Tomato & pesto focaccia

Light, crispy and chewy, this focaccia is packed with flavour and is ideal torn apart to dip into oil, balamic vinegar or used as the base for a bruschetta. Continue reading “Tomato & pesto focaccia”

Poppy seed and saffron sourdough

The combination of poppy seeds and saffron make a wonderful combination in a cake, but they are fabulous in a bread such as this. Continue reading “Poppy seed and saffron sourdough”

Courgette, cheese & chilli soda bread


Perfect for using up some of the homegrown courgettes, this very speedy soda bread is made and ready to serve within about 45 minutes. Continue reading “Courgette, cheese & chilli soda bread”

Chinese steamed buns

Soft, pillowy and slightly sweet, steamed buns are a joy to eat. Perfect for a burger such as a sticky, spiced burger flavoured with lemongrass, ginger, soy sauce and the like. Continue reading “Chinese steamed buns”

My ultimate burger buns!

Soft, slightly sweet and a perfect foil for a hearty filling, these brioche-style burger buns are my go-to whenever I want to make the buns from scratch. Continue reading “My ultimate burger buns!”

Saffron and roasted garlic bread

Delicately scented but with much depth of flavour, my saffron and roasted garlic bread is a real treat when eaten with good butter and perhaps some cheeses. Continue reading “Saffron and roasted garlic bread”

Spiced onion & chilli bread

Think onion bhajis in a bread, with a chilli kick, and that will give you the idea behind what I think is a wonderful tear-and-share bread. Continue reading “Spiced onion & chilli bread”

Fool-proof focaccia

I am always sceptical whenever I see “fool-proof” preface anything: this often leads to vastly inferior approximations of what you really want….but this approach to focaccia gives an exceptional bread. Continue reading “Fool-proof focaccia”

sourdough Black Forest brownies!

Sourdough brownies might sound bizarre but these are a great way to use up sourdough starter that might otherwise get discarded, with the starter adding a subtle tang to the brownies. Certainly everyone who has tasted these has gone back for at least another brownie! Continue reading “sourdough Black Forest brownies!”

Chocolate and spiced orange Panettone

This is my chocolate and orange version of panettone, which gives a wonderful chocolate hit that complements the buttery and light-as-air crumb that melts in your mouth effortlessly. Not to mention the heady flavours of vanilla and orange…. Continue reading “Chocolate and spiced orange Panettone”

Basil & roasted garlic soda bread

This is a recipe I am VERY proud of, creating it for one of the elements of my Ultimate Sharing Feast for episode 6 of Britain’s Best Home Cook: a bread that received raves from Mary Berry, Chris and Dan. Continue reading “Basil & roasted garlic soda bread”

Panettone

This is my take on the classic panettone: a rich, buttery but oh-so-light sweet bread, adapted from a recipe by Andrea Tortora, using multiple fermentations for THE best flavour. Continue reading “Panettone”

Panzanella: one of the best & quickest salads in the world. With YouTube version

Great food does not need to be at all complicated or time-consuming. Sometimes the right combination of humble ingredients can become something quite majestic; panzanella is a case in point….

Continue reading “Panzanella: one of the best & quickest salads in the world. With YouTube version”

Pasta with wild rocket pesto & crispy chorizo

Pesto is one of my favourite go-to sauces to make. I usually make it with basil I have grown, but it is fabulous made with other leaves: wild garlic makes a stunning pesto and rocket, which I have used here, gives a nice peppery kick. Here I give my favourite way of serving pesto: with freshly made pasta and crispy chorizo. Continue reading “Pasta with wild rocket pesto & crispy chorizo”

A sous-vide duck egg brunch!

This is a totally fuss-free light meal: freshly made sourdough (toasted), crispy pancetta and a slowly cooked duck egg, with a few fresh chives snipped over the top. When simplicity reigns! Continue reading “A sous-vide duck egg brunch!”

National Sandwich Week: a few of my favourite sandwiches

Every week can be National Sandwich Week as far as I am concerned! I adore sandwiches and can happily fill up on these any day of the week: for me, the sandwiches are one of the highlights of any Afternoon Tea. Continue reading “National Sandwich Week: a few of my favourite sandwiches”

Pear and Parmesan sourdough bread

Something of a resurrection has been going on in my kitchen: what I though was dead sourdough starter has now been gently nurtured back to life……

Continue reading “Pear and Parmesan sourdough bread”

Black treacle and Guinness bread

A simple and full-flavoured bread that is perfect with some salted butter, perhaps with seafood (it goes particularly well with crab) or as part of a Ploughman’s platter.  Continue reading “Black treacle and Guinness bread”

The easiest chicken liver pâté

I absolutely adore pâtés, whether coarse or smooth, layered or the same all the way through, and a rich chicken liver pâté, with all its flirtations with retro food, is up there as one of my favourite starters.

