I recently had the pleasure of hosting my very first cooking demo in front of a live audience for the Fresh Bake Expo. I wasn’t sure what I would make, I knew that it had to be something baked, but what!? Do I bake a cake? Or do I go left of centre and bake fish? After many a discussion with family and friends I decided to go with my Portuguese Chorizo Bread.
This is the perfect way to eat bread, not only does it tick all the important boxes of crunchy crust and delicious fluffy centre, but its also laced with perfectly spice chorizo and herbaceous thyme. I guarantee you will fall deeply in love with this bread, and normal bread just wont cut it anymore. Give baking bread a go, better yet give baking my Portuguese Chorizo Bread a go!
1) Preheat your oven to 200C, or 180 fan force.
2)Place milk, water and butter into a saucepan and gently heat until your butter has melted. Set aside and allow to slightly cool to lukewarm. You know its ready when you can comfortably place your finger in the liquid, you don’t want it too hot as it will kill the yeast or too cold as the yeast wont activate and your bread wont rise.
3) Combine all your dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre of the bowl and pour about half of the liquid in. Stir the mixture it a wooden spoon and slowly start to pour in the remaining liquid until your mixture forms a soft dough (take your time doing this as you may not need all the liquid).
4) Turn out your dough mixture onto a floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Alternatively if you have a mixer with a dough hook place your dough in the bowl and knead at a medium high speed for 2-3 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Lightly spray a bowl with oil and place dough into bowl, cover and set aside in a warm space for about an hour or until double in size (I like to loosely cover the bowl with cling film then a tea towel as this helps prevent a crust from forming on top of the mixture).
5) Turn your dough out onto a floured surface and knead again for 1-2 minutes, then using your hands mix through the chorizo, thyme and garlic (make sure its evenly distributed throughout the dough) cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
6) Place your bread on a floured baking tray and brush with your egg wash. Bake in your preheated oven for 40-50 minutes or until golden. To check if your bread is cooked on the inside turn it over and tap the bottom, it should sound hollow. If it doesn’t place it back in the oven for another 10 minutes or until it sounds hollow.
7) This bread is best served warm with lots of butter or for special occasions I like to serve it with a small dipping bowl of Pukara truffle oil.
Remember the secret to the perfect dish is to cook with love (and a little va va voom) xx