Posts tagged bread

Chilli Avocado & Sumac Poached Eggs


his post is hardly a ‘recipe’ and at the risk of sounding pretentious, it’s hardly cooking. Pouch an egg, toast some bread and mash an avocado. If you’ve not nailed that one yet then this is the blog post for you (and guaranteed to woo any dates the morning after!). You can’t go anywhere for brunch these days, particularly in London, without the avocado on toast making a headlining appearance. And I’m one of the many who craves this in an cafe at the weekend whilst also being one that knows very well it can be eaten and thrown together quicker and significantly cheaper in the comforts of your own home. I’m sure we’ve all experienced a promising ‘smashed avo on toast’ (usually with a £3 side of ‘seeds’…yes seeds) only to find it bland, under seasoned and in need of a hearty splash of lemon.

So…make it at home! Here are my tips for my personal perfect recipe. Interchangable depending on taste but the basics are here. Excuse my ugly poached egg but as my mother always told me, its what on the inside that counts. And as long as its molten orange yolk then it can look as ugly as a…..*use imagination*.

With my conscious risk of again sounding pretentious, I’ve used some common ingredients here. I’ll admit its nothing original. But there’s a reason it on those brunch menus. Its yummy!

Ingredients – Serves 2

  • 2 slices of bread, toasted (Your choice. Rye and sourdough being my favourite – must be smeared with smashed avo to the very edges – cafe pet hate)
  • 4 eggs, fresh, room temperature
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp chilli flakes
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 small bunch coriander, chopped
  • Approx 2 heaped tbsp mixed seeds (e.g. pumpkin, sesame, sunflower) – toasted lightly for a few minutes in a hot pan until beginning to pop.
  • 1 tsp sumac
  1. Cut your avocado in half and scoop out the flesh. Smash with a fork into a bowl.
  2. Add the juice of 1 lime, the chilli flakes, spring onions and coriander. Season well with salt and pepper and smash all together. Taste, adding more lime/seasoning if needed.
  3. Bring a pan of water to the simmer. Poach your eggs (suggested 2 at a time depending on pan size) for a few minutes until the whites have set and the yolks are still runny.
  4. While poaching, toast your bread.
  5. Slather the smashed avocado between the 2 toast slices. Scatter over the toasted seeds.
  6. When the eggs are ready, pat dry any excess water on some kitchen towel then immediately sit on top of the toast and avo.
  7. Scatter the eggs with a grinding of pepper and a spindle of sumac
  8. Serve immediately while still warm and yolks runny.



Ultimate Cornbread


his recipe comes directly from Brad McDonald’s book ‘Deep South‘. After being lucky enough to dine in his awesome restaurant ‘The Lockhart’ before he packed up to open ‘Shotgun BBQ‘ I experienced the jaw dropping sights and tastes of his signature cornbread. Basted in thick honeyed butter bubbling at the sides in its case iron dish it was brought to the table disguised as a lemon drizzle!? And boy did it taste good. Its a bit simpler in flavour (and perhaps authenticity?) than my own signature version which you can find here which is full of sweetcorn for texture, chilli for spice and a bit of cheeky cheddar for tang. Whilst both have their own style, the winner here is the buttery honeyed topping. Slatered warm with salted butter this makes the perfect accompaniment to a hot bowl of soured cream drizzled chilli or simply a bucket of homemade fresh guacamole as I did here.

Having not yet tried Shotgun BBQ it will be my next fit spot…



I used a mini retro loaf tin to create these cute mini loaves perfect for individual portions. However I would also recommend using small loaf tin, one large one, or failing that a muffin tin! This recipe would make about 8 small muffins I think. But feel free to use any tin available – the depth will just mean the cooking tin will vary but if you stick to 25 minutes or so first starters and a knife inserted into the centre is clean then voila!


  • 150g plain flour
  • 150g polenta/cornmeal
  • 25g soft light brown sugar
  • 4g baking powder
  • Large pinch salt
  • 225ml milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 20g butter, melted
  • 30g lard
  • 50g unsalted butter & 50g runny honey
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C and place a small knob of lard in each tin
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl
  3. Add the wet and mix well to combine
  4. Spoon into the muffin tins/loaf tin (allowing room for rise)
  5. Bake for about 25 minutes until golden. A knife inserted into the middle should come out clean
  6. While they are baking, combine the honey and butter for the topping in a saucepan and melt to combine
  7. When the loaves are ready baste in the hot honey butter and then return to the oven for a few minutes
  8. After this time, remove from the oven and serve immediately, hot and buttery!

