Classic Breads

I’ve been baking my way through Paul Hollywood’s fantastic book called Bread. I have to say that every single recipe so far has been devoured with great enthusiasm. Without giving away his proprietary secrets (you can find the book at your local library or on Amazon for that!), here is my take on his first 6 recipes, in the section Classic Breads:

  • Bloomer bread
  • Bourbon and Oat bread
  • Chorizo and Mozzarella pull-apart rolls
  • Whole Wheat sponge bread
  • Trencher bread
  • Molasses Raisin bread

The biggest change in our kitchen is that I got a proper scale to weigh out flour and ingredients rather than estimating in cups. This makes a huge difference to the outcome, at least with bread!

And as with all our recent recipes, the ones below are adapted to be plant-based and dairy-free. Enjoy!

We send our gratitude to Paul for filling our house with delicious smells, flavors, and textures. Stay tuned for more posts soon on the other sections in his Bread book: Soda Breads, Flatbreads, Continental Breads, Sourdough, and Enriched Breads.

#1: Bloomer Bread

Here are my notes for this bloomer, one of the classic breads that’s great for sandwiches or dipping in cold soy milk (my favorite). The other recipes on this page won’t be as detailed since there’s a lot of overlap in bread preparation and eventually it just becomes intuitive.

  • Weigh out 7g of active dry yeast (about 1 tbsp) in a small plastic bowl
  • Add 1 tsp brown sugar and 50 ml of water (temperature at 100-110 F)
  • Stir gently and sit for 5-10 minutes to bloom
  • Weigh out 500g of white flour in a large metal bowl
  • Add 10g of salt to one side
  • Pour the yeast mixture into the flour on the other side
  • Add 40 mL of olive oil and 200 mL of cool wter
  • Mix with your hands to claw it all together
  • Gradually add in up to 70 mL of extra water (you probably won’t need it all) – you want to get a soft, sticky, not soggy dough that has picked up all the flour and isn’t too dry
  • Knead on an oiled board for 20 minutes to get an elastic, stretchy, not sticky dough
  • Cover with a tea towel and rise at room temperature until tripled, about 1 1/2 to 3 hours (slow rise = better taste)
  • Punch the dough down well, then fold it over like a tri-fold paper
  • Tuck the ends under and roll it gently, seam-side down, to make a loaf shape
  • Cover again and rise at room temperature for 1 hour, until the dough springs back when you press into it
  • Preheat the oven to 425F with a water-filled roasting pan on a lower shelf to make steam in the oven
  • Sprinkle the risen loaf with water and dust with a bit of flour, then make 4 sharp diagonal slashes 2-3 cm deep across the loaf
  • Bake for 25 minutes, then lower to 400F and bake for 10-15 more minutes until the crust has a rich golden color, you hear a hollow tap on the bottom, and/or the internal temperature is at least 190F
  • Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

#2. Bourbon and Oat Bread

This bread has a coating of flour, bourbon and oats on top of the loaf to form a crispy crust. Decadent! Here are the measurements:

  • 10g active dry yeast, 1 tsp brown sugar, 50 mL 100-110F water
  • 350g whole wheat flour, 150g white flour, 10g salt
  • 50 mL maple syrup, 125 mL bourbon, 215 mL water
  • Knead on an oiled board for 20 minutes
  • Rise to double about 4 hours
  • Make topping: 50 mL bourbon, 100 mL water, 100g whole wheat flour, pinch of brown sugar – mix to a smooth paste
  • Punch down dough, flatten to a rectangle, roll into an oblong, fold the two short ends in towards the center – this makes a square which you can gently tuck under on all sides to make a round loaf
  • Spread the topping paste over the loaf and sprinkle with 50g oats and a bit of white flour
  • Rise 1 1/2 hours to double
  • Bake at 425F for 25 minutes, then turn the heat down to 400F and bake for 10 more minutes

