Al Fresco dining and summer salads seem to be well and truly upon us now and who doesn't love to have a bit of bread with their salad. I absolutely love bread, although bread doesn't love me, or rather it does love me and loves me so well that it just sits on my hips and stays there until I banish it from my diet for a few weeks. I find it hard to do that in the summer though as there is nothing better than a platter of lovely fresh tasty bread, cheese and salad - my mouth is watering just thinking of it.
At the weekend we spent a lot of time eating in the garden and for one of our family afternoon snacks I made an easy dough in the breadmaker and baked up some garlic and herb bites, which were great for dipping in Balsamic vinegar and eating with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella. Breadmakers are great as you don't need any baking skills to make a very versatile dough, and you can then enjoy freshly baked bread whenever you like.
I use the same dough recipe for lots of breads as it works for me and can be used in both savoury and sweet recipes - for sweet ones such as Cinnamon buns I add sugar too.
Quantities of the garlic and basil will depend on your own taste and how garlicky and herby you like your bread - I used around 1 tbsp of basil paste and 1tsp of garlic paste.
Garlic & Basil Bread Bites
500g white bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
50g butter, softened
100ml (approx) Olive oil
garlic paste or crushed fresh garlic cloves
basil paste or fresh basil made into a paste with a little olive oil
- Add the dough ingredients into the breadmaker in the order that your machine specifies and set to dough.
- Once the dough is ready remove onto a lightly floured surface and roll out into a long sausage
- Divide the sausage into 4 and roll each out a bit longer
- Cut each piece into around 12 pieces - you don't need to be too precise here and at this point I lost count of the pieces that I was cutting - as long as they are all similar in size and bitesize then don't worry too much
- Mix the olive oil, basil and garlic together in a bowl
- Roll each piece of dough in the oil until covered
- Cover the tin with clingfilm and leave in a warm place for around an hour until the dough has doubled in size
- Bake in a preheated 200 C oven for approximated 20 minutes
- Whilst warm brush with a little more olive oil and toss into a bowl for serving (the bread will fall apart into pieces)