Category Archives: recipes

What can a course cover?

Almost anything you like.  The photos below show the output from our last course which included basic white and granary loaves, focaccia, panettone, pesto swirls and spiced marzipan dessert bread.  We also covered shaping, knot rolls, 3 and 4 strand plaits, cottage loaves as well as small rolls for dinner parties and ‘shots’, very small rolls with olives in the centre.


Sourdough and mincemeat buns

Photo shows mincemeat buns, sourdough and granary loaves baked this weekend.  The buns made use of some homemade mincemeat which was a little past its best.  Added some mixed peel and they turned out as pretty good tea cakes/not cross buns.  Tried another approach to Sourdough, letting it rise overnight in the fridge which made a big difference to shape and flavour.

Weekend baking

Weekend baking

Sicilian Schiacciata

Discovered Aromi in Cambridge, a cafe serving delicious Sicilian bread and cakes: Particularly liked their Schiacciata so made some on Sunday:


Ok, not quite as good as these but this chap looks m,like he has been making them all his life.  You can watch him work the dough through the window of the Cafe!

DSC05918-150x150   aromi-591-100x100

Its a 70% hydration dough and, using lots of semolina, it doesn’t get too sticky.  One to add to the flat bread course, Nov 8th.



Swedish Knäckebröd

Another new recipe: from a great website/blog.

It is a yeast dough but rolled very thinly and baked immediately.  I tried plain ones with caraway and nigella seeds in the dough and the more coloured ones had an egg glaze into which I rolled some more seeds.  I think these look better and have a great flavour.  Suspect cumin seeds would be another good one.  Easy and quick to make and very good with cheese.  Would make a great Christmas gift.

RIMG0352 - Copy

Turkish Pide

I first made this when my neighbour came back from Cyprus with a loaf and it has been a favourite ever since.  I have been making it as a three plait, photo left, but it is actually a flatbread so this weekend I made a more traditional version using this recipe (with the addition of fennel seeds to the nigella and sesame):  Needless to say delicious, especially warm and dipped in olive oil and Balsamic.  One of the breads we are making Nov 8th on our flat (and flattish) bread course; only one place left!

DSCF3330 - Copy  RIMG0350 - Copy

Seedy bread

There are many seeded flours available including one in the Waitrose range which includes chunky pumpkin seeds.  Holland and Barrett and other health food stores sell most seeds in bulk, usually at reasonable prices and they can be added dry or soaked overnight. They can be lightly toasted in a pan and my favourite mix is pumpkin, sunflower and linseed.

Whizzing them in a blender to reduce the size and improve the availability of the vitamins etc in the seeds. is a good idea.  In fact, linseed is so tough it will pass through you entire unless you break it up!

The Waitrose Love Life seeded and malted bread flour is currently 25% off so worth stocking up!

Holland and Barrett will deliver to your door and often have special deals

Sugar and bread

I never add sugar to a bread recipe even if it calls for it.  I don’t like overly sweet things and the sugar will impact the yeast so you generally have to use more yeast or wait longer for the dough to rise.  However, I do add malt extract and treacle on occasion to produce a malted loaf.  It is best to add the boiling water to the treacle or extract in a jug, dissolve it and then add cold water to produce the water temperature you need.  If you are adding two or more tablespoons to 900g of flour I would double the amount of yeast.

Interestingly because the marzipan in the apple and marzipan loaf is between layers of dough rather than in the dough, it does not appear to affect the rise very much if at all.