Flute bread or flute baguette is a type of French bread stick. A prized recipe in my home bakery, this one is for bread flutes with sage and Parmesan. Cheese added to bread dough truly works wonders.
Bread machine throwback
My bread making career started inauspiciously. I got a bread making machine – remember those? They were massively popular in the beginning of the century, before the sourdough mania.
I 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 always in just one shape and started using the machine to make only the dough. Bread rolls, there we came, finally.
In the years to come I advanced my bread making to a food processor for kneading dough so the bread maker kicked the bucket. But I kept the bread maker cookbook I bought during those days: ‘The Bread Book’ by Sara Lewis, which is where this recipe comes from.
It is a throwback recipe then, and you'll not be wrong thinking it's easy - bread machine users were 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.
And I still have the book, the source of some thoroughly decent bread recipes like bridge rolls or partybrot.
How to make sage and Parmesan flutes
This is a very straight forward dough-making process. There is no ferment or sponge: you just mix all the ingredients except water together, then add the water in gradually, mixing the dough in a standing mixer or by hand, in a large bowl.
Even the latter isn’t very taxing: the dough is soft but not too runny or sticky and it comes together, then becomes smoother and elastic pretty quickly.
It should rise in bulk for about an hour, then be divided into four pieces. Each is reasonably easy to shape into a flute, by flattening the piece of dough on a lightly flour dusted surface, then rolling it up tightly into a cigar shape.
The flutes prove for about forty minutes before going into the oven for fifteen minutes, until well browned, crusty and devastatingly fragrant. Delicious warm!
What are the flutes best for?
These are such good, tasty breads: all that Parmesan doesn’t go in there for nothing. I was originally a little daunted by the amounts of herbs and cheese going in there, but clearly sometimes more is more.
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, you 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 crisp and make bruschettas with roasted tomatoes.
More cheesy bread recipes
Cheddar torpedoes, homemade cheesy oversized breadsticks. These Cheddar and spring onion batons are great served as dinner rolls or for ham sandwiches: no extra cheese needed.
Fougasse with grated Emmental cheese, chewy and crispy French flatbread, the cousin of Italian focaccia. Make it with sourdough starter or bakers’ yeast – equally delicious and not at all difficult.
Tomato and cheese scaccia, Sicilian flatbread filled and folded, is as much fun to make as delicious it is to eat. See the video showing how to fold thinly rolled out pizza dough.
More bread roll recipes
Seelen means souls in German, and in Schwabia it means fantastically tasty spelt sourdough bread rolls, rustic and completely artisan.
Bridge rolls or finger rolls are fluffy and soft, rich and almost brioche-like. Fresh yeast, full milk, eggs and butter make them the loveliest mini dinner rolls.
Ciabatta is Italian for ‘old slipper’. It makes panini when grilled and bruschetta when halved and toasted. The latter BTW is’ pronounced ‘bru'sketta’.