Paul Hollywood’s Baked Somerset Brie
Recipe from Paul Hollywood’s British Baking Cookbook, available from most good bookshops and online. This is a great way to enjoy one of the excellent Bries produced in Somerset and Cornwall. A medium (13–15cm diameter) cheese is wrapped in Parma ham, then in an enriched bread dough, and baked. Choose a slightly firm Brie for this recipe. Don’t be tempted to cut it as soon as it comes out of the oven, or the molten Brie will flood out, leaving you with an empty shell. If you serve it just very slightly warm, though, you will have a deliciously oozy cheese.
Enriched bread dough
250g strong white bread flour
1 tsp salt
7g sachet instant yeast
50g unsalted butter, softened
1 medium egg, lightly beaten, plus an extra beaten egg to glaze
135ml warm full-fat milk
180g Parma ham (or British air-dried ham)
3 tbsp cranberry sauce
1 whole Somerset or Cornish Brie (about 500g)
Put the flour into a large bowl and add the salt on one side, the yeast on the other. Add the butter, egg and two-thirds of the milk, then turn the mixture round with the fingers of one hand. Add the remaining milk a little at a time, continuing to mix until you have taken in all the flour from the side of the bowl and the dough is soft and slightly sticky; you might not need all the milk.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 5–10 minutes. Initially it will be sticky but it will become easier to work as you knead. When it feels smooth and silky, put it into a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise for about an hour, until doubled in size.
Heat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and fold it in on itself a few times to knock out the air. Now roll out to a large circle, about 5mm thick.
Lay half the Parma ham on the centre of the dough circle, then spread the cranberry sauce over the ham. Place the Brie on top and use the remaining ham to cover the cheese. Lift the edges of the dough over the filling and stretch to encase the cheese. Press the edges together to seal, trimming off any excess.
Turn the Brie parcel over, so the join is underneath, and place it on a baking tray. Brush with the beaten egg. Using the back of a sharp knife, score a criss-cross pattern over the top of the Brie parcel. Bake for 20–25 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool until just warm before serving.