Flutes with sage and parmesan
Sun, 21 September, 2014
Flute bread or flute baguette is a type of French bread stick. A prized recipe in my home bakery, this is for bread flutes with sage and Parmesan. Cheese added to bread dough truly works wonders.
My bread making career started inauspiciously. I got a bread making machine and went through the enclosed recipe booklet with enthusiasm and fervour, awed by the dream of waking up to the smell of fresh bread come true. Then I got a bit bored with loaves coming out in just one shape always and used the machine to make the dough only. Bread rolls, there we came, finally.
In the years to come I got promoted to a food processor for kneading dough so the bread maker kicked the bucket. But I kept the cookbook I bought during those days: ‘The Bread Book’ by Sara Lewis.
A throwback recipe then, and you'll not be wrong thinking it's easy - bread machine users are not famously accomplished bakers. Indeed, the flutes are easy to make; the dough is nice and pliable, it comes together very quickly and doesn’t stick to everything around. The book is also the source of some extremely good (and popular on these pages) bread recipes like bridge rolls or partybrot.
These are such good, tasty breads, all that Parmesan doesn’t go in there for nothing. I was scared by the amounts of herbs and cheese going in there, but clearly sometimes much more is more. And if you think they are too fancy or too definite in taste to house an ordinary sandwich, think again. They make a mean ploughman's (cheese and cheese, see), BLT or egg sandwich; they are excellent toasted and they will keep surprisingly well – if you let them, which is doubtful.
Make them smaller and they will be great dinner rolls. Make double the amount and freeze half the loaves. And the final tip: try toasting halves until crusty and make bruschettas with roasted tomatoes.
flutes with sage and parmesanServings: makes 4 large flutesTime: 3 hours
- 500g malthouse or granary flour
- 65g grated Parmesan
- a handful of fresh sage leaves, chopped finely
- 1½ tsp salt
- 15g fresh or 1½ tsp fast action yeast
- 3 tbsp. oil
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 300g warm water
1. Mix the flour with the yeast, Parmesan, sage, salt, oil and honey. Add warm water little by little and mix well. Knead or mix in a standing mixer with a dough hook attachment for 10 mins, until the dough is smooth and bounces off the sides of the bowl. Leave in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour.
2. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide in four pieces. Spread each piece flat, then roll it tightly like a cigar, shaping it into a flute/baguette shape.
3. Place on a large baking tray and place the tray in a plastic bag inflated not to touch the dough (just blow into it and tie it up!). Leave them to prove for about 40 minutes, until significantly puffed up.
4. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6. Remove the flutes from the plastic bag and make diagonal cuts on the surface of each one with a sharp knife. Bake the flutes for about 15 minutes until well risen and golden underneath (tap the bottom of any bread and it should sound hollow when baked).
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