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Father’s Day picnic - Flower Pot Bread recipe

PUBLISHED: 16:40 17 June 2015

Flower Pot Bread

Flower Pot Bread

Archant

Flower Pot Bread is the perfect bake for a family picnic or a homemade Father’s Day hamper, says Lisa Osman

We first made this recipe for a VIP Gala buffet for the ‘Badger Ales’ garden at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. In the spirit of the garden we took a wonderful Dorset Picnic to the heart of London, and the bread rolls we baked in small terracotta flower pots went down a treat!

With Father’s Day coming up on 21st June we thought this recipe would work really well. Serve as part of a family lunch in the garden, packed for a picnic or even as part of a gift hamper with some local cheese and of course a bottle or two of Badger Beer!

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All Hallows Flower Pot Bread

To add flavour and texture to your bread you can add the following optional extras: Chopped fresh herbs or sun-dried tomatoes, caramelised onions, cheese, pitted olives or seeds. You will also need four new, clean terracotta flower pots (roughly mug size), lined with baking parchment that is brushed with olive oil.

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Ingredients

• 450g strong white flour

• 15 g or one level tablespoon of dried active yeast

• 1 teaspoon sugar

• Pinch salt

• 20 g unsalted butter

• Olive oil Method

• 150ml warm water (1 part boiling and 2 parts cold) in a heatproof jug

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Method

1 Start by activating the yeast: Add the sugar to the warm water, stir to dissolve. Sprinkle the yeast onto the water, stirring well until fully dissolved.

2 Place the jug on the AGA warming plate or in a warm place beside a conventional oven, leave for approximately 10 minutes to activate. It is ready when the surface is covered with froth.

3 Place weighed flour in a bowl, add salt and butter then rub into the flour.

4 Combine activated yeast with the flour mixture. Using a spatula, bring the dough together ensuring there is no dry flour. If necessary, add a little warm water to ensure that it comes together well.

5 Turn out the mixture onto a floured surface, knead well for at least 10 minutes. Using both hands push the dough away from you using the heel of your palms then bringing the dough together as you repeat the process. Or, if you have a food processor/mixer with dough hook use this - but it is always a good idea to finish the final stage of kneading by hand.

6 The dough is ready to rise when it is smooth and elastic. At this stage add any of your optional extras such as finely chopped herbs, pitted olives, grated cheese or sun-dried tomatoes. Knead again to ensure even distribution.

7 Add a splash of olive oil to a mixing bowl large enough for the bread dough to double in size. Add the dough and turn it in the oil to prevent the dough sticking.

8 Cover the bowl and place in a warm place, close to your AGA or in an airing cupboard away from draughts for 1-2 hours.

9 When it has risen well, shape and prove the dough by removing from the bowl on to a lightly floured surface and dividing by four. Fill each pot with a piece of dough, three quarters filling each pot.

10 Cover the pots with a tea towel and leave for 30 - 40 minutes to prove (rise) again. Preheat your conventional oven to 200°C or Gas Mark 6. Adjust the shelf in the top oven of your AGA so that it is sitting on the floor.

11 Glaze the tops of the loaves with beaten egg, sprinkle with seeds if you like. Place on a baking tray and bake for 20 -30 minutes.

12 The bread is cooked when golden brown, risen well and it makes a hollow sound when tapped gently on the base after removing from the pot.

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