Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Ploughman’s loaf

Prep time over 2 hours
Cook time over 2 hours
Makes 1 loaf
Dietary Vegetarian
From The Great British Bake Off
This delicious cheesy loaf is at its best spread thickly with butter still warm from the oven.


  1. Place the rolled oats into a dry frying pan over medium heat and toast until lightly browned.

  2. Mix the dry ingredients, including the yeast, in a large bowl then add the beer and stir to combine.

  3. Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes, using a scraper to lift and turn the dough.

  4. Roll the dough in a little of the oil and set it aside in a warm place until it has doubled in size.

  5. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and gently fry the onions until caramelised – this will take about 40 minutes. Set the onions aside to cool.

  6. When dough has risen, knock it back on a floured work surface and knead in the cooled onions and the cheese. Form the dough into a loaf shape, place it on a greased baking sheet and set aside for one hour to prove again.

  7. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4. Dust the loaf with a little more flour, cut slashes in the top and bake for 40-50 minutes or until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.


  • 70g/2½oz whole rolled jumbo oats
  • 500g/1lb 2oz bread flour with malted grains
  • 85g/3oz rye flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 sachets fast action dried yeast
  • 500ml/18fl oz bitter
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 150g/5½oz mature Cheddar, cut into 1cm/½in cubes
  • 4 onions, chopped

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