“Baps, Bloomers and Barm Cakes”
Celebrating British Bread Week
~ Rustic Flower Pot Bread Loaves ~
National Bread Week
16th – 22nd April 2012 is National Bread Week in the UK
British Bread week gives us all the opportunity to celebrate one of the oldest and most popular types of food – bread. Ours is a nation with a rich and diverse bread making history, with the most marvellous, quirky names; bloomers, cobs, cottage loaves, baps, barm cakes, bannocks, Kentish huffkins, Sally Lunns, stottie cakes, farmhouse, buttery rowies, Granary etc……….the list goes on. In fact we have over 200 different types of bread in Britain. The numerous regional varieties of bread products provide us with a culinary map of our nation, some famous and well know, and some not known out of their own villages, towns or regions – variety truly being the spice of the British bread basket delight.
Different types of bread can be further broken down into the flour and grain types used, such as wholemeal, soft grain, wholegrain, corn, rye and buckwheat, again, usually due to local availability and demand. There is also Granary bread which is a brown bread made from special Granary flour (a trademark of the Hovis brand), which includes kibbled and whole grains.
The arrival of the Normansin Britainwas the first major era that influenced the types of bread we ate; rye flour was gradually replaced for the finer and soft white French flour – only for the rich and courtly people of course! During Tudor times, bread became a huge status symbol, the nobility only eating white bread, tradesman and merchants eating wheaten cobs and the serfs eating bran – how times have changed.
- Rustic Flower Pot Bread Loaves
Sliced mass produced bread provides us with the ease and convenience of eating bread at all times of the day or night for that matter, especially if we are working – but why not take the time this week to make some bread at home. The satisfaction and elemental pleasure that you get from putting your own home-baked bread on the table is immeasurable; and it is NOT difficult at all – you just need to set aside some time. I like to have a pot of tea or coffee on the go, my favourite music playing, then just me with my yeast and flour in the kitchen.
If you have a local baker that still makes and sells artisanal, regional bread, try to support them and their products. Hopefully, we may still have all of these traditional and unique breads, with their very British names for years to come. To celebrate British Bread Week, I will be posting three very different types of bread recipes throughout the week for you to try: Farmhouse Oatmeal Bread – wonderful for sandwiches as well as toast; Rustic Flower Pot Bread Loaves – amusing and easy little bread loaves baked in plant pots; and finally, Baps, sometimes called Scottish Morning Rolls – perfect for sandwiches, both hot and cold. So, let’s get kneading, have fun and let’s get baking. See you later and have a great week…….Karen.
Rustic Flower Pot Bread Loaves
|Serves||Makes 2 to 6 flowerpot loaves, depending on size of pots.|
|Prep time||1 hour, 10 minutes|
|Cook time||35 minutes|
|Total time||1 hour, 45 minutes|
|Meal type||Appetizer, Bread, Breakfast, Lunch, Side Dish, Snack, Soup, Starter|
|Misc||Child Friendly, Freezable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot|
|Occasion||Barbecue, Birthday Party, Casual Party, Formal Party|
|By author||Karen S Burns-Booth|
Flower Pot Seasoning
- Oil, lard or butter
- 350g strong white flour
- 100g granary bread flour (or multi-grain bread flour)
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 25g butter
- 1 X 7g sachet fast action yeast ( or ½ oz fresh yeast mixed with tepid water)
- 300ml tepid water
Glaze & Finish
- Milk to glaze
- 2 to 3 tablespoons mixed seeds or grains
Bread was originally baked in terracotta or clay pots, so these little bread loaves are not that different from old-fashioned bread made many years ago. You must make sure your flower pots are seasoned before you bake in them, but once they are seasoned they are ready to be used repeatedly.
