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.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Poppy and sesame seed crackers

These only took about 50 minutes (no proving!) - they really are quick and easy
They're fun to make - and taste gorgeous!
200g (1 mug) strong white flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 dessertspoon each sesame and poppy seeds
125ml (1/3rd of a mug) lukewarm water plus 1 teaspoon yeast

Oil to brush 
Poppy seeds or sesame seeds to sprinkle

1. Place the flour and sugar in a mixing bowl. Measure the water, stir in the yeast until it dissolves, then add the yeast liquid to the flour.

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 (starting with the yeast first, to dissolve it properly), cutting through the dough. 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 stretching the dough out, folding it over, stretching it out and so on and so forth. Do this until it is smooth – and stop before you get fed up!

4. Divide your dough into 4 and form  each piece gently into a cob shape. Roll out each portion of dough very thinly, flouring the worktop and the dough - and, when you think it won't go any thinner, roll it out some more.(It helps if you work on these alternately - dough rolls out easier if it has been rested.) Place the dough on a piece of baking parchment  the same size as the baking sheet and roll the dough out whilst it's on top of the paper. Use a pizza cutter to trim the edges to the size of the paper.

5. Brush with oil and sprinkle with either poppy seeds or sesame seeds. Using a pizza cutter, cut them into 2-3cm squares. These separate out and shrink a little as they are baked.

6. The oven needs to be a lot cooler than for normal bread. I had it on 175C, which worked well - but each oven is different. You don't want the oven too hot, so if you're at all unsure, start with 150C. If they are not beginning to colour after ten minutes, turn the oven up to 160C, and so on. Keep an eye on them - sometimes the squares at the edge are ready whilst the ones in the middle are still a little pale. Simply remove the one that are done and return the others to the oven for a couple of minutes more.

I intend to try these very soon with some chilli powder or curry powder.

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