The fact that my mum regularly bakes with young children as part of her job means that – lucky me! – I have easy access to a whole heap of new and easy recipes when I fancy trying something different. Having recently done a whole term of cooking sessions on a bread theme, mum knew just the thing when I mentioned to her that I’d got people coming for brunch and wanted to make bread but didn’t want to be messing about with proving and kneading and all the rest of it. Bread making can be very therapeutic, but not when you are rushing and trying to fit it in around 101 other things done!
Mum recommended a rustic cottage loaf, made without yeast, and so simple that all you need to do if mix it, dollop it on a tray and bake. She didn’t steer me wrong – it is divine and just my kind of recipe!
It is such a versatile recipe that I have also made different variations building upon the same basic ingredients, which have all worked really well. It has fast become a family favourite. Making one big loaf is the more obvious approach given the recipe name, but I’ve found that making mine in a muffin tray and slightly reducing the baking time works really well and means that there is no slicing required at the other end. The ultimate in lazy bread, but still special enough to serve to guests. Perfect!
Sundried tomato cottage loaf.
- 175g self-raising flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika or cayenne pepper
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 85g sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 potato, weighing about 175g
- 1 egg
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon mustard (I used English mustard, but I can’t see why other mustards wouldn’t work just as well)
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (170°C for fan ovens or gas mark 5).
- Sift the flour, salt and smoked paprika together.
- Stir in the chopped onions and sundried tomatoes.
- Peel the potato and coarsely grate it into the mixture. Stir together until the potato flakes are coated with flour.
- Mix together the egg, milk and mustard. Pour this into the potato mixture and mix to form a rough dough.
- Place on a greased baking tray and into a round loaf (about 15cm wide). Dust lightly with flour.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes, until the loaf is golden brown. (When making individual ones in a 6 muffin tin I give this 25 mins and that seems enough to me).
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Best served warm, but pretty good either way!
Alternative flavour combinations.
So far I have experimented with a limited number of variations, which have all been delicious. I’m sure there are many more combinations which might work – this recipe is very forgiving, so I will continue experimenting!
- Feta and herb – replace sundried tomatoes with 115g feta, the onion with 4-5 chopped spring onions, and add a teaspoon of dried (or chopped fresh) herbs at step 2.
- Mozzarella and pesto – replace sundried tomatoes with 115g firm mozzarella, the onion with 4-5 chopped spring onions, and add a dessert spoon of green pesto at step 2.
- Black olive and artichoke – replace sundried tomatoes with 40g of sliced pitted black olives and 40g of chopped delicatessen style marinated artichoke hearts.