I served mine with guacamole  – see here but a chilli would also go down a treat.



Marmite Bread

Jess - Marmite bread



ove it or hate it bread perhaps would be a more fitting name? Now if like my family you’re partial to the odd toasted crumpet with marmite then you’ll understand the inspiration behind this bread. A rival to match an English muffin with soft poached egg is an airy warm and marmite covered crumpet with its pillowy wholes allowing the unctuous yolk to ooz through the gaps. So why not make use it in bread?

And trust me, if you’re a ‘love it’ personality then simply the act of toasting a cheeky slice of this hearty bread invites an aroma throughout the house that will have your most mature cheddar running from the fridge, willing at mercy to be sliced and lathered onto this tempting creation…..don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

Jess - Marmite bread 5Jess - Marmite bread 3

Makes 1 loaf

  • 480g brown wholemeal strong bread flour
  • 40g molasses
  • 7g dried yeast
  • Large pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp marmite
  1. Start by combining the flour, a large pinch of salt and the molasses in the bowl of a food processor and blend until combined.
  2. Measure out 100ml of warm water and mix in the yeast, whisking until combined and fully dissolved.
  3. Add this to the mixer with another 200ml of water or so and mix until just combined.
  4. Add the marmite and pulse until incorporated
  5. Tip the mixture out onto a floured surface and knead for a good 10-15 minutes until the dough is springy, elastic and soft.
  6. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with cling film and place in a warm place until double in size (around 2 hours). I like to turn the oven on low before beginning the recipe then switch it off when its warm and this way it creates an ideal environment for the first prove.
  7. Once doubled in size, turn out onto a floured surface and knock out the air. Knead again for about 5 minutes before shaping into an oblong and placing in a greased loaf tin. Prove again until doubled in size.
  8. Preheat the oven to 180°C when ready to bake and bake the loaf for about 35-40 minutes until cooked and hollow sounding when tapped on the base. Leave to cool before slicing.

You can certainly be creative on the options for serving this bread! Toasted topped with smashed avocado and a soft poached egg as done here, or for a more decadent choice butter the outside of two slices and fill with grated mature cheddar and griddle in a pan or on a panini maker until toasted and melted.

Jess - Marmite bread 4

Banana and Blueberry Bread

How on earth we are already in March I don’t know?! I began the year with a triumphant new years ambition to develop my humble blog, challenge my culinary skills and pepper it with new recipes. However due to a number of unexpected hurdles over the past months this hasn’t been actioned as much as I’d like! With a very busy and eventful week at work under my belt and a browning bowl of bananas sitting provocatively on the kitchen table I thought of nothing better than to create the comforting, warming and homely delights of a banana bread loaf to scoff with tea. Studded with crunchy pecans and soft sharp blueberries it is delicious eaten alone or toasted with ice cream. I love the use of muscovado sugar in this recipe which was a deviation from my usual (and reliable) recipe using a more refined caster sugar. But its treacle like flavour and depth adds a decadent dimension to this classic.

Makes 1 loaf or 4 mini loaves

  • 250g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 125g softened butter
  • 235g muscovado sugar
  • 400g ripe bananas (about 4 )
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 100g blueberries
  • 50g chopped pecans
  • 1-2 tbsp demerara sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line 1 x 400g loaf tin or 4 small loaf tins
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and muscovado sugar until creamy and fluffy.
  3. Gradually beat in the eggs, bit by bit.
  4. Mash the bananas with a fork in another bowl and add the vanilla extract. Combine thoroughly with the butter and sugar mixture.
  5. Sieve the flour and baking powder over the mixture and fold in to combine.
  6. Gently fold in the blueberries and pecans until evenly distributed
  7. Spoon the mixture into the lined tins.
  8. Scatter the top with a generous dusting of ground cinnamon and then top with the crunchy demerara sugar to create a nice crust.
  9. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes for the small tins and around 50 minutes for a large loaf tin. Check after 30 minutes regardless and remove from the oven when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  10. Leave to cool in their tins and then remove.
  11. Slice and serve layered with cinnamon mascarpone, yoghurt or warm with ice cream.

Pea and Ham Soup, Parmesan Croutons


Bit of a belated recipe post for a festive Christmas soup to use up those leftovers and freshen the taste buds after an indulgent feast! Apologies if the posts have been a little thin on the ground recently. I haven’t stopped eating or reverted to a juice only January diet that some of my friends (sorry acquaintances) have been doing (!?). I also haven’t stopped cooking….or taking photos! Far from it. But the combination of a broken laptop and a delicious adventure to Paris over New Year stole my attention temporarily.

