The Great Swedish Bake Off

With contestants struggling to conquer the recipe for the classic Swedish Prinsesstårta on last week’s The Great British Bake Off, play it safe with this tasty recipe for cheese and onion bread, made with Swedish Västerbottensost.

Delicious served warm from the oven, this moreish bread is enhanced by the complex flavour of Västerbottensost, which is aged for at least 14 months. Tangy cheese compliments the sweet caramelised onions, making this is a recipe to depend on for delighting friends and family.
Known as the ‘king of cheeses’ in Sweden, Västerbottensost has been made using the same secret recipe since 1872.  It was made by accident one day when Ulrika Eleonora Lindström, a dairy maid, was distracted from her work by a romantic interlude which caused the cheese to develop its unique character. Västerbottensost is available to buy in Waitrose, Ocado and Selfridges.
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Cheese and Onion Bread with Västerbottensost

Makes 1 large loaf

2 medium onions, sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
365ml milk
1 tsp dried active yeast
1 tsp caster sugar
50g butter
550g strong bread flour
½ tsp salt
120 g Västerbottensost, crumbled or coarsely grated
Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat then stir in the onions and 1 tbsp water. Cover with a piece of roughly scrunched baking parchment, place the lid on and turn the heat down low. Cook gently for 15-20 minutes, stirring until the onions have softened. Season well, then spoon into a bowl with any juices and set aside to cool.
Make the dough. Pour the milk into a pan and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat. Put the yeast and caster sugar into a bowl and pour over about 100ml of the warmed milk. Stir well and set aside for 5-10 minutes to allow the yeast to activate. Whisk the butter and salt into the remaining milk.
Sift the flour into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture and then the milk mixture. Stir well with a table knife to make a rough dough, then transfer to a board and knead until smooth and sticky. Put into a clean bowl, cover and allow to rise for 30 minutes in a warm place.
Line a 32 x 22cm baking tin with baking parchment. Put the dough into the middle of the tin and punch the dough with your knuckles until it spreads over the base of the tin. Cover with the onion mixture and top with the cheese. Set aside and allow to prove for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan oven) gas mark 4.
Bake the bread in the oven for 40-50 minutes until golden all over. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool until just warm, then serve. 


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