#3. Chorizo and Mozzarella Pull-apart Rolls

Here’s a twist on a classic pull-apart roll. You actually knead (plant-based) meat and cheese right into the dough before you form and rise the balls. I chose a spicy plant-based chorizo and mild cashew mozzarella. The measurements for this recipe are:

  • 10g active dry yeast, 1 tsp brown sugar, 50 mL 100-110F water
  • 250g whole wheat flour, 250g white flour, 7g salt
  • 60g plant-based butter, 270 mL water
  • Rub the butter into the flour, then add the liquid
  • Knead on a floured board for 20 minutes
  • Rise to double about 2 hours
  • Work 175g crumbled soy chorizo and 200g grated cashew mozzarella into the dough until it’s evenly distributed
  • Cut into 16 equal pieces and arrange in two dough flowers
  • Rise 1 1/2 hours to double
  • Spray the rolls with water and dust with flour
  • Bake at 425F for 15-20 minutes

#4. Whole Wheat Sponge Bread

This lovely whole wheat sandwich bread starts with an overnight sponge, so it ends up having 3 rises. The baked bread disappeared very quickly at our house! Here are the measurements:

  • 5g active dry yeast, 1 tsp brown sugar, 100 mL 100-110F water
  • 200g whole wheat flour, 50g white flour, 100 mL water
  • Mix and ferment overnight in the fridge
  • 5g active dry yeast, 1 tsp brown sugar, 50 mL 100-110F water
  • 200g whole wheat flour, 50g white flour, 10g salt
  • 20 mL olive oil, 100 mL water
  • Mix with the sponge, knead 20 minutes on an oiled surface
  • Rise 1 1/2 hours to double
  • Punch down dough, fold into a rectangle and roll it up like a jelly roll
  • Rise in a parchment-lined loaf pan about 2 hours to double
  • Dust top with flour, then bake at 425F for 35-40 minutes

#5. Trencher Bread

This a very sturdy, flavorful medieval bread that holds up very well to dip in soups, stews, or sauces. It has a good crunchy crust! Here are the measurements:

  • 1/2 tsp active dry yeast, 1/2 tsp brown sugar, 50 mL 100-110F water
  • 350g whole wheat flour, 150g white flour, 10g salt
  • 290 mL water
  • Knead 10-20 minutes on an oiled surface
  • Rise 3 hours to double
  • Punch down and press into a large rectangle
  • Prick with a fork, then rise 1 more hour
  • Bake at 425F for 30 minutes

#6. Molasses Raisin Bread

The raisins are kneaded into this sweet, enriched dough to make a soft, comforting breakfast or teatime bread. This recipe can fill two loaf pans or one large round pan with a whole in the middle. And it only has 1 rise so it’s pretty quick to make. We’ll be making this again! Here are the measurements:

  • 25g plant-based butter, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 5 tbsp molasses
  • Heat these together in a small pan to melt the butter and dissolve the sugar, then set aside to cool
  • 14g active dry yeast, 1 tsp brown sugar, 50 mL 100-110F water
  • 100g whole wheat flour, 350g white flour, 10g salt
  • 225g raisins, 200 mL water
  • Mix with the molasses-butter sauce, knead gently for a few minutes on a floured surface
  • Roll into a log, put it in your pan(s), and rise 2 hours to double
  • Bake at 375F for 25-30 minutes, then drizzle honey over the baked loaves if you like

I hope you enjoy these classic breads as much as we do!

Lots of love from our kitchen to yours ❤️🤗

Chef Maitri Carmichael brings a creative and peaceful energy to every plate. She grew up in Toronto with a British Grandma and an Italian Nonna who showed their love through food, then she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years, spending her free time at community farms and zen kitchens. Originally a scientist and biotech entrepreneur, she graduated from the Vegan Chef School in London (2021) and the Raw Food Culinary Academy in Vancouver (2023), and is now settled in Hawaii.

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