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Rosemary Focaccia

On Saturday we went to a rain-drenched Oxford and had lunch at the highly recommended Branca Restaurant. Before tucking into fried calamari with lemon and chilli dressing followed by a big fat skate wing with scallops and mash, I soaked up the house red by nibbling away at some fine rosemary focaccia. So fine in fact, that I had to …

L2B Energy Bar

There’s nothing finer than getting up at 05:00 on a Sunday morning, amassing on Clapham Common with 27,000 other Lycra-clad humans, and pedalling off on a six-hour ride to Brighton. To help us reach our destination we packed the traditional sausage and Branston sandwiches, a bunch of bananas, 2 gallons of Lucozade and, for the first time this year, these …

‘Fancy’ Rolls

I knocked up these whimsical little critters one Sunday morning partly because I was in the market for a bread product less brown and worthy than the usual, and partly because it was an effective way of delaying various foreboding DIY chores. Four of the five fancy shapes are illustrated below. The fifth, a curly knot construction, resembled something a …

Traditional Fermented Bread

Now it seems it’s no longer middle class enough to simply bake your own bread. To be a fully paid-up member of the bourgeoisie takes more time. We have to allow our dough to slowly ferment overnight to encourage friendly bacteria which will protect our delicate constitutions from bloated, irritable bowels and leaky gut-type conditions. On a less intestinal note, …

Couronne

According to Babel Fish couronne is French for crown, and according to the title this loaf is meant to be couronne-shaped. But it was snowing, I got over excited, couldn’t concentrate, and failed to read the recipe properly. As a result I missed out one small, but essential, step and by way of punishment the gods ‘sealed up my hole’. …

Oatmeal Soda Bread

I’ll tell you what bugs me, people who travel to work in the morning drinking their tea/coffee from those aluminium thermos mugs. They’re designed for camping in the woods, not commuting from Forest Hill. Are we supposed to look on enviously and wonder at the cool, impulsive, incandescent lives led by these urbane creatures? Probably. I know I certainly do. …

Cider Vinegar Muffins

If you came here in search of an American-style muffin to accompany your tall caramel macchiato, then you’ll be disappointed. They’re not muffins, they’re cakes. If however you are in search of an English muffin which is light and yeasty and perfect for toasting and smothering in butter, then you’re in luck. A word of warning though, this recipe is …

Soda Bread

As well as being very tasty, Soda Bread is also great when you need a loaf in a hurry or can’t be arsed with all that kneading and proving. Unfortunately on such occasions you’re unlikely to have soured cream (a major ingredient) and a desperate trip to your local urban Costcutter is guaranteed to prove fruitless. Luckily for you this …

Cheddar & Parmesan Biscuits

It must be Christmas soon. Walk past any eatery at lunchtime and you’ll witness the depressing sight of work colleagues sitting around tables self-consciously wearing party hats…having fun. Not having to suffer this annual humiliation is one of the benefits of being freelance. Speaking of Christmas, this year I’ve decided to make, or rather bake, many of my presents. These …

Stollen

Every December Dresden holds its annual Stollen Festival. It is a celebration of all things Stollen and involves among other things, electing the Dresden Stollen Maiden (Dresdner Stollenmädchen) and baking the world’s largest Stollen in accordance with the standards laid down by the Stollenschutzverband. This is a recipe for a stollen of more modest proportions although you can multiply the …