Ever since my new LG oven arrived, I've been barely able to leave it alone. It seems every time I walk past it, I am reminded of something over the past few months that I've wanted to bake but haven't and before I know it, I'm riffling through my fridge and pantries for ingredients. When my new delivery of plants arrived, I recalled one item, a flowerpot bread. This involves baking a bread using new terracotta pots instead of a baking tray. I envisaged this would be great serving these with soups and stews over winter but also popular as a Springtime way of serving bread for a lunch or garden party.
A Cheese and Mustard bread was a flavour I had randomly selected as I still need to build up my pantry supplies having depleted them in order to move easier (although that didn't stop what seemed to be a never ending amount of boxes being amassed). In fact at last count, about a third of all boxes were kitchen or blog related with china pieces in every conceivable shape, pattern and form. We food bloggers don't travel light.
I used two large 14cms high pots for the recipe below but if you did want to serve them for a Spring time lunch you could certainly use smaller pots so that each person receives a pot of bread each to go with their meal (just make sure that they're brand new pots). It's as hard as baking bread is and the "effort to applause ratio" (what we all seek when entertaining really) is excellent. People love the whole idea and you can forgot getting expensive bakeware, these terracotta pots are perfect to make an impact. Even Mr NQN bestowed with the ultimate man-compliment exclaiming "Hey cool!" when I showed them to him.
I just wanted to say thankyou to all of the lovely people that suggested names for my new oven. I thought Glinda fit as our car is called Elphaba! I also chuckled at Moya's suggestion of the Wizard too as it's full of hot air.
So tell me Dear Reader, have you named your car (or oven!) and if so what name did you give it?
Flowerpot Cheese & Mustard Bread
An Original Recipe by Not Quite Nigella
550grams bread flour
1 tablespoon instant dried yeast
1 tablespoon salt
280-300ml warm water
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups of coarsely grated cheese (whichever you prefer, cheddar is good with mustard)
2 tablespoons dijon or your favourite mustard
1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons oatmeal, poppy seeds or sesame seeds
2 large, clean, new flowerpots or several small ones
Step 1 - Firstly wash the flowerpots with plenty of hot water (no detergent) and leave upside down to drain.
Step 2 - In a mixer fitted with a dough hook, place flour, yeast and salt and mix together. Start dough hook and gradually pour water into the flour mixture until it starts to come together (about a minute or two). You don't want it fully incorporated just yet-it should look floury and "shaggy". Add tablespoon of butter, cheese and mustard and then keep kneading with the dough hook and it should now come together. Knead until elastic. You can do this by hand too with the basic kneading action.
Leaving dough to prove under plastic wrap
Step 3 - Oil the bottom of the bowl and place the dough round in it and oil on top of the dough round and cover with cling wrap and place in a warm place (if it's too cold, I put the bowl in another bowl of warm water). Leave for 1 hour to rise.
Dough SMACK DOWN!
Step 4 - Think of the most annoying person you know and clench your fist. Punch down the dough (rather satisfying isn't it?) and then knead for 1 minute again. Oil and line the inside of the flowerpots with baking paper. Divide the dough in half so that it fills 2/3 of the pot and leave to rise again in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Dough after a 30 minute rise in the pot
Step 5 - Preheat the oven to 220c/428F. Once the dough has risen, brush top all over with eggy milk mixture and sprinkle oatmeal or seeds on top. Bake in oven for 45 minutes or until the bread feels empty inside when knocked.