TONY STAPLES: Try a variety of fillings in this homemade bread with a twist

Melting Centre Loaf
Melting Centre Loaf

Making your own bread is very fulfilling – and even better when you give your loaf a surprise centre of warm cheese and spicy meats, says Tony Staples, executive head chef at The Arora Hotel in Crawley.

Nothing beats the smell and taste of warm, homemade bread. We make our own mini loaves every day here in the Arora kitchens, and lately a customer favourite is our melting centre loaf.

Before the second proving stage, we roll out the dough and fill it with cheese, chorizo and ham and roll it back into a loaf shape.

Once cooked and sliced warm, the cheese just oozes out – delicious eaten with homemade soup. And, just like a pizza, the fillings don’t have to stop at chorizo and ham.

Try blue cheese and sage, Parmesan with bacon and olives, Comte cheese with thyme and rosemary; mozzarella and sundried tomatoes – the list of fillings is as big as your imagination.

l The Grill in the Arora is Crawley’s only AA-rosette restaurant and has recently retained this honour for the third year running.

To book, phone 01293 530000.

Follow us on Twitter @aroragatwick. Like us on Facebook or share your bread-making images with us on Instagram by tagging @aroragatwick.

Visit the hotel’s official website here.

Melting Centre Loaf

Makes 6 mini loaves

1kg strong bread flour

600ml water

40g yeast

1 tbsp salt

2 tbsp sugar

For the filling:

100g strong cheddar cheese grated

100g thick slice of ham, cut into 1cm cubes

75g chorizo, cut into 1cm cubes

Method

Sieve the flour into a food processor and add the remaining bread ingredients.

Using the dough hook, mix on a low speed for about 5 minutes.

Remove from the food processor and place in a greased bowl. Cover with oiled Clingfilm and leave to prove (rise) for an hour until doubled in size.

Divide into six equal portions and roll out each into an oblong shape. Scatter over the filling ingredients and roll the dough back up, like a swiss roll, and shape into a loaf.

Place these into some floured mini loaf tins or shape into round loaves and place on a tray, lined with parchment paper.

Leave to prove somewhere warm until doubled in size again.

Bake in a preheated oven, 200oC, for about 17-18 minutes until it turns golden brown. Gentle tap the base of the loaf and if it sounds hollow, it will be perfectly cooked.

Chef’s tip

Once you have added the fillings and shaped everything into loaves, spray the tops lightly with water.

Doing this will encourage the loaves to rise further during the second proving stage.

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