Bread

Freshly baked bread, warmly steaming, crusted with seeds or dusted with flour, is one of my most favourite sights and smells. I'm experimenting with my homegrown sourdough, playing with rye flour grown and milled by friends, and always keeping an eye out for new and promising recipes. Like many cooks and bakers my "to try" list is far longer than my available free time, so for now, here are my tried and trusted breads, welcome on tables everywhere.

  • Oatmeal Bread - Chock-full of rolled oats and subtly sweetened with a touch of brown sugar, this is a bread for toasting up for breakfast, making a classic grilled cheese, or piling high with sandwich toppings. Although it's not gluten-free by any stretch, the high ratio of oats to wheat seems to make it easier on the stomachs of those who have some trouble digesting wheat. 

  • Birdseed Bread - If you like the crunch of nuts and seeds in your bread, this one's for you! Sesame, sunflower, poppy, millet and flax seeds are kneaded into a whole wheat dough, then the whole thing is rolled in even more seeds for a crackly, crunchy crust.

  • Challah - This is a traditional Jewish bread made without any dairy (parve). The dough gets its richness from eggs and olive oil and its depth from a slow, cool rising time. Then it's formed into a long braid, brushed with an egg wash to provide a glossy crust, and sprinkled with poppy seeds. For true decadence, try making French toast with this beauty. I promise you, you'll never go back.

  • Dinner Rolls - Available in white or whole wheat, in a traditional bun shape or a stylish knot, with or without seeds on the crust. Every way delicious. You know you have a hit when your dinner guests can't stop talking about the bread!