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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Yoghurt + Olive Oil Flatbreads

 Prep Time : 15 + 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 8 Minutes | Total Time : 2 hours | Difficulty : Easy

Hello my lovelies! This recipe is one of those gems that comes about by accident. I had a friend coming for dinner and needed a flatbread. So I winged it. And it was awesome. An aligning of planets. I didn’t write it down at the time though. The next day I jotted down everything I could remember. I’m glad I did and you will be too. This is an easy yeast bread. I left the difficulty as easy on purpose. You need to be a bit gentle at the end but otherwise it’s all just magic. Flavour these how you like. I love chopped tarragon and parsley in the dough. Cracked pepper, sesame seeds, za’atar, whatever takes your fancy. Brush the hot breads with oil infused with garlic. Butter mixed with wholegrain mustard. Sprinkle with more herbs or flaky sea salt. You will need the heaviest baking sheet, pizza stone or griddle you have. My absolute recommendation is one of this kind of cast iron griddle with the grill on one side and a flat surface on the other. I use it for all sorts of breads and to bake pizza on. It gives the best results of everything I’ve tried. These flatbreads only need one rise so they’re quicker than you think. Serve them as part of a meal or as a appetizer with a dip or two. They’re also a great snack on their own.

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Beer + Cheese Pull-apart Loaf

 Prep Time : 20 + 10 Minutes | Cook Time : 30 Minutes | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : Bread

Hello my lovelies! As promised my bread-fatigue doesn’t last long. Today we’re making a delicious savoury snacking bread. Perfect for sunny afternoons on the deck. Or cool evenings tucked up inside. Crack one of your favourite beers into this dough and pop the rest on ice for when the baking is done. And cheese goes on everything. We’re adding a little bit of wholegrain mustard to the cheese for interest and bite. Cramming it all into a pan to bake until golden on the outside and gooey on the inside. There’s something for everyone. Chewy edges and toasted cheese. Soft middle bits. No snack preference left behind.

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Toasted Sesame Baby Bao

 Prep Time : 20 + 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 8 Minutes | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : Bread

Hello my lovelies! We are mixing up our bread efforts today. Making fluffy delicious bao. Steaming rather than baking. You can get a bamboo steamer for hardly any money at any asian supermarket. Mine has two layers and a lid and cost around $12. These bao are soft and fluffy with a hint of nuttiness from the sesame seeds. It balances perfectly with the sweetness of the dough. You can shape these in the traditional bao ‘foldover’ style or just make neat round buns to slice and fill. They will look small when they have proved but they puff up even more as they steam. Use them where you would normally use a small roll or even to make a warm sandwich. The are also addictive on their own to be honest. Be careful if you have gas burners that the flames don’t curl around the bottom of the pot. Hijinks will ensue.

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Overnight Sesame Bagels

 Prep Time : 10 + 15 + 20 Minutes | Cook Time : 5 + 20 Minutes | Total Time : 4 hours | Difficulty : Bread

Hello my lovelies! Who doesn’t love a good chewy bagel? Today we’re making perfect homemade bagels from simple ingredients. Adorned with seeds. Ready for your favourite toppings. This is a bit more complex than our previous bread recipes. It has an overnight step to improve flavour. And there is the bagel shaping and boiling to contend with as well. None of the steps are hard. There are just a few more of them. You’ve totally got this. The dough is quite stiff so I found it easier to work by hand than in a mixer. Hands are good for everything. Nature wants you to use them. Do the first step before you go to bed and you’ll be all ready to get your bagel on the next day. The 4 hours of time is all the active time plus proving and resting. Not the overnight part. I hope you’re all sleeping more than 4 hours a night! Bagels freeze really well so double the recipe and pop them in a zip lock bag in the freezer to pull out whenever you need a fix. Don’t forget to toast them if you’re into that sort of thing. Which we are.

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