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.

Fresh from the oven, June challenge – a sandwich loaf

This month’s Fresh from the oven challenge was hosted by Jo from Jo’s kitchen. She chose a recipe for a sandwich loaf from the recent BBC TV series Great British food revival. I loved the show but never quiet got round to trying the recipe. After returning from Tuscany, without wedding planning taking up all my free time, this month’s challenge was the perfect way for me to jump back in to both blogging and baking bread. I just checked my archive and was surprised to find out that the last time I participated in a Fresh from the oven challenge was last September! I’ve still been enjoying running the group (with the lovely Michelle of Utterly scrummy food for families) but I just never seemed to find the time each month to participate. I love seeing all the fantastic breads everyone makes when putting together the round ups, it is very inspiring. I was pleased to find out this month that we have been featured on the channel 4 website in an article on the best bread blogs. A big thank you to all our members who take part each month. Clearly I’m not the only one who finds all your efforts inspiring.

Back to this month’s challenge. You can find the recipe here. I found the recipe very straight forward to follow. Although I found the dough quiet wet, using my kitchenaid mixer this was not a problem. I will be reading the other members post keen to find out if it was just mine and how those who knead by hand got on. The only adaption I made was that after about 20 minutes in the oven my loaf was looking brown enough for my liking so I cover it with tin foil for the rest of the baking time (but then I’m a bit fuss like that, my husband calls my toast warm bread as I like it fairly pale golden). We both loved the loaf, it made delicious sandwiches and toast. The only downside was that perhaps the bread was a little bit too sweet. As an occasional bread though I enjoyed it but if I was making this all the time for sandwiches I think we would get fed up of the sweetness. Having said that  I will definately be making this loaf again.

The Daring bakers – March 2011 challenge – Yeasted meringue coffee cake

This is my first Daring Baker’s challenge since the gingerbread house of December 2009! I can’t believe it’s been so long. I never planned to leave it so long before getting back in to taking part in these challenges as I really enjoyed the gingerbread house challenge as well as the Bakewell tart and who the Dobos torte (which still gets talked about). All challenges that I really enjoyed baking and sharing with family and friends and that I would not have baked if it wasn’t for the Daring Bakers (well perhaps I would have baked the Bakewell tart at some point). This months challenge was a perfect example of what I had been missing, I enjoyed baking it, we all enjoyed eating it and it’s certainly not a recipe I would have found myself.

The March 2011 Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Ria of Ria’s Collection and Jamie of Life’s a Feast. Ria and Jamie challenged The Daring Bakers to bake a yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake.

As someone who regularly bakes bread with yeast this didn’t feel like the big baking challenge that it might have done to the none bread bakers in the group. I made this challenge quiet early in the month and took it with us when we went to stay with my fiance’s family for the weekend. I only made half the recipe which was plenty. Everyone commented on how as soon as the lid was opened it smelt like a French bakery. As well as smelling fantastic, it tasted truly delicious and the texture was perfect (almost brioche like but with a lot less butter). The meringue layer might sound strange but it disappears during baking into the bread adding to the sweetness and moistness. The filling was our chance to experiment and use what we liked or use the suggestions from Jamie or Ria. I used Jamie’s suggestion as it sounded and looked delicious. It was chocolate chips, cinnamon, sugar and chopped up pecan nuts.

Makes 2 round coffee cakes, each approximately 10 inches in diameter
The recipe can easily be halved to make one round coffee cake

For the yeast coffee cake dough:

4 cups (600 g / 1.5 lbs.) flour (I wasn’t sure of the type, so used plain with good results)
¼ cup (55 g / 2 oz.) sugar
¾ teaspoon (5 g / ¼ oz.) salt
1 package (2 ¼ teaspoons / 7 g / less than an ounce) active dried yeast
¾ cup (180 ml / 6 fl. oz.) whole milk
¼ cup (60 ml / 2 fl. oz. water (doesn’t matter what temperature)
½ cup (135 g / 4.75 oz.) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 large eggs at room temperature

For the meringue:

3 large egg whites at room temperature
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup (110 g / 4 oz.) sugar

For the filling:

Jamie’s version:
1 cup (110 g / 4 oz.) chopped pecans or walnuts
2 Tablespoons (30 g / 1 oz.) granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup (170 g / 6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips or coarsely chopped chocolate

Egg wash: 1 beaten egg
Cocoa powder (optional) and confectioner’s sugar (powdered/icing sugar) for dusting cakes


Prepare the dough:

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 ½ cups (230 g) of the flour, the sugar, salt and yeast.

In a saucepan, combine the milk, water and butter and heat over medium heat until warm and the butter is just melted.

With an electric mixer on low speed, gradually add the warm liquid to the flour/yeast mixture, beating until well blended. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes. Add the eggs and 1 cup (150 g) flour and beat for 2 more minutes.

Using a wooden spoon, stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a dough that holds together. Turn out onto a floured surface (use any of the 1 ½ cups of flour remaining) and knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes until the dough is soft, smooth, sexy and elastic, keeping the work surface floured and adding extra flour as needed.

