Orkney Cheddar tear ‘n’ share 

Orkney has a great traditional of baking with beremeal, an ancient strain of barley that is only ground here at Barony Mill. It has a sweet and distinctive nutty taste and can be ordered on-line. These rolls are almost a meal in themselves. 

Makes 12 rolls 

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4 rashers streaky bacon 

1 medium onion 

200g wholemeal flour or 300g wholemeal 

100g beremeal

200g strong white flour 

1 tsp salt 

1 x 7g sachet quick acting dried yeast 

1 tbsp black poppy seeds (optional) 

50g walnuts, chopped 

100g Orkney Cheddar, grated, + 2 tbsp extra 

350-400ml warm water 

Cooking instructions

Finely chop the bacon and onion and fry them together for 3-4 mins until the bacon is cooked. Allow to cool. 

Mix all the remaining ingredients, except the water, together in a large bowl. Add the cooled bacon and onion and mix again then start mixing everything together with the water. Add 350ml first and then continue adding extra until you have a smooth and manageable dough. 

There are two ways of kneading the dough. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it thoroughly for 8-10 minutes until it is elastic. This is the most traditional method. Or you can leave it in the bowl and knead it 10-12 times in the bowl, turning the bowl after each fold, then cover it and leave for 10 minutes before repeating the process 3 more times. This second method takes longer but gives very good results. It’s up to you and how much time you have. 

Divide the dough into 12 evenly sized pieces and shape into rolls, arranging them in a oiled 25cm round cake or spring-form tin, or in a circle – not quite touching – on a baking sheet. Cover loosely with a plastic bag or a clean damp tea towel and leave for about 45-60 minutes until well risen. 

Place the rolls in a cold oven and set the temperature at gas mark 7, 210C. Bake for 20 minutes from cold then scatter the remaining 2 tbsp of grated Orkney Cheddar over the rolls and return them to the oven for a further 5 minutes.  

Allow the rolls to cool for a few minutes. If you have baked them in a round tin you will need to run a palette knife around the edge of the tin before removing the sides of the tin and easing the rolls from the base onto a wire cooling rack. Tear the rolls apart when cold and serve with Orkney butter. 

Recipe kindly provided by Rosemary Moon