Friday, August 19, 2011

Brilliant Bread Recipe

 Every now and then I plan to post a BACK TO BASICS recipe. These standby recipes give stretch to my Elastic Mom lifestyle.

I live too far from the shops to buy fresh bread regularly and so on most days I bake a hot, steaming loaf of bread for lunch. Lately, due to frosty weather, our daily bread has frequently been seen gracing the table alongside fragrant bowls of soup. My current favourite bread recipe is so easy and quick to make, and best of all, it is versatile. I vary the ingredients daily, just ensuring that I follow the basic pattern of ingredients. Baking this bread uses up all the odd jugs and jars of dairy products that are lurking in the fridge. I make my own butter and yoghurt, so often have buttermilk and whey, but you can use any milky thing really.

So, here it is:

Turn your oven on to 180 degrees celsius (350 deg. F) - your dough will be ready to pop in the oven before the bread heats up.
Grease a loaf tin. I keep a little oil and a pastry brush in a mug the fridge for quick tin-oiling.
Grab two bowls - one for the wet stuff and one for the dry stuff.

In the dry bowl, stir together :
31/2 cups flour - any combinations of flours will work. (Today it was white bread flour, yesterday it was half white flour and half freshly ground wheat. Just use whatever you have)
1 t salt
1 t bicarbonate of soda (or if using self raising flour, leave this out)
Now add your special ingredient of the day (see below)

In the WET bowl, whisk together:
2 cups yoghurt, or a bit of yoghurt and the rest milk, or buttermilk, or whey, or sour milk, or milk with a bit of lemon juice added to make it sour. (It needs to be sour to react with the bicarb ... to make bubbles ... to make your bread rise.)
2  dollops of honey, or sugar, or syrup. We keep bees, so I dollop the honey from two table spoons.

Pour the wet stuff into the dry stuff. Stir quickly, and spread evenly into the greased loaf tin.
Bake for roughly an hour.

That's it!


Oh yes, if you forget to make it in time for an hour of baking before lunch, (as I did this week) just spoon the dough into a muffin pan and your muffin shaped bread rolls will bake in half the time.

OK, now for those SPECIAL INGREDIENTS. This is what makes your bread brilliant, and keeps your family enjoying the same bread every day. I vary this part according to whatever I have plenty of in the house, or whatever needs using up, or whatever I am in the mood for.

Today I chose to add a handful each of wheat bran and raisins.

Here are some other ideas:
- grated cheese and mixed herbs
- assorted seeds.... sunflower, sesame, poppy, linseed etc.
- grated apple and chopped walnuts
- half a teaspoon of ground cumin or coriander
- crushed garlic and some rosemary
- olives
-sun-dried tomatoes and fresh herbs

Use your imagination and have fun.


  1. I love this bread recipe and TFS 'cause I plan on making it this weekend. Will let you know how it goes. I love the flexibility of the recipe and can basically use what ever I have in the cupboard rather than having to go out and buy special ingredients. Suits me to a T.

  2. Hiya, just popped over from D2E, I make all my own bread as well by hand, but they are all yeast and kneading based recipes. I will be trying your recipe this weekend for something a little different, and I have some whey from my last Labneh cheese that needs to be used. Thanks for sharing it sounds yummy :) Regards, Ruth @

  3. Chris, your bread looked great.

    ruth, Hope your bread turns out well. It's a great way to use up whey.

  4. Thanks for this bread recipe Cath. I have just finished mixing and look forward to serving it up with a delicious homemade soup after our lessons today. Perfect autumn fair ;o)

    Luv Shirley