Overnight Saision Baguettes

 Prep Time : 5 + 30 Minutes | Cook Time : 20 Minutes | Total Time : Overnight | Difficulty : Bread

Hello my lovelies! We are just gonna jump in at the deep end. I couldn’t wait to share this with you. It’s so fabulous. And I know you can make a baguette even if it seems out of reach. Have faith. We are using some rye flour to give these baguettes flavour. We are also using special yeast. One of my experiments of the last little while has been using different strains of brewing yeast to see if it makes a difference. Well it does. It makes a delicious difference. For this recipe we are using Saison. A yeast for making fruit-forward french style beers. Totally appropriate. Any shop that sells supplies for home brewing will have small packets of different yeasts, usually in a chiller. It is a bit more expensive than regular baking yeast but we only need a teeny amount. That 1/4 teaspoon packs a big flavour punch though. If you can’t get your hands on it you can use the same amount of regular yeast and your baguettes will still be amazing. They’ll just have less hipster street cred. There’s five minutes work before bed then the active and passive time is spread over about 3 hours in the morning. There are a lot of pictures below but they’re there to help. Let’s jump in – it’s easier than you think!

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Five Seed Wholemeal Sandwich Bread

 Prep Time : 20 + 10 Minutes | Cook Time : 40 Minutes | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : Bread

Hello my lovelies! It’s important to have a plan for your leftovers. Even if that plan is just to make sandwiches. This flavourful bread is packed with seeds and makes the best sandwiches! Make it on Boxing Day morning or make it ahead of time and pop it in the freezer already sliced. Then pile it up with ham and pickles and cheese and leftover salad and all the good things. Heck keep making this bread during the year for school lunches. Nice things aren’t just for Christmas. This dough comes together quickly and easily with a bit of squelchy fun adding some butter. Butter makes everything better. It makes the crumb soft and pillowy. We are using a bit less than half wholemeal flour in this loaf to keep a soft texture while still getting a good amount of wholemeal goodness. The dough will feel a bit stiff and you’ll need to put some muscle into the kneading but it will get easier when you add the butter.

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Nan-E Babari

 Prep Time : 20 + 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 20 Minutes | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : Bread

Hello my lovelies! We need options. Snack options. Bread options. This flatbread has an amazing crust that uses a special trick. And it looks striking and fabulous. Perfect for the holidays. It’s delicious and provides the perfect opportunity for a humble-brag… Shut down the snarks with your prowess and knowledge. And make the perfect accompaniment to a meal. All in one go. Efficiency is key at this time of year. If you’re hosting make a couple of these a few days ahead and refresh them in a hot oven for 10 minutes when they’re thawed. Or turn up at Christmas lunch with a warm fabulous contribution that smells like heaven. The key to the fabulous colour and chewy crust is a roux-like paste called roomal that is spread onto the dough before baking. It will change your life. To make this dough easier to handle and bake at home and still get great results I have reduced the amount of water from the original recipe. Feel free to experiment with adding more water if you are a confident bread baker. To make more loaves just scale up. A little bit of math never hurt anyone…

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Not your Grandmother’s Stollen

 Prep Time : 30 + 20 Minutes | Cook Time : 20 Minutes | Total Time : 4 hours | Difficulty : Fiddly

Hello my lovelies! Bringing the Christmas action today. And putting my twist on it. Natch. We are taking the flavours of a german holiday favourite and making our own thing. Who doesn’t love a cut bun to have for themselves? I recommend making your own marzipan. It’s much cheaper and you can make a big batch to use for your Christmas cakes as well. We’re making fluffy buttery fruit filled rolls snuggled round a marzipan centre. All of the Christmas is in there. Including rum. These buns are an amazing late night snack. And equally delicious on the Christmas breakfast table. This is a sticky enriched dough with butter and eggs and good things. It will feel like it won’t come together but it will. It will take a bit of time to do the first rise. There is a lot of fruit and other things that will slow the yeast down so be patient.

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Parmesan + Seed Breadsticks

 Prep Time : 15+ 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 10 Minutes | Total Time : 2 hours | Difficulty : Easy

Hello my lovelies! Entertaining season is upon us. We need snacks and things we can stash in the freezer to keep guests happy nibbling. These bread sticks are both. Chewy, moreish snacks that are easy to walk around with, dip in things and generally enjoy. The bit of twisting gives them a little pizzaz. We all need more of that. Especially at the holidays. Make a stack of these when you have time and pop them in the freezer. Thaw them in a 200C oven for 10 minutes for that fresh baked aroma and texture. Make some hummus or roasted carrot dip to go alongside. Super sorted.

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Pane di Mais – Polenta Bread

 Prep Time : 30 + 30 Minutes | Cook Time : 25 Minutes | Total Time : 5 hours | Difficulty : Bread

Hello my lovelies! This is a bit of a deep dive bread. An old recipe from Italy that I found while playing with traditional bread recipes. It is absolutely delicious and holds a lovely soft texture for days. It might seem like a bit of mucking around making the polenta first. But totally worth it. Modern fine polenta cooks pretty fast so it’s not a major drama. There are points where it might seem like there is not enough water but go with it. The dough ends up soft and pliable once everything is brought together and kneaded. Set aside a bit of time for this – it has three rises. If your house is warm the time will fly by. Impress your family and friends with it at Christmas. Use your leftover polenta to make polenta chips. Or just toss some parmesan and cream on top and eat it as a snack while you’re waiting for the ferment to rise…

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Pan de Muerto

 Prep Time : 45 Minutes | Cook Time : 35 Minutes | Total Time : 5 hours | Difficulty : Bread

Hello my lovelies! I love Dia de Los Muertos. I find the aesthetic of it beautiful and interesting. The meaning of it is sweet and joyous. And I love the flavours of all things Mexican. So it was odd that I have never made Pan de Muerto before. Since it is my life’s work to make (and eat) all the breads in existence it’s time to correct this oversight. I took my cues from Fany Gerson and her fabulous book My Sweet Mexico. I pared down the recipe to make it more manageable at home. Pan de Muerto is a sweet enriched bread with a lot of eggs and butter. Brioche style. It’s flavoured with orange and orange blossom and decorated with bones fashioned from the dough. Pan de Muerto is made to honour those who are no longer with us. What a delicious way to remember them. This is best made using a mixer with a dough hook as the dough is very soft and sticky. Orange blossom can be seem very overwhelming but trust me (and Fany) it is balanced by the orange zest and is much milder once baked. The final bread is buttery and soft with the perfect note of fruit and floral. Utterly delicious. You will need about 30 minutes to get all the initial bits done before the dough is left to rise.

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