Random Bread-making: Whey Bread

Yesterday’s soup proved to be (a) large and (b) delicious, so we are revisiting it today. The Chilli is set back a day and I have no need to make my garlicky tear bread. However, I have fresh yeast and time and I wish to bake. There is some ham and coleslaw for our tea – how about some soft white milk baps, topped with cheese an onion? Mr L thought that a grand idea.

I veered a little off course when I used the unbleached and also when I  recalled the 4 pints of whey left over from cheese-making. I had thawed the whey out to use it as a base for our soup. There was plenty left.

The recipe is mine, veering between the Kenwood Chef book, Richard Bertinet and The River Cottage with a few things picked up along the way, plus my own inspiration.

Cheese and Onion Whey Baps


  • 500g Bacheldre Watermill Organic Stoneground Strong Unbleached White Flour
  • 10g fresh yeast
  • 10g salt
  • Dollop of sourdough starter (optional)
  • 300ml(+) Whey (or milk or water or 50/50 milk and water)
  • Handful of soaked sliced dried onions, drained

What I Did With Them

  1. Rubbed the crumbled yeast into the flour
  2. Considered adding some dried herbs, and elected not to. You could. Some mustard powder or cayenne or garlic (fresh or powder) at this stage might be nice too.
  3. Added 300 ml whey and mixed with a wooden spoon – the mix was too dry, so I added more to make a sticky dough and then
  4. Added what was left of my sourdough starter after measuring out enough to feed. Maybe 100g. This would have been better added before the liquid went in, but I hadn’t thought about it then.
  5. Covered the bowl and left it for 30 minutes.
  6. Kneaded Bertinet-style for 5 minutes.
  7. Covered the dough on the table and rested it for five minutes
  8. Added the salt and kneaded again until the dough passed the windowpane test – about 7 minutes.
  9. Took a handful of the now-expanded onions and kneaded them in.
  10. Oiled the dough and popped it into the slow cooker, pre-warmed on low – but only after I had cooled it down in a bowl of cold water. I had concentrated on the kneading to the extent that I had forgotten to turn the slow cooker off in time.
  11. Left to rise, covered.
  12. Visited the dough after 40 minutes and took it out to give it a couple of envelope folds. The dough was extremely cold to handle. At this stage I realised that my cooker has a Warm setting in addition to the Low one. In the hope and expectation that Warm is cooler than Low… I turned the slow cooker back on for a few minutes to get my dough going again.
  13. Made 12 rolls and set them on floured baking trays to prove for 30 minutes
  14. Flattened the rolls slightly. My recipe says to use three fingers to do this, but I deployed a potato masher
  15. Topped the rolls with grated cheddar and the soaked, drained onions
  16. Baked for 20 minutes at 200°C

The verdict

These are absolutely delicious! Very soft and very, very tasty. They rose rather in the oven so did not come out quite as flat as I had hoped for. Next time, further pressure on the masher.

Will make fabulous ham sarnies for our tea.

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