|Step 1||To prepare the flower pots: Take two to six earthenware flowerpots (3 to 6 inches in size). Wash thoroughly and grease them inside and outside, with lard, butter or oil. (Please use NEW plant pots, of course!) Repeat the process two or three times for a good "seasoning" and non-stick surface on your flowerpots. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 190°C or Gas 5, for 25-30 minutes. NB: Before baking with them, line the base with greaseproof paper or baking parchment - especially if there is a hole in the bottom of the flowerpot!|
|Step 2||Grease and line the base of the flowerpots with greaseproof paper. |
|Step 3||If you are using fresh yeast, blend it into the tepid water. Place the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl and rub in the butter. Add the sugar and dried yeast and then the tepid water, mix to soft dough with your hands.|
|Step 4||Turn the dough onto a floured board or work surface and knead the dough by folding towards you, then pushing down and away from you with the heel of your hand. Give the dough a quarter turn and repeat the action. Knead until smooth, elastic and no longer sticky, about 10 minutes.|
|Step 5||Cut the dough into equal sized pieces and place in to the prepared flowerpots. Glaze the loaves with a little milk and then sprinkle some seeds or grains over the top of them. Place the flowerpots on a large baking tray and then put them inside a large oiled plastic bag, leave them in a warm place until they are doubled in size, about 45 minutes to one hour. (An airing cupboard is good!)|
|Step 6||Remove the oiled plastic bag and place the flowerpot loaves on the middle shelf in a pre-heated oven, 200C or gas 6, for 25 to 35 minutes, depending on size of the pots; or until golden brown and the loaves sound hollow when tapped from underneath. (If the loaves are browning too quickly, cover them with some baking paper) Remove the bread from the flowerpots, gently easing a butter knife around the rim of the flowerpot and allow them to cool on a wire tray.|
|Step 7||You can serve them in the flowerpots at the table once cooled! Serve split or sliced with butter or as sandwiches with fillings of your choice.|
Hooray for British bread! These little flower pot loaves look lovely – I’ve only made them once before and they stuck slightly…next time will prepare my pots better first!
They can be tricky to turn out, hence making sure that the flower pots are well seasoned beforehand!
Wow these buns look fabulous. Love the little flower pots.
Thanks, I love the looks on people’s faces when I serve these in the plant pots!
Smells Like Salad says
MUST try the flower pot recipe!
You will love these M! 🙂
as you know I am a keen baker of breads and I have always wanted to try these little flower-pot breads, they just look so rustic and pretty I am sure to give them a go!… beautiful photography as always Karen x
Thanks Dom; like you I LOVE bread making and working with yeast and these were fun to make.
Well I didn’t know it was National Bread Week…and it just so happens that I made my first loaf a few days ago…a Brioche! Incidentally I also spent my Easter weekend in garden centres looking for flowerpots to bake mini loaves…I didn’t find any and had to sell out and buy them on amazon…does that make me a bad person?!! I might use your recipe once they arrive! 🙂
Thanks Laura! This is an easy recipe as you only prove the bread once when in the flowerpots, and so cuts out about one hour! NO you are not bad buying from Amazon, if that is the only place where you could get them, that’s what I would do!
I love the concept of the flower pot bread! Since developing a wheat allergy, I’m more likely to bake bread since it’s hard to find many really good wheat-free breads.
I would love to hear if these work out baked gluten free style……and thanks for your lovely comments! 🙂
Celia Lindsell says
I LOVE the idea of baking bread in flower pots, how brilliant. I am overdosing at the moment on my divine Provencal Lavender Honey on hot buttered toast. Lovely images, thank you
I LOVE lavender honey and I bet yours is JUST lovely! Maybe you should make some flowerpot bread to go with the lavender honey!
Jenny @ BAKE says
these look so cute! I didn’t realise it was british bread week, it just so happens I’m planning on baking a loaf tonight! I doubt it will look as adorable as these little guys though!
Thanks Jenny! Fun to make and even more fun when you serve them on the table in their flowerpots too! 🙂
Ren Behan says
A lovely post, Karen! I love this flower pot bread. I had some once at The Blue Anchor in St Albans, the chef makes treacle bread in flower pots – it’s just a little sweet, but not too much. I’ve always wondered how to make it. Inspired again and of course, spotted the tasty lemon curd, perfect on any bread!!
Thanks Ren….those treacle rolls sound LUSH!
Javelin Warrior says
This is what I get for being behind in my reading! I miss stuff like these – they’re jaw-droppingly awesome… Love that you make them in pots and I’ve never seen this done before. Yay…so happy you shared!
Thanks! 🙂 they are really wonderful little bread rolls!
Javelin Warrior says
Just wanted to drop by again and let you know I am featuring this post in today’s Friday Food Fetish roundup (with a link-back and attribution). As always, Karen, it’s a pleasure to be following your creations…
Fishfingers for tea says
They look lovely! I was always reluctant to make my own bread but my mum – a daily bread baker – gave me a masterclass and I’m slowly but surely catching the bug! There really is that ‘I made that’ moment when you take it out of the oven!
I agree, that moment that they come out of the oven and the kitchen smells of fresh yeasty bread is divine!
Fiona Matters says
These look lovely. I haven’t tried rolls in a while (the last time I tried they were more rock like than anything) and it’s quite tempting to give it a go. Love the idea of the flower pots! Shared on twitter.