Thursday, 20 August 2015

Marmite and Manchego Bread

This recipe was inspired by some recent car boot finds.  I got chatting to a lovely lady who lived in rural Cambridgeshire.  Her Victorian home had long had a large fish pond in the garden, but a few years back they filled it in so she could build an art studio in the garden.  It transpired that the previous occupants of the house had used the pond as their waste disposal, lobbing in discarded bottles, and when doing the building work she unearthed umpteen old glass bottles.

She kept many of the interesting ones, unusual Victorian glass and bottles from local breweries, displaying them in her studio, but at the car boot she was keen to get rid of some of the more common ones.

I picked out quite a few - for only 10 pence each I could hardly refuse.  I was drawn to the old Marmite bottles, being a fan myself of the black stuff, and she also let me have this old wooden bread board for 10p too.

I love Marmite - I've even made chocolate marmite lollies before now. Bread and marmite go together naturally for me - whether spread on hot buttered toast, or in an old-school sandwich, so I experimented and came up with this recipe which includes Marmite in the dough.  The toasted cheesy topping finishes off the bread nicely.  You could use any hard cheese, but Manchego is a personal favourite - plus I'm not gonna lie, I quite like the alliteration.

The recipe would work equally well with white flour, but I'm trying to steer clear of white bread at the moment, plus I was keen to use up this gorgeous flour I picked up on my travels.  It gave the finished loaf a lovely smokey, nutty finish.

I made this using my Kitchenaid with a dough hook, but you could equally knead by hand, and I guess it would work in a bread machine too.

If I'm honest, the bread didn't rise as much as I'd hoped, but it wasn't a warm day.  It was also a heavier texture than I'd liked but I suspect this was because of the rye flour.  I'm sure Paul Hollywood would have scowled at me. I'll try it next time with some plain brown flour, or perhaps mix some white into my rye flour.  Whatever the texture, the taste was incredible, and that's what counts!  And the smell- Oh my word the SMELL!

Because the dough is so dark, you have to hold your nerve to let it cook.  It seems like it's browning too quickly, but give it the time to cook through.

Ingredients for one small loaf:

275g strong bread flour
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp instant yeast
175ml warm water
1 large tbsp Marmite
2 tbsp vegetable oil
30g Manchego cheese (grated)

Stir the flour, sugar, salt and yeast together in a bowl until combined.

Dissolve the Marmite in the water (you may need to use slightly hotter water than you'd usually use for bread-making to ensure it all dissolves, and then allow to cool before adding it to the yeast mixture).

Add the Marmitey water and oil, and mix on a low speed for about 2-3 minutes.

Scrape down the bowl and dough hook and cover the bowl with a clean towel for 15 minutes.

Next, turn the machine to knead and knead for 5-6 minutes.

Scrape down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface.

Form into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a clean cloth and leave for 1 1/2 hours.

Gently remove from bowl, re-shape into a ball and place onto a baking tray covered with greaseproof paper.

Cover with a large bowl, lightly greased and leave to prove for a further 45mins-1hour.

Pre-heat the oven to 230 degrees c.

Before placing in the oven, score a large cross on the top, cutting down 1 cm deep.

Cook for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180 and cook for a further 12-15 minutes.  In the final 5 minutes, remove from oven, generously sprinkle the cheese on top before returning it to melt and bubble the cheese.

The loaf should feel light and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Linking up with the Mummy Mishaps' Great Blogger Bake Off over at Jo's Kitchen this week.

Mummy Mishaps


  1. Your bread looks good to me. Strangely I've never tried marmite, but your bead sounds to be so full of flavour.
    You certainly did well at your car boot sale - old bottles have so much interest to them. And a gorgeous bread board for 10p - I think I ought to join you on your next shopping expedition!
    Angela x

    1. Oh you must try Marmite!

      I got lucky at the boot sale - it's not often you can buy anything for 10p nowadays!

  2. I am a big marmite fan so this sounds fantastic

    1. Hope you give it a try. It was sooooo marmitey :0)

  3. oh i am in love with this great! how amazing and i love the story behind how the recipe came about after visiting the car boot sale. I have never heard of a smoked flour before, i must try to track some down for myself
    thank you for linking up x

    1. Thanks Jenny. We're loving GBBO, me and Ruby arch every week. I'll try and join in again, I enjoyed it.

      You can get the flour online here, although I think I got mine at a health food shop

    2. But Cripes!! I've just seen the price of it. I certainly didn't pay anything like that!

  4. Oh yum. Manchagp is my favorite cheese, but I am a marmite hater!

  5. My daughter would love this, she is a massive marmite fan too. I would never have thought of using it in bread x

  6. I'm craving myself a batch of manchego bread! Pinning!

  7. I would have never thought to do this, but I am glad I know about it now!

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