Category Archives: BREADS

Greek olive bread

Greek olive bread

The flavours of the Mediterranean simply ooze from this decorative Greek olive bread, speckled with black olives, red onion and herbs. Originally this bread was a Lenten food for the priests of the Eastern Orthodox Church, although now olive bread or elioti is produced all over the country and can be enjoyed at any time of the year. It is generally a white bread, enriched with a little olive oil, flavoured with marjoram or oregano and studded with black olives. Throughout Greece, local bakers produce their own particular bread, which necessarily becomes a favourite with their customers. In the cities, the more enterprising bakeries produce a wide range of breads flavoured with raisins, olives and herbs, but among the islands and in the mountains, most loaves continue to be of the plain, farmhouse variety – large and crusty and sometimes sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Apricot and plum brioche

Apricot and plum brioche

Apricot and plum brioche is real summer recipe. Both apricots and plums are seasonal fruits and it is easy to find very nice varieties. Apricots are at their best and cheapest in July, but avoid any fruit that feels spongy. Apricots can vary greatly in quality. If they taste woolly and bland when eaten fresh, cook them into a dish and they will become luscious and flavoursome. The British plum season starts in late July with the Opal variety and finishes in mid-to late-September with the Marjorie Seedling. Each variety has a 2-3 week season. Plums develop an intense flavour when cooked. They make excellent jam, jelly and fruit cheese, but can also be bottled. Strong spices such as star anise, cloves, vanilla, cinnamon and black pepper all taste good with poached plums. Cream and custard based accompaniments such as ice cream or rice pudding balance their flavour. Out-of-season imported plums can be cooked, but are much sweeter and taste best eaten raw.

Grissini

Grissini

Grissini are pencil-sized sticks of crisp, dry bread originating in Turin and the surrounding area in Italy. They are originally thought to have been created in the 14th century; although according to a local tradition, they were invented by a baker in Lanzo Torinese (northern Italy) in 1679. Grissini may be offered at the table in restaurants as an appetizer, in some instances or regions they may be a type that is larger than pencil-sized. They may also be combined with ingredients such as prosciutto as anhors d’œuvre. Pre-made, dried breadsticks may sometimes be sold in markets as a kind of snack or a pre-meal appetizer for home use, somewhat similar to a cracker.

Rosemary bread

Rosemary bread

Rosemary bread is healthy and tasteful option for your daily bread. Making it at home you will always have a nice, fresh bread on your table. It is a rustic, substantial loaf. It holds up well dipped in soup, can be used to sop up pasta sauce, or just enjoyed plain, hot out of the oven. Plan ahead to allow time for rising.  Depending on the temperature of your room, it could take a couple of hours for the dough to double. This bread will be an absolute hit on your party dinner with its fantastic flavours and authenticity. This fabulously hearty and chewy bread sends out delicious aromas of rosemary and garlic as it bakes. It’s much tastier than many restaurant versions.

Farmhouse loaf

Farmhouse loaf

Farmhouse loaf is a traditional loaf that’s nice and soft, but not too soft. It’s great for just about any kind of sandwich and brings peanut butter and jelly (a staple in our house) to a whole new level, especially if you treat yourself to some nice organic peanut butter and jam. It’s wonderful toasted, smells heavenly while toasting. Simple to make: white flour loaf dusted with flour and baked until well risen and golden. It has a large and tender crumb. This is the kind of old-fashioned, homey bread that a few people were lucky enough to grow up eating, and everyone else wishes they had. A home-made farmhouse loaf appeals to all the senses: the aroma that fills the kitchen as it bakes is unbeatable and the flavour knocks the socks off most shop-bought white loaves.