Give us this day our daily bread…

18 Apr

I make our bread several times a week. I enjoy the process and now that I’m using my starter Hercules, Son of Priscilla (thanks Celia!), my loaves are going from strength to strength. I confess that most of the time I make my usual sourdough loaf, starting the process the night before and baking early evening of the next day.


Other times I use Celia’s overnight sourdough recipe which gives fantastic results and I took on board her tip of dusting the loaf in semolina flour for a crunchy crust. Clearly, as she’s my bread making heroine/guru and I am her keen student/bread making stalker, I also made some teeny tiny loaves (like she did) using some small loaf tins I had bought to make cakes in but had never used. They turned out wonderfully and were the perfect size for a hugely filling lunch roll.

Bread 001

The last few weeks have given me time too to do a little experimenting and for Easter Sunday my father requested a loaf with whole eggs baked into the top of the dough, as this is what his mother used to make when he was a boy. I Googled Calabrian Easter bread and most of the recipes led me to make a slightly sweet bread, gently flavoured with anis and made using eggs and milk. The least said about the egg dyeing the better, but everyone enjoyed it. We all felt that it was like milk bread or pan de leche as it’s called in Spain and would probably prefer to eat it as a breakfast or tea time bread. I’m going to experiment making it again in small rolls so once I’ve perfected it, I’ll post the recipe.

Italian Easter Bread 001

The most recent experiment was to use my sourdough starter to make a whole grain loaf. I wasn’t really sure what sort of results I’d get as wholemeal flour tends to rise more slowly than white flour and give a heavier bread. Combined with a slow rising, heavy sourdough loaf I was a little concerned I’d end up baking the cornerstone of our next building project, but using a mix of a flour which contained wholemeal, wheat flakes and bran with a strong white bread flour, I got fantastic results. The bread was malty, tangy and chewy and delicious spread with butter or drizzled with olive oil. I followed the same process as my usual loaf, but didn’t add olive oil. I added an extra knead and a slightly longer bake.


For the sponge

  • 100ml of unfed sourdough starter (mine is fed with the same volume of flour and water)
  • 250g wholemeal flour with flakes and grains
  • 300ml water

For the dough

  • 300g strong white bread flour
  • 10g salt

The night before you want to bake (or fit this into your usual baking routine), mix the ingredients for the sponge, cover and leave overnight or for about 8 hours. Don’t forget to feed your original starter to replace what you took out!

Bread 006

The next day, add the remaining flour and salt and in a mixer with a dough hook (this is quite a wet dough) knead for 10-12 minutes until the dough looks stretchy and elastic.

Turn it into a large, oiled bowl and cover with oiled cling film. Leave it to double in size, mine took about 5 hours, but it will be different for everyone. Turn out of the bowl onto an oiled surface, knock it back, form it into a ball and put it back into the oiled bowl and cover again. Leave to rise again, this should only take a couple of hours, and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. I didn’t use semolina but feel free to use whatever you like best.

Knock back and shape either onto a round or put into a floured banneton (which is what I did). Cover with a tea towel and leave to double in size.

Bread 004

Just before you are about to bake, turn your oven on to heat at top “volume” with an oven tray inside if you are going to turn out from a banneton. Once the oven has reached its temperature, carefully take the tray out and turn your loaf onto it. Slash with a very sharp or serrated knife, put it in the oven and turn the temperature down to 150C (Fan) and bake for about 55 minutes until nicely browned and it sounds hollow when tapped on it’s lovely wholemeal bottom.

Drive yourself crazy for a few hours while it cools with the wonderful smell of your freshly baked loaf and enjoy whichever way you most enjoy bread!


54 Responses to “Give us this day our daily bread…”

  1. thecompletebook April 18, 2015 at 14:56 #

    You are clearly a natural just like Celi! How brilliant! I would thoroughly enjoy one of those mini loaves for lunch.
    Have a beautiful Saturday afternoon Tanya.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • Chica Andaluza April 18, 2015 at 16:48 #

      How kind of you but Celi is the Queen! I loved making those little loaves…so pretty!