I’m no killjoy so don’t worry, the health benefits of the peas in this recipe can be couteracted slightly if you’ve invested some well worth time into cooking a delicious succulent sugar glazed ham and have any straggling leftovers to pop in. Simialry this can be countereacted with some cheese saturated paremsan croutons. Alternatively continue the alcohol themed festivities and serve with a delicious door-stop wedge of my served ’Boy Beer Bread’ slathered with salted butter.

Pea, Mint and Ham Soup

Serves 4

  • 550g frozen peas (50g reserved)
  • 750ml hot stock
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 1 large clove garlic, diced
  • 1 large knob butter
  • Small handful thyme, leaves stripped
  • Handful fresh mint
  • Large handful of leftover shredded or chopped ham or ham hock
  • Serve with parmesan croutons below of butter slathered bread. E.g. a wedge of my ’Boy Beer Bread’
  1. Heat the butter with a splash of oil in a large saucepan until beginning to sizzle.
  2. Slowly cook and soften the onion for about 8-10 minutes until soft and translucent.
  3. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for a few more minutes.
  4. Next, turn up the heat and add the peas and mix. Add 600ml of the hot stock and half the mint leaves
  5. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 8 minutes.
  6. After this time remove from the heat and blend with a stick blender. Add more stock if you want it thinner, this with vary on how you like you’re soup.
  7. Chop the reminaing mint leaves and then add to soup and blend again.
  8. Return the soup to the hob and add the reserved whole peas and stir in the ham.
  9. Heat through for a few minutes then enjoy!


Parmesan Croutons

  • 250g stale bread, cut or ripped into large croutons
  • 4 large dessertspoons of grated parmesan
  • About 4 tbsp olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Douse the bread in the olive oil in a large baking tray. Cover with the parmesan and mix. Roast in the oven for about 10 minutes until golden and crispy.


Crusted Cod, Balsamic Lentils, Chorizo, Pea, Mint



This recipe was thrown together after I caved as I frequently do to the delights of Portobello market at lunchtime yesterday. Sometimes I leave my purse in the office just to prevent myself buying anything I don’t need. What with that and an ‘All Saints’ up the road I could be in serious trouble. I saw some fresh peas crying out (literally…how could I leave them) to be stripped and podded from their padded overheated jackets now the sun is out and with some oily and spicy chorizo in the fridge at home they were immediately planned for supper.



Serves 2 (as with many of my recipes, this is done with the ‘handful’ measurement so scale up as appropriate. I usually allow 1 handful per person for things like peas etc)

  • 2 cod fillets
  • 2 Large handfuls of breadcrumbs (About 30-50g)
  • Bunch flat leaf parsley
  • 1-2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • 4 oz Puy Lentils
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • About 500g fresh peas in their pods, 250g shelled (of two large handfuls of frozen peas)
  • 50g chorizo, chopped into chunks
  • Handful chopped mint
  • Green beans to serve
  1. Begin by simmering the lentils for about 18-20 minutes until tender
  2. Meanwhile, whiz up the bread crumbs in a processor until fine and then add the parsley and some seasoning and blend until all chopped together. Add enough oil to bind the mixture together so it isn’t too dry.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a baking try with foil. Place the cod fillets  skin side down on top and pat a large handful of the breadcrumb coating onto the top. (add more oil to the mixture if it looks a bit dry and won’t hold together).
  4. When the lentils are cooked, drain and set aside. Fry the crushed garlic in a little oil to soften on a low heat. Once soft, turn up the heat and add the balsamic and let it simmer for a few seconds before tipping in the lentils and seasoning to taste. Keep warm while you cook the fish.
  5. Bake the cod for about 6 minutes until just cooked and flaky and the breadcrumbs have started to brown and crisp on top.
  6. Lastly while the cod is cooking fry the diced chorizo in a hot pan until the oils begin to release. Add the peas (which you can par- boil first if you like but I love them raw and green) and coat in the lovely orange oil.
  7. When ready to serve, place the cod on top of the warm lentils and spoon the pea and chorizo around the edge. Drizzle with any remaining oil from the pan and scatter with mint.
  8. Serve with buttered and minty green beans if you like!



