Category Archives: Bread and pasta


Taken from the back of the i newspaper in the UK which lists it as from ‘All day cafe’ by Stuart McKenzie (Murdoch books), but it appeals to me because I can easily make the aioli and pide and, if all goes well in the garden, will be able to source the lettuce and tomato.

The avocado is mashed with lemon juice and salt and pepper and spread on one half of toasted pide. AioliĀ  is spread on the other half, and in between is the cooked (in olive oil) bacon, lettuce and tomato.


A great lunch after a morning spent in the garden weeding.

Pide and BLAT

I have been cutting out the daily recipe from the i newspaper for some time now and recently there was one for a BLAT (bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato) with pide bread and aioli.

Well, for me, making the bread is a no-brainer and I have made pide before. But since I have recently been making my own aioli, this seemed like too good an opportunity to miss.


Okay, so maybe they’re supposed to be round, but decided right at the end to make more, smaller breads and didn’t want to have to wait too long again to prove them.

The BLAT post to follow.

Where there’s some dill there’s a way (to use it all up)

My latest fishy experiment in something new was to cook a lemon butter sauce to go with a piece ot lemon sole (lovely fish, shame about the bones).

Very simple recipes can be found online but the sauce for two (one person on two days) meant buying quantities of wine, cream and dill in excess of what the recipe called for, and ones that often stay in the fridge until they go off and that annoys me no end.

Okay, the wine situation is easily sorted, especially for a 20cl bottle. Double cream? Goes great with a rhubarb crumble, finishing off some left over from before.

But for the dill, I thought I’d fall back to one of my favourite breads: ‘Swedish’ dill bread. With egg, butter, onion and cream cheese, the texture and taste is very light and something to be experienced.

But cream cheese is another of the foods that gets left to go off, so rather than buy some, I decided to make my own; the leftover liquid then goes into the bread.


Homemade cream cheese with fresh dill

So, it’s a half litre of milk and a tablespoon of lime juice and a couple of hours for it to set.

Another reason I like the dill bread is that it is easy to make (the cheese, egg and butter substitute for water in a routine dough) and is just about the only loaf I make where I have some idea of what it might turn out like.


Homemade dill bread with homemade cream cheese

And this will taste better knowing that I made the cheese and made good use of ingredients that would normally be discarded.

Homemade cheese and pane di Prato

I had another go at some homemade cheese (warm milk and natural yogurt) instead of using lime juice (which is still okay) and it’s not come out to bad. 

What’s even better is that I followed up on a tip I saw on the blog of the New England cheesemaking company to use the leftover liquid to make some bread. 

And a decent pane di Prato is the result. 

I’m thinking about moving on to the hard stuff, but that’ll be quite some commitment, of time and effort.

Focaccia farcita


This is a cheese-filled epic with mozzarella and gorgonzola and basil just prior to having the top layer dough added and sealed.
Perfect for a summer picnic but definitely best served still warm, although can survive a 1 minute reheat in the microwave.
Again, in common with all the stuff I cook, very easy to make and much the same dough as i use to make pizza bases though it doesn’t have the wine I usually have in the focaccia.


And here’s the result after baking

Banana and coconut loaf


Another one taken from the i newspaper’s daily recipe.
This is made with butter (coconut oil instead), sugar (dates) and with spelt rather than flour.
Not quite dairy-free because of the 4 eggs but it’s very simple to make, just bung the ingredients in a bowl, mix and bake for an hour.
I made a second loaf but forgot the dessicated coconut; it’s definitely better with than without.

Sourdough, another go

After deciding that my first batch of sourdough starter had failed (it probably hadn’t and could have been saved from disaster), I did a bit of reading up on how to maintain a starter, I decided to have another go.
So rather than whacking it straight in the fridge after topping it up, I left it in the jar, covered with a tea towel, for a few hours until it was nice and bubbly before putting the lid on.
I will also get the starter out of the fridge a couple of days before I need it, cover with a towel and make sure it is frothing before I make the loaf; a good stir every few days should also help.
And I am still keeping as blob of ‘old dough’ in the freezer ready for use when I need it.