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.
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.
Country sourdough bread made with 'old dough' or pâte fermentée. It works. It needs a long cold proof and a long final rise but it makes a properly tasty loaf
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.
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.
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.
Braided chocolate brioche, not too sweet and perfect for breakfast. The braided bread is quite a challenge for me, the messy baker. I’m absolutely no good at tidy shaping. My challahs invariably have one end thicker than the other. Spacing of cookies suffers in giant quadruples melded together. And I am a lousy cake decorator
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.
Wholemeal cider bread with chunks of apples. They allegedly came up with this bread in Normandy but I think anyone could do it: just have a drop of cider (or calvados) and decide you’ll chuck all those apples into the bread do, for a prank.
Crusty and airy ciabatta loaves. Why ‘coccodrillo’? Oh please - don’t these loaves look just like gnarly little crocodiles?
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.
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.
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.
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.
No knead bread is a good start for breadmaking deniers. I’m only going to ask you one question: have you got a cast iron casserole? If the answer is yes, you’re in business. This bread can be the first you’ve ever made.
'Porridge' bread made on a base of oats, honey and seeds. I call it ‘porridge bread’ because you soak the oats with the seeds the night before. The starter sitting around overnight gives the bread great flavour. And the honey makes it extra tasty.
Pain de mie, French sandwich loaf baked in a Pullman tin with a lid. This is fantastic bread by the way, tasty, even more so by replacing all-white with a little wholemeal flour in the mix and using, of course, fresh yeast which does make a difference to the rise and the taste.
Pandoro, Italian festive 'golden bread', the sweet buttery panettone's rival. Come on, Italians - just have both. I’m having both this year, although my pandoro is baked in a panettone tin - and my recipe is a somewhat hacked version of an Italian one.
Panettone - classic Italian Christmas sweet bread. Yes – it’s doable. A word of warning though: it’s a fickle, capricious beast in the truly Italian style, la donna è mobile and so is panettone.
Partybrot, traditional German sharing bread, white and brown pull-apart rolls. It's bread baked in Germany and Switzerland, tear 'n' share rolls perfect for potluck.
Easy pita bread, ready in an hour. Pita is very gratifying because you eat bread, but so thin and not a lot of it that you can pretend you’re having a no-bread salad.
Poilâne-style loaf, whole grain sourdough rustic bread. Pain Poilâne is all about stoneground flour, natural fermentation and wood-fired oven. Lacking the last element, I can’t very well say I’ve made pain Poilâne
Cheat's sourdough, with yeast but fermenting over 24 hours, with added rosemary and seeds. The taste beats no knead. The texture is fantastic every time. If you have a clay cloche or a cast iron casserole – a no brainer and will come out crusty as anything.
Rustic loaf with low yeast content, heavy crust, open crumb and great flavour. The starter, as per expectations, rose up and bubbled – you only really need a tiny amount over 16 or 24 hours’ fermentation and the wild stuff in the air and in the flour will do their job.
I used to hate rye bread when I was a kid. I used to hate caraway even more. Whatever I was served with those hateful bits that looked like little dark maggots, I’d do my best to fish them all out and festoon my plate with the brown commas all around the rim.
Incredibly tasty famous San Francisco sourdough bread - baked using two different methods. The recipe comes from ‘Baking with Passion’ by Dan Lepard and Richard Whittington.
Sourdough baguettes on wheat starter, fermenting over 36 hours. I’ve made these baguettes three times now - completely successful, and just look at those air bubbles…
Sourdough no knead white bread on starter made with pineapple juice. Very tasty bread – next time I’ll add some wholemeal or even whole grain flours for a sharper taste.
Tartine style sourdough country bread made from scratch. Tartine is brilliant – if you know your way around flour, water and levains, give it a go.
Two-day bread with tomato and olive filling, Andrew Whitley's recipe from 'Bread Matters'. The dough can be left well alone, just shaped into a loaf without any additions but it’s also very well suited to become a flavoured loaf.
Black rye bread with treacle, seeds and sultanas, easily adapted to be gluten free. Swap the bread flour for a white spelt, in which case possibly replace dark rye with light, so the texture isn’t too ‘short’.
Wholemeal sourdough loaf on rye starter. This is mainly aimed at those people who harbour pots and tubs of weird gunk in their fridges.
Cookies and privacy
We welcome your feedback and suggestions.