Boy Beer Bread



I decided to re-name this recipe (courtesy of Gordon Ramsay and the local paper) ‘Boy Beer Bread’ because I think it will satisfy some certain requirements. Beer (check), quick to make (check), carb-laden (check) and great with bacon (check). It is not however filled with naked ladies….. sorry (I think?) It is only bread. So, now I’ve crudely stereotyped the male population, here’s the recipe…

Firstly, I will add that its very much like a soda bread in texture and taste. Soda bread usually rises based on the bicarbonate and buttermilk creating some lovely air bubbles but here the beer was enough to make a risen loaf. I was a little worried so added a pinch of bicarb too but Ramsey doesn’t feel the need so feel free to leave it out.

  • 175g self raising flour
  • 75g wholemeal raising flour
  • 250ml beer/lager
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of bicarbonate of soda
  • Milk to brush the top
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease and line a loaf tin.
  2. Place the flour, bicarb and salt into a bowl. Add the beer, mixing while you pour until combined with few lumps (it will be runny though don’t panic)
  3. Fill the loaf tin with the mixture and bake for 30 minutes. After this, brush with milk and scatter with a little flour. remove from the tin and place directly on the wire rack in the oven and cook for a future 10 minutes or so until cooked through, and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.
  4. Leave to cool.

I suggest serving slathered with salted butter, ketchup and greasy smoked bacon or cheese…oh and with beer, no?

Lamb, Mint and Pea Salad



Leftover lamb never tasted better. Freshly cut herbs from the garden, a cucumber from the greenhouse and some leftover local lamb. A sunny evening called for a fresh cleansing salad to start the week on a healthy note. Although washed down with a large glass of Cab Sauv it probably had the opposite effect!

Not sure the picture does this dish justice but it is extremely tasty, particularly also crumbled with feta or goats cheese as well as or instead of the lamb for the veges.

Serves 3 as a main, 4 as a lunch or starter


  • 2 little gems
  • 1 romaine lettuce, shredded
  • 1 small cucumber, chopped on diagonal
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1 lemon, juice
  • Handful pine nuts, toasted
  • Bunch mint, leaves picked and chopped
  • Bunch of chives, chopped
  • Leftover lamb, sliced- mine was rare roast butterflied leg but anything works well, shredded etc
  • 250g frozen peas, blanched

Oregano and Lemon Yoghurt

  • 6 heaped tbsp thick yoghurt
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • Bunch oregano, leaves picked
  • ½ lemon juice and zest
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Sun dried Tomato Bread

  • 250g self raising flour
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes in oil
  • Bunch basil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Warm water
  1. Make the bread first. Blitz the sun dried tomatoes and basil in a processor until fine. Add the flour and some generous seasoning and blend. Pour in enough warm water until the dough comes together in a smooth ball. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for a few minutes before leaving covered to rest.
  2. Mix the yoghurt ingredients and chill.
  3. Keep the stalks on the little gems to hold them together. Half each and cut each half into 3 keeping them together at the base.
  4. Mix with the blanched peas, shredded romaine, cucumber and chopped herbs on a large platter.
  5. Griddle the avocado on a hot oiled griddle pan until warm and charred. Season well and add to the salad. Squeeze over the juice from the lemon, a good splash of extra virgin olive oil and some seasoning and toss gently to combine.
  6. Sprinkle over the toasted pine nuts and finally the lamb.


7.  Heat a large frying pan. Roll the bread out to the thickness of a pound coin and big enough to fit the pan. Fry in the pan for about 5 minutes each side until toasty and beginning to char and crisp. Turn out onto a board and rip up and serve warm with the salad, dunked in the yoghurt or with some salted butter.




I love this American derived cornbread as it has a really deep rich flavour. Our family loves a good bowl of spicy chilli and rice when the colder months hit but sometimes rice gets a bit dull and this makes a really hearty change. Cornbread is a traditional Southern American staple which I love! I’ve added popular ingredients like cheese, chilli and sweetcorn but the usual cornbread is actually fairly plain, made with polenta (cornmeal) and baking powder which makes it rise.

  • 140g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 125g polenta/cornmeal
  • 1/2tsp chilli flakes
  • 75g mature cheddar, grated
  • 4 spring onions, chopped including the green tops
  • 25g melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 150ml whole milk
  • 150ml buttermilk
  • 150g sweetcorn
  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  2. Traditionally made in a skillet, I made mine in a flat square brownie tin (23cm x 23cm and 4cm deep) but also feel free to use a loaf tin. Grease and line with baking parchment.
  3. Combine the first 9, dry, ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Whisk the eggs and milk together in a jug.
  5. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and, working quickly as the bicarbonate will begin to react with the buttermilk for the rising effect, whisk in the melted butter followed by the egg and milk. Stir in the sweetcorn, and transfer quickly to the prepared tin.
  6. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 20 minutes until golden and cooked.
  7. This is best served warm with salty butter and a bowl of steaming chilli, soured cream and guacamole smothered all over the top like there’s no tomorrow.


