Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Afghan Bread

Afghan bread or Nan-i-Afghani is the national bread of Afghanistan. It is a flatbread and can be oval or rectangular. It is baked in a tandoor, the primary cooking equipment of the sub-continent region. The Afghan tandoor sits above ground and is round and made of bricks, which are heated to cook the bread. Afghan bread, also known as "nan breads", are shaped, then stuck onto the sides of the oven to bake. Often black cumin seeds or caraway seeds are sprinkled on Afghan bread for decoration as much as taste, and lines are made in the dough lengthwise to add texture to the bread. Afghan bread is similar to pita or Lebanese bread.

Afghan bread is commonly stocked at Middle Eastern grocery stores in western countries. In Afghanistan the baker still cooks the bread the traditional way by spreading the dough around the tandoor, whereby it gets puffy quickly and starts to colour and emit a fresh bread smell that draws the early morning throngs of people. The baker then uses two long iron tongs to pull the bread from the tandoor wall. It is carried in cloth bags by Afghans, unlike western breads packaged in plastic.

Afghans serve bread with most meals; it is used as an equivalent to a fork to envelop foods and soak up liquids on the plate. Generally the bread is torn into shreds and used to pinch the foods, similar to a sandwich. The bread acts as both fork and spoon, as Afghan often use their hands to eat. The bread has no firm crust and tastes similar to Indian naan bread. It has a dense and rich taste.


makes 8 Afghan breads

* 1½ cups plus 1 tablespoon of water (divided)
* 1 7 grams dry yeast
* 1 tablespoon of sugar
* 4 cups of flour
* 1 tablespoon of salt
* ¼ cup of corn oil
* 1 egg yolk


1. Mix ½ cup water, yeast, and sugar. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
2. Place flour in a mixing bowl and sprinkle in the salt. Make a well, then add oil and yeast mixture. Stir in and add small amounts of water until it forms a soft dough that can be moulded. Knead for 5 mins. Cover with paper and let rise for 1½ hours.
3. Mix together the egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of water, and set aside.
4. Divide dough into eight parts and roll each into a ball. Roll each bread into an oval shape 20cms long 5cms thick.
5. Make lines in top of dough. Brush on egg mix and sprinkle with black cumin seeds.
6. Bake in a preheated 350°F (175°C) oven for 25 mins.

Total cooking time is around 2½ hours.

Potato Bread

Irish Potato bread, also known as fadge, slims, potato cake or potato farls, is a form of unleavened bread in which potato replaces a major portion of the regular wheat flour. It is usually cooked by baking it on a hot griddle or pan. It can be served with an Irish breakfast and in Northern Ireland, where it is colloquially known as 'Tatie Bread', it can form part of the Ulster fry. In Scotland potato bread is colloquially known as Totty Scone or Tattie Scone.

This bread started out in the late nineteenth century as a means of making use of mashed potato leftovers, the potato being a staple part of the Irish diet.


* 225 g (8 oz) warm cooked potato, mashed
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 25 g (1 oz) butter, melted
* 50 g (2 oz) plain flour


1. Add salt and butter, then work in enough flour to make a pliable dough. Divide the dough in two and roll out on a floured surface to form two circles 22 cm (9 in) in diameter and 5 mm (1/4 in) in thickness.
2. Cut each circle into quarters and bake on a hot griddle or pan for about 5 minutes or until browned on both sides.

(Recipe from Ireland's Eye)

Notes, tips, and variations

* Some people like to grease the baking surface, while others prefer a light dusting of flour for a drier effect.
* Commercial recipes tend to use potato flour/flakes instead of mashed potato and have little to no fat. They are traditionally sold as thin rectangular slices in packs of four.
* Potato bread is usually sold in its original form, but there are some rare variations:
1. Pratie Oaten, with fine oatmeal instead of flour in the recipe above for more texture.
2. Apple Potato bread, a specialty of Armagh, which is famous for growing apples. Potato bread wrapped, pasty-like, around a sweet filling of apples.

How to eat potato bread

Popular ways to eat potato bread:

* Fried as part of the traditional fried breakfast, the Ulster Fry, which includes other breads that have been fried, such as Irish Soda Bread.
* Toasted and smothered with butter, and perhaps also cheese.
* With baked beans or eggs as a children's meal.

Hard Tack

Hard tack is a cracker/biscuit flat-bread used during long sea voyages and military campaigns before the introduction of canning as a primary food-source. Mostly inedible for dry and hard preservation, it was usually dunked in water, brine, coffee, or other liquids, or cooked into a skillet meal. This cracker was little more than flour and water which had been baked hard and would keep for months as long as it was kept dry. Also known as a sea biscuit, sea bread, or ship's biscuits.


