Recipes that are delicious and that always work!

You know these recipes are delicious because if I didn't think that they were fabulous . . . I wouldn't be showing them to you. You can also be sure that these recipes work for the same reason! The rest is simply a matter of taste.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Baking Bread and a very tasty Tear and Share Greek Loaf!

 photo SAM_6311_zpsbac2a9e2.jpg

I have always put my hand up and been very honest in saying I cannot make yeast bread.  It's just not something I've ever been able to do successfully . . . until today that is!  I think I've finally cracked it!

I found this recipe for plain white bread in an old Co-op cookbook of my mom's when I was home last month and thought I would copy it down and give it a try.

  photo SAM_6307_zps80fa9dc5.jpg

It's for a simple white loaf of bread.  The original recipe used the old fashioned yeast, but I have adapted it to use the more commonly available granulated dry yeast which we have today.  The end result was a lovely textured bread with a beautifully crisp crust.  I think I've found a winner here!

 photo SAM_6308_zps920cfea4.jpg

*Plain White Bread*
Makes 2 loaves
Printable Recipe

Simple and easy.  If I can make it anyone can.
310ml lukewarm water (1 1/4 cups)
large pinch of white sugar
2 1/2 tsp dried yeast (not quick yeast)
60g of butter melted (2 1/4 oz)
250ml of milk, warmed (1 cup)
900g of strong bread flour (6 cups)
2 tsp salt
Combine half of the water and the sugar in a large bowl.  Sprinkle the yeast over top.  Allow to stand for 5 to 6 minutes until foamy.  Add the butter, milk, remaining water, half of the flour and salt, using a wooden spoon.   Mix well together.   Add the remaining flour a bit at a time until you have a coarse and shaggy dough.

  photo SAM_6293_zpsb9f8f960.jpg

Tip out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead in the remaining flour,  for 8 to 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic, feeling fairly soft.  You may add extra flour if the dough is sticky.

  photo SAM_6294_zpsac8666fc.jpg
Put the dough into a large bowl which you have greased with white vegetable shortening, turning the dough to coat with the grease.  Cover with plastic cling film and set aside in a warm draft free place for 1 1/2 hours to rise, or until the dough has doubled in size.

  photo SAM_6296_zpse1092266.jpg

Punch the risen dough down to expel the air.  Tip out onto a lightly floured work surface.  Cut in half with a sharp knife.   Pat each half out into a rough rectangle 8 inches in length.   Roll up tightly into a loaf.  Have ready well greased 8 by 4 inch loaf tins.   Put a loaf into each, seam side down.  Cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rise for a further 45 minutes, or until the dough has risen just about the edge of each tin.

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F. gas mark 4.   Bake the loaves for 30 minutes, or until they are a deep golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the base.  Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
For Wholemeal Bread:  use 450g of plain flour and 450g of wholemeal flour.  (3 cups each)

And of course as you know when I get the ball I like to run with it . . . and so I decided that I would take half of the bread dough and create something deliciously different with it.

  photo SAM_6310_zpsf7fd4f8d.jpg

I just love the tear and share breads that you can get at the grocery shops and so I decided to make one today  with decidedly Greek flavours.

 photo SAM_6312_zps6de557fa.jpg

I rolled the bread out to a rectangle and then spread half of the rectangle with some crumbled feta cheese, chopped kalamata olives and sun dried tomatoes . . . and oregano.  You can use fresh herbs if you have them, but the freeze dried worked just fine for me.

 photo SAM_6314_zps16bab871.jpg

The end result was something which was moreishly tasty and delish!  We loved this.  It would make great picnic food packed with an assortment of sliced cold meats, crisp vegetables, hot pickled peppers and some cheese and olives!

 photo SAM_6309_zps8625c6b1.jpg

*Tear and Share Greek Bread*
Makes one loaf
Tasty,. tasty!   Easy to make too!
1/2 quantity of basic white bread (see Plain White Bread Recipe)
80g pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped (1/2 cup)
80g sun dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped (1/2 cup)
150g feta cheese, crumbled (5 1/2 oz)
1 TBS dried oregano leaves
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely minced
1 1/2 TBS olive oil

  photo SAM_6313_zps03d60d4e.jpg
Use a rolling pin to roll out the bread dough to a rectangle which is 11 inches by 16 inches in size.   Mix together the olives, tomatoes, cheese, oregano and garlic.   Scatter this mixture lengthwise over half of the dough, with the long side facing you.  Drizzle with the olive oil.   Fold the other half of the dough over top of the filling and seal the edges.  Cut into 10 even strips cross wise with a sharp knife.

Working with one piece at a time, roll up lengthways and place, cut side down, into a well greased 9 by 5 inch loaf tin.  Push the ends in to fit and take care not to drop too much filling.   Continue to pack the rolls in so that they fit snugly and scattering with any dropped pieces of filling as you go along.  Press down on the surface with a damp hand to make it even.  Cover with a damp towel and allow to raise in a warm draft free place for about an hour, or until the dough reaches the top edge of the tin.

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.   Bake the loaf for 50 minutes, or until golden all over and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.   Cool in the tin for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.


  1. Wow you are off to an early start today Marie.

  2. Those look GORGEOUS!!! I told you you could do, it, I always knew you could! :) hooray and congratulations!! And welcome home, you've been sorely missed!!
    *Hugs* April

  3. :) There will be no stopping you now..

  4. The bread looks great. Can I give you a couple hints? Your recipe is very similar to mine, except I use 1 tablespoon of instant, quick rise yeast. It doesn't need to be dissolved first and can actually be tossed in with the flour. I get it as big as I can and keep it in the freezer (all dry yeast should be kept in the freezer). Also, try not to add any flour while kneading (I need on an oiled table). The softer your bread dough, the softer (less dry and dense) your bread will be. If you oil your table (and hands if necessary) you can work with a much softer dough without problem.

    Keep trying!

  5. Thanks for your handy hints Paula!! I will bear them in mind the next time I bake bread!


Thanks for stopping by. I love to hear from you so do not be shy! Please don't attempt to leave spam. It will be deleted immediately.