Slow Sunday Brunch:
Welsh Rabbit with Home-made Rustic French Boule
With an imminent hurricane and an extra hour in bed this morning, I decided to treat us to a “supper style” brunch – a firm favourite of ours and a dish that made use of some freshly baked bread I had made, a rustic French boule. I say a supper style meal, as I always associate a good Welsh Rarebit, or Rabbit as it should be called, with tea time and evenings, as the recipe contains ale in it, although not a lot. I have my own recipe for the aforementioned rabbit, but, as I was idly perusing the internet last night, I happened upon an easy and simple version by Nigel Slater over on the Country Life website; so, it is this version that I made today. Nigel says……“Yes, rabbit, not rarebit, as Welsh rabbit turned up in print in 1725 and rarebit 60 years later (perhaps to smarten it up a bit). In 1747, Hannah Glasse had recipes for rabbits for Scotland, Wales and England. The first was just toasted cheese on toast and butter, Welsh rabbit had mustard added, and English rabbit had red wine soaked into the toast”…..
I made my rabbit with some fine English ale, Spitfire, a Kentish brew that we both enjoy sometimes, when wine just doesn’t do it! Spitfire Premium Kentish Ale is the biggest ale success story of the last decade, so they proclaim on their site; originally brewed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, its characteristically Kentish, hoppy flavour and risqué advertising campaign has made it a firm favourite with beer lovers…..and I have to say that is was one of its risqué ad’s that caught my attention! The tasting notes for this hoppy ale make me laugh, no pretentious tasting notes here:
Spitfire Tasting Notes:
* Like totally beery and all that.
* It’s like a drink that you drink in
the pub and all that.
But, back to my boule and cheese! I have a fool-proof bread recipe that I use all the time, and always have some in the pantry or the fridge to use and bake: My Artisan Weekly Make and Bake Rustic Bread Recipe is a winner, and I made a lovely rustic boule with the last of the dough I had yesterday. You can read all about the recipe by clicking the link above, but for ease I have shared the printable recipe in today’s post, and also because I am entering the bread, and the Welsh Rabbit, into this month’s Tea Time Treats, which is hosted by myself and Kate (over at What Kate Baked) where the theme is BREAD this month, and Kate is in the hot seat as host.
A Slow Sunday it may be, but I am on fire when it comes to multi-tasking, so as this recipe is a Nigel Slater one, I am also entering it into Janice (Farmersgirl Kitchen) and Sue’s Monthly Nigel Slater Challenge, called Dish of the Month. Nigel says it is a perfect rabbit recipe, and although I am biased to my mum and grandmother’s family recipe, I have to agree it was truly delectable and a breeze to make. The recipe for Nigel’s recipe is here: PERFECT WELSH RABBIT and I made it exactly as he suggested, but with two very large slices of bread instead of four.
Have a safe Sunday if you are in the UK and are in the path of the hurricane, and I will see you soon with more news, recipes and some giveaways too! Karen
Weekly Make and Bake Rustic Bread
|Serves||4 to 5 bread loaves|
|Prep time||2 hours, 40 minutes|
|Cook time||30 minutes|
|Total time||3 hours, 10 minutes|
|Meal type||Bread, Breakfast, Side Dish, Snack|
|Misc||Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot|
|Occasion||Barbecue, Birthday Party, Casual Party, Christmas, Easter, Formal Party, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentines day|
|By author||Karen S Burns-Booth|
- 900g strong white bread flour
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 x 7g sachets dried fast action yeast (or 25g fresh yeast, added to a little warm water with 1 teaspoon honey or sugar)
- 650mls tepid water
This is a “hodge podge” of old fashioned English and French rustic bread recipes; the bread dough is made up ahead of time and stored (in the old days) in an earthenware crock or bowl, with a lid. You tear a piece of the dough off as and when you want to bake a loaf of bread. Easy! You can add other types of flour to the basic white batch, as long as the ratio remains the same – you can mix rye or whole wheat flour with the white, or add herbs, onions, seeds, fruit and other flavourings.