* 2 cups of flour
* ½ to ¾ cup water
* 6 pinches of salt
* 1 tablespoon of shortening (optional/not traditional)


1. Mix all the ingredients into a dough and press onto a cookie sheet to a thickness of ½ inch.
2. Bake in a preheated oven at 400°F (205°C) for half an hour.
3. Remove from oven, cut dough into 3-inch squares, and punch four rows of holes, four holes per row into the dough (a fork works nicely).
4. Flip the crackers and return to the oven for another half hour.

Notes, tips, and variations

* Some recipes also recommend a second baking at 250°F (120°C) to thoroughly dry out the bread.
* Scale ingredient quantities equally if more dough is required.

Chapati / Roti

The chapati is the staple flat bread of Northern India and Pakistan, also known as a roti. It can be made from many types of grain, but is most commonly made with finely ground whole wheat flour. Sometimes it is cooked in a little oil.


* 3 cups whole wheat flour
* salt to taste, about 1 teaspoon
* water as required (about 1 1/2 cups)


1. Knead flour and water, starting with only a slight dribble of water and adding more as you go until the dough becomes smooth but not too sticky.
2. Cover for at least 5 minutes.
3. Divide into balls and roll out into disks, slightly thicker than denim material; sprinkle with flour as you roll.
4. Place a non-oiled pan on a moderately high fire and test its surface temperature by holding your hand over it.
5. When very hot, put a chapati on the pan and press it flat with a spatula or dry cloth to make it rise up.
6. Flip and repeat so it becomes lightly browned on both sides.
7. Chapatis are often brushed with ghee (clarified butter) after being cooked.

Makes 8 chapatis.


Regional variations abound in the detail of preparing and cooking roti. In most Indian cooking, for example, the roti is finished by toasting it in the open flame of the cooker. The aim of this process is to encourage the roti to puff up. The hot air which builds inside because the water inside the roti begins to turn into steam and cooks the roti inside out. This may also be achieved under a grill, or by using a microwave (try 30 seconds on high power). Universally, however, the aim in rolling is to get the roti to a perfectly round shape (for aesthetics) and to create uniform thickness, which is vital for successful cooking.

It should also be noted that there are Caribbean specific variation of Roti one of which uses boiled, then ground Yellow Split Peas in its preparation.

Recommended Accompaniments

Chapatis are usually eaten with cooked dal (lentil soup) or vegetable dishes like Indian curry. Pieces of the chapati are used to wrap and lift bites of the other dishes.



Baati is a hard, unleavened bread cooked in desert areas of Rajasthan, Malwa, and Gujarat in North India. It is prized there for its exceptionally long life and high energy content, as well as the minimal quantity of water required in its preparation.


* 1 pound (450g) wheat flour
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 3 tablespoons oil
* 1 1/2 teaspoons ghee (for serving)


1. Mix the flour and salt.
2. Put about a cup of the mix in a small bowl and add a little oil, mixing it in well and breaking up any lumps.
3. Pour in water about a tablespoon at a time and keep kneading with your hands. You only need three or four tablespoons, but you must knead the dough very hard to make it stick together in a ball. The more compact the dough, the better and denser the baati will be.
4. Let the balls sit for 5 minutes.
5. Flatten out each ball with first your hands and then a rolling pin until they are smooth discs 4 inches (10cm) across and 1/2 (1.25cm) inch thick.
6. Cook in a dry metal pan on a low flame.
7. Flip once when the bottom begins to harden, then pinch all over with two fingers so the dough is not too thick and has a bumpy texture on one side.
8. Check the bottom until it browns in spots, then remove the baati and place it upside-down on a grate or pan with holes in it. This will blacken the top a little, especially on the tops of the pinched bumps.
9. To serve, drizzle liberally with ghee and accompany with a dhal or vegetable.

Makes 4-6 Baati

Notes, tips, and variations

* Variation: Sprinkle powdered sugar on after the ghee for a sweet snack.

Irish Brown Bread


* 10 oz - Plain white flour;
* 6 oz - Wholemeal flour;
* 1 3/4 lvl tsp - Bread soda;
* 2 heaped dessert spoons - Wheat germ;
* 1 lvl tsp - Salt;
* 7/8 pint - Buttermilk.


1. Grease and flour an 8 inch round baking tin.
2. Sift the white flour into a large mixing bowl.
3. Add the other dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

A simple tip: Sift the flour and baking soda five times through a sieve. This ensures even mixing of the ingredients and gives a better result.

