Fresh from the oven January 2013

IMG_4852I am pleased to start off the new year of bread baking by hosting January’s fresh from the oven challenge. The challenge is to make flatbreads. I made the ones below from The River Cottage bread handbook but you are free to use any recipe you like and get as creative as you want. If you do want a recipe this one from Nigel Slater looks very similar and I love the sound of his aubergine and thyme flat breads. I served my flat breads alongside a roast chicken stuffed with chorizo and beans which you can read more about here but I have also served them with mousakka and a lamb tagine.

IMG_4853The round up will be published by Michelle at the end of the month and please see here for full information on how to take part. Also don’t forget to check out our facebook page. Feel free to share your challenge posts on there throughout the month.


Fresh from the oven round up – December 2012 – savoury chilli buns

DCIM100MEDIADecember’s fresh from the oven was hosted by Tina and she chose savoury chilli buns. You can find the recipe here if you want to give it a try. December is a busy month and consequently we only had one entry which was from Tandy at Lavender and Lime.©-Chilli-Cheese-Maize-BreadWe are still looking for hosts for 2013 so please email me if you would like to host. January’s challenge is hosted by me and will be posted later today. You can find out how to take part here. Michelle will be publishing the round up at the end of the month. Also don’t forget to check out our facebook page. Feel free to share your challenge posts on there throughout the month.


Fresh from the oven February round up

Thank you to everyone who has taken part in the first month of the new style fresh from the oven. It is great to see a good mixture of old members supporting us in this new direction and new members joining in too. The record for the quickest up take of a recipe has to go to Claire of Things we make who start baking bagels within an hour of the announcement post going up!

Next months challenge is being hosted by Lavender and lovage so please visit her blog on March 1st to see what challenge she has set. The round up for March will be on utterly scrummy food for families.

Things we make

the little loaf. pink recipe diary Signor biscotti.Mimi’s kingdom

Photographic yearCurious cuisiniere

My custard pieValentinaSlice of my life

Sweet samsationsLavender and limeDelicio8Pippi u kuhinji

Fresh from the oven – February challenge – Bagels

Fresh from the oven has been baking bread as a group since June 2009. In that time we have baked a lot of bread and the members have changed a lot too. For our first challenge in this new format I wanted a recipe that even our longest standing members wouldn’t have baked as part of the group but also something that was straight forward enough to inspire new bakers to join in. I also wanted a recipe that allowed bakers to get creative if they wished. So with this in mind I have settled on bagels and hope that you all enjoy it.All the details about how to take part are here. I look forward to seeing all your bagels and a round up will be published on purely food at the end of February. Details of March’s challenge will be included in the round up.

Continue reading

Fresh from the oven – Fougasse

This month it is exactly two year since I took over the running of Fresh from the oven. I can’t believe it has been so long. This month I took the opportunity to host a challenge and picked a type of bread I have wanted to bake for some time but never got round to. I chose a french flat bread called fougasse. I chose this recipe by Richard Bertinet but I also liked the sound of this recipe by Lorraine Pascale. So I followed Richard Bertinet’s recipe but divided the dough in half and added fresh thyme and chorzio to half the dough. I have to say I enjoyed the chorizo and thyme more than the plain white and I am keen to try different flavourings. I left it up to the members which recipe they used or even suggested they use a different recipe if perhaps they had a favorite one to share with us. Continue reading

Fresh from the oven – courgette cluster bread

This months Fresh from the oven challenge was hosted by Sally from My custard pie. She chose courgette cluster bread but challenged us to either use this recipe or another bread recipe with any vegetables in it. I think this is my first time baking vegetables in to bread so  I started of by baking the recipe provided by Sally with every intention of doing a different bread as well but I didn’t have time to try any other breads.

I have to be honest and say this bread wasn’t to my taste but I loved the way of baking bread in clusters in a cake tin, I will be doing that again. I’m not a massive fan of courgettes unless they are used in a recipe with plenty of other flavours so I guess I was destined not to like the bread from the start.

