Bread and Better

Bread and Better

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Garlic and Cheese Focaccia




Makes 1 medium loaf.
For the focaccia:
450g strong white flour
1 small bulb of garlic
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus a little more for cooking/greasing
7g dried yeast
300ml water
For the topping:
50g cheddar cheese, grated
3 sprigs fresh thyme (you just want the leaves)
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

Pre-heat the oven to 160C.
Separate the bulb of garlic into cloves and place into a high-sided rectangle baking tin (around 20cm x30cm).
Drizzle the cloves with olive oil and bake in the oven for around 20 minutes, or until they feel very soft and squishy.
Leave the cloves to cool a little before popping the soft garlic out of the skins. Leave to one-side (saving the tray for baking the focaccia in).
Place the flour into a large bowl and rub in the yeast with your fingertips.
Add the salt, oil, garlic and water and combine until the mixture forms a dough (adding more water if it feels a little dry).
Place the dough onto a lightly oiled surface and knead for around 10 minutes, or until it becomes smoother and more elastic.
Place the dough back into the bowl, cover it with a tea towel, and leave to rise for at least an hour, or until it has doubled in size.
When the dough has risen, decant it into the baking tray you used to roast the garlic in, pushing it down with your hands as you go, so that it fills the whole tin.
Cover the dough again with a tea towel, and leave to rise for around 30 minutes, or until it has noticeably puffed up.
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees c.
When the dough has risen, press down into the surface with your knuckles, to make little indents.
Sprinkle over the cheese, thyme leaves and sea salt.
Drizzle over the olive oil and then bake the focaccia for about 20 minutes, or until it's crust has turned a deep golden brown.
Leave the loaf to cool in the tin slightly, before removing and serving.
This loaf is best eaten on the day that it has been made.


Saturday, 1 July 2017

Rye Baguettes

It’s all about the steam when baking baguettes, that’s why I have advised you add a tray full of water to your oven as it pre-heats, to make sure you get that professional crusty finish. If you have a bit of time I would suggest leaving this dough to chill in the fridge for a couple of days, as this will give you a much more intense flavour (just make sure it comes back to room temperature before you shape it).  

























Makes 8 demi baguettes

250g strong white flour
200g rye flour
7g dried yeast/14g fresh yeast
1 teaspoon salt
250ml water, plus a little more for creating steam
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil, plus a little more for greasing


Place the flours into a large bowl and rub in the yeast with your fingertips.
Add in the salt, oil and water and combine until the mixture forms a dough (adding more water if it feels a little dry).
Tip the dough onto a lightly oiled surface and knead for around 5 minutes, or until the dough feels a little smoother.
Return the dough to the bowl, cover it with some cling film (this is the time to put it into the fridge if you are going to do so) and leave to rise for about an hour, or until it has doubled in size.
When the dough has risen, tip it out onto a lightly oiled surface and divide it into 8 equal pieces.
Roll each piece into a long sausage shape.
Place the dough sausages onto a couple of lined baking trays, leaving a good gap between each one.
Cover the baking trays with a tea towel and leave the baguettes to rise for around 30 minutes, or until they have noticeably puffed up.
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees c.
Fill a high-sided baking tray with some water and place it onto the floor of the oven (this will create steam, which will make the baguettes nice and crusty).
When the baguettes have risen, make a slash in the surface of each one using a sharp knife.
Bake the baguettes in the oven, for about 20 minutes, or until they have turned a very deep golden brown colour.
Leave the baguettes to cool slightly on a wire rack before tucking in. 

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Cheddar and Chive Focaccia




















Makes 1 medium focaccia. 

For the focaccia:
400g strong white flour
7g dried yeast
1 teaspoon salt
Handful of chives, chopped finely 
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus a little more for greasing
300ml water

For the topping:
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
Handful of chives, chopped finely
50g cheddar cheese, sliced into small chunks.

Place the flour into a large bowl and rub in the yeast with your fingertips.
Add the salt, chives, oil and water and combine until the mixture forms a dough (adding more water if it feels a little dry).
Tip the dough out onto a lightly oiled surface and knead for around 5 minutes, or until it becomes smooth and more elastic.
Place the dough back into the bowl, cover it with a tea towel, and leave to rise for at least an hour, or until it has doubled in size.
Grease a medium rectangle baking tray (around 20cm x30 cm) with a little olive oil.
When the dough has risen, decant it into the baking tray, pushing it down with your hands as you go, so that it fills the whole tin.
Cover the dough again with a tea towel, and leave to rise for around 30 minutes, or until it has noticeably puffed up.
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees c.
When the dough has risen, press down into the surface with your knuckles, to make little indents.
Sprinkle over the cheese, remaining chives and sea salt.
Drizzle over the olive oil and then bake the focaccia for about 20 minutes, or until it's crust has turned a deep golden brown.
Leave the loaf to cool in the tin slightly, before removing and serving.
This loaf is best eaten on the day that it has been made.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Marmalade Madeleines




















Makes 18

For the Madeleines:
60ml milk
3 tablespoons marmalade
2 large eggs
100g plain flour
80g sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
Zest of one orange
100g butter, plus a little more for greasing
Icing sugar, for dusting