1. Make a well in the centre of the bowl, pour in some of the buttermilk and, with a wooden spoon, gradually mix the flour into the buttermilk. Alternatively, make a volcano shape on a marble slab with the dry ingredients, add the buttermilk and mix with a knife.
2. Add more buttermilk and mix in more flour. Continue until the flour is completely absorbed into the mix. The mix should not be over saturated, but have a slightly stretchy look.

Handle it as little as possible. You can also ball it up into one or two balls, place them on a flat baking tray, and cut a cross in the top.

1. Turn the mix into the baking tin and place in a medium hot oven (180 degrees Centigrade, 350 degrees F) for 35 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown.
2. Leave to cool on a wire tray.

Irish Soda Bread


* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 tablespoon baking powder
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* ⅛ cup white sugar
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 egg, lightly beaten
* 2 cups buttermilk
* ¼ cup butter, melted


1. Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C).
2. Grease and flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
3. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
4. Blend egg and buttermilk together, and add all at once to the flour mixture.
5. Mix until just moistened. Too much mixing will make it tough.
6. Stir in butter; pour into prepared pan.
7. Bake for 65-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the bread comes out clean. The loaf should sound hollow if you tap the base.
8. Cool on a wire rack.
9. Wrap in tea-towel or foil several hours or overnight for best flavor.

Tips, Notes, and Variations

* May serve toasted and buttered.
* Soda bread rises as a result of acid being mixed with baking soda. The acid is commonly in the form of vinegar, lemon juice, or buttermilk. A tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar in one cup of milk can be substituted for each cup of buttermilk.
* For best results, bake it at 375°F (190°C), for about 50 minutes, on a preheated baking stone.


Conventional bread, containing live yeast, leavens (rises) as the micro-organisms make carbon dioxide gas as a by-product of their metabolism. Similarly, soda bread utilizes the reaction between baking soda and vinegar, or some other acid, to make the bread rise through the production of carbon dioxide. This recipe uses buttermilk, or optionally a combination of milk and vinegar, but other recipes use sour cream.

Pizza Crust


* 1 cup warm water (95-110 degrees F)
* 2 tablespoons dry yeast
* 2 tablespoon honey
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 3 ½ cups flour
* ¼ cup olive oil


1. In a mixing bowl, mix warm water, salt and honey. Start off with extra warm water so that it is still at the proper temperature for yeast.
2. With the honey and salt fully dissolved, stir in the yeast and set aside for 5 minutes.
3. Add 1 cup of flour and stir completely.
4. Keep adding flour until dough begins to form a ball and is not sticky.
5. Now knead dough thoroughly for a minute then cover bowl with lid.
6. Let rise 1 hour. Then punch dough down. Let dough rise again for 1 1/2 - 5 hours.
7. Preheat oven to 475°F (245°C) (add 20 minutes if using a pizza stone)
8. Shape or freeze (See below)
9. If using crust immediately, add desired toppings.
10. Bake 15-25 minutes.

Notes, tips and variations

* This recipe will produce two 16" pizza crusts
* Add crushed/pressed garlic to dough with first cup of flour.
* Substitute olive oil with sesame oil.
* If you're baking on a cookie sheet, sprinkle flour lightly on the sheet and pat dough to desired shape and size.
* If baking on a pizza stone, lightly flour a wooden pizza peel or paddle, and pat out dough on peel.
* At this point, the crust can be frozen for later use or used immediately. To freeze, place entire cookie sheet in the freezer. When it is frozen, remove crust from sheet, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and return to freezer. When ready to use, put toppings on frozen crust and bake as directed.

Beer Bread


* 3 cups flour
* 2 teaspoon salt
* 12 ounces beer, warm is better
* 3¾ teaspoons baking powder
* 1 to 4 Tablespoons honey (amount depends on your desire for sweetness)
* Oil to line bread pan


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Grease a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan
3. Mix flour, salt, and baking powder and stir together well.
4. Combine dry ingredients with beer and honey.
5. Stir together until well mixed.
6. Add more flour if necessary to make a good consistency.
7. Spread batter in prepared pan.
8. Bake 40-45 minutes or until browned and a toothpick comes out of the center clean.
9. Serve warm.

Tips, Notes and Variations

* Beer with live yeast (bottle-conditioned) and carbonation will make the best rise.
* This bread can have a very hard crust making it somewhat difficult to slice. One thing that works well is to begin by dividing the loaf lengthwise, then turning each half loaf onto the newly formed flat side and cutting neat smaller (half-sized) slices.
* Darker beers, such as Porter and Stout, will produce darker breads. Subsequently, lighter beers, such as Pilsner and Lager, will produce lighter breads.