Barbeque Chicken and an Italian Stuffed Flatbread


Balmy summer evenings and a seduceable glowing barbeque like this evening, consistently bring out this beauty of a recipe and reinforce my opinion that Jamie Oliver, is in fact, descended from God! Ok…….this may be taking it a little far, but this cheeky barbeque marinade from ‘Jamie at Home’, is without doubt my most favourite and not a summer goes by that we don’t devour this, with smiles and sticky faces. Its great for coating a leg of lamb, rack of pork ribs or, in our case, a spatchcoked chicken- its devine. Served alongside a fresh, cleansing coleslaw and a cry-worthy Italian stuffed bread, supper is done and dusted……


  • 1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 5 cloves
  • bunch of fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • bunch of fresh rosemary, leaves picked
  • zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 1 bulb garlic, crushed
  • 4 heaped tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 6 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 130ml tomato ketchup
  • 8 tbsp olive oil
  • 10 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 spatchcoked chicken or your chosen meat
  1. Grind the cumin, fennel seeds and cloves in a pestle and mortar with some salt and pepper.
  2. Chop the thyme and rosemary leaves and combine with the orange zest, juice and garlic and place into a large bowl with the spices. Mix together.
  3. Add the rest of the your ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  4. Now add your chosen meat and coat completely with the marinade to cover all the surfaces. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge to marinade for as long as possible or at least an hour.
  5. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 180°C. Cover the chicken with foil and roast for about 1 hour to cook the majority of it and release the juices. Finally, finish the cooking on the barbeque, which will crisp the skin and the outside and give a crunchy texture. Use the excess marinade to baste the chicken as it cooks.


This flatbread is absolutely delicious. I filled mine with a rich, punchy blue cheese but any good melter does the job. A (and I stress- good quality) buffalo mozzarella is stringy and mild or a personal favourite for its meltworthy quality, taleggio is tasty and gooey but here I have used a blue cheese which is just down-right decadent and rich. It was a little overpowering if I’m honest but it makes a lovely alternative to a hunk of filling, stodgy bread as it is lighter, crispier and doesn’t steal the show from the main event- the chicken (did I mention is was amazing yet…………?)

  • 200g strong white bread flour
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 150g cheese, taleggio, buffalo mozzarella, blue cheese or any other good quality melting cheese
  • Flaky maldon salt
  • 1 sprig of rosemary, leaves picked
  1. Sieve the flour into a large bowl and add the oil, a pinch of salt and 100ml of warm water.
  2. Mix with a spoon or fork until combined into a smooth dough (you may need a splash more water depending on your flour). Form into a smooth ball and place in a bowl, cover with cling film and leave for 30 minutes
  3. Then, knead the dough for a few minutes until elastic and smooth. Divide into two and place back in the bowl to rest for 15 minutes, covered.
  4. Preheat the oven to 225°C . Roll one half of the dough as thinly as possible (a couple of mm) into a large circle and place on a lined baking tray. Grate the cheese over the top and a pinch salt if you want.


  5. Roll out the other halve of the dough to the same size and place over the cheese. Pinch the edges together to seal in the cheese.
  6. Scatter the top with salt, rosemary and a drizzle of oil. Make a couple of slits in the top to let out the steam.image
  7. Bake for 25 minutes until crisp and golden. You may need to check the underneath of the bread to check it is crispy towards the end. If not, return to the oven directly onto the racks without the tray for a few minutes.

Finally, a lovely tangy coleslaw. Any, in fact, will do but I however got carried away and opted for a lovely Thai infused/Asian Slaw which- I know, I know, does not go ideally with a barbeque chicken and an Italian, cheesy bread, but, all the same, our hungry stomaches didn’t protest too much….



  • ½ a red cabbage
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 bunch coriander
  • 1 handful of salted peanuts


  • 8 tbsp lime juice
  • Zest from 1 lime
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp sesame seed oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 good pinches of brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 large bunch of chopped basil and coriander leaves
  1. Using the shredding attachment on a food processor, shred the cabbage and carrots, separately, then combine in a large bowl.
  2. Slice and finely chop the spring onions and add to the cabbage mix and add a handful of chopped coriander.
  3. To make the dressing, mix together all the ingredients in a jam jar and shake thoroughly together until combined. When ready to serve the salad, coat the cabbage in the dressing and top with the salted peanuts.
  4. Serve!