This is my easy version that is packed full of flavour and always goes down a storm when I make it. Continue reading “The easiest chicken liver pâté”

Chocolate and cherry focaccia

A sweet focaccia is a joy to eat, and my chocolate and cherry focaccia gives a lovely twist on a classic bread – it is also very easy to make. This focaccia is particularly great served in slices with a cup of tea, especially when spread with salted butter or with a dollop of tangy crème fraîche. Continue reading “Chocolate and cherry focaccia”

Crumpets and pikelets: cheese & onion flavour

Savoury crumpets and pikelets are particularly wonderful things to eat when toasted and buttered – whether or not you then want to dress them up further with cream cheese or a poached egg or any manner of adornments. Continue reading “Crumpets and pikelets: cheese & onion flavour”

Chocolate and cherry pastries

 

Kirsch-soaked Morello cherries and dark chocolate encased in a crisp, buttery croissant pastry – what is not to love? Continue reading “Chocolate and cherry pastries”

Focaccia bicolore

This two-coloured flavoured focaccia is the result of an idea that came to me after making the bicoloured croissants a while ago. The result is a plain focaccia dough mixed with a tomato and red onion focaccia dough. After all, why not have focaccia with different and clearly defined flavours within? Continue reading “Focaccia bicolore”

Sourdough croissants

While I make croissants using commercial yeast fairly often and sourdough bread frequently, I am fairly new to making sourdough croissants. But boy have I been missing out: not only is the flavour even better than using commercial yeast, you get even crispier croissants that truly shatter as you break into them. Continue reading “Sourdough croissants”

Chocolate & orange bi-coloured viennoiserie

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Bi-coloured croissants and the like have been doing the rounds for a few years and has been on my “to make” list for some time, especially as they can look striking. In essence, you have a croissant dough with a second, coloured dough running through it.

Continue reading “Chocolate & orange bi-coloured viennoiserie”

Easy chocolate & ginger viennoiserie

If you have ever been daunted by pastry, particularly for croissants and the like, these rich chocolate and ginger pastries are actually quite easy to make. Certainly compared to making croissant dough the traditional way. Continue reading “Easy chocolate & ginger viennoiserie”

Tomato and basil English muffins

This my savoury twist on classic English breakfast muffins: these are wonderful toasted and liberally buttered: the butter has to be liberal, and low-fat spreads and the like do not do justice to these muffins! Continue reading “Tomato and basil English muffins”

Sourdough baguettes

Shatteringly crisp baguettes, full of flavour and with wonderfully open crumb structure: surely the epitome of baking simplicity! Don’t get me wrong, I love throwing in goodies such as olives, roasted garlic, fresh herbs and the like in with doughs, but the refreshing lack of embellishments here absolutely hit the spot. Continue reading “Sourdough baguettes”

20-minute sourdough flatbreads

These flatbreads are so easy, so quick and so good with whatever dip or cheese is to hand. You can make a batch within about 20 minutes, including the baking, even going at a fairly sedate pace. Continue reading “20-minute sourdough flatbreads”

Garlic & rosemary fougasse bread

Fougasse is such a lovely bread, with a very crisp, shattering, crust and a soft interior. It is especially great as a tear-and-share bread, but I invariably find that once I get my hands on fougasse, sharing is a difficult option!  Continue reading “Garlic & rosemary fougasse bread”

Cheese, olive & tomato sourdough

This is much a “use up the left-overs” bread, using up some spiced olives (the ones normally found in the chiller cabinet at the supermarket) and the end of a block of mature Cheddar. I added some chopped sun-dried tomatoes for that wonderfully intense umami flavour you get: sun-dried tomatoes are one of my must-have store cupboard ingredients! Continue reading “Cheese, olive & tomato sourdough”

Simple fennel breadsticks – focaccia-style

These are very easy breadsticks to make. They taste wonderful and a large batch can be made at a fraction of the cost of shop-bought breadsticks! Perfect with any dip, although I have photographed these breadsticks with baba ghanoush, that wonderfully smokey aubergine dip (recipe here). Continue reading “Simple fennel breadsticks – focaccia-style”

