Friday, 17 June 2011

Bread: Here's one I made earlier . . .

Good honest home made bread. . . .

Below - this Cheese loaf rose beautifully. My son will say that's because HE knocked it back. His style is . . . rough and ready! - but punching and pummelling the dough does seem to work and the best-risen loaves are the ones he's had a hand in making! Just think of the dough as your worst enemy and take out all your angst : )

First of all, Dartford Warber asked for a recipe for a pizza base. I generally just make white bread dough, and break off a piece and roll it out, but if you just want to make pizza, here is the recipe:

8 oz (225 g) strong plain flour
1/2 level teaspoon salt
1/2 oz (15 g) margarine or a dessert-spoon of olive oil
1/2 oz (15 g) fresh yeast
1/4 pint (150 ml) warm water
Cooking oil, for brushing

Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Rub in the fat. Blend the yeast with the water and mix into the flour to make a dough. Put the dough on a lightly-floured worktop and knead until smooth. Cover and leave in a warm place until doubled in size.

Knead the risen dough again and roll out into a long narrow strip. Brush with oil, then roll it up, just like a Swiss roll. Roll out flat again and repeat the rolling-up, without oil. Now roll out the dough to a large circle, about 1/4" (0.5 cm) thick.

Put the dough on a large greased baking sheet (I have a nice circular pizza pan with a holey bottom, to give a crisper base). Brush with oil and add the topping of your choice. Turn on oven to 425 deg. F (220 deg. C) Mark 7. Leave pizza to rise in a warm place until oven reaches temperature and then cook for 20 mins. Now turn down oven to moderate 350 deg. F (180 deg. C) Mark 4 and cook for another 15 to 20 mins. (PERSONALLY, I just break a bit off my bread dough, roll out, bung on the greased tray, put the topping on and let it sit whilst the oven's warming and then cook for 20 mins. Ahem, and mine is normally a . . . robust . . . base. Not thin and interesting, but DEEP base!!! I have a badly-behaved Fan oven though and have to usually cook for LESS time than is advised. 40 mins in my oven would reduce this to charcoal.)

Sorry there's no illustration, but I don't know which of my hundred or two folders the piccy's IN.


This is something I make regularly, but be warned - it won't last 5 minutes! and you will be badgered to make MORE!

1 lb (450 g) strong plain flour
2 level teaspoons salt
1 level teaspoon English mustard powder
Pinch of pepper
6 oz (175 g) strong Cheddar cheese, finely grated
1/2 oz fresh yeast
1/2 pint (300 ml) warm milk

Grease 2 x 1 lb (450g ) loaf tins (personally, I just use a 2 lb loaf tin and have done with it). Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl with the salt, mustard and pepper. Mix in most of the cheese.

Blend the yeast with the warm milk and pour into the flour. Mix to make a dough. Put the dough on a lightly-floured worktop and knead for 10 mins. Cover dough and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size.

Give the risen dough another kneading, then shape and fit into the tins. Cover and leave in a warm place until the dough rises to the top of the tins.

About 15 mins before the end of rising time, turn on oven, set at moderate, 375 deg. F (190 deg. C) Mark 5. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on the tops of the loaves. Bake in the centre ofo the preheated oven for 30 - 35 mins or until golden brown. Turn out to cool on a wire rack.

Recipes taken from the Woman's Realm Book of 101 ways with Bread, a booklet which cost me 60p back in 1980 and leapt into my hand of the stand in the little corner shop at the top of our road . . . It is one of my most-referred to books.

Oh, and somehow these chaps got in on the act. As you can see, they are so badly-treated that they have had to make a home on my kneeling mat in the porch. It's a hard life for a cat around here. . .

The first gooseberries, picked in the rain yesterday. 3 1/2 lbs, and these were just from the very bottom-most branches which were touching the ground with the weight of fruit. Topped, tailed, washed and frozen already.


  1. Your bread looks really delicious! and the gooseberries,sadly I'm the only one in the house who likes them.We do have some bushes though and I make gooseberry tart when we have gooseberry-loving guests.What is it about animals looking hard done by,our 3 cats and 3 dogs have it down to a fine art.

  2. Your bread just looks delicious..I love the rustic look of home made bread..You have inspired me to make some...I could live on bread.. cheese.. chutney..all washed down with Somerset cider :)
    Thanks for sharing and wish me luck..I usually make mine in the bread maker....

  3. Cheese loaf recipe being shown to Howard right now

  4. That Cheese Bread looks fantastic! I may even give it a go:)

  5. Those gooseberries fill me with guilt. Ours are ready and I still have some in the freezer from last year! I intend to make some jam and then give the rest away.

  6. WG - so did I (goosegogs) as I'm the only one that eats them and I didn't make jam last year! Or gooseberry relish/chutney/whatever. I made some gorgeous raise (hot water crust) gooseberry and orange pies one year. They were lovely.

    Rowan & Blue Shed - I expect a report back in due course!

    P&A - welcome, and good baking. Somerset cider indeed. As it looks like we may well end up in Somerset rather than Devon now, I look forward to tasting a few glasses in the future.

    Rosemary - welcome to you too. My horse (Fahly, an Arab) could also do very woebegone faces if he was out in the rain. He would whinny if he saw me in the yard and stand at the gate - he hated the rain.

  7. Thank you for the pizza dough recipe BB. I shall have a go at this when the grown up sons and their girls come home again.

    I wish I liked gooseberries, but I can`t stand them! Hence we don`t grow them. I wonder if it is inherited? My Mum loved them but Dad couldn`t bear them......

  8. I think you've tempted me to make bread today. I have made most of our bread for all the years of our marriage---but sometimes when it is very hot [as it has been for the past month!] it seems too much to have the oven adding heat to this small house. After 24 hours of thunderstorms and rain the air is much cooler.
    I've been fortunate in always having sources for excellent flour where we have lived. The preferred flour of the US South seems to be "White Lily" a refined fluff which I refuse to try, so we travel to the Mennonite bulk foods store in the next county when we need to replenish good things.
    Those cat faces are so dear and funny---pied beauties?