Yoghurt Bread


* 125 g (½ cup) yoghurt
* 125 g (½ cup) water
* 2 tsp. honey
* 250 g (1 cup) flour


1. Wash a glass jar with water and leave it wet. Sterilize by microwaving it for 4 minutes.
2. Mix the water, yoghurt and honey in the jar, screw on the cap loosely and let stand for 3 or 4 days until bubbly.
3. Add the flour and mix well.
4. Stand until double in volume. Then proceed from The next morning: in Recipe:Pain au levain naturel


Rye Bread

A type of bread common to Northern Europe in many varieties, but almost unknown in the south. This version is a typical Danish example. In Denmark, most people eat this type of bread several times a week.


* 1500g rye flour
* 1000g cracked rye seeds
* 5 tablespoons salt
* about 2L water
* 300mL sour dough

This recipe produces 3 loaves of rye bread. They can keep about a week in a plastic bag. Do not refrigerate.


Mix the salt with the rye flour in a big bowl. Add 1.8L of water and mix it. Mix in the sour dough. The result should be wet enough to flow very slowly. Cover it with a cloth and let it rise for at 12-30 hours as convenient. Then add the cracked rye seeds. If the resulting dough feels dry, add a bit of water. The result should be just dry enough to retain an approximate shape, but no drier. Take out 300mL of dough for the next bread. Butter 3 bread forms and put the dough into it, forcing it into all corners with a spoon. Then using a fork, make deep holes as close as you can all over the bread. Let it rise for 5-10 hours, and then bake it for about 90 minutes at about 180C. Let the bread cool for 15 minutes, and then tip them out to cool further on a table. Note that the bread is very difficult to cut for 2 hours or so after baking.


Sourdough Starter

Sourdough is generally considered wild yeast, though it is actually a mixture of yeast and lacto-bacteria that together form the flavor of sourdough. The yeast however is the leavening, and thus more important for cooking.

The flavor and nature of a given sourdough depends strongly on the location. The famous San Francisco sourdough grows only in (and near) the city of San Francisco; if taken elsewhere the local yeasts and bacteria will soon grow, and in a few months it will no longer be San Francisco sourdough, but sourdough of the new location. For this reason, sourdough fans often trade batches with locals every few months, to get a flavor or yeast action that cannot be had locally.

Because each local variation is different, rising times and flavors are different. Thus some, though not all, batches can take up to a full day to rise. This will also affect the flavor.

Cooking with sourdough must be planned days or even weeks in advance to ensure sufficient starter is on hand. Bread can take 3 days between starting and baking, not counting time to prepare the starter.

Obtaining starter

Sourdough starter is alive. Thus the easiest way to get starter is find someone with it, and borrow a small amount and increase it. If you wish to have a starter other than whatever is local, this is the only way to get it.

Making your own starter

If you cannot find a source of starter it is easy to make your own. Here is how it is done:


* unbleached (wholegrain works best) flour
* non-chlorinated water

Bleached flour or tap water can be used, but these may give undesirable results. Chlorine in tap water can kill the wild yeast that you wish to grow. Bleached flour has most of the yeasts killed.


Combine 1/2 tablespoon of flour with 3 tablespoons of water and let sit overnight at room temperature. Each day add 1 tablespoon of water and one tablespoon flour and mix until the total volume is about 1 cup (240ml). The symbiotic combination of yeasts and lactobacilli can be encouraged to reproduce more easily by controlling the pH (acidity) of the mixture using pineapple juice instead of water for the first three days and maintaining a temperature of 75 degrees F. Make sure that you have a working starter by observing whether the dough bubbles and rises. If not, then leave exposed to the air and test again. Thereafter, dump out ½ cup (120ml), and mix in ½ cup (120ml) water and ½ cup (120ml) flour. Starter will be ready in 1 or 2 weeks, though the longer the better. There is a noticeable difference between a 1-week and a 1-month starter, and some can tell a difference between 1 month and 1 year. Some will claim it takes 40 years to get a good starter, though nobody waits that long to use it. The exact volumes used above are not critical. Use whatever measure you consider useful.

The above open-air method takes patience. You may have to repeat this procedure several times as there is no guarantee that you will pick up good yeasts floating in the air (there are many yeasts, but most will not make for good bread). The only way to tell is to wait until you get a critical mass of yeasts and see if it makes good bread. Generally, bad yeasts will smell strange. Your starter should always smell clean, perhaps with a sharp touch of alcohol/acid if it is getting old.

