My Pinterest stream is always full of food photos – predominately cake, fudge, biscuits and bread. One in particular caught my eye last week… a beetroot loaf. The colour is amazing and I love beetroot anyway.
I had a search through many of my cook books and finally found a beetroot loaf recipe in Bread. The recipe is designed for electric bread-makers (there’s a whole section of bread-maker recipes in the book if that’s your preferred way of making bread!) but it’s fine to use if you’re making it by hand.
Just mix the yeast and sugar in the water using a small measuring jug or cup, combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl making a well in the centre, pour in the yeast mixture and bring together roughly. Chuck in the beetroot, spring onions and butter (I omitted the last two ingredients) then knead well for about 10 minutes. Cover the mixing bowl in cling film (or put it inside a big clear [reusable] plastic bag like I do). Allow it to rise in a warm place until doubled in size. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl, punch down and put it into a loaf tin or well-floured banneton. Allow to double in size again before (transferring from the banneton to a greased oven tray) baking in a preheated oven at 220ºC/425ºF/Gas mark 7 for 30-40 minutes or until it sounds hollow when knocked on the base.
It was beautiful and absolutely delicious! Slightly sweet with a slightly earthy flavour. I had it with goats cheese and horseradish and Justin had the same in addition to a char-grilled sirloin steak.
- 150ml/5fl oz/⅔ cup water
- 140g/5oz/1 cup grated raw beetroot
- 2 spring onions, chopped
- 375g/13oz/3¼ cups unbleached white bread flour
- 15g/½oz/1tbsp butter
- 1½tsp salt
- 1tsp granulated sugar
- 1tsp easy-blend (rapid-rise) dried yeast
- 170ml/6fl oz/¾ cup water
- 225g/8oz/1½ cup grated raw beetroot
- 3 spring onions, chopped
- 500g/1lb 2oz/4½ cups unbleached white bread flour
- 25g/1oz/2tbsp butter
- 2tsp salt
- 1tsp granulated sugar
- 1tsp easy-blend (rapid-rise) dried yeast
- 280ml/1ofl oz/1¼ cup water
- 280g/10oz/2 cups grated raw beetroot
- 4 spring onions, chopped
- 675g/1 ½lbs/6 cups unbleached white bread flour
- 40g/1½oz/3tbsp butter
- 2tsp salt
- 1½tsp granulated sugar
- 1½tsp easy-blend (rapid-rise) dried yeast
- Pour the water into the bread pan. Sprinkle over the grated beetroot. If the instructions for your machine specify that the yeast is to be placed in the pan first, reverse the order in which you add the liquid mixture and dry ingredients
- Add the chopped spring onions. However, if your bread machine offers you the option of adding any extra ingredients during the kneading cycle, set the spring onions aside so that you may add them later on
- Sprinkle the flour over the beetroot and water, ensuring it covers them both. Add the butter, salt and sugar in separate corners. Make a small indent in the centre of the flour (but not down as far as the liquid) and add the yeast
- Set the bread machine to the basic/normal setting, medium crust. Press start. If you like, slash the top of the loaf with diagonal slashes just before the baking cycle starts
- Remove at the end of the baking cycle and turn out on to a wire rack
- If you prefer an all-over red loaf rather than speckled, purée the raw beetroot in a mini-food processor instead of grating it
I’ve decided to make a walnut and sultana loaf this week by tweaking a basic white bread recipe that I regularly use. I didn’t have enough white flour in store so I substituted a quarter with wholemeal. It was a good decision as it added to the nuttiness of the finished loaf.
Sliced or torn pieces of this bread will go amazingly well with a mild, creamy blue cheese such as Dolcelatte, Saint Agur or Roquefort.
Another good option would be a couple of dipping bowls of good quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Once the loaf’s a couple of days old, have it toasted and spread with butter and honey.
- 7g/¼oz fast action yeast
- 1tsp sugar
- 300ml/10½fl oz warm water
- 500g/18oz strong bread flour
- 1tsp salt
- 50g/1¾oz chopped walnuts
- 50g/1¾oz sultanas
- In a measuring jug, stir the yeast and sugar into the warm water. Leave for 10 minutes for the yeast to begin working
- In a large mixing bowl add the flour. Make a well in the centre
- Add the liquid and knead until a smooth ball of dough is formed (I used my Kenwood mixer with dough hook attachment on a low speed for about 10 minutes, but you can do it by hand on a floured work surface for about 20 minutes)
- Cover the mixing bowl with cling film or put it into a large, clear plastic bag and leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size.
- Add the salt, chopped walnuts and sultanas and knead lightly until the fruit & nuts are evenly distributed through the dough
- Place in a greased loaf tin (or in a well-floured banneton like I did) and re-cover and allow to prove again until doubled in size
- Preheat the oven to 260ºC/500ºF/Gas mark 10, put an empty roasting dish on the bottom shelf of the oven and fill a cup with cold water and set aside
- Once the loaf has risen, if using a banneton, grease a baking sheet and gently decant the loaf on to it, trying not to knock any air out of it
- Quickly & carefully pour the cup of water into the roasting dish before putting the loaf into the oven
- After 10 minutes, turn the oven down to 200ºC/ 400ºF/Gas mark 6
- Bake for a further 20-25 minutes before taking it out of the oven
- Leave to cool on a wire rack for at least half an hour before use
I’ve been seeing recipes for panipopo sweeping by on my Pinterest feed for quite a while. I’ve never really stopped & clicked because I thought that the sweetened coconut bread would be too wet and sickly.
