November 17 marks ‘Bring back the simple pleasure of baking bread with this variety of savoury and sweet recipes sent in by our local reporters. Let us know if we have inspired you in the comments!
Scroll for easy foccacia, ‘breadie’, wholemeal loaf, savoury bread and butter pudding and classic pudding.
Warm and herby easy-peasy focaccia bread
1/2 cup (120 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 cup (235 ml) warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
1/4 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
2 1/2 cups (315 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Infuse olive oil with garlic and fresh herbs.
- Mix the yeast with warm water and honey.
- Add the flour, salt, and some of the garlic herb oil to the yeast mixture, and then knead the dough 10 to 15 times (no more!)
- Let the dough rise until doubled in size (about one hour).
- Add the dough to a small sheet pan or baking dish and add dimples to the top of the dough and top with the remaining garlic-herb oil.
- Let the bread rise for another 20 minutes, and then bake until golden brown.
How to make a ‘Breadie’ by Pauline Smith
When living in Holland as a single parent my then teenage son, who is now 31, was looking for something I could prepare that was quick and tasty. At the time we were living in Alkmaar and I looked at some store cupboard ingredients to figure out what to knock up for a quick snack as an alternative to a home made pizza. Pizzas are easy to make as the Dutch sell a flour mix which just needs water and oil adding, but I didn’t have that in the house.
However, I did have some ciabatta bread, some pesto in a jar, mozzarella in its plastic bag and some tomatoes. We also had a small oven which had a grill, though as long as you have a grill this recipe is easy.
In the photo above I have used ciabatta rolls sliced in half; you could use a larger ciabatta (available in most supermarkets). If it needs cooking in the oven you will need to do that first; I just sliced two rolls in half and grilled lightly on both sides.
Whilst that is happening then slice the cheese and tomatoes. When the bread is ready but NOT burned then take them out (leave the grill on), and spread some of the pesto on the bread and then arrange the slices of mozzarella and tomatoes on the top…use salt and pepper and then put under the grill till cooked. All depends on how you want it – I would suggest that the bread is not too charred and if your grill is far enough away from the heat then you should get the cheese to melt and the toms too.
I used a ready bought pesto but you could make your own as its fairly simple and quick – basil leaves, olive oil, pine nuts and either grated pecorino or parmesan cheese ground up in a pestle and mortar. The pesto I use is from Lidl and you could use a red pesto. My mozzarella was buffalo but you can easily use one from cows milk; my tomato was sliced plum tomato but any tomato will do. It sort of works with cheddar but not as well.
This recipe is very flexible and quick to make. Its a sort of mini pizza, and these days many of us have jars of pesto. As you look at the colours you realise that its red green and white, the colours of the Italian flag.
When my son asked me what to call it…I said “a breadie”.
After my nostalgia article from September 2020 my son made his own version of a breadie and sent me this photo.
As you can see you can vary the base and use any kind of tomatoes. As the Dutch would say “lekker bekker”…enjoy your breadie!
Wholemeal loaf by Gill James
Makes 1 medium loaf
Time required: Preparation 20 minutes, Rising: 2x 1 hour, Cooking: 42 minutes
500g wholemeal flour
1½ tsp salt
2 tsp fast-action dried yeast (a little under one packet)
1 tbsp oil (in descending order of preference: walnut oil, olive oil, vegetable oil)
200 ml cold water mixed with 100 ml boiling water
1. Put the flour, salt and yeast in a bowl and mix.
2. Add the oil and water, and mix to make a dough. It should be moist, but just come away from the sides of the bowl. If necessary, add a little more water or flour.
3. Knead the dough for about 15 minutes on a lightly-floured board, or about 8 minutes with a kneading machine.
4. Grease a bread tin, put in the dough, cover with a clean tea towel, and leave in a warm place (airing cupboard, near a boiler, or in a very, very, very low oven) to rise for about 1 hour. It should rise to just above the top of the tin. The lighter/finer the flour, the quicker it will rise.
5. Transfer the dough to a lightly-floured board and knead again for 1-2 minutes, to distribute the air bubbles more evenly.
6. Stretch out to a rectangle as wide as the bread tin is long, and three times as long as the bread tin is wide. Fold into three as you would a letter, and press into the bread tin with the open end underneath.
7. Cover with the tea towel again and leave in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour. It should now rise about 2½ to 5 cm above the top of the tin.
8. While the loaf is rising, bring the oven up to 220ºC (200ºC fan oven) or gas mark 7. Half fill a large, shallow dish/roasting tin with boiling water and place on the bottom shelf.
9. When the loaf is fully risen, put the loaf on a middle shelf of the oven, shut the door and immediately turn the temperature down to 205ºC (185ºC fan oven) or gas mark 6 and bake for 40 minutes.
10. Turn the cooked loaf out of the tin, and put back into the oven upside down, directly on the shelf. Bake for another 2 minutes
11. Cool on a wire rack.
Bread and Butter Pudding with a Twist by Pauline Smith
- 2 eggs
- cup of milk
- cup of cream
- half a loaf of bread
- tablespoon of mustard
- an onion
- salt and pepper
A baking dish (or something to put bread pudding in that can be cooked in the oven)
1. Chop onion and fry gently in butter till caramelised
2. Rip up and chop ham, grate cheese, butter slices of bread
3. Line baking dish (whatever is suitable) with thin layer of butter
4, Then layer with buttered bread ham, cheese and some of onions
5. Repeat till all the “dry” ingredients are used up
6. Crack 2 eggs in bowl, add milk and cream and mustard and whisk
7. Pour over the bread mix and press down till its covered
8. Sprinkle with salt and pepper
9. Bake in hot oven at 170-180C and keep an eye on it
Should be lovely and gloopy when hot and it’s good cold according to the chef from Baratxuri, who gave this recipe on Radio Manchester for listeners as her take on a recipe for under £5. It does use a lot of butter.
They were the instructions she gave, so I would suggest a couple of slices of ham (or more) maybe 200 grams of cheese for quantities. If you think that is not enough then add more.
The request was started by Dom, my egg man where I buy my eggs on Radcliffe market, asking about what his customers could make with ham, eggs and cheese other than an omelette. Enjoy!
Classic Bread and Butter Pudding
Perfect if you have a stale loaf in your pantry!
- 250ml full-fat milk
- 300ml double cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 whole large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk (4 eggs)
- 3 tbsp golden caster sugar
- 8 slices of white crusty bread (ideally not soft/fresh)
- 50g slightly salted butter, softened plus extra for greasing
- 75g mix sultanas and currants
- zest ½ lemon
- 2 tbsp demerara sugar
Heat oven to 180C/160C/gas 4.
To make the custard, heat the milk, cream together in a saucepan just below boiling point. Whisk the eggs and yolk with the caster sugar in a jug. Slowly pour the warm milk mixture over the eggs, stirring constantly until smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract now.
Lightly butter an ovenproof dish ideally 20cm x 25cm x 5cm. Cut the crusts from the bread slices, then butter both sides of the bread and cut into triangles. Lay half of the bread slices in the bottom of the dish so that they are slightly overlapping. Mix the dried fruit with the lemon zest and sprinkle half of the mix over the bread. Layer the rest of the bread on top then sprinkle over the remaining fruit.
Remove the vanilla pod from the custard then pour the custard over the pudding. Leave to soak for at least 30 mins, or longer in the fridge, if you like. Sprinkle over the demerara and bake for 35-40 mins until golden brown and puffed up.