Hoping to change routine this weekend, we opted for a great brunch after a local walk. Sausage, Bury black pudding mushroom and cheese omelette and beans on toast all totally delivered everything we wanted so only a light tea was needed!
Following up some favourite recipes from the reliable Hugh F-W ‘River Cottage Everyday‘, I had planned to try the thyme, parsnip and cheese loaf recipe for some time. All the ingredients had been in the fridge just waiting to go. The thyme was home-grown, and home dried too, so I was feeling pretty confident this would be a winner of a recipe!
From the egg and milk content and the method instruction ‘to just bring the dough together’, I knew I was in scone territory here. Hugh’s introductory comment alluded to the fact this wasn’t a bread loaf but more scone like in texture so even better for tea!
Of course, I used a red onion instead of white, (because that’s what I had), and a little more cheese and milk than strictly required, so the dough was a little moist. Having gained confidence in scone making from the Chez Shamwari blog then I knew not to do much more to the dough than make it round and get it in the oven. As there was no added raising agent, or yeast in the recipe, the dough would be cooked slowly on Gas Mark 4 for 45 minutes, but it was still too doughy and sticky after this time.
I think the sautéed onion mixture, which was the only part of the recipe which had not been given a required weight in the recipe book, had added steam to the dough as it baked slowly. The stickiness of the resulting ‘loaf’ was almost impossible to eradicate, even when I put the oven up to Gas Mark 6 for an extra 10 minutes! Hence, it was deemed unworthy of a photograph on it’s first attempt!
Despite being neither a loaf nor a scone, it was delicious and savoury and certainly didn’t need anything else with it so it all got eaten nonetheless. So it wasn’t perhaps the easiest Sunday tea after all, but it will certainly be worth another go but I might have to adapt the recipe and meddle a little more and see what happens. Watch this space!
Post Script: Sunday 2nd June 2013: My partner in crime, [ as far as naughty nibbles are concerned 😉 ], has created this loaf with great success, noting that the liquid content is critical. No more guessing the tablespoons of milk for me! Now, knowing that a large egg makes a difference, reducing the milk content too, allows for an adequately moist dough that can be patted quite flat to cook for 50-60 minutes. So no recipe meddling any more as this is a delicious savoury!