Bread rolls with porridge base made of toasted oats and ale or stout. Definitely one of the all-time top 10 breads. The ale and the porridge base make them moist and they stay fresh for a good few days.
Scones made with grated raw apple and cheddar cheese. So this is a quick, rewarding, minimum effort recipe for apple cheese scones. They spread, rather than rise skywards, which seems to be the effect of cheese content in pastry.
Apple and onion bread, it should really be called a bird feed loaf because the amount of seeds in it is staggering. At first I was going to reduce it – a full baking tray of toasted seeds going into one little loaf! But then I thought – trust Dan. His recipes do not fail.
The dough for these sweet apricot buns is very versatile. Try spreading it out, focaccia-style, in a baking tray and topping with fruit and crumble. Try putting lots of dried fruit on top, folding in half or rolling and baking into a strudel.
Bagels with poppy and sesame seeds - as good as in New York or Montreal. Anyone who knows a thing or two about bread, dough and things yeasty will work out that if you stick a bit of yeast dough into boiling water...
Baguettes made with white French type 55 flour, cold fermented overnight. The best thing for me about holidays in France is going to a boulangerie to get fresh baguettes, coming back proudly brandishing the crusty sticks, pretending I’m a proper French person.
Red bread - made with raw grated beetroot, with a few raisins, sunflower and caraway seeds. Admittedly, this loaf hasn’t come out quite as red as I was hoping. The raw grated beetroot does adds a lovely flavour and moistness.
Black bread with treacle, fennel seeds for flavour and cocoa and coffee for colour. Quite a bit like Marmite, you either hate or love this bread. Treacle gives it a sweetish, burnt taste and the seeds – especially fennel – come through distinctly.
Sweet focaccia-style tea bread topped with blueberries and crumble. Ordinarily, thinking focaccia will bring to mind an image of flat, thin bread decorated sparsely with whatever, preferably savoury, preferably olives.
Borodinsky rye sourdough loaf - dense, intensely sour, strong on coriander and dark in colour. It takes forever to rise and doesn’t do much oven spring.
Bridge, or finger rolls as they are sometimes called. Every now and then we get a craving for something fluffy and soft, rich and almost brioche-like. Something to go with a really rich velvety carrot or tomato soup, or with delicate pate.
Austrian Buchteln, baked jam-filled doughnuts, pull-apart breakfast treats. Some special Sundays my Austrian grandmother would fluff up the dough, butter a tin, find a jar of plum preserve in the larder and magic them out of the oven an hour or so later.
Go-to burger bun recipe: rich and fluffy but not too sweet. Plain, comforting baps will do well for burgers but if you want to go a bit fancy, this is a good option.
Caraway and parmesan pain de mie - soft crusted sandwich loaf with fantastic flavour. Pain de mie means a soft crust loaf, ideal for sandwiches, and it’s traditionally baked in a loaf tin closed with a lid.
Challah - rich with eggs, glazed with egg wash plaited festive bread. It is traditionally baked for the Sabbath and Jewish holidays, commemorating the manna from heaven to the children of Israel during the Exodus from Egypt.
Cheat's sourdough, with yeast but fermenting over 24 hours. The texture is great, big air bubbles like in the real article and the taste is very, very close. Crusty on the outside, chewy crumb, you might be easily fooled into thinking it’s IT.
Cheese scones don't rise as imposingly as fruit or plain scones – the cheese weighs things down after all considerably, so they will be a bit squatty and wonky. You might shirk from the idea of using diced cheese rather than grated...
Cheddar and spring onion torpedo rolls. So we’re talking here about a cheese sandwich ready baked – cheesy bread. I dare you not to devour one of those torpedoes straight from the oven. I dare you to keep them in the house longer than a couple of days.
Sweet triple cherry buns - with jam, dried and glace cherries. The dough is gorgeous. My grandmother used to make this type of dough, stretch it, focaccia style, into the bottom of a large baking tray, then put fresh soft fruit on top and cover the lot in crumble.
Christmas Stollen with homemade marzipan. Stollen tastes absolutely divine when still warm from the oven but it keeps surprisingly well, better than panettone, admittedly not as light and fluffy.
Ciabatta bread - a terror to make but delicious. The end product tasted great though, definitely authentic, even though it looked like nothing at all. Excellent toasted. Delishhh hot-pressed into a panino. It is a ‘panino’, mind – you only ever order a single one, don’t you? Well, it’s a ‘panino’ in singular, ‘panini’ what the place has on offer, plural.
Cinnamon swirls with raisins and maple syrup. Almost like Danish, only easier to make. Best straight from the oven. If you keep them – give them a two minute grill attention.
Crusty and airy ciabatta loaves. Why ‘coccodrillo’? Oh please - don’t these loaves look just like gnarly little crocodiles?
Colomba Pasquale - Italian Easter bread baked in the shape of a dove. I know that different parts of the world have different celebration cakes for Easter: Simnel, Roisinbrot, Kulich, and so many others.
