Denhay Bacon and Dorset Cheddar Loaves

This bread is perfect for any time of the day. Be it for breakfast, an accompaniment to your mid-morning tea, or even for a late afternoon snack this ‘Taste of Dorset’ loaf will bring a smile to anyone’s face.

Serves 4 people   Prep 180 minutes   Cook 20 minutes


400g strong white bread flour

100g strong wholemeal bread flour

10g salt

10g instant yeast

30g unsalted butter, softened

330ml cold water

1 cup olive oil (for when cooking and finishing)

10 rashers of Denhay Smoked back bacon (any fat trimmed off)

150g quality Dorset cheddar cheese - a vintage or extra mature ideally


In a large mixing bowl put both flours. Add the salt to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other side. Add the softened butter and ¾ of the water to the dry ingredients then turn the mixture over with your hands. Slowly add the remaining water, a small amount at a time, until the bowl is clean of dry ingredients on the side and you’ve got a ‘clean’ ball of rough dough. Please note that you may need to add more water in order to achieve the mix and equally you might not need all the water.

Lightly flour a large work surface and knead the dough well for 5-10 minutes. The ball should form a smooth ‘skin’ which is soft and silky to the touch. Place into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place to rise for approx. 1hr or until at least double it’s original size. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper and put to one side.

While the bread is prooving you can start preparing the filling. Heat some oil over a medium heat in a frying pan. Add the bacon, cooking gently on both sides until just tender but not crisp. Remove the bacon and allow to cool on some kitchen towel before chopping into pieces.

When you’re happy with the rise of your dough add the chopped bacon and the crumbled cheese and knead well to achieve even distribution through your dough. Tip the dough out of the bowl and onto a floured surface and continue to knead briefly ensuring any protruding bacon or cheese pieces are firmly within the dough ball. Divide the dough to 4 pieces and shape into ovals approx. 3cm thick. Shape the balls how you like but preferably form a tip at either end of the ball to create a rugby ball shape. Place 2 dough balls onto each tray giving ample space to each, then dust the tops with flour and put a deep slash in lengthways.

Place each tray into a clean plastic bag and allow to prove for 1hour or until at least doubled in size again. Then heat your oven to 220°C/gas mark 7. Sprinkle the loaves with a small amount of olive oil and bake for 20mins until golden brown. And enjoy…


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