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Monday 30 January 2012

Baking for Beginners: Full English Breakfast Loaf

There is nothing nicer than starting your weekend with a full cooked breakfast. It says a cheery goodbye to the working week and sets you up for two days of doing whatever you please.

For years, like chumps, we've been cooking up our bacon, sausage, mushroom, tomatoes and toast separately. What time-wasting idiots we've been! For behold: I have created a loaf with breakfast INSIDE. No longer is toast relegated to the side of the plate: it now takes centre stage. It is the delicious, crusty casing for whichever breakfast bits make up your dream meal. All this, and it's only 20 minutes work. Ok, it takes a little longer from start to finish (around 3 hours) but for most of that time you'll be sitting around, reading the paper, drinking coffee and shouting at Saturday Kitchen.

I was quite conservative and just added veggie sausage, sundried tomatoes and mixed herbs, but you can add whatever you like. Cook your sausage and bacon first. I imagine you could leave the dough to rise overnight in the fridge, meaning you could get this ready on Friday night and pop it in the oven on Saturday morning.

The recipe came out of my brain, but the 'no knead' method comes from the godlike genius that is Dan Lepard.

Full English Breakfast Loaf
You will need:
  • 500g flour
  • 7g yeast (1 packet)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 350ml luke-warm water
  • Up to 200g breakfast bits - crispy bacon, cooked sausage, crumbly cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, herbs.

Make it!
  1. Mix the flour, yeast and salt in a bowl. Drizzle over some olive oil and roughly rub through. Add your breakfast bits.
  2. Add the water in four or five big splashes, mixing all the time. Bring it all together into a sticky dough, cover with a teatowel and leave to rest.
  3. After 10 minutes, tip out the dough onto a floured surface. Knead for a minute by holding down one edge of the dough, pulling the other edge away from you and then folding it back, making a quarter-turn and repeating. Lightly oil the bowl, the add the dough and cover with a clean teatowel. Knead twice more at 10 minute intervals.
  4. Now leave it alone for 45 minutes to let it rise. Then gently tip it out, press it down to push the air out, then shape into a round on a lightly oiled tray. Leave it for another 45 minutes.
  5. Preheat your oven to 200C/400F. Dust the loaf with flour and slash it down the middle. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden-brown.


  1. It's pretty good in there. Want to come in? Kat's already claimed a space between the kittens and unicorns.

  2. There is nothing about this that isn't A Good Thing. All hail Sara's brain!

  3. Not only is it genius, that looks like an excellent loaf.


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