Saffron buns (Sat 28.04)

Sweet saffron buns after a recipe from Linda Collister (the bread book). Long rising time, something to start in the morning to be ready in the afternoon.


  • 1 tsp saffron strands
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 500 g bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 85 g sugar
  • 200 g dried sultana’s
  • 170 g butter
  • 30 g fresh yeast
  • 170 ml milk
  • 30 g butter melted (glaze)

Original recipe sprinkles the buns at the end with demerara sugar and uses 30 g mixed peel.

1. Put the saffron strands on a saucer and toast them about 5 minutes (recipe 10 to 15)  in an oven at 180° C.


2. Soak the strands in some milk and leave them for some hours or even overnight.


3. Put flour and sugar in a bowl.


Add sugar and raisins


Add the butter cut into pieces.


Rub the butter in the flower mixture till all are well combined.


Make a well in the centre add some of the milk and crumble the yeast into it. Mix to a paste. Leave to stand for 10 to 15 minutes. (recipe does this in an extra bowl).


4. Pour the saffron mixture on the flour.


Add most of the remaining milk. Mix all to have a soft dough, add rest of the milk or even some additional if needed. Knead  for 5-10 minutes to a smooth dough.


Leave to rise at least 2 hours. Given the amount of butter in the dough it can take several hours (2-4) before the dough is doubled in size. Timing is not critical .

5. After a good rising, this time after 2 hours.


Turn out the dough and divide into 16 pieces (easier to me than the 14 from recipe). Form each one into a nice bun, avoid too many uncovered raisins on top.


Leave to rise, again this can take up to 2 hours.

6. Preheat oven to 190° C and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

7. Take out of the oven and brush with the melted butter, sprinkle the sugar on top if using.


saffron buns

Apricot and almond plait (09.05).

Apricot and almond plait with a yeasted dough. Recipe from “The baking book”
by Lina Collister. Some small changes.



  • 110 g ready-to-eat apricots
  • 140 ml orange juice
  • 80 g unsalted butter
  • 60 g light muscovado sugar (used cane sugar)
  • 100 g almonds
  • 60 g sultanas
  • 1 tablespoon cognac/brandy (not in the original recipe)


  • 250 g white bread flour
  • 40 g unsalted butter diced
  • 10-15 g fresh yeast
  • 70 g milk at room temp
  • 1 small egg

I left out the rind of one orange for the filling, and the flaked almonds to put on top.

1. Chop the apricots (not too fine, each apricot in about 4 pieces).

Bring the apricots and the orange juice to the boil and leave to soak while preparing the dough.

2. Mix flour and salt in a bowl, rub in the butter. Make a well in the flour, crumble the yeast with some of the flour. Add the milk and the egg.

Mix all together and knead for about 3-4 minutes (10 in the book), result is a soft smooth dough. Return to the bowl and leave to rise for an hour.

Continue immediately with the filling.

3. Drain the soaked apricots, keep the juice.
Grind 30 g of the almonds (I use a tea mug and a blender for this).
Chop the remaining almonds,

put on a baking tin and lightly toast them under a grill. Leave to cool.

Beat the butter with the sugar.

Add the ground almonds, the sultana, the toasted almonds, the apricots and brandy.

Mix all together and put aside.

4. After an hour, turn out the risen dough on a floured surface.

Roll out to a rectangle 25 x 30 (or a little larger).

Spread the filling over the dough.

Roll up the dough from a long side. Flatten the roll somewhat.

Transfer to a greased baking tin.

Cut the roll along the length into 3 strips.

Turn each of the strips, the cuts should face upwards. Plait the tree strips.

Open up the starting point.

Cover the plait and leave to rise for an hour.

5. Bake in a pre heated oven at 190 C for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Glaze the hot plait with the orange juice.
Leave to cool on a wire rack.

apricot almond plait

Lemon tart (Sun 14.02)

Lemon tart with with pastry base. Recipe more or less the same as in “The baking book” by Linda Collister & Anthony Blake.

Ingredients .


  • 150 g plain pastry flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 80 g butter
  • 30 g caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 egg white beaten


  • juice of 3 lemons
  • 3 eggs
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 150 ml double cream

1. Sift the flower in a bowl, add salt and diced butter.

Rub all the butter in the flour.

Add the egg yolk and the water.

Stir with a round bladed knive or back of a spoon to bind.

Bring all together to a smooth ball without kneading.

Wrap in the dough and chill for 30 minutes.

2. Place the dough on a very lightly floured surface (rice flour is ideal).

Start by pounding the dough to flatten the ball.

Roll out to 25 cm +- round. always roll form the centre to the edge. Lift or turn the dough to avoid sticking.

Check if it will fit the tin (22 cm and loose-based).

Fold half of the dough over the rolling pin and transfer to the greased tin.

Fold the excess part to the inside, Patch creases in the dough if needed. Prick with a fork.

Leave to cool while preheating the oven to 190 C (about 15 minutes).

3. Bake blind the pastry case. I do not bother with the parchment and beans. I just bake it. If during baking too large bubbles form (3-4 cm), make a small hole with a fork to deflate.Baking at 190 C for about 15-20 minutes. The bottom must be crisp and golden brown. Immediately brush the bottom with the egg white to seal the pastry case. Leave to cool a little while making the filling.

4. Put eggs and sugar in a bowl, whisk (15 -20 sec) by hand. Add the cream and whisk again. Finally add the lemon juice while continuing to stirr.

Put the pastry case (still in the tin of course) on a baking tin. Return both to the oven and pour the filling in the case. Bake at 170 C for about 15 minutes. Filling should be firm when (gently !) shaken.