There is a second method that is more likely to succeed, but you lose the locality effect. Take some organic grapes. Wash them to knock off any dust or dirt, and immerse them in a bowl of clean water (as above) for 2 minutes. Remove the grapes from the water, which now contains the yeast that was growing on the outside of the grapes. If the grapes are local, then you have a local starter. Use ½ cup of the water and ½ cup flour to make a paste/dough, place in a small cup, cover and wait. If the dough rises, then you have a working starter. Build by doubling until you reach your desired volume.

A third method is to use a little kefir to initiate the sourdough starter. As with grapes, you will not get the effect of using a localised starter, but it is a reliable and effective method. Mix ½ cup of water and ½ cup of flour to make a paste/dough, add ½ teaspoon of kefir, mix well, and set aside to ferment. Give it a stir every eight hours or so. It should be very active within 3 hours, possibly as few as 2.

Keeping starter

Sourdough starter is alive, and thus it must be fed regularly. When not using your starter, it is important to dump out half the batch from time to time, and mix in fresh flour and water to equal the lost volume. Exactly how often this should be done depends on storage temperatures and the local strain. An active starter should be fed daily (if not multiple times per day depending on temperature and other conditions). See the note below about dormant starters.

Sourdough is best stored at room temperature or slightly warmer. Anything outside of this range will change the proportions of the bacteria and yeast, which affects the flavor of the result. It can be safely stored in the fridge, but temperatures over 80F are too hot. If you store your starter in the fridge, then let it sit out several hours after feeding before returning it to the refrigerator. This allows the yeasts to get active and feed. The temperature in the fridge is enough to slow down the yeast, but not the lacto-bacteria. So after a while your starter will begin to smell boozy and have a sharper tang to it than you might want. To fix this, just dump out 90% and start the feeding cycle again.

Long-term storage can be done by drying some starter, causing the yeast to go dormant. Exactly how long yeast can be stored this way varies, but it is enough for trading starters.

If you do not bake daily, then your starter will go dormant as the yeasts shut down from hunger. You may see a separation occur in the starter vessel, where a yellowish clear liquid rises to the top and the white doughy starter falls to the bottom. The liquid is rich in yeast metabolic by-products. You can mix it back in when you feed, but it sharpens the finished bread flavor to a degree that you may find distasteful. Simply throw out the liquid before feeding. But you should note that once your starter has gone dormant, you must re-invigorate by multiple feedings to get it back to a healthful vigor (see below).

Using starter

Using starter is easy, just take out the amount you need, and then mix equal parts flour and water to get back the original amount. Avoid using all the starter on hand, though if you must, enough will cling to the sides of the pot to get the starter going again.

If using starter often you should keep your batches large enough so that enough is on hand. If you rarely use your starter you should keep just a small amount on hand, and increase it before needed.

You need to make sure that your starter is full strength before committing it to a dough. That means that it should quadruple if fed and left for an hour. Feed starter and put ¼ cup in a measuring cup. If it hits the one cup marker in an hour or so then it is ready to go. If not, then it needs to be fed. Accelerate your feeding schedule until it passes the above test.


Many recipes call for more starter than is kept on hand. Starter is easily increased, just dump in more flour and water. It is generally best to do no more than double at a time. Depending on how vigorous your starter is it may take 2 days to get 4 cups from one cup (see above). (Remember to leave enough leftover for the next batch of starter though.)

Orange Bread


List 1

* 1 cup grated orange peel
* ½ cup white sugar

List 2

* 1 beaten egg
* 1 cup white sugar
* 3 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
* 3½ tsp baking powder
* 2½ cups white all-purpose flour
* 1¼ cups milk
* ½ tsp salt


1. Cover grated orange peel with water and boil 5 minutes.
2. Drain and rinse, discarding water.
3. Barely cover with cold water, about ¼ cup.
4. Add ½ cup sugar and cook until peel is tender and water is cooked away; cool.
5. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
6. Mix thoroughly all items under List 2.
7. Add cooled peel to this mixture and
8. Pour into greased and floured 9 x 5 x 3 inch pan.
9. Bake 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry when inserted in the loaf.

Notes, tips, and variations

* Good warm and plain, or toasted and buttered.

Fried Bread

"Fried Bread"is a very simple bread recipe that is served in the Appalacians, mainly for breakfast.

