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  • Writer's pictureApplegarth

Rising to the challenge

Author: Ianto, Head Chef

Bread. A staple food that you simply cannot ignore and why would you? In recent years, there has been a massive surge in artisan varieties and I see people (including me) have become far more discerning and demanding in the best possible way. It really is refreshing. Our customers often want to know what's in the varieties we serve and sell, and ask all sorts of questions. Is it sourdough or semi-sourdough? Is it gluten-free? How about fermented? Customers have an interest and understanding of breadmaking in a way they didn't a decade ago. Fueled by the ever-growing passion for hand-crafted, good quality, local produce there's (almost!) nothing I enjoy more than seeking out new flours and flavours. This Saturday (22 February) marks the beginning of Real Bread Week, now in its 11th year, which celebrates additive-free loaves and the artisan makers close-by. In homage this year, I will be serving the nations favourite cheese on toast and sharing my very special recipe with you. We're talking Welsh Rarebit but not as you know it. Our recipe packs a real flavour punch combining Ruddy Darter Ale & Winslade Cheese (also local) to make an oozy cheesy sauce that is served over our soft and wholesome homemade Soda Bread. Such an uncomplicated dish with a decadent twist calls for a quick flash in the pan followed by a short spell under a hot grill and is best served alongside a crisp-cold beer. Anything else would really be gilding the lily. As long as you cook it right, you will get a rich, robust flavour that comforts and warms the cockles. I will be serving my recipe for the ultimate Welsh Rarebit every lunchtime from Saturday 22 to Friday 28 February (excluding Sunday 23 February). Come and get it while it's hot then share your photos from our restaurant (or home) using the hashtag #WeAreRealBread so we can find you! Ianto's Welsh Rarebit - Serves 2 Prep time 10min, cook time 5min

  • 4 x Thick Slices of Homemade Soda Bread, Toasted

  • 250g Snowdonia Black Bomber Cheddar Cheese, Grated

  • 1 x bottle Ruddy Darter Ale, Reduced to 100ml

  • 2 x tbsp Spiced Honey Mustard

  • 2 x Egg Yolks

  • 4x Slices Winslade Cheese

  • 2 x Bunches Watercress, to Serve


Combine the grated cheddar, ale, mustard and egg yolk to form a thick paste. Spread evenly over the 4 slices of toast. Place a slice of Winslade on each slice and grill until golden and bubbling. Serve with the watercress and a cold glass of ale.

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