These quirky little Flower Pot bread loaves will no doubt bring gasps of pleasure and admiration when you serve them! Plus, they are so easy to make with only one kneading required. 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. I always like to sprinkle mixed seeds on top of these - they almost look like seeds that have been sown in the flowerpots! I am sorry, but I have to say it, these flowerpot loaves or rolls should turn out "Blooming Marvellous"! That had to be said! Have fun!
Flower Pot Seasoning
Oil, lard or butter
300ml tepid water
1 X 7g sachet fast action yeast ( or ½ oz fresh yeast mixed with tepid water)
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.
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!
Grease and line the base of the flowerpots with greaseproof paper.
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.
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.
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!)
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.
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.