Courgette Cluster Bread – adapted from a recipe in House and Garden magazine by Roz Denny
Makes 8 rolls or clusters


450g courgettes, grated coarsely
Salt (for degorging and for the dough)
675g strong white bread flour
2 sachets of easy-blend/fast-action yeast or 14g instant dried yeast
3 tablespoons parmesan, grated
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
Tepid water – about 200ml
Milk, to glaze
Sesame seeds, to sprinkle


  • Place the courgettes in a colander, sprinkle lightly with salt. Allow the juices to drain for about half-an-hour, then rinse well in cold water and pat dry.
  • If using instant yeast whisk it into 90 ml of the tepid water until frothy and dissolved. Mix the flour, yeast, parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and some black pepper together in a bowl, then stir in the olive oil and courgettes. Add some more water until the mixture comes together as a firm, soft dough. I did this and the kneading in my KitchenAid with the dough hook.
  • If kneading by hand, turn the dough onto a lightly floured board or work surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Lightly oil a bowl and put the dough into rise, covered with cling film or a cloth, for about one hour or until doubled in size.
  • Knock back the dough in the bowl (punch the air out of it) and then turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead again briefly until smooth.
  • Divide the dough into eight equal pieces and roll to shape into even balls. Lightly grease and line the base of a 23 cm cake tin with baking parchment. Place one ball of dough in the middle and all the others around it.
  • Brush the tops of rolls with milk and sprinkle over some sesame seeds. Cover again with oiled cling film or a cloth and leave to prove until doubled in size and the balls touch each other – about 30 minutes.
  • Put into a preheated oven at 200 C for about 25 minutes until golden brown and cooked. Cool on a wire rack. Tear each roll off to eat as a bun.

Thank you again Sally for hosting this months challenge. I think you have inspired a lot of us to try baking breads with vegetables in them. This may not have been the right recipe for me but you have inspired me to try different bread recipes that include vegetables.

Fresh from the oven – July – Piadina

Here’s my slightly late entry for this months fresh from the oven challenge. This month’s challenge was hosted by Alex of Dear love blog. She chose an Italian flat bread called piadina. Traditionally piadina are made with lard but because Alex is vegetarian she made them with olive oil. The recipe below gives quantities for olive oil or lard. I’m not vegetarian but still have no desire to cook with lard so I stuck with olive oil.

I filled mine with mozzarella and parma ham and baked them in the oven for a few minutes until the cheese had melted. They were super easy to make (I cheated and put all the ingredients in my kitchenaid and let it do all th work), relatively quick to prepare and very tasty.

Here are a few vegetarian fillings suggested by Alex that all sound delicious:
Wilted spinach with nutmeg, garlic & ricotta
Potato, pecorino & rosemary
Cherry tomatoes, mozzarella & basil
Gorgonzola, pear, rocket & walnuts
Taleggio, porcini & thyme

I had planned to bake these last weekend ahead of the deadline and fill them with griddled aubergine and mozzarella but I forgot I was out of plain flour until our next supermarket trip. I’m glad that I tried the recipe even if I am a few days late.


Makes 8
500g Plain flour
1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp Finely ground sea salt
100ml Olive oil or 100g Lard
200ml Warm water

  • Place the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt & olive oil/lard in a large bowl.
  • Gradually add the water stirring with loose fingers until the mix comes together to form a soft dough.
  • Turn out on to a lightly floured surface & knead until the dough becomes smooth & shiny, this should take about 5-10 mins.
  • Divide into 8 equal balls, loosely cover with lightly oiled cling film & allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  • Heat a non stick cast iron skillet over a high heat for 5 mins.
  • On a well floured surface flatten each ball & roll out into a disc 2-3 mm thick, prick all over with a fork.
  • Place a disc of dough flat in the centre of the pan & press down gently. Cook for 2 mins or until the dough is crisps & brown spots begin to appear then flip & repeat on the other side.
  • Cook the piadina one at a time until all the dough is used.
  • Cover with a clean t-towel to prevent them drying out whilst you prepare your desired filling.
  • Place one piadina on the bottom cover evenly with filling & top with another.
  • If you like your fillings cold, cut into wedges & serve. Alternatively heat through in the oven or a sandwich press & serve hot.