Top knot loaf…

Welcome back! Happy New Year! Let get this year started the best way we know how: let’s bake together!

2022 not only signifies a whole new year of 365 days of fabulous sourdough possibilities ahead of us, but also the arrival of my book – so exciting!

In celebration of the date inching closer, I give you my next bonus recipe: my top knot loaf. With this loaf you will be handling the dough in a way and at a point that may feel a bit scary, but go with it, it’s great fun, and worth being brave…you’ll find step by step photos in the recipe…

Have fun!

PS you can use any grains, there’s full details on how to cook them in my current book, or, if you can’t find any grains, you can use seeds. I have been asked if you could use oats, but if you use oats they will soak up water and change the consistency of the dough.

Christmas, carrot and buttermilk loaf…

If you’ve got mincemeat to use up, this one is for you!

Welcome to my third bonus recipe….I know I’m repeating myself, but I really do love this recipe! I was so pleased with it when I first created it, it turned out even better than I hoped. Like so many of my recipes, this was the result of using up leftovers and wondering what it would create. So, I give you, my ‘Christmas Carrot and Buttermilk Loaf’.

In the dough I used up some leftover mincemeat from making mince pies at Christmas, hence the name, and added in some leftover grated carrots with the idea that it might produce a carrot cake outcome, and as I spotted half a pot of buttermilk in my fridge that also needed using up, that got thrown into the dough too! And the outcome is a light, flavoursome loaf, with a slight sweetness, studded with dried fruits from the mincemeat, and all creating a wonderful texture. If you don’t have mincemeat I’ve provided alternative options.

I really hope you like it, and I hope it makes you feel festive. Happy baking all!

Download the recipe here:

Sourdough herby fougasse…

And now for something completely different…welcome to my second bonus recipe:

🌟 herby sourdough fougasse 🌟

A tasty flatbread, with a perfect mix of soft pillowy holey parts and equally lovely crunchy edges, ideal for eating on its own, teamed with cheese, or dips, antipasti, soup, chili, or anything it can be dunked in!

I have chosen this recipe because I think it would be a great addition to any holiday/festive table, plus you could shape it in any way you like (Christmas tree anyone??), and it provides a totally different way of using your dough from the first bonus recipe.

I hope you like it!

By the way, the fougasse freezes and defrosts perfectly…allow it to fully cool then wrap it to freeze it. To defrost, place it, uncovered, on a rack to defrost for 2-3 hours then serve. For best results heat it briefly in the oven to crisp up the edges again.

Just as a reminder, these bonus recipes are to say thank you to anyone who has pre ordered my new book; or if you’re not sure yet, to show you the quality and diversity of the recipes you’ll find in the book; AND to keep us all busy baking together until the release date 🌟🌟🌟

Click here for the full details:

Your amazing loaves!

It seems that my cheese and chilli/chile flake loaf has been a success! Check out all of these bakes, and these are only the ones I could capture…there was even more in amongst Instagram stories… thank you all!

Did you try it? Did you like it?? Do let me know, and do send me your photos if I’ve missed them xx

Cheese and chilli/Chile flake loaf…

If you like bread, and you like cheese, you’ll love this! Add in a bit of chilli heat, to a level of your choice, and you’ve got this loaf of joy!

In this recipe, the dough is laminated, and spread with small chunks of cheese, rolled up into a fat sausage to prove again, before baking. The cheese creates pockets of melted brilliance inside the loaf…I challenge you to eat only one slice!

This loaf was created as an oval, but will also work as a round loaf or in a large loaf tin.

Download your copy of the recipe here, print it out and keep it to go with your book:

I hope you’ll give this a go, and please do tag me if you post it online and come back and comment here and let others know how you got on…

Don’t forget to follow this blog for updates and the next bonus recipe, coming soon…happy baking!

Turning my kitchen upside down!

A shot from my first book, Whole Grain Sourdough at Home

One of the many things I’ve learned about writing my books has been about the importance of good photography, and a good photographer! I was lucky enough to be able to hand pick my photographer so I could choose James: someone local, and someone I liked – which is very necessary as you spend a lot of time together, and it gets exhausting which can test any relationship!

Luckily, James and I created a great working partnership, he quickly understood what I wanted and that I wanted the photographs in my books to look like my bread, with no tricks, no fake finishes, just my bread in all its glory, and we quickly became an efficient working team.

He arrived with lots of kit and completely took over my home, which disturbed Bob, my dog, somewhat, but it worked perfectly to be in my space, using my kitchen and all of the equipment and things that I use daily for making sourdough.

It’s not every day you have a huge camera hanging off a tripod over your main working space!

I love the photographs James has produced, and hope you do too.