can mix and match and I used 400g white and 100g Pimhill wholemeal)

1 Handful of Oatmeal (optional but I used Pimhill medium oatmeal)

15g Fresh Yeast (or 7g of fast action yeast)

10g Salt

1tbs Rapeseed Oil (or Olive Oil)

300ml Warm Water

3-4 Rashers Thick Bacon (home cured if possible)

400g Black Pudding

Method:

Put the bacon in a frying pan or under the grill and cook until browned.

Chop the bacon into pieces and combine with the flour, oatmeal, yeast, salt, oil, and water.  Mix the ingredients well and knead the dough for about 10 minutes.  If you have a mixer with a dough hook then throw all of the ingredients (except the black pudding) into the bowl and switch the machine onto a low setting.  Alternatively, roll up your sleeves and knead the dough by hand.

When the dough is nice and smooth and stretchy form it into a ball and place it into a clean, very lightly oiled bowl and cover.  A very nice tip from the lovely people at River Cottage, and featured in the River Cottage Handbook No.3 (Bread) by Daniel Stevens, is to place the bowl in a clean, black bin-liner.  The black will absorb heat from the room and help the bread to rise, it will keep the dough moist, and it’s re-usable.  Leave the dough to rise for 50-60 minutes until doubled in size.

While the dough is resting put the black pudding into a food processor with the blade tool attached and pulse until it resembles breadcrumbs. Mix in a good glug of Rapeseed or Olive oil and mix together to lightly coat the black pudding crumbs.

Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knock the air out of it using your fingers.  Form the dough into a ball again, split into 2 using a dough scraper, and then flatten each piece using a rolling pin until the dough is about 1” thick.

When the dough is flat spread the black pudding crumbs over the top and start to fold over and roll up and encase the bread pudding crumbs.  Roll into a long round sausage shape about 10” long and using a dough scraper cut into about 5 pieces.  Repeat this process for the other piece of dough.

Carefully place each roll, with the seam at the bottom, onto a lightly floured tray (or peel), cover, and leave to prove for another 50-60 minutes until doubled in size.  If you are using a black bin liner then just put the whole tray (or peel) back into the bag. 

After about 20 minutes switch the oven to 230C or its highest setting and put in a baking stone if you are using one.

When the rolls have doubled in size place them into the oven (or transfer to the baking stone), cook for 10 minutes and then turn the oven down to 200C and bake for a further 20-30 minutes until they are golden brown and sound hollow when the bottom is tapped.  If you are not sure, leave the rolls in for a few minutes longer.  Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.

They are delicious served warm but can also be eaten when completely cold.

Links:

Pimhill: Organic Wholemeal Flour, Organic Oatmeal, Organic Oats, and Organic Muesli can be purchased from Pimhill Farm at http://www.pimhill.com

Check out Gingerbread Bakery’s website http://www.gingerbreadbakery.co.uk/

Or follow them on Twitter @GingerbreadBake

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