|Step 1||Pour the warm water into a large mixing bowl – the water should be tepid or hand warm – NOT too hot, as it will kill the yeast.|
|Step 2||Add the yeast to the water and then the salt, mix well.|
|Step 3||Add ALL the flour and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon or a dough hook until all the ingredients are amalgamated – NO need to over knead.|
|Step 4||Leave the bread dough in the mixing bowl and cover loosely – I use a shower cap to cover my dough! (That is NOT used as a shower cap any more, I hasten to add!)|
|Step 5||Allow to prove for 2 hours, or until doubled in size.|
|Step 6||The dough can now be stored in the fridge or you can use the dough to make a loaf of bread immediately.|
|Step 7||If baking a loaf of bread now, pre-heat the oven and place a baking sheet or pizza tray in there. Tear off a large ball, about the size of a small melon, and knead it for about 1 minute with floured hands and on a floured board, Shape it as desired (Rolls, Cob, Cottage Loaf, Boule, Baguette or Bannette etc) or place it in a greased and floured loaf tin. Allow to prove and rise for a further 20 to 30 minutes. Slash the surface with a sharp serrated knife if you wish, see photos. You can add a glaze or special finish at this point.|
|Step 8||Bake at 225C/450F for 30 minutes or until well risen, brown and the loaf sounds hollow when it is tapped on the underside. (If you wish, you can add a bowl of boiling water as soon as you put the bread into the oven – this steams and bakes the loaf to give a good chewy texture and keeps the inside moist.)|
|Step 9||Remove the bread when baked and cool on a cooling rack. Serve warm with butter, cheese, jam, hams and cold cuts, or slice when cool for sandwiches. Also wonderful when toasted the next day.|
|Step 10||Store the excess dough in the mixing bowl, loosely covered, in the fridge or somewhere cool until needed – this will keep for 2 weeks, but I find it has all gone by 7 to 10 days! This amount of dough will make between 4 and 5 loaves of bread, depending on the shape and amount of dough you use.|
Mere aka Jelly says
I love Welsh Rabbit! In college I worked as a waitress and they called it Welsh Rarebit! Hey! I found out it was the same darn thing! LOL I am with you! Welsh Rabbit it is!!! If anyone should know it is our Tartie!!! 😀
Yum is what I say! 😉
THANKS so much Mere, and yes, it IS RABBBIT and NOT rarebit! 🙂 Karen
Yeah…I thought so!!! 😉
i love ur ideas im deffo gona try some
That is a beautiful loaf and I think I’ve innadvertantly made it as I had to leave a risen dough in the fridge this morning and am planning to go back to it this evening to tear off a chunk and bake!
Janice Pattie (@FarmersgirlCook) says
It looks so tasty Karen. Thank you for joining us for Dish of the Month 🙂
Beth Young says
YUM! You just can’t beat homemade bread! This is exactly the kind of thing that makes me miss England!
bread looks fabulous
looks great my Dad used to make this and hope your OK in the storm hugs
Glamorous Glutton says
I love Welsh Rabbit, rarebit always sounds a bit ponsy! I’d forgotten about this gem of a supper meal, thanks for the reminder and a drop of beer, no doubt, would make it even better. How professional your Boule looks. GG
That’s a great looking loaf!
Welsh rabbit is such a favourite of mine and your pictures are really making my mouth water. What a perfect Sunday brunch – delicious!
Kirsten Murphy says
I never should’ve looked at this when I’m hungry, my stomach now thinks my throats been cut! I never reaslised that bread could be so easy to make and as for the welsh rabbit, all Ican sayis yum!
Tracy Nixon says
Love that bread loaf – often buy it from M&S but might have a go at making one myself!
Maya Russell says
What’s the best cheese to use for Welsh Rabbit? I have shared on Twitter as @maisietoo.
This is making me so hungry, it looks so good :)!
Tracy Nixon says
Great brunch idea! All I need to do is train my kids to make it then serve me it in bed! (In my dreams lol!)
Maya Russell says
Like the markings on the rustic bread. Shared with G+.
laura jane says
I always thought it was actual rabbit as a child, it’s always put me off trying it but as a grown up (ahem) i’d try it now 🙂
Annie Costa says
So…there’s no rabbit in Welsh rabbit?How bizarre…
Paula Harvey says
Ooh never thought about adding beer to a simple Cheese on toast – giving this a try next time!! Thanks! 😀
ursula hunt says
Always a great lunchtime snack in our house
ursula hunt says
Great for a slow brunch any day of the week!
Maya Russell says
I’d put red onion on top for an extra flavour.
Herbert Appleby says
I don’t think I’ve ever had this mmmmmm must try one day
Samantha R says
yummy, my fav comfort food
Definitely going to try the bread recipe! I love homemade bread 🙂
Sharon Hingley says
This looks yummy, perfect for a Sunday brunch with friends
Sam @happyhomebird says
Gorgeous winter food and I’ve learnt something new!
Jo Hutchinson says
great pictures its like I can actually smell the bread and cheese.
Michael Scoates says
I’m now totally inspired to make my own bread, thanks for this recipe, never realised it was so relatively easy! Now all I have to do is find where they keep the yeast in my local Morrisons.
christine shelley says
The bread looks to die for
Pam Gregory says
Freshly baked bread is lovely!
debbie creasey says
my hubby loves cooking so i will get him to make me this!
This looks delicious and perfect for these cold wintery days.
Emma nixon says
Looks tasty. I will have to have a try at this recipe..
ursula hunt says
Today this was our Saturday Brunch but it was still delicious – 😉
caroline kelly says
This looks sooooo nice!
Lovely twist on a traditional recipe – well worth trying, thanks.