  2. Cecilia Mary Gunther April 18, 2015 at 15:11 #

    I made Celias loaf last nights for the guests. I made TWO great loaves of bread and they scoffed the lot! Priscilla (mine is called Godzilla) is the most amazing starter. Now that I am working with this one i have never had a failed loaf.. i also mix a little white with the wholemeal .. it lifts it a little however my daughter in law doesn’t – she loves the Heavy as a Brick Loaves .. I love bread .. though I have to be careful not to eat too much.. a minute on your mouth and forever on your hips you know!! c

    • Chica Andaluza April 18, 2015 at 16:49 #

      I didn’t used to eat much bread but the problem with this bread is that it’s so hard to resist L I like heavy bread too, I confess J

  3. Mad Dog April 18, 2015 at 15:41 #

    That whole grain bread looks fantastic, as does your Easter loaf. The old school method of dying the eggs was with red onion skins – I think they are typically a bit patchy in colour and personally I think the more hand made these things look the better 😉

    • Mad Dog April 18, 2015 at 15:56 #

      I thought egg dying came from Greece, but these Huevos Haminandos make me think the tradition might originate in the Middle East and later became a Christian tradition:

      • Chica Andaluza April 18, 2015 at 16:50 #

        How interesting is that?! Love the leaves to make a pattern. I know the Easter bread is very much like a Greek recipe I saw.

    • Chica Andaluza April 18, 2015 at 16:49 #

      I loved the whole grain bread but Big Man prefers white – I will have to alternate. And those eggs definitely looked hand made!

  4. Novita April 18, 2015 at 19:02 #

    that’s look delecious…..

  5. bitsandbreadcrumbs April 18, 2015 at 21:08 #

    Beautiful bread, Tanya. I also love your Easter loaf, which reminds me of the Easter we spent in Greece and the wonderful breads there. Someday I will bake my own bread!

    • Chica Andaluza April 19, 2015 at 20:05 #

      You’re right in thinking of Greece – their Easter loaves all have the red eggs in them to symbolize the blood of Christ. Go for it – baking bread is so rewarding!

  6. Sandal Boneka April 18, 2015 at 23:37 #

    Well I missed to post a comment, for food this good.

  7. Gather and Graze April 19, 2015 at 02:04 #

    Loving all these beautiful loaves of bread you’ve been making Tanya! Inspired to go and make some of my own now. 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza April 20, 2015 at 19:51 #

      Oh yu must – it’s so rewarding making your own bread and once you get into a routine it gets addictive!

  8. Eha April 19, 2015 at 03:14 #

    How would a starter with the name of ‘Hercules’ dare to fail . . . . ? 😀 !

  9. Tandy | Lavender and Lime April 19, 2015 at 07:29 #

    This is a daily bread I could get used to! PS I’m going overseas on Thursday and won’t be able to visit while we are away 🙂

  10. The Dorset Finca April 19, 2015 at 08:13 #

    I love making bread too… there’s something so wholesome about it. I must admit that I use a bread maker when I’m short for time, but there’s nothing quite the same as doing it the traditional way.

    • Chica Andaluza April 19, 2015 at 20:00 #

      I have a bread maker in Spain – so when bread man is not able to deliver, I can make bread in the summer without getting the kitchen all hot!

  11. Jasline @ Foodie Baker April 19, 2015 at 08:15 #

    Bread making is still very daunting to me, guess I’ll start to “stalk” you for bread advice 😉

    • Chica Andaluza April 20, 2015 at 19:55 #

      Stalk away – I think you should just “got for it”, maybe start with some sachets of fast acting yeast that you just add to the flour….simple!

  12. Ginger April 19, 2015 at 09:57 #

    These loaves look amazing! Hercules’ coming along very nicely indeed 😉 I have been using semolina to prevent the bread from sticking, but never dusted the whole bread in it – intriguing!
    Looking forward to your perfected Calabrian bread now 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza April 20, 2015 at 19:56 #

      I think Celia pipped me to the post on the Calabrian bread – she has just posted a recipe for sweet brioche rolls which are pretty much the same!

