It’s time to get a lot more adventurous with biltong! My friend Candy sent me a couple of recipes for biltong bread and I was immediately on a mission to make some. My first attempt, following the recipe, was good but not nearly as good as it could be, I thought. So I went back to the drawing board and started from scratch. I think the finished result is a really delicious and different sort of bread which is equally good as a snack with a glass of wine or with a plate of bacon and eggs (which is how my neighbours finished their loaf off).
Making bread is something of a long process. I find it very relaxing and therapeutic and even exciting. From the moment the yeast mixture starts to froth I feel like I’m creating something really special. There’s something magical about the way dough expands when you put it aside to rest! Having said all that, bear in mind that this process is going to take you some time, so just relax and enjoy it. I like to do it when I have absolutely no time constraints and go into a world of my own, listening to the radio usually!
Makes two loaves (size as in picture)
14g (2x7g sachets) of fast action yeast
1 tsp white sugar
65ml warm water
125g plain flour
125ml warm water
125ml warm milk
3 tsp sunflower oil
250g biltong, sliced
200g Philadelphia cheese light with garlic and herbs
2 medium onions, sliced
1 egg, beaten
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Put the yeast and sugar in a bowl. In a measuring jug mix together the warm water and milk and add to the yeast and sugar. Stir to dissolve the yeast.
- Lightly sprinkle the top of the yeast mixture with some cake flour and place the bowl in a warm place so the yeast activates. I put mine on top of the stove.
- Slowly fry the sliced onions until they become brown and caramelised. When they are done, put aside to cool
- Start to make you bread dough by putting the flour in a large bowl. Lightly season with salt and black pepper and stir.
- In a jug mix the warm milk and warm water.
- When yeast mixture becomes frothy it’s ready to add to the flour.
- Using a spoon make a well in the centre of your flour and alternate between adding some yeast mixture and some of the milk and water mixture, stirring until all the liquids have been added. Mix together well until you have a sticky dough
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it until you have a smooth and well mixed dough.
- Using the sunflower oil, oil the sides and base of a bowl and put the dough into the bowl. The oil will stop the dough from sticking to the bowl .Cover the bowl with a cloth and place into a warm place for 15 minutes to rise.
- Mix together the onions, Philadelphia and biltong and blend in a blender until you have a thick, smooth mixture
- After 15 minutes test the dough to see if it has risen enough by pressing your finger into the dough – if the dough doesn’t bounce back it’s ready.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and knock it back to remove the air from the dough. Just push down on it and you will feel the air coming out.
- Divide the dough in half and flatten each half into a rectangle that is the same length as your loaf tins.
- Spread each half with half of biltong, onion and cheese mixture.
- Using your fingers roll each half up like a swiss roll and place each into one of the floured loaf tins with the side that has the join on the bottom of the tin.
- Cover the loaf tins with a cloth and leave to rise for 10 – 15 minutes then lightly brush with egg wash
- Using scissors snip the top of each loaf to score.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 30 minutes or until the bread has a hollow sound when tapped.
- Remove from the oven and leave aside to cool for about 15 minutes. Slice and serve.
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I’m regularly going to post a new recipe using biltong, so watch this space.
And if you want to order some yourself, I highly recommend the Chichester Biltong Company where you can choose the wetness and fattiness of your biltong too (it’s very personal, you know).
Go to http://www.biltongcompany.co.uk and enter the code EATINGCOVENT when you order.
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I’d love to hear any of your biltong ideas or stories, so do get in touch and watch out for the next amazing biltong recipe coming your way.