For the Filling:
2 tablespoons marmalade























Melt the butter, then leave it to one side to cool slightly.
Place the eggs and the sugar into the bowl of a large free-standing mixer (or you could use a hand-held electric whisk) and whisk for around 5 minutes, or until they are pale and fluffy.
Mix together the milk and marmalade with the slightly cooled butter.
Pour the buttery marmalade into the eggs and sugar, and whisk again until everything is well combined.
Take the bowl off the mixer, and carefully fold in the flour, baking powder and orange zest.
Cover the bowl with clingfilm and place into the fridge to chill, for about an hour.
Place the remaining marmalade into a disposable piping bag, and cut a medium sized hole into the end.
Grease a couple of Madeleine tins with a little butter.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees c.
When the batter has chilled, take it out of the fridge and place a heaped tablespoon into each shell in your Madeleine tins (you don’t want to fill them all the way to the top).
Place the cut end of the piping bag into the middle of each batter shell and pipe for a couple of seconds, or until a pool of marmalade appears on the surface.
Place the Madeleines into the oven and bake for 5 minutes, before turning the temperature down to 160 and baking for a further 5 minutes, or until the madeleines have turned a light golden brown, and have a slight peak on top.
Leave the Madeleines to cool slightly in the tins, before dusting with icing sugar and serving.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Honey, Lemon and Thyme Focaccia



























For the dough:
400g strong white flour
7g dried yeast/14g fresh yeast
1 teaspoon salt
Zest of one lemon
2 Teaspoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus a little more for greasing
300ml water

For the topping:
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme

Place the flour into a large bowl and rub in the yeast with your fingertips.
Add the salt, oil, lemon zest, honey, dried thyme and water and combine until the mixture forms a dough (adding more water if it feels a little dry).
Tip the dough out onto a lightly oiled surface and knead for around 5 minutes, until the dough feels soft, but not sticky.
Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a tea towel, and leave to rise for around an hour, or until it has doubled in size.
Grease a rectangle baking tray (around 20cm x30cm) with a little oil.
When the dough has risen, place it into the baking tray, pushing it out so that it fills the entire tin.
Cover the baking tray with a tea towel, and leave the dough to rise again, for about half an hour, or until it has noticeably puffed up.
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees c.
When the dough has risen, make a few indents in the surface with your knuckles and sprinkle over the thyme and sea salt.
Drizzle over the honey and the oil and then bake the focaccia for 20 minutes, or until the crust has turned a rich golden brown. 
Leave the loaf to cool slightly in the tin, before cutting into chunks and serving. 

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Peanut Butter Caramel Brownies



Makes 15 medium brownies.

For the brownies:
30g self raising flour
40g cocoa powder
220g sugar
3 large eggs
100g dark chocolate
150g unsalted butter

For the peanut butter caramel:
1 397g tin condensed milk
300g crunchy peanut butter

















Make the peanut butter caramel by mixing together the condensed milk and peanut butter until they are well combined. Place to one side for later.
Line a medium rectangle baking tin (around 20cm x 30cm) with some grease proof paper.
Pre-heat the oven to 165 degrees c.
Melt the butter and chocolate together, in the microwave or over a pan of simmering water. Leave to one side to cool slightly.
In a large bowl mix together the flour, cocoa and sugar.
Beat the eggs into the cocoa mixture and then fold through the slightly cooled chocolate and butter.
Decant the brownie batter into the prepared tin, spreading it out as you go so that it fills the entire space.
Blob large spoonfuls of the peanut butter caramel on top of the brownie mixture, making sure to leave a slight gap between each one, so that you can still see some of the glossy chocolate batter underneath.
Swirl the caramel and brownie together slightly, using the tip of a knife.
Bake the brownie for about 20 minutes, or until the outside has firmed up but the middle is still a little wobbly.
Leave the brownie to cool in the tin completely before slicing and serving.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Cheese and Chive Rolls

























Makes 10 small rolls.

For the rolls:

350g strong white flour
7g dried yeast/14g fresh yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus a little more for greasing
75g cheddar cheese, grated
Large handful of chives, finely chopped
275ml water

Place the flour into a large bowl and rub in the yeast with your fingertips.
Add the chives and cheese into the flour (keeping back a little of each, for sprinkling on the top later) and give everything a good stir.
Add the salt, oil and water and combine until the mixture forms a dough, adding more water if it feels a little dry.
Tip the dough out onto a lightly oiled surface and knead for a couple of minutes, or until it feels smoother and more elastic.
Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for about an hour, or until it has doubled in size.
When the dough has risen, divide it into 10 equal pieces and then roll each piece into a ball.
Place the balls onto a lined baking tray (making sure to leave a small gap between each one), cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for about an hour, or until the balls have really puffed up and are pretty much touching.
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees c.
When the rolls have risen, sprinkle over the remaining cheese and chives.
Bake the rolls in the oven, for about 15 minutes, or until the crust has turned a light golden brown and the cheese is melted and burnished.
Leave the rolls to cool on the baking tray for a couple of minutes before tucking in.


Little tip: Different flours will absorb different amounts of liquid, so I would add ¾ of the suggested liquid to the mixture at first and then if the dough feels a little dry, you can always add some more.