Archives for posts with tag: bread

Another GBBO inspired recipe, I’m afraid, although I didn’t go the whole hog and do the 8 plaits, it looked much too much like maths for my liking. I’m not that great at bread usually, it always turns out a bit too claggy and dense, mainly because I’m lazy with the kneading, and something to do with my kitchen being too cold for dough to rise properly. This morning though, my boyf left for work at 7:10, leaving me unnaturally awake and keen for something to do that would fill the house with the smell of baking. My parents were confused to say the least when an hour later they came down to find me roasting garlic.

Maybe I’m more patient with kneading in the early morning, but this bread turned out really delicious, light in the middle, crispy on top, and the combination of garlic and rosemary works really well. Something about creating something so delicious and that looks so great is extremely satisfying. I used a recipe from Cook Eat Live Vegetarian, but adapted it slightly, using strong white flour instead of spelt.

Garlic and rosemary loaf

1 head of garlic
1 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
450 gr (3 cups) strong white bread flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 sachet of quick action yeast
1 tsp salt
75 ml milk
75 ml water
3 tbsp olive oil
1 egg, lightly beaten

Cut the head off the garlic and roast at gas 7 for 35 minutes, with a sprinkling of rosemary. Then mix the flour, sugar, yeast and salt together. Heat the milk and water and olive oil together until warm, then add to the flour mixture. Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins, and mash with a drop of water. Then beat in an egg until it’s all well mixed together.

Add the garlic into the flour and milk mixture. You’ll end up with a very sticky dough, but that’s ok. Knead for 10 minutes on a very floury surface (DO IT!). Then set aside for 10 minutes. Divide into three balls, then roll out to make three ropes of dough. Plait them, tucking the ends in to make it look neater. Leave for an hour to double in size. Bake for 15 minutes at gas 4. Brush with olive oil, sea salt and rosemary, then put back for another 12 or so minutes. Extract and leave to cool.


Admittedly not the most glamourous of made from scratches, but still an interesting one I think.  The croutons you buy in shops are over salted, stale things that can only be livened up by covering them with soup.  My croutons liven up the soup itself adding in the exciting flavours of the bread and whatever else you can throw at them in the way of spices and fancy olive oil.  We had loads of old bread hanging around at home this morning, and I hate wasting things, so I decided I had to come up with a use for it.  This is one of the most simple uses available and tarts up my bog standard lentil soup a treat.


Staling bread – as much as you like – cubed
Good quality olive oil
Salt and pepper

Cut the bread into cubes and cover in large quantities of olive oil , making sure all sides of the cube have some familiarity with the oil. Season liberally. Put in the oven in a tray with sides at gas mark 2, and bake for 20 minutes. Alternatively you could fry them, but baking is healthier.

Croutons are very versatile and take on flavours well. Sophie Dahl does a great clam chowdah with rosemary croutons which are amazing.

As might be hinted by this post’s title, this is a bit of a long term commitment. So if you have trouble having the patience to wait for cake to come out of the oven, or jelly to set, this might not be the one for you. However, if sourdough’s your thing, do it do it doit! Home made sourdough is way stronger than supermarket sourdough and more delicious, and if you keep a bit of the starter back you can keep making it over and over again forever!

Yes, so that starter business. Basically instead of yeast you have to ferment flour for about 5 days to make a natural starter that will raise the bread for you. It sounds a lot more complicated than it is, it’s as simple as putting some water and flour in a bowl, mixing it together, and waiting for several days. The slowest bit for me was finding a shop that stocked rye flour, I tried all the obvious shops, before stumbling across it in Morrisons of all places, looking for something totally different. (wild rice, since you ask, and they didn’t have it)

Starter (from Jamie Oliver’s Happy Days with the Naked Chef)
500 g rye flour

Day One: Mix the two ingredients together to form a doughy mixture. Put outside for an hour, then bring inside to a warm place. Cover.

Day Two: Look at it, worry about whether it’s actually going to do anything, then leave it alone

Day Three: stir in bit more flour

Day Four: leave it (it should look a bit weird and smell even weirder by this point)

Day Five: You should have a grey mixture that smells a bit like yeast and a bit like beer and looks frankly unappetising. Fear not! All will come right shortly.


Sourdough (Jamie’s, as before)

1kg Strong bread flour (white or brown, it matters not)

Mix in the flour then add water until you have a recognisable dough. Knead for five minutes (it’s advisable to actually time this, because what can feel like 5 minutes kneading is often only 2). Shape into a bread shape, place into a floured teatowel (and make sure it’s properly floured or it’ll stick) and wait for 14 hours.

After all this waiting, I was extremely excited and worried about the bread. It’s a bit like having a baby, I imagine. 14 hours later, the bread should have grown a considerable amount. Bake for 40 minutes at gas mark five/190 degrees C. Take out. Look at it in wonder. Dance around the kitchen with joy. Eat.

One of the best things about this bread was how much it looked like the picture in Jamie’s own book