Week 3 of the Great British Bake Off was Bread Week. Bread Week is always an interesting one, because it can reveal some truly skillful bakers. I won’t forget Paul’s Bread Lion from Season 6 any time soon.
So, as soon as the episode started – I knew that the signature challenge would be the one that I wanted to inspire my bake this week. The signature challenge for Bread Week was a filled pull-apart bread. Some people made cinnamon rolls, but most people made savoury swirly bread bakes.
I’ve made a fair few loaves of bread in my time, including some bread pinwheels, but I wanted to do something different, and using some fun ingredients that I haven’t cooked with in a while.
My incredible Godmother found her unused free-standing mixer while I was staying with her over the summer and shipped it out to Hong Kong for me. It arrived during the week, and so I wanted to put it to the test over the weekend.
It’s already been a lifesaver twice this weekend, and I know it will get a lot of use over the course of the Great British Bake Off, and well beyond that too.
I had a pretty big baking failure this weekend too, adapting and experimenting a recipe of my own. It really did not work out the way I had hoped, so I am really glad that this bread experiment worked in my favour.
It was my birthday this past week too, I was spoilt by friends and colleagues alike. Plus, one of my colleagues made me a chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting, which was delicious, and very sweet of her.
Birthday celebrations will continue for the next few weeks, as I am heading to the Backstreet Boys in Macau in October as a birthday present. Cannot wait!
But, enough about that. Just enjoy this delicious chorizo pull-apart bread as soon as you can!
100g chorizo, roughly chopped
45 grams unsalted butter
400g plain flour
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 packet fast action yeast
1 tsp sea salt
100g manchego (or similar cheese), grated
1/2 cup fresh basil and parsley, roughly chopped
- Fry the chorizo over a medium heat until crispy. Remove the chorizo using a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. Pour the oil into a saucepan.
- Add 30 grams of butter, water and the port to the saucepan and cook over a medium heat until the butter has melted. Stir, then set aside to cool until warm to touch.
- Using a mixer with a dough hook, combine the flour, sugar, salt and yeast and mix on a low speed. Gradually add the warm wine mixture, until fully incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time. Turn up the speed of the mixer to medium low, until the eggs are fully combined.
- On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for 5 – 6 minutes until it is no longer sticky and comes together in a ball.
- Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl, and cover with a tea towel. Set in a warm, dark room for 1 – 2 hours until dough is double in size.
- Once the dough has doubled, roll out into a large rectangular shape on a lightly floured surface.
- Melt the remaining butter and brush over the rolled out dough. Sprinkle the chorizo, grated cheese and herbs over the dough. Press it into the dough lightly, and ensure that it is as evenly spread as possible.
- Roll the dough up as tight as you can, starting with the short end furthest from you. Slice the dough width-ways, to make 1cm-thick pinwheels. Place them on a well-oiled skillet or baking tray, cut-side down. Cover with a tea towel and leave for 40 minutes to rise.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the skillet into the oven for 30 – 35 minutes, until golden on the top. As soon as the bread is removed from the oven, drizzle with olive oil.
- Allow to cool slightly, then enjoy warm, or remove from the skillet and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.