How wrong I was! I’m glad I read some of the comments remarking on how delicious it is and how ex-pat islanders hanker after it when they’re away from home.
Panipopo (or pani-popo or pani popo) is a Polynesian bread originating from Samoa or Hawaii – depending on who you believe.
I thought that all that liquid would make for a soggy bread, but most of it is absorbed by the dough in cooking. The liquid that is left turns into a thick, unctuous, syrupy sauce. We weren’t sure what to eat it with – I chose to have it as it comes, dunking it in more of the sauce that I’d reserved. Justin went all adventurous and had his with a little bit of Cambozola… he reckons it’s a winner.
Here’s the recipe – why don’t you have a go? Let us know what you think!
- 2 medium-sized red or brown onions, finely sliced
- knob of butter
- pinch of salt
- 450g/1lb sourdough starter (100% hydration)
- 175ml/6⅛fl oz water
- 450g/1lb strong white flour
- 7g/¼ salt
- On a medium heat, cook off the onions in the knob of butter adding a pinch of salt. Allow to brown before setting aside to cool
- Mix together the starter, water and salt
- Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the starter mixture
- Combine until everything is thoroughly mixed together and the dough begins to feel smooth
- Cover the mixing bowl and allow to sit for about an hour
- Fold the dough 8 times (8 single folds)
- Re-cover the mixing bowl and allow to sit for about 12 hours at room temperature or until the volume of dough doubles
- Turn out the dough out on to a lightly-floured work surface and stretch it out into a rectangle
- Spread the cooled caramelised onion mixture evenly on to the rectangle of dough
- With the short side facing you, fold the dough on to itself in four, equal lengths ensuring that the mixture runs throughout the dough
- Shape the filled dough into your preferred loaf shape (boule, batard, etc.) trying not to have any of the onion mixture poking through the top
- Place it into a well-floured (rice flour is preferred) proofing basket/banneton; cover and allow it to sit at room temperature for an hour or until doubled in size
- Preheat the oven to 260ºC/500ºF
- Once the dough is fully risen and the oven pre-heated, gently transfer the dough from the proofing basket to the baking tray, score the top of the loaf and bake at 260ºC/500ºF/Gas mark 10 for 10 minutes
- Turn the oven temperature down to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas mark 6 and bake for another 30 minutes
- Remove the loaf from the oven and put it on a wire rack to cool for at least an hour before slicing
A couple of weeks ago, I bought a small jar of black onion seeds with the plan of using it in and sprinkled on a home-made loaf of onion bread. Little did I know that onion seeds aren’t actually… onion seeds! I tasted a pinch expecting a blast of onion flavour, it had a slight onion/black pepper/earthy taste, not altogether unpleasant though.
When I looked it up, black onion seeds are actually nigella seeds; they’re also commonly known as black cumin or kalonji. Love in a Mist, which grows on our allotment, is a very close relation. I wonder whether it’s seeds are also edible.
Anyhow, since my onion loaf idea was scuppered (at least for the time being) I looked into what I could make using my black onion seeds. That’s when I came across daktyla, a Greek/Cypriot/Turkish rustic bread.
The seeds are mixed with sesame seeds both in and atop a sort of tear-and-share loaf made up of rows of dough. Δάχτυλα, (daktyla in Greek) means ‘fingers’.
I just happened to have a large bag of black sesame seeds that I bought in a Chinese supermarket, so I already had all the necessary ingredients in stock.
There was quite a lot of proofing time involved – an hour for the sponge, 90 minutes for the first proof, another 90 for the second – but it meant that I could get on and do other things in between time.
It was delicious with baba ganoush and salad. I imagine it would go down well with hummus, feta and Anari cheeses, olives and cured meats.