English breakfast muffins

Updated Feb 2017: new photos of the muffins

Perfect sliced, toasted and buttered, English muffins (well, “muffins” to those of us brought up in the UK!) are very simple to make and require very little attention. And as with most home-made breads, they taste so much better than any you can buy – and for a fraction of the cost. Continue reading “English breakfast muffins”

Easy seeded flatbreads with sun-dried tomato hummus

Two incredibly simple things to make that go so well together: a really perfect dip to share as a snack, a starter, part of a picnic…….. Continue reading “Easy seeded flatbreads with sun-dried tomato hummus”

Fool-proof anchovy, onion & garlic focaccia

Focaccia remains up there in my top breads, in terms of making and eating, and while a standard focaccia is a delight, I love experimenting with flavours. Continue reading “Fool-proof anchovy, onion & garlic focaccia”

Easy spiced brioche pudding in a lemongrass custard

Essentially this is my take on bread and butter pudding, using a spiced brioche loaf I had left over. Continue reading “Easy spiced brioche pudding in a lemongrass custard”

Bruschetta: when simplicity reigns!

Bruschetta is one of those things that cannot fail to put a smile on my face when I eat it. Perfect as a starter, served with barbeque food or just as a light bite at any time of the day, one slice is never enough. Continue reading “Bruschetta: when simplicity reigns!”

Chocolate & cherry brioches

This is my chocolate and cherry version of a brioche: very rich, with a buttery interior that is actually very light to eat and practically melts in the mouth. Continue reading “Chocolate & cherry brioches”

Orange & vanilla rum babas

Surely it is time for a full-on revival of these fabulous 1970s dessert trolley staples? Continue reading “Orange & vanilla rum babas”

The easiest & quickest smoked mackerel pâté in the world!

This is an insanely simple and almost instant smoked mackerel pâté that is seriously big on flavour – perfect spread liberally on hot toast or eaten with a baguette as part of a light snack. Continue reading “The easiest & quickest smoked mackerel pâté in the world!”

Spiced brioche boule

This is my spiced fruit version of a brioche: rich, well spiced with a buttery, citrussy flavour;tiny bursts of orange-soaked cranberries, apricots and raisins add sharp sweetness to the brioche. Continue reading “Spiced brioche boule”

Gooseberry chutney

This is my very simple recipe for gooseberry chutney that is made in about 20 minutes: a perfect partner for cheese or smoked fish.

Continue reading “Gooseberry chutney”

Hot cross buns with attitude

These are light, full-flavoured sticky buns that have had slow rises to give a far greater depth of flavour. Small pieces of dried cranberries, juicy raisins, ginger and vibrant bursts of citrus run through the sweet, spiced dough. Continue reading “Hot cross buns with attitude”

Piccalilli: a prince among preserves!

Piccalilli is one of my favourite preserves and making a batch late summer is something of an annual ritual that I always look forward to. Continue reading “Piccalilli: a prince among preserves!”

Bread: tips & ideas for the novice home baker and upwards!

updated with further ideas & some newer photos

Phil's Home Kitchen

This post is part of my Baking tips page, along with tips for macarons, croissants, cake decorating ideas and pastry.

Barely a day goes by when I am not either baking or proving a bread of some type, whether it is a sourdough bread or a bread using commercial yeast: it’s a wonderfully tactile and intensely therapeutic process. There are certainly few greater pleasures in baking than the evocative smell of bread as it is baking, followed by eating warm bread that has been spread liberally with good quality butter: simplicity at its very best!

This post is about the basic, but nonetheless majestic bread loaf, made with commercial yeast as opposed to using a sourdough starter, although I dip into pre-ferments as a wonderfully simple way to add even better depth of flavour to bread. I have also posted guidelines for different types of bread, such as focaccia, one…

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Cheese & onion sourdough crumpets

These particular crumpets arose from an idea that came to me late one night – as is often the way! Continue reading “Cheese & onion sourdough crumpets”

Easy sourdough crumpets

I am of the belief that a hot crumpet, slathered with butter, perhaps with some excellent quality jam, is one of life’s greatest foodie pleasures. Continue reading “Easy sourdough crumpets”

The simplest, quickest sourdough flatbreads in about 20 minutes!

When you feed a sourdough starter, you discard some of the starter so that you can top the remaining starter with more water and flour: that way you get a fairly constant volume of starter rather than having litres of it in many containers all over the place! Continue reading “The simplest, quickest sourdough flatbreads in about 20 minutes!”