Home baker JULIAN COLE comes up with an easy recipe for Granary-style bread
BREAD doesn’t take centre stage at Christmas, but man cannot live by turkey alone. This recipe was inspired by Suzanne Dunaway’s new book, No Need To Knead, a recipe from which was featured last month.
This is my own take on her method. It makes one large, flattish baguette-style loaf which is moist, tasty and enjoyably rough at the edges. There is no kneading as such, but the dough does spend 24 hours in the fridge, where it develops flavour.
500g of Granary or similar malted grains flour
5g easy blend yeast
400ml lukewarm water
Generous splash of olive oil
Mix the dry ingredients in a medium to large sized bowl (it needs to fit in the fridge), pour on the water and bring together into a rough and soggy ball of dough.
Pour over the olive oil and work it in, shaping to an approximate round. It will be too wet to knead in the traditional way. Cover with oiled clingfilm and place in the fridge for 24 hours.
Before baking, remove bowl from fridge and leave to rise for two to three hours. Wipe a baking tray with oil or a little grease and scatter flour across the tray.
Remove clingfilm from bowl and empty dough on to baking tray. It will be a bit of a mess, but never mind. Put oil on your hands and shape the dough into a large flat baguette. Cover loaf with oiled clingfilm and leave to rise for 30 minutes. Ten minutes before the end of rising, heat oven to its highest setting. Cook the bread for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to about 180C (fan) 190C (no fan). Cook for 25 minutes, remove from oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.
Here are some budget-friendly festive cheese recipes to go with the bread…
Creamy cheese and onion soup
This soup would make a good starter for Christmas Day
2 large onions, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
900ml vegetable stock
100g low-fat soft cheese
2tbsp chopped fresh chives or parsley
75g Double Gloucester, Red Leicester or Cheddar cheese, finely grated
Freshly ground black pepper
Put the onions, carrot and stock into a large saucepan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 20-25 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
Blend the soup in a liquidiser or food processor, or use a hand-held stick blender. Add the low-fat soft cheese and half the chives or parsley and blend until smooth. Gradually add most of the grated cheese, stirring until melted. Reheat gently and season to taste.
Ladle the soup into 4 bowls and garnish with the croutons, chives or parsley and remaining grated cheese.
Cook’s tip: Cool the soup and store in a covered container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to three months.
Crumbly Lancashire, red onion and pepper tarts
This quick recipe, from store cupboard ingredients, is a great addition to a Boxing Day buffet spread.(Serves four)
4 individual shortcrust pastry tarts
2 red onions, sliced
100g roasted red peppers (from a jar), torn into pieces
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
Few drops balsamic vinegar
100g Lancashire cheese, cut into chunks
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh thyme sprigs
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/Gas Mark 4.Arrange the pastry tarts on a baking sheet.
Melt the butter in a non-stick frying pan and gently fry the onions for eight to ten minutes until soft and tender. Add the roasted peppers, cherry tomatoes and balsamic vinegar, stirring gently. Spoon into the tarts and share the chunks of Lancashire cheese between them. Season with black pepper and add a couple of thyme sprigs to each tart.
Transfer to the oven and bake for eight to ten minutes until warmed through. Serve with salad.
Cook’s tip: As an alternative to Lancashire cheese, try the tarts with Cheshire, Wensleydale or Caerphilly instead.
• Recipes supplied by the British Cheese Board. See britishcheese.com