To make it, mix equal amounts of self-rising flour and milk (whole milk or buttermilk with a 1/8 tsp baking soda added). Mixture should be the consistency of thick pudding--add more milk or flour to desired consistency. Heat enough bacon fat to prevent sticking in an iron skillet till very hot. Fry spoonfuls of dough till brown and crispy on the bottom then turn and continue frying till done. These are great served with the same toppings as biscuts, including butter, jam, gravy, or any of your other favorites.

(Other oils and types of skillets can be used for frying but bacon fat and an iron skillet makes the best. A mixture of 1/2 bacon fat and 1/2 olive oil is an acceptable substitute.)

Golden Corn Bread


* 1 Cup corn meal
* 1 Cup all-purpose flour
* 4 tsp baking powder
* ½ tsp salt
* 1 cup milk
* 1 egg
* ¼ cup shortening
* ¼ cup sugar optional
* ½ of a 15 ounce can whole corn, drained optional
* ¼ onion, finely chopped optional


1. Preheat oven to 425° F. Grease an 8 inch baking pan.
2. Combine Corn meal, flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
3. Add egg, milk, and shortening.
4. Beat until fairly smooth; about a minute.
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. If corn added to batter, increase time ~50%
6. Serve hot!


Biscuits - These biscuits are tall, light, and flaky. They are less salty than many bought mixes. They taste good plain or with butter, honey, jam, or sausage/ham gravy.


* 3 cups flour (Preferably a soft wheat flour; look for flour labled "soft wheat" or "better for biscuits". If no soft flour is available, mixing three parts all-purpose with one part cake flour will get you close.)
* 4 1/2 tsp. baking powder
* 3/4 tsp. cream of tartar
* 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
* 3/4 tsp. salt
* 3/4 cup shortening
* 1 egg, beaten
* 1 cup milk


1. Preheat oven.
2. Sift all dry ingredients into bowl.
3. Cut in shortening until like coarse meal.
4. Beat egg lightly and add to milk.
5. Add liquid to dry ingredients and mix with fork until dough holds together.
6. Turn out onto floured board and knead lightly with floured fingers.
7. Roll out 3/4 inch thick and cut with floured cutter (a round cookie cutter).
8. Place on baking sheet and bake at 450°F for 12 minutes.

Banana Bread

Banana bread is a basic, reliable banana bread recipe. The perfect thing to do with over-ripe bananas!


* 1½ cups white sugar
* ½ cup butter, softened
* 3 bananas (the riper the better), mashed
* 2 eggs
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* ½ tsp. baking soda
* ⅓ cup sour milk or buttermilk
* ¼ tsp. salt
* 1 tsp vanilla extract

Note: ½ tsp. baking powder and ⅓ cup milk can be substituted for the sour milk/buttermilk and baking soda.


1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
2. Lightly grease an 8 in x 4 in loaf pan.
3. Combine all ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Beat well.
4. Pour batter into pan.
5. Bake on middle shelf of oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Makes one loaf.

Cardamom Bread

Cardamom bread is a sweet yeast bread of Scandinavian origin which is good served at breakfast, with coffee, or as a light dessert. This recipe makes two loaves.


* 1 pkg yeast, around 2.5 tsp
* 1/4 c warm water
* 3/4 c warm milk
* 1/2 c sugar
* 1/2 t salt
* 2 eggs
* 1 tsp ground cardamom (about 20 green pods)
* 4 1/2 c flour
* 1/2 c butter
* grated peel of 1 orange
* pearl sugar
* sliced almonds


1. In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, salt and orange peel; whisk gently to distribute the ingredients.
2. Split green cardamom pods and remove the seeds inside. With a mortar and pestle, grind the seeds into a powder and add this to the other dry ingredients.
3. In a small bowl, combine yeast, warm water and sugar. Stir gently for a few seconds, then let stand until the yeast is frothy.
4. In a small saucepan on low heat, combine butter and milk until the butter is just melted.
5. In a separate bowl, beat 2 eggs and set aside.
6. Check that the milk and butter mixture is not hot, then add the it into the dry ingredients and mix.
7. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic.
8. Place the kneaded dough in a greased bowl and let rise in a warm place (in the oven, for example) until it doubles in size, about one hour.
9. Punch down the dough, and cut in two parts (one for each loaf).


1. For each of the halves,
1. Split the dough into three equal sized portions.
2. Roll these into "ropes" about 18 inches long.
3. Pinch one end of each rope together.
4. Braid the ropes together:
1. Take the left rope and cross it over the middle one.
2. Take the right rope and cross it over the middle one.
3. Repeat this procedure until the ropes are fully braided.
5. Pinch the other end of the ropes together.
6. Tuck each pinched end underneath the main loaf.
2. Put finished braids on a greased cookie sheet.
3. Let rise again until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
4. Prepare an egg wash by beating 1 egg thinned with water.
5. Brush the top of each braid with the egg wash.
6. Sprinkle each braid with pearl sugar and sliced almonds.
7. Bake at 180 °C (350 °Fahrenheit) for 25 minutes.