Place the dough in a lightly greased (I use vegetable oil) bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let rise until double in bulk, 45 – 60 minutes. The rising time will depend on the type of yeast you use.

Prepare your filling:In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar for the filling if using. You can add the chopped nuts to this if you like, but I find it easier to sprinkle on both the nuts and the chocolate separately.

Once the dough has doubled, make the meringue:
In a clean mixing bowl – ideally a plastic or metal bowl so the egg whites adhere to the side (they slip on glass) and you don’t end up with liquid remaining in the bottom – beat the egg whites with the salt, first on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to high and continue beating until foamy and opaque. Add the vanilla then start adding the ½ cup sugar, a tablespoon at a time as you beat, until very stiff, glossy peaks form.

Assemble the Coffee Cakes:

Line 2 baking/cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Punch down the dough and divide in half. On a lightly floured surface, working one piece of the dough at a time (keep the other half of the dough wrapped in plastic), roll out the dough into a 20 x 10-inch (about 51 x 25 ½ cm) rectangle. Spread half of the meringue evenly over the rectangle up to about 1/2-inch (3/4 cm) from the edges. Sprinkle half of your filling of choice evenly over the meringue (ex: half of the cinnamon-sugar followed by half the chopped nuts and half of the chocolate chips/chopped chocolate).

Now, roll up the dough jellyroll style, from the long side. Pinch the seam closed to seal. Very carefully transfer the filled log to one of the lined cookie sheets, seam side down. Bring the ends of the log around and seal the ends together, forming a ring, tucking one end into the other and pinching to seal.

Using kitchen scissors or a sharp knife (although scissors are easier), make cuts along the outside edge at 1-inch (2 ½ cm) intervals. Make them as shallow or as deep as desired but don’t be afraid to cut deep into the ring.

Repeat with the remaining dough, meringue and fillings.

Cover the 2 coffee cakes with plastic wrap and allow them to rise again for 45 to 60 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

Brush the tops of the coffee cakes with the egg wash. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until risen and golden brown. The dough should sound hollow when tapped.

Remove from the oven and slide the parchment paper off the cookie sheets onto the table. Very gently loosen the coffee cakes from the paper with a large spatula and carefully slide the cakes off onto cooling racks. Allow to cool.

Just before serving, dust the tops of the coffee cakes with confectioner’s sugar as well as cocoa powder if using chocolate in the filling. These are best eaten fresh, the same day or the next day.

Fresh from the oven – June 2010 – Turkish Pide

It’s been a few months since I have participated in a Fresh from the oven challenge so I felt I really had to try to fit it in this month. However time got a way from me and I found the 28th arriving before I had chance to bake. I had planned to make the bread after returning from a weekend at my parents yesterday (whilst my boyfriend was watching the world cup) but a drive that should have taken an hour and a half took 4 hours. So not only did the bread not get baked but we ended up sat in a traffic jam in scorching temperatures listening to the match on the radio. Anyway I had the day off work today so a bit last minute but at last I  baked this months challenge.

This months challenge was hosted by Pei Lin a.k.a Mrs Ergü, whose blog can be found here. She chose Turkish Pide. Pide is almost like a national bread in Turkey (after Simit). Quoting Iffet from her blog – My Turkish Kitchen:

Pide is the special Turkish bread for Ramadan. During the holy month of Ramadan, you could see long lines in front of bakeries. Those people wait to have one of these breads to break their fast with it. The smell of pide ‘force’ you to get one even you don’t think about buying it.

It was certainly worth the wait. It was simple to make (apart from the measurements being in cups, I much prefer to measure flour using scales when baking) and tasted delicious (but it is quiet rich because of the butter content). I had to improvise slightly, we had no black sesame seeds in so had to use poppy seeds.

Turkish Pide
adapted from Iffet’s My Turkish Kitchen, PİDE


  • 4 cups (to 5 cups) Plain flour
  • 1 and 3/4 cups Warm Water
  • 1/2 stick (60g) Butter ( melted )
  • 1/2 tablespoon Instant Yeast
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon Salt

Black and White Sesame Seeds

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients
  2. Add melted Butter and Warm Water into this mixture and knead. The dough should be sticky
  3. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and keep it in a warm place for rising
  4. Let the dough rise to double its size
  5. Knead the dough again until it is bubble free
  6. Place a parchment paper on a 13″ by 10.5″ baking tray
  7. Take the dough to the tray and make it flat with your hands until it cover all of the surface of the tray
  8. Dampen your hands with Water if the dough stick to your hands on this step
  9. Then take a knife and give the dough square shapes going deep down
  10. Sprinkle some Sesame Seeds on top
  11. Preheat the oven to 350F
  12. Let rise the dough for half an hour
  13. Bake it for 30 minutes or until the color of pide turns light brown
  14. Take the pide out of the oven and let it cool for 20 minutes and cover it with a clean kitchen towel to keep it soft.