cheese, bread, heaven

By Kate Foster

Some things were just made for each other. Tea and biscuits; roast spuds and gravy; bread and cheese. In fact, bread and cheese offers so much scope for imagination and variety – and is so darned delicious – that it makes a pretty good meal in itself.

Bread and cheese together offer infinite options, so it’s worth taking some time to think about what goes with what. In honour of this weekend’s Cheese and Wine Festival at London’s South Bank Centre, we recently teamed up with cheese emporium Paxton and Whitfield to explore some of the tastiest bread and cheese pairings around.

And the verdict? Well, it’s all about texture and balance of flavours, from the classic to the adventurous. For example, fresh, tangy goats’ cheese works beautifully with a nutty loaf, bringing sharp and mellow together in dramatic contrast.  Try it with a handful of lightly dressed lamb’s lettuce tossed with halved crimson grapes.

We liked: Flour Station Walnut Levain with P&W Aldwych Goat

Like your cheese with a bit more bite? Then try slivers of strong Cheddar loaded onto a chunk of classic, sweetly flavoursome sourdough and a dollop of red onion marmalade.  Fancy even more bite? Then ditch the marmalade and try a drizzle of the syrup from a jar of Italian mostarda di frutta, for a sweet-spicy kick.

We liked: Flour Station Tortano Crown with P&W Westcombe Cheddar

And don’t overlook fruited breads, either. Lightly toasted, they make the perfect base for cheesy canapés. Contrast the sweetness with a salty cheese like Picos Blue, Dolcelatte or even a sharp, crumbly feta and add a sprinkle of earthy-tasting peashoots for colour and crunch.

We liked: Flour Station Spelt and Sultana Levain with P&W Picos de Europa

Finally, let’s not forget rye bread, often paired with gooey, sweet, nutty Swiss cheese in a classic Reuben sandwich. Aside from that classic marriage of flavours and textures, rye bread works a treat with rinded cheeses such as Brie and Reblochon – subtle, chewy crumb meets not-so-subtle, yielding pong. Great straight up (with some really good butter) or take it to a new level with pungent Pont l’Eveque on rye toast, alongside a little gem salad, cut with slivers of juicy cantaloupe melon snipped chives.

We liked: Flour Station Light Rye and Caraway with P&W Baronet

With options like that, who needs to cook?

Find out more about Paxton and Whitfield’s cheeses.

About the author

The Flour Station grew out of the basement of Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Restaurant. We soon ran out of space and branched out to our own bakery premises. Not long after that, we set up our first stall at Borough Market and since then we’ve been baking our delicious sourdough breads for top notch café, delis and restaurants across London as well as our weekly market stalls. We’re firm believers in doing things the old fashioned slow way when it comes to making our breads. Each one has a natural yeast starter and the dough is given all the time it needs to develop its wonderful texture and flavour, which may mean the best part of a whole day. Once ready, the dough is divided and shaped by hand and baked in a stone based oven. This intricate process produces a sensational loaf with a good crust, a tasty crumb and a depth of flavour and texture unparalleled in conventional bread. We share our passion for real bread with top chefs and a loyal band of customers who return week after week to our market stalls. We draw inspiration from both when it comes to developing new breads, experimenting with new ingredients and new ideas as well as resurrecting forgotten classic British bakery favourites. Through this blog we hope to share with you the ups and downs, highs and lows, questions and answers that come our way whilst we continue to bake our lovely breads.

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