Welcome back to my blog and to 2021! Although 2020 was difficult in many ways for everyone, I loved sharing my favourite recipes and songs with you and look forward to what this year will bring. If you haven’t read my latest post with the recipe for Tomato Bruschetta, you can catch up here!
In today’s post, I’ve put together a collection of my favourite bread recipes which I have been sharing on Instagram. Bread is one of my favourites – to eat and to bake. There is something magical about starting with a bowl of stringy dough and ending up with a luscious loaf. The process of kneading is therapeutic, allowing you to decompress everything that you have been thinking about and let it go.
There are a number of recipes I always return to – whether to serve with a bowl of steaming soup or as the perfect centrepiece for a buffet spread – so I thought I would compile a list here on my blog! Each has a potted method with just the basics, and then I have linked to my original posts or website pages for you to read the details of how to make each bake.
To accompany this post, here is my ukulele cover of ‘The Bare Necessities’ from the Jungle Book as delicious bread is a necessity for me!
Without further ado, here are my favourite bread recipes…
MY FAVOURITE BREAD RECIPES
No. 1 : Spicy Sunshine Tear & Share Bread
The ideal centrepiece loaf to serve a little sunshine to your guests!
Read the full recipe by clicking here!
Make the dough by putting 500g strong white bread flour, 7g Easy Bake Yeast and 1 1/2 tsps. each of sea salt and caster sugar into a large mixing bowl. Add 25g soft butter and rub in. Pour 300ml warm water gradually into the mix, stirring with a wooden spoon as you do so until it comes together as a dough. Knead for 10 minutes until smooth and stretchy and leave to rise in an oiled bowl covered with cling film until doubled in size.
When the dough has risen, knock it back and cut in half. Roll each half into a circle, about 7-8 inches wide, and place one onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Mix together 3 tbsps. tomato paste with 1 tsp each of paprika and cumin and spread in a thin layer on the dough circle on the tray, leaving a 1cm rim. Brush the edge with water and place the other circle on top. Place a floured tumbler in the centre and first cut the dough into quarters, as far as the rim of the tumbler. Then cut each quarter into 4. Twist each of these sections clockwise 3 times and place back on the tray. Remove the tumbler and leave to rise for another 30 minutes. When the proving time is up, brush an egg yolk over the dough to give the finished bread a burnished look. Bake the loaf for 30 minutes or until it sounds hollow when you tap it and it is a rich golden colour. Leave to cool on a wire rack before serving.
No. 2 : Poppy Seed Plaits
A firm family favourite – with a bowl of soup or with a salad!
Read the full recipe by clicking here!
To make the dough, mix together 500g strong white bread flour and 1 1/2 tsp. each of sea salt and caster sugar in a large mixing bowl. Lastly add 7g easy bake yeast before rubbing in 25g soft butter with your fingertips until it has disappeared. Pour in 300ml warm water and stir until it comes together as a ball. Tip out of the contents of the bowl onto a clean surface and knead until soft and springy. Place the dough back in the bowl and leave to rise covered with a clean tea towel until doubled in size. When the dough has risen, knock it back and divide in two. Plait each ball of dough into a loaf (read my blog for tips!) and place them on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Cover with a tea towel for another 30 minutes whilst you preheat the oven to 200’C. Brush each loaf with a beaten egg before sprinkling with a layer of poppy seeds and baking for 30 minutes until they are golden brown and hollow when you tap the base. Cool on a wire rack before serving with a hearty spread of salted butter!
No. 3 : Bagels
Delicious filled with smoked salmon and cream cheese for a satisfying lunch!
Read the full recipe here!
Mix together 7g fast-action dry yeast with 300ml warm water. Put 500g strong white bread flour, 2 tbsps. light brown sugar and 1 tsp. sea salt in a large mixing bowl before adding in the yeasty liquid and mixing to form a rough dough. Tip out onto a clean surface and knead for 10 minutes until soft and stretchy. Place into an oiled bowl, cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise until doubled in size. When it has risen, tip out on to a clean surface and divide into 10 equal pieces, rolling each into a ball. Place the balls on a greaseproof paper lined baking tray and leave to rise lightly covered with cling film for 30 minutes. When the time is up, use a floured finger to make a hole in the centre of each ball.
Fill a large saucepan with boiling water and add 1 tbsp. bicarbonate of soda. Place 2 bagels in the water at a time and boil for 1 minute, then remove and drain on kitchen roll. Continue with the remaining bagels. Finally brush each one with egg white and sprinkle with poppy and sesame seeds. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack before filling with smoked salmon or filling of your choice and enjoy!
No. 4 : Salt Salt & Rosemary Foccacia
A versatile Italian staple that can topped with your favourite ingredients!
Read the full recipe here!
To make the dough, put 500g strong white flour, 7g easy bake yeast and a pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl and stir together, making a well in the centre. In a measuring jug, combine 350ml lukewarm water and 2 tbsps. of olive oil and then start by pouring about two thirds into the well you made in the flour. Stir with a wooden spoon, and if you need to, add extra liquid a little at a time, until you can bring it together with your hands. Knead on an oiled surface for 10 minutes until you have a smooth dough. Leave to rise for an hour or so in an oiled bowl covered with a tea towel until it has doubled in size. When it has risen, knock it back and stretch the dough to fit a 25cm x 35cm swiss roll tin or similar sized roasting tin. Leave to prove for 20 minutes while you preheat the oven to 200’C. Before baking, use your fingertips to make indentations in the dough’s surface and sprinkle with 3 tbsps. olive oil, 1 tsp. rock salt and 3 sprigs of finely chopped rosemary. You can top this loaf with other herbs if you fancy, or anything else you think would make it taste delicious! Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when you tap it underneath. Leave to cool on a wire rack, out of the tin before slicing and serving.
Thank you for popping by my blog and I hope you enjoyed reading the recipes for my favourite bread recipes! Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram if you bake them yourself @englishsingingbaker #esbbakes. I’d love to know your favourite bread recipes as I am always looking for new inspiration – leave me a comment below!
See you next time for another tuneful post, but in the meantime,
English Singing Baker x