- 4 eggs, separated
- 125g/4¼oz caster sugar + 2 tbsp extra for sprinkling
- ½tsp vanilla extract
- 50g/1¾oz butter, melted
- 130g/4½oz cake flour
- ¼tsp fine salt
- Almost a full jar of jam or soft-set jelly
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4
- Grease and line the bottom and sides of a Swiss roll tin or large baking tray with parchment paper
- Sift the flour(s) and salt into a mixing bowl from a height to incorporate air
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the caster sugar, vanilla extract and the egg yolks until the mixture is pale, airy and shiny
- Whisk in the melted butter
- Fold the flour carefully into this mixture, trying not to beat too much air out of the mixture. Set aside
- In another mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks (use a stand mixer/electric whisk for ease and speed)
- Gently fold the whites into the mixture in three stages
- Pour the mixture into the lined tin and tilt from side to side to cover evenly
- Gently bang the tin on to the workspace a couple of times to get rid of any air bubbles
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown and springs back when pressed with a finger
- Spread a clean, damp tea towel on a work surface
- Cut a piece of greaseproof a little larger than the tin, lay it on the tea towel and sprinkle over the extra caster sugar
- Loosen the sponge around the edges and then invert on to the paper with one of the short sides facing you
- Trim the 4 edges using a bread knife to neaten
- Gently score a straight line from end to end around 1cm from the edge closest to you
- Whilst still warm, roll the sponge up as tightly as possible, rolling the paper in with it using the damp tea towel as an aid. Leave rolled up tightly until cooled
- Unwrap, flatten gently and spread with jam. Roll back up without the paper
- Slice to serve (with whipped cream and fresh summer berries)
I’ve made a few different types of flatbread in the past, but this one is by far the quickest and easiest to date – probably the best tasting too!
Being a flatbread, there’s no added yeast – so no long proofing times; there’s also no heavy kneading.
You can make the dough in advance and then fry off when required. You could even roll out each flatbread, layer between parchment paper, wrap in cling film and freeze for up to 6 months.
It’s so flexible when it comes to serving suggestions, we don’t know where to start. You can have it with a selection of dips or fill with salads, roast vegetables, kebabs etc. They’d be great served alongside Indian, Mediterranean or Middle Eastern cuisine – they’re so versatile
For today’s first outing I tried it with a delicious smoked humous and Justin plumped for a spicy Moroccan chicken affair. We both really fancy it with babaganoush – so it just might be on the menu again tomorrow!
- 1.4kg/3lbs vegetables (I used 800g cauliflower, 300g courgettes, 160g onions, 125g fine beans, 15g red chillies)
- 2l/3½pts water
- 200g/7oz salt
- 1l/1¾pt distilled white vinegar or malt vinegar for pickling
- 140g/5oz Demerara sugar
- 1tbsp mustard seeds
- 1tbsp mustard powder
- 2tsp turmeric
- 1tsp ground ginger
- 1tsp mixed spice
- 1tbsp plain flour
- Dissolve the salt into the water
- Into a large mixing bowl, cut all the vegetables into even sized pieces
- Pour the salted water (brine) over the vegetables making sure they're all submerged. Weigh them down with a plate and cover the bowl over with a tea towel. Leave to stand for 24 hours
- Drain and put the vegetables into a large pan with the vinegar, sugar and spices. Simmer for 10-20 minutes depending on how soft or crunchy you like your veg
- Using a slotted spoon or ladle, decant the vegetables into hot, sterilised jars (I needed 5 mayonnaise-sized jars)
- Mix the flour into the spiced vinegar and boil for 1 minute before pouring into the jars of vegetables
- Seal the lids tightly on to the jars
- Store in a cool, dry cupboard for at least 3 months before using
Dan Lepard is probably my favourite bread & pastry baker. I’ve cut out and kept some of his recipes that were published in his long-running (now sadly ended) column in the Guardian Weekend Magazine. Luckily, they’re all still available in the Guardian’s online archive.
I’ve had his tasty cornmeal baps recipe bookmarked for a few weeks, planning to give them a go. Instead of baps,I decided to turn them into a cornmeal loaf instead.
The recipe makes two, 500g/1lb loaves. I found the dough a little on the wet side and the cooked loaf a bit too sweet so I’ve ever so slightly tweaked the recipe below. Saying that, this is one of the best loaves I’ve ever baked.
It has a great, slightly springy crumb and crisp crust.
Lepard recommends pairing it with fried chicken – building your own (probably far superior) McChicken Sandwich or KFC Fillet Burger. Justin also likes the idea of slicing it for a smoked bacon sandwich.
What would you pair it with?
- 250g/9oz crème fraîche
- 250g/9oz mascarpone
- 1 vanilla pod
- 800g/28oz mixture of red berries (I used strawberries, raspberries and redcurrants)
- 50ml/1 ¾ fl oz grenadine syrup
- sprig of mint to garnish
- Place a sieve or small colander over a mixing bowl and line it with a piece of muslin (I used a jelly bag)
- Spoon the crème fraîche and fromage frais into a mixing bowl
- Split the vanilla pod in half lengthways with a sharp knife, open it flat and scrape out the dark, sticky seeds. Fold the seeds through the crème fraîche/fromage frais mixture and spoon it into the muslin-lined sieve
- Cover the sieve/colander and its under-bowl with cling film (Saran wrap) and leave in the fridge overnight, during which time the vanilla cream will thicken to cheesecake-like texture
- Hull & slice the berries (not redcurrants if using), put them into a mixing bowl, pour over the grenadine syrup. Mix gently to cover all the fruit with the liquid, cover with cling film and refrigerate for about an hour
- Upturn the sieve/colander on to a plate and allow the muslin and cream to slide out
- Carefully peel away the muslin
- Spoon the marinated red berries and liquid around the vanilla cream
- Drizzle an extra capful or two of grenadine syrup over the top of the vanilla cream