* For a vegan version, substitute soy milk for milk, egg replacer for eggs, and a vegan margarine for butter.


* Store-bought ground cardamom can be used in this recipe, but has a less intense flavor than freshly ground cardamom.
* Orange peel is not traditional in cardamom bread.

Rustic Beer Bread

This recipe makes dough for a 1.5kg loaf of bread. It is intended for a bread machine but can also be made by hand.


* 250ml Room Temperature (approx 21 °C) Real Ale (not lager)
* 3 Tbsp (45ml) Sunflower Oil
* 2 Tbsp (30ml) Malt Extract
* 1 Tsp (5ml) Table Salt
* 150g Very Strong White Flour
* 150g Country Grain Wholemeal Flour
* 70g Soft Grain White Flour
* 70g Strong Wholemeal Flour
* 2 Tsp (5ml) Easy Bake Yeast

Procedure - Bread Machine

1. Add ingredients to a bread machine in the order listed, select appropriate white loaf setting (according to manufacturers instructions), and press start.
2. Remove when cycle is complete. Cool and enjoy.

Procedure - Hand Baking

1. Mix the ingredients above into a dough, and knead on an unfloured surface until an smooth elastic dough is formed.
2. Put into a greased baking tin or on a greased baking tray, cover with a dry towel and rest for approximately 1 hour.
3. Place into a preheated oven at 180°C and bake for 20-40 minutes (baking times will change depending on altitude.)


1. Use 1.5 Tbsp (22.5ml) Demerara Sugar instead of Malt Extract if you can't get hold of any.
2. Reduce each flour measurement by 10g and add 40g loose Polenta to add a different texture to the bread.

Olive Oil Bread

A quick, easy bread that works well with Italian foods and pastas. Try forming the dough into a round ball or a long loaf for French Bread


* 1/2 cup warm water (110° F/45 C)
* 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
* 1 teaspoon white sugar
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 4 tablespoons olive oil
* 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour


1. In a large bowl mix together the warm water (110°F), yeast, sugar, salt, and olive oil.
2. Stir in 2 cups of the flour in order to make a soft ball.
3. Knead in additional flour so that dough is soft and not sticky.
4. Place kneaded dough in a medium size greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in size.
5. Punch down dough, and form into ball or loaf shape.
6. Place onto a greased cookie sheet. Cover and let rise for 15 to 20 minutes.
7. Preheat the oven to 375° F (190 C).
8. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown.
9. For Glazed, shiny effect brush one egg white and one tablespoon of water (mixed) onto the bread 5 minuites before completion



* 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
* 1 1/4 cups lukewarm milk
* 1 tablespoon white sugar
* 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled


1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the milk and add the sugar. In another bowl, sift the flour and salt together and add the cooled melted butter.
2. Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture, and turn out onto a floured counter and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a clean towel and let rise in a warm, draft free place to 45 minutes.
3. Turn dough out onto the freshly floured board and shape into 9 balls. Place dough balls into a buttered and floured 9 inch square pan. Let them sit, covered for another 15 minutes to rise again. Preheat the oven to 425° F (220 C).
4. Bake for 15-20 minutes until browned and puffed. Split open and serve warm.

White Bread


* 2½ cups (approx 625 ml) warm water
* 1 packet dry (2 1/4 teaspoons) yeast
* 1 oz (30 g) sugar or honey
* 2 lb (1 kg) flour
* 1 pinch salt


1. Put half of the water into a container, add yeast and either sugar or honey.
2. Take another container and put in 2 pounds(1 kg) of flour. Form a crater in the middle into which you can pour the water with the yeast. Add a pinch of salt. Knead it and keep adding water until the dough has a good thick consistency.
3. Place the dough on a surface and let it stand for about 1 hour. Knead again to let the air out and knead it into the shape of a bread. Let it stand for another 45 minutes.
4. Bake in an oven at 375°F (200 °C) for 50-60 minutes or until the internal temperature is about 200°F(95 °C).
5. Now you have a nice, tasty loaf of bread.

If your bread seems crumbly or not sufficiently soft and bouncy, try using high gluten flour. You can get special bread making flour which is higher in gluten than normal flour.

