Daisy loaf

A fluffy, olive-oil enriched loaf with a fun design. Actually a great loaf to bake with children as they love the shape and love dunking the dough in the grains. Easy to make and can be used as tear-and-share rolls or a large loaf to be sliced up.

Notes – toppings

Many grains can be used for this bread. In my own example (see all the photos) I used: a seed mix; linseeds; black sesame seeds; seaweed flakes, and; malted oat flakes.

Other suggestions are: onion seeds, nigella seeds, rolled oats, white sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, pinenuts, finely chopped mixed nuts, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, caraway seeds, fennel seeds, garlic flakes, onion, cheese, herbs etc.

Notes – number of petals

Divide your dough up in to at least SEVEN equal pieces to get a daisy shape (that’s one in the middle and six petals). If you chose to make many petals, such as nine or more do make the middle dough ball larger than the others to keep the ‘look’ of the bread.

Equipment

  • Large 25cm (approx) diameter circular bread tin, or springform cake tin (If you don’t have any of these just use a baking tray and lay it out on that)
  • Large bowl
  • Knife or bread blade
  • Small flat bowls or plates for each grain type
  • Pastry brush
  • Scales and measuring jug
  • Baking parchment

Ingredients

  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons of a quality olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of fine salt
  • A few turns of a pepper mill
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons of dried yeast
  • 340ml of water
  • Additional flour for dusting
  • 20g each of three or four grain types (see notes above*)

Method

Kneading by hand

  • Mix all the ingredients together – except for the grains – in the large bowl and leave for 10 minutes
  • Knead until the dough feels elastic and the surface is smooth and shiny: about 10 minutes

Kneading with a stand mixer (or mix setting on a bread machine)

  • Place all the ingredients in the mixer bowl – except for the grains
  • Mix at a low-medium speed for 8-9 minutes until the dough is smooth and shiny
  • Place a cover (tea towel, sling film etc) over the bowl and leave to rise for around about an hour
  • Meantime, prep your tin/tray: tins and trays need lining with baking paper
  • Dust some flour over your working surface and tip out the dough gently
  • Knock back and fold in half
  • Weigh your dough now and work out (even if only roughly) what that amount is divided by seven or eight (or however many ‘petals’ you want: see the notes above)
  • Divide the dough and, using your hands in a gently scooping motion, shape each piece of dough into a round
  • Tip out the grains you’ve chosen onto separate plates
  • Brush the top of one dough ball with a little water and then invert it onto one of the grains to cover the top. Place the dough ball plain side down in the centre of your tin//tray (ie ensuring the grains are on the top). Placing the first piece of dough in the centre helps you arrange the rest of the ‘petals’
  • Repeat the process of wetting and pressing into grains for each of the other dough balls in turn, placing them around the centre dough, so making a daisy shape. It does look nicer if there aren’t any two dough balls next to each other with the same grain, but it really doesn’t matter.
  • Cover the bread and leave to proof again for about 45-60 minutes
  • Just before you think the bread is risen enough bring your oven up to temperature: 210C fan / 230C conventional / 450F
  • Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes
  • Do leave to cool on a wire cooling rack so that it doesn’t get a soggy bottom
  • The loaf can be ripped apart into separate dinner rolls, or sliced as a ‘normal’ loaf

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