      • Ginger April 20, 2015 at 19:59 #

        Shocking! And with 12 months to go until Easter!

      • Chica Andaluza April 20, 2015 at 20:24 #


  13. Food,Photography & France April 19, 2015 at 11:31 #

    Some very good looking bread…I still don’t bake bread and keep thinking that I should…but it’ll probably stay at the thinking stage:)

    • Chica Andaluza April 19, 2015 at 17:24 #

      Thinking is always good – especially if done with a glass of wine in your hand 😉

  14. Ria April 19, 2015 at 16:05 #

    Wonderful bread, how about some soda bread next time – that would really remind me of my dad 😀 xxx

  15. trucvert April 19, 2015 at 18:35 #

    The more bread you make, the more confidence you get with break making. I can see you’ve totally got the knack now! Such wonderful loaves x

    • Chica Andaluza April 21, 2015 at 21:40 #

      Thank you – I had always enjoyed making regular bread with yeast but now I’ve got the sourdough bug, I’m addicted!

  16. Foodfhonebook April 20, 2015 at 01:39 #

    Reblogged this on Foodfhonebook.

  17. Jo Brudenell April 20, 2015 at 10:21 #

    Great recipe and very inspiring! Frustrated with terrible supermarket bread and bored of bread machine loaves I went through an intense sourdough phase but like Celia, miscalculated the breadmaking time and found myself up until all hours baking. I also found it hard to remember to feed/refrigerate the starter and had to keep throwing away mouldy ones and start again! Seeing your recipe though has reminded me how rewarding it is to make sourdough. I shall have to try again!

    • Chica Andaluza April 21, 2015 at 21:40 #

      It is indded so rewarding and once you’ve got the timings right that work for you, it does become part of an easy routine!

  18. Anna April 20, 2015 at 11:57 #

    I loved grain bread so much !! It seems delicious, i will try for my breakfast.
    Great.. Tks!!

  19. Sawsan@ Chef in disguise April 20, 2015 at 13:23 #

    I really miss baking with my sourdough starter, Harry is not coping well with the heat and I have to admit that I neglected it a little in the past couple of months
    Thank you for the inspiration Tanya

  20. Our Growing Paynes April 20, 2015 at 17:28 #

    We love baking bread though I really can’t eat it anymore. It is so rare we buy bread. So much better homemade! Yours looks fabulous.

    • Chica Andaluza April 21, 2015 at 21:39 #

      Big Man would really struggle without bread…it’s a Mediterranean thing I think, he’d eat bread with bread!

  21. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial April 22, 2015 at 22:15 #

    Hooray for manic bread baking! And thank you for all the linky love! Your sourdoughs always look superb, I’m so glad Hercules is behaving for you. And I love the look of your Easter bread – I reckon you’re right, and you probably could shape them into hamburger buns and they’d be brilliant. The dyed eggs did make me laugh though – did you get completely covered in red dye that wouldn’t wash off for a week? 😀

    • Chica Andaluza April 22, 2015 at 23:10 #

      You are most welcome – you are a HUGE inspiration to my bread making. The first batch of eggs I tried to dye red weren’t great so then I tried to dye them blue (on top of the red) and they all turned out a nasty shade of brown L Then I bought some food dye gel (all natural thank goodness) and for once had the good sense to wear gloves when I performed the “operation” by smearing them in gel. It all got a bit like a scene from CSI in the kitchen but my hands stayed clean!!

  22. Raden May 5, 2015 at 07:55 #

    this article raises my appetite.

  23. Jaketanakkarakter July 1, 2015 at 10:25 #

    wow it looks delicious

  24. salima aqiqah December 17, 2015 at 05:49 #

    would be very nice not able to enjoy it all is not it ???
    it certainly would make my stomach like a balloon

  25. Suci Purnamasari March 3, 2016 at 06:00 #

    so wanted to taste the food like that 😀

  26. mimi April 8, 2016 at 09:52 #

    bread is very good, looks very tempting

  27. Rak Sepatu Gantung August 5, 2016 at 20:12 #

    looks like delicious, ehhmmm very nyummy!

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