Basic loaf: L Collister variety (Wed 20.01)

‘Basic Loaf’ recipe from L. Collister in “The Bread Book”.


  • 350 g white bread flour
  • 350 g wholemeal flour
  • 15 g salt (I used only 9 g or one teaspoon)
  • 15 g yeast
  • 430 ml water

The recipe is nicely detailed in 22 pictures,

1. Mix flours and salt in a bowl. No picture above this instruction, searched for some minutes where the salt was added.

Cream the yeast in a small bowl with 3 tablespoons of the water.

Make a well in the flour, pour in the yeast mixture. Usually I would leave out the small bowl part. Less washing up.

Pour in the remaining water. Mix the liquid and draw in more flour until you have athick batter. Cover the batter with a thin layer of flour.

Leave the batter to rise/sponge for about 20 minutes.

2. The sponge should be frothy or broken through the flour layer. Mix the remaining flour into the batter. If all is well mixed turn out on work surface.

Recipe advises to have some flour ready to add to the dough if too sticky or not firm at all. I added some flour but kept a rather soft dough. Knead for 10 minutes and form into a ball. Did not complete the entire 10 minutes.

Leave to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

3. test if the dough is well risen by inserting a finger. If the dough does not spring back : OK. Good test also for the 2nd rise. This dough was already OK after 1 hour.

Turn out on work surface and form into an oval loaf. Put on a greased tin. Forming the loaf is nicely illustrated. As his dough was very soft hesitated to make a free form loaf.

Leave to rise, no exact timing given ‘until doubled in size’.

This took about  30 minutes. The recipe slashes the dough at the start of the 2nd rise. I only did when going into the oven.

4. Bake in pre-heated oven at 220 C for 15 minutes and 20 minutes at 190 C. As the 2nd rise went a lot faster than expected, started the baking in a cold oven. Always better to do this, if you wait for the oven to heat dough could over-rise and collapse.

Leave to cool on a wire rack.

In the possible problem list of the recipe:

Loaf spread during baking : dough was too soft or warm when it was shaped. 100% correct.

Very good bread, well explained (also the kneading, forming part). 5 pages lots of illustrations and advice.

Wholemeal & rye bread (Tue 08.12)

Bread with 3 types of flour. The recipe is similar to “My Favorite Bread” from “The Baking Book” by Linda Collister & Anthony Blake. The recipe in the book suggests coarse ground flour, this one was made using fine ground. Rye and wholemeal were organic flours.


  • 350 g white bread flour
  • 170 g organic wholemeal bread flour
  • 170g organic rye flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 30 g yeast
  • 430 g water

1. Mix the three flours with the salt in a bowl.

Make a well in the flour, add some of the water, crumble the yeast in the water. Draw a little four in the mixture and mix to a smooth batter.

Sprinkle some flour over the batter and leave to rise/foam for 20 minutes.

2. Mix remaining water and all of the flour to a rather firm dough without any dry patches.

Turn out on a work surface and knead for about 5 minutes. Return to the cleaned and greased bowl (use f.i. olive oil). Turn the dough around to coat it with the oil.

Leave to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hour.

3. When the dough is about doubled in size, form into a loaf. Put on a greased (or floured) baking tray and leave to rise for 1 hour.

4. Bake for 40 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 220 C.

Spelt bread with honey (Wed 02.12)

Spelt bread with honey and olive oil. Idea from “midsummer watercress bread” from “Country Bread” by Linda Collister and Anthony Blake. Some differences : no water cress or other addition, rather mid-winter, no buttermilk available, 100% spelt flour.


  • 1000 g wholemeal spelt flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 50g olive oil extra virgin
  • 480 g water
  • 42 g yeast

1. Mix flour and salt in a bowl. Add the honey, eggs, olive oil and most of the water. Crumble the yeast in the water and start mixing.

Add enough water to a sticky dough.

Turn out on work surface and knead for at least 5 minutes.

Result is/was a quite firm dough.

Return the dough to the now lightly greased bowl and leave to rise for at least one hour (up to two).

2. After an hour (dough not yet doubled in size), turn out on table and form into one or two loaves.

Leave to rise for another hour in a greased tin (put in a warm spot).

3. Bake in a preheated oven 220 C for 40 minutes.

Dark organic rye bread (Thu 19.11)

Dark rye bread with organic flour and some small part sourdough (bio roggenbrot). Only one short rise,  similar to a Grant loaf.  100 % based on recipe with same name in “Country Bread” from “Linda Collister” and “Anthony Blake”.


  • 400g organic coarse wholemeal rye flour
  • 100g organic coarse wholemeal flour
  • 50 g sourdough, I used half of stored starter and replaced with equal flour and water
  • 20 g yeast
  • 300 ml water

all ingredients should be warm.

1.  (Thu 20:20) Mix both flours in a bowl.

Crumble the yeast with some of the flour, add the sourdough and three quarters of the water. Mix everything in the bowl. Add as much water as needed to get a sticky dough.

Turn out on working surface and start to knead. Instead of flour I used the remaining water to wet surface and hands while kneading. When the dough gets drier, pour some drops on the surface. You probably could use olive oil as well. Knead for 7-10 minutes in total.

Form into flat round loaf, and leave to rise on a greased tin for 30 minutes. Environment should be warm, can be in a plastic bag (I used the microwave after heating some water).

2 (Thu 21:05) Score the bread or make a pattern in the center.

Bake in an oven at 200 C for 45 minutes. check by tapping underneath, should sound hollow.