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homemade red leicester bread.

It's pretty good being a foodie in Midlands. From countryside farm shops to the vibrant cities, there are so many amazing flavours to whet your appetite. Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire is the home of the pork pie, you can find Colston Bassett Stilton in Nottinghamshire and Bakewell tarts in Derbyshire's Peak District. From beers in Burton-on-Trent to baltis in Birmingham, there's a lot to be said about the food and drink around these parts. So when Haven asked me to share a local delicacy, I was spoilt for choice.

In the end I went with classic Red Leicester; the infamous orange cheese which dates back to the 17th Century. It's found in supermarkets far and wide, but to get the proper hard, crumbly but creamy Red Leicester it needs to be traditional Sparkenhoe. To celebrate this fantastic Leicestershire cheese, I've created a Red Leicester bread - perfect accompanied with some local homemade chutney!

Shopping list. 
500g bread flour
A pinch of salt
30g salted butter
7g sachet of fast action yeast
300ml warm water
100g Red Leicester cheese, grated
One free range egg, beaten
30g sesame seeds

Equipment; mixed with dough hook, cheese grater, pastry brush, a greased baking tray or bread tin

Step one. Add in the salted butter to your flour and salt by crumbling between your fingertips.

Step two. When incorporated, add in the yeast and slowly the water until it forms into a ball.

Step three. Add your dough to your mixer and use a dough hook to knead for 10 minutes. Or, knead by hand on a floured surface for 15.

Step four. Cover the bowl with cling film or a damp tea towel and allow to prove in a warm place for 1.5 hours. (Top tip: I keep plastic shower caps from hotels and use them to prove bread!)

Step five. After 1.5 hours of proving, split the dough into two. Add 25g of cheese into each ball. Roll out into a thin sausage shape and then twist the two together. Allow to prove for a further 30 minutes under a tea towel.

Step six. After 30 minutes, wash with the beaten egg, scatter over the remaining 50g of cheese and sesame seeds.  

Step seven. Place the bread on your greased baking tray or bread tin and bake for 30-40 minutes at 180 degrees C.

Enjoy! (I had mine with good quality butter as well as rich scrambled eggs for breakfast).

Do you have any special food or drink from your local area? Or a local delicacy that you love to return to a particular region for? If you think yourself as a foodie expert, why not have a go at Haven's quiz - testing your knowledge on local delicacies from around the UK! I was so surprised that I actually got 10/10!

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