Breads

I enjoy making bread. Breads and yeasted doughs are infinitely variable: plain, sweet or savoury, flat, elongated or rounded, simple or laminated…

Hot cross buns: I first baked these long before I came to Britain, and rely on a recipe I developped after Mrs Beeton’s. I also bake some variations from recipe books and magazines, but this is my standby.

Hot cross buns

I sometimes bake breadsticks. I vary the flavours, but here’s a few:

Roast garlic and nigella breadsticks

Rye and sea salt sourdough breadsticks
Poppyseed breadsticks
Sesame breadsticks
Rye sourdough and caraway breadsticks

I also like to bake foccacias weekly, for my day-job colleagues, from plain sea salt and rosemary to more varied and elaborate.

Rosemary focaccie
Sage, pesto and olive, and rosemary focaccie
Olive and thyme focaccia
Olive and thyme focaccia
Cherry tomato focaccia
Grape and fennel seed focaccia
Sunflower and pumpkin seed focaccia
Black sesame focaccia

Occasionally, I bake gluten-free bread for some colleagues – never the same thing exactly, but I’m told they do the trick for those who can’t have wheat anymore.

Gluten-free focaccia and baguettes

On the sweet side, I like brioches well enough, but some people have very good ideas. Look at those Swedish beauties: cardamom-flavoured brioche buns, stuffed with marzipan and whipped cream.

Semlor
Saffron brioche buns with cardamom and mango cream and pistachio
Saffron brioche buns with cardamom and mango cream and pistachio

If you want something special, just ask: I’ll do my best. To please colleagues or housemates, I’ve baked yeasted specialties from Spain, Hungary, Denmark, Sweden – and of course, France.

Gâteau des rois