Savoury muffins with sweetcorn and bacon, with plain flour and polenta in the mix. A little bit like old fashioned corn fritters except baked into muffin shapes. The recipe comes from Dan Lepard’s ‘Short and Sweet’.
Courgette sandwich loaf - tasty, sliceable and excellent when toasted. This is a twist on my onions-and-mash deli bread, a lovely loaf in itself albeit really quite oniony.
Croissants made with overnight proving dough laminated with butter. If you’re lucky enough to be living in France you get them from your boulangerie, but actually there's nothing like the homemade thing in terms of flavour. Is it difficult?
Dabo - Ethiopian honey and milk bread. Delicious fresh from the oven, but it makes great toast as well. You can shape it into a plain round loaf or plait it like challah.
Deli bread - slices beautifully, moist and flavoursome thanks to the addition of onions and mashed potatoes. This is a perfect loaf for salt beef or pastrami sandwiches. Chop up some gherkin on top and mazel tov!
Deli style rye bread with caraway seeds, great for sandwiches and excellent for toasting. Leave out caraway if you don’t like it!
Quick bread, ready within two hours from mixing to baking. There is quite a lot of yeast to speed up the rise and the tricks to make it taste like a longer-proving loaf are adding raw potatoes, vinegar and a bit of fat.
Flower rolls with caraway and onion seeds, baked in a cloche. Very crusty, golden in colour, tear-apart rolls sprinkled with seeds taste much better than an ordinary loaf baked in a tin.
Sage and parmesan flutes are beautiful breads, probably the tastiest I’ve made. All that parmesan doesn’t go in there for nothing. They make a mean cheese sandwich, excellent toasted and they will keep surprisingly well – if you let them, which is doubtful.
Fougasse au Roquefort - flat bread with blue cheese, quite like focaccia. Fougasse can be salé or sucré,with lardons, olives, both, Roquefort – or covered with a thick layer of crisp, almost caramelised sugar. All strictly Provençal.
Pain the campagne, sourdough bread made with wheat starter. Sourdough starter I find fickle – I know it can live for ever, only refreshed every now and then, but my best results have been with fresh, four days old leaven so that’s the approach I suggest here. Veteran sourdough makers though – please use whatever wheat starter you have on the go.
Scones are tricky. Scones are a thing of beauty if you get them right. I have had several goes at them before Dan Lepard came to rescue with his recipe from Short & Sweet – The Best of Home Baking.
Golden Gate bridge rolls - white sourdough bread rolls, crusty and chewy. Now since approximately 2005 I have not bought a loaf of bread in the shop unless in high emergency or to measure up competition. But I saw and fancied some perfectly square and smooth, pale golden bread rolls they had there and of course: ‘I wonder how they are made?’
The best hot cross buns with proper piped crosses and honey glaze. I start baking them in March, regardless when this movable feast will fall on, and I probably bake up to 50 in a season! Because there’s nothing better for breakfast in early spring than a hot cross bun.
Hot cross buns with raisins, dried apricots and citrus peel. Try this – by all means. It’s still a good bun and none you can buy in the shops are a patch on it. They keep rather well and only on the third day had to be toasted a little.
Japanese milk bread rolls made with tangzhong: a starter cooked like roux, with flour and milk. The roux, or tangzhong, is then mixed with the rest of more ordinary ingredients; proved, shaped and baked in rolls or loaves, whose heel, incidentally, is made into panko.
Joululimppu - Finnish Christmas bread with buttermilk, black treacle and caraway and fennel seeds. What a lovely bread this is! Unlike any other loaf. Goes beautifully with a little smoked salmon on Christmas morning.
Julekake, Norwegian Christmas bread with raisins, citrus peel and cardamom flavour. Now this is what I call Christmas Day breakfast - and even better on Boxing Day, toasted and thickly buttered. Better than a brioche - firmer and more substantial, and not so rich.
Lazy bread: no kneading, no shaping but still a good flavour. It’s a good option when you’re feeling particularly lazy, that’s why I called it lazy bread.
Light rye bread with linseed, sunflower and pumpkin. Rye bread is a totally different story than wheat. Where wheat bread is fluffy, rye is stodgy. While white loaf is crusty, rye is practically all crumb. Wheat best fresh, rye has to stand overnight in order to even slice it.
Malt vinegar rye bread with coriander and caraway seeds. It keeps well especially wrapped in oiled paper but when it goes slightly dry by all means stick it in the toaster, just not for a long while. Delicious. And it's not fluffy, that's for sure, but far from stodgy.
Crusty loaf made with malthouse flour, incredibly tasty. Toasts like a dream, too. I’ve baked it in my Dutch oven a.k.a. Le Creusset casserole dish (of course any other cast iron will be good), because since I discovered...
Easy malthouse or granary loaf. This is a wonderful loaf using whole grain flour, baked in a Pullman tin but just as good in an ordinary loaf tin. Makes the best toast in the world.
Muffin-shaped buns made from rich yeast dough, filled with home made marzipan. I baked them in a bun tin, a muffin tin will work just as well but they can be simply placed onto a baking sheet and will keep their shape.
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