Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Frying Pan Dipping Bread

This is not a bread for making toast and marmalade or a quick sandwich; it’s a simple, dense bread for tearing apart and dipping into spicy soups and stews. I resurrected this recipe from an old notebook that I had been ignoring for some time and I’ve no idea where the original idea came from.

Dipping Bread


You’ll need a frying pan of 23 cm diameter or thereabouts – it will be easier if it’s a non-stick one. This should serve 4 people.

450 g strong white bread flour
1 tsp salt
1½ tsp sugar
170 ml coconut milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp fast-action dried yeast

For the topping:
     2 tsp sesame seeds
     ½ tsp dried thyme
     1 tsp sumac
     1 tsp sea salt flakes

Put the flour, salt, sugar and a grind or two of pepper in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Combine the wet ingredients in a jug and stir in the dried yeast. Pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix to form a firm dough. If the dough doesn’t quite come together, add a little (but only a little) water. Knead the dough briefly in the bowl, then roll it out on a floured board. Aim to get a round shape of dough about 1 cm deep. Cover with a tea towel and leave the dough on its board somewhere warm for 2 or 3 hours.

Scatter the topping ingredients over the dough and roll them into the surface. As you flatten the dough, it will tend to crack; make sure the topping mix works its way into the cracks. Don’t flatten the dough too much – you don’t want it to be larger than your pan. Some of the topping won’t stick and will fall off, but that doesn’t matter, there’s plenty of it. Shape the dough to the size of your pan by cutting off any stray, unshapely bits.

Spray or wipe the surface of the frying pan with a very small amount of oil. Press the dough into place in the pan and cook over a low heat for 15 minutes. By this time the base should be browned and crusty but not blackened and burnt. Place the pan under a medium-hot grill to complete the cooking. This should take around 5 minutes – be careful not to burn it. Cool a little on a wire rack, cut into slices as you would a cake and let everyone tear these apart as they wish.

Dipping Bread 2