No bread is an island

...entire of itself. (With apologies to John Donne!)
I live and breathe breadmaking. I’m an evangelist who would like everyone to make his or her own bread. I want to demystify breadmaking and show it as the easy everyday craft that it is. To this end I endeavour to make my recipes as simple and as foolproof as I possibly can.

I call my blog 'No bread is an island' because every bread is connected to another bread. So a spicy fruit bun with a cross on top is a hot cross bun. This fruit dough will also make a fruit loaf - or Chelsea buns or a Swedish tea ring...
I'm also a vegan, so I have lots of vegan recipes on here - and I'm adding more all the time.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Canapes (vegan), made with a bread dough

200g strong white flour 
1 teaspoon bouillon powder
1 teaspoon mixed herbs
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh yeast
125ml lukewarm water
2 tbs olive oil 

Pesto, roasted peppers, sun-dried tomatoes (chopped small), slices of tomato, mushroom, etc.
Black pepper
Olive oil to drizzle

1. Measure the water and stir in the fresh yeast. Place the flour, bouillon powder, herbs and garlic in a mixing bowl, stir to distribute the ingredients, pour in the yeast liquid, then add the olive oil.

2. Have a little water to hand to add if necessary, remember, it is better for your dough to be wetter (slack) rather than drier (tight). Begin to mix by stirring the ingredients together with a knife, cutting through the dough as it forms. When it gets too stiff for the knife, use your hand to squeeze the mixture together. As it forms into a solid mass, keep turning it over and pressing it down to pick up the flour at the bottom of the bowl – but make sure it stays soft. Don’t be afraid to add more water to keep it soft! When all the flour has been mixed in, wipe the bowl around with the dough, turn it out onto the worktop and begin to knead.

3. Knead by flattening the dough out, folding it over and flattening it again. If the dough is too sticky, instead of putting extra flour on your worktop, place some in the bowl, put the dough back in and turn it round to coat it all over. That way you keep the flour under control and you won’t be tempted to add too much. Knead until the dough becomes smooth – and then stop before you get fed up!

4. Leave the dough to rest whilst you prepare a baking sheet and gather your ingredients. When you are ready to proceed, take the dough out of the mixing bowl and form it gently into a cob shape. Have plenty of flour to hand and liberally scatter flour over the dough and worktop. With a rolling pin, roll it into a circle about 25-30cm across. 

5. Use a pastry cutter to create circles of dough, or a pizza cutter to create 5-6cm squares and place them on a prepared baking tray. 

6. Spread half a teaspoon of pesto over each circle or square followed by a teaspoon of sun-dried tomato bits, then a slice of tomato or other topping. Sprinkle with black pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil.

7. Bake at 220C, 425F or gas mark 7 for between 8-10 minutes. They should be browning underneath.

You can vary these at will. I like to put chilli powder in with the flour.

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