Focaccia Bread

Focaccia is a type of flat bread popular in Italy. The basic bread is often topped with any of the following: herbs, olive oil, cheese, meats, and vegetables, and can be seen as a precursor to pizza. Focaccia is commonly used for sandwiches.

Makes 1 loaf.

Focaccia bread

* 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon white sugar
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
* 1 cup water
* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 1 egg
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed


1. Combine 1 cup flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Mix well.
2. Heat water and vegetable oil until warm, and add to yeast mixture along with the egg.
3. Blend with an electric mixer at low speed until moistened. Beat for 2 additional minutes.
4. Stir in 1 3/4 cup flour (note: half of total) while beating, until dough pulls away from side of bowl.
5. Knead in 1 3/4 cup flour on floured surface. Cover dough with a bowl, and let sit for 5 minutes.
6. Place dough on a greased baking sheet. Roll out to 12-inch circle. Cover with greased plastic wrap and a cloth towel. Place in a warm place for 30 minutes.
7. Uncover dough, and poke holes in it with a spoon handle at 1 inch intervals. Drizzle olive oil on dough, and sprinkle with crushed rosemary.
8. Bake at 400°F (205°C) for 17 to 27 minutes, until just golden. Remove from baking sheet, and cool on rack.


No-knead Raisin Bread


* ⅓ cup lukewarm water
* ½ teaspoon sugar
* 2 packets (4 1/2 teaspoons)active dry yeast
* 3 tablespoons butter
* 4 tablespoons light brown sugar
* 2 teaspoons salt
* 2 cups hot water or buttermilk
* 4 cups white flour
* 2 teaspoons cinnamon
* 1½ cups raisins


1. Mix together ⅓ cup lukewarm water, ½ teaspoon sugar, and the active dry yeast and let stand.
2. Combine butter, brown sugar, salt, and hot water or buttermilk in a large mixing bowl. When yeast mixture becomes frothy and increases in volume, add it to the mixing bowl.
3. Mix the cinnamon with 2 cups of the flour, then add the mixture to the bowl. Stir at low speed with an electric mixer for 1 minute. Mix at medium speed for 3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl frequently.
4. Flour the raisins lightly and add them to the mixture.
5. Mix additional flour with a spoon, ¼ to ½ cup at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl or it becomes difficult to add more flour. Baker's discretion.
6. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Place in a warm place with no drafts until the batter doubles in volume, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
7. Stir down with a spoon (about 25 strokes).
8. Divide into 2 loaf pans. Wet your fingers and push the dough into the corners and smooth out.
9. Cover with plastic. Place in a warm place and let the dough rise until it just reaches the tops of the pans (about 25 minutes). Watch carefully and don't let the dough rise too high (punch it down and let it rise again if it does).
10. Bake at 375°F (190°C) for 30 to 45 minutes. The bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom of the pan and is browned to the baker's preference.
11. Turn out on a wire rack and let cool.

Easy Batter Bread


* 1/4 cup lukewarm water
* 1/2 teaspoon sugar
* 4 packets active dry yeast
* 3 tablespoons butter
* 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup hot water or buttermilk
* 5 cups white flour


1. In a bowl, mix the lukewarm water, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, and active dry yeast. Let stand until yeast mixture becomes frothy and increases in volume.
2. While the yeast mixture is standing, in a separate large mixing bowl, mix the butter, 1 tablespoon light brown sugar, salt, and hot water or buttermilk.
3. Once the yeast mixture becomes frothy, add the yeast mixture to the separate large mixing bowl.
4. Add 2 cups of white flour to the large mixing bowl. Stir at slow speed with an electric mixer for 1 minute. After that, mix at medium speed for 3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl frequently.
5. With the remaining 2 cups of white flour, add the remaining flour at about 1/4 to 1/2 cups at a time to the large mixing bowl, and continually mix with a spoon until the mixture begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl or it becomes difficult to add more flour.
6. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and a towel. Place in a warm room with no drafts until the batter doubles in volume. About 45 minutes to 1 hour.
7. After the batter was allowed to sit, stir it down with a spoon (about 25 strokes).
8. Divide the batter into 2 loaf pans. Wet fingers and push into the corners and smooth out.
9. Cover both setups with plastic. Place in a warm room and let the batter rise until it just reaches the tops of the pans (about 25 minutes). Watch carefully and don't let the batter rise too high (if it does rise too high, punch it down a little bit and let it rise again.)
10. After the batter was allowed to rise in the loaf pans, bake at 375° for 30 to 45 minutes. The bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom of the pan and is browned to the baker's preference.
11. Turn out on a wire rack and let cool.