A Spanish Interlude….. and (at last) bread.

Spanish Bread
Baking and blogging have both been a bit on the quiet side recently as I’ve been on a late summer break to get a last burst of sun before Winter starts to set in. LSH and I have spent the last week on Menorca doing as little as possible. The island was lovely but unfortunately the most exciting bread on offer was a baguette (it was either that or a miserable looking white sliced…)

The nearest we got to a decent baked item was from a small bakers in Mao where we had a couple of delicious pastries and a coil of sweet bread liberally dusted with icing sugar.

So on my return I’ve come up with a “Spanish” bread of the kind I wished I’d seen over there. This is a spicy bread stuffed with Serrano ham, manchego cheese and chilli stuffed olives to counteract the Yorkshire autumn we’ve come back to.

Spanish Bread - fillingTo 375g of strong white flour add 1/2 heaped tsp of salt, 3/4 tsp of yeast, 1 tsp of chilli flakes and 1tsp smoked paprika. Stir in 40g of extra virgin olive oil and 235g of water. Knead until silky and leave for an hour.

Roll out the dough into a rectangle 30-35cm wide and about 5mm deep. Line it with 5 slices of Serrano ham. Coarsely grate manchego cheese over the top to taste ( I used about 150g). Keep some cheese to one side. Roughly chop 75g of olives stuffed with chillies. Tap them with kitchen paper to remove any excess water and scatter over the cheese.

Spanish Bread - pre roll
Roll the bread up to create a long sausage. Cut in half longways and twist the two halves together before connecting them to form a garland.
Spanish Bread - pre bake

Leave to proof. When ready, wash with beaten egg and finely grate some manchego cheese over the top. Bake at 200C for 35-40 min, turning down to 180C for the last 15 min.

Spanish Bread - inside

I apologise for the fact that mine looks a bit doughy – I had to take it out 5 min earlier than I wanted as LSH was prowling. Nor would he wait for it to cool which didn’t help its texture. It didn’t affect the taste though which has a definite kick from the chillies both in the dough and the filling. The next door neighbour has already put in a request for seconds. Hopefully I’ll get to leave it the oven for longer next time.

A really easy snack – Serrano ham and cheese pastries

pastry rolls finalThere are times when you don’t have time to, or want to, spend ages baking so here’s a quick post with a quick recipe.

You’ll need:
a 500g pack of all butter puff pastry (you can even use ready rolled if you want to make it even easier)
125g mozzarella,
6 slices of Serrano ham and
Pesto.

Preheat the oven to 200C (fan oven).

pastry rectangles

Flour your worktop and roll out the pastry into a square about 5mm thick. Divide into 2 rectangles (if ready rolled just cut it in half).

pastry rolls - fillingCover the pastry with the ham, leaving a cm edge.

Chop the mozzarella cheese into small pieces. Put down the right hand edge of each pastry rectangle. Dot pesto over the cheese and ham.

Roll the pastry over the cheese so that the centre of the pastry will be a cheesy core. Keep rolling over the ham to form a long sausage shape. Brush water along the edge to seal the pastry. Cut each roll into 2-3cm pieces.

Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.filled pastry roll

Put the pastry rolls cut side up onto the baking trays. Leave a decent space between them as they will spread.

Brush with milk.

Bake for 30min until the pastries are golden.

Eat.

Serrano and cheese roll - close up