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Italian Panettone

Traditional Panettone is flower-pot shaped and to achieve this effect it is baked in a deep high container with slanted sides.  You can use a silicon mould, a 1 litre soufflé dish, a flower pot or just loaf tins – whatever you fancy!

½ Basic sweet dough recipe
125 ml sultanas (golden if available)
30 ml mixed peel or currants
30 ml finely chopped glace pineapple
60 ml brandy or rum
icing sugar to dust

  1. While the dough is being prepared and left to rise, soak the fruit in the brandy or rum.
  2. Add the fruit to the risen dough and knead until evenly distributed, while kneading down the dough at the same time.
  3. Shape into a neat round or cylindrical form and place into the prepared dish or tin to fill it no more than 2/3.  Or, divide dough into 2 to make smaller Panettone.
  4. Allow to rise in a mildly warm spot until doubled and well rounded above the edge of the tin.
  5. Preheat the oven to 170 ºC while the dough is rising and bake about 25 minutes or until golden brown and thoroughly cooked if tested with a metal skewer.
  6. Cool in the tin or container used for 5 minutes, loosen the sides carefully and turn out onto a wire rack.  Dust generously with icing sugar, cool and serve with butter.

Yields:  1 large or 2 small Panettone

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from Art Of Cooking page 852.

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French Loaf

A super dough which lends itself to delightful variations in shape and size.

1 x 8 g sachet instant yeast
750 ml cake flour
375 ml lukewarm water
30 ml butter or margarine
15 ml sugar
10 ml salt
± 250 ml extra cake flour

Salt water glaze (for a crisp crust)
30 ml water
5 ml salt
coarse salt to sprinkle (optional)

Egg glaze (for sheen and to make seeds stick)
1 large egg
30 ml water
sesame or poppy seeds (optional)

  1. Mix the yeast with the 3 cups (750 ml)  flour in a mixing bowl, add all the remaining ingredients except the extra flour and mix well.
  2. Add sufficient extra flour to form a soft, slightly sticky but kneadable dough. Turn out onto a well-floured surface and knead 4 – 5 minutes or until smooth and no longer sticky.
  3. Flour the bowl, return the dough to the bowl, sprinkle with flour, cover and allow to rise in a mildly warm spot until doubled.  Knead down the dough lightly with floured hands.
  4. To make french loaves, divide the dough into 3 to 4 portions, roll each portion into an elongated loaf according to the thickness and length desired and place onto rectangular baking trays greased with butter or margarine.
  5. Brush with salt water glaze if a crisp crust is desired or beat together the egg and water and brush with the egg glaze.
  6. Sprinkle with seeds if used and make a few deep diagonal slashes on top with a sharp knife or pair of scissors.  Or make lengthwise slashes with a knife.
  7. Place the loaves in a mildly warm protected spot to rise until completely doubled.
  8. Preheat the oven to 200°C while the loaves are rising.
  9. Place the loaves into the oven and bake 5 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 170°C and continue baking for another 15 to  20 minutes or until crisp and golden.
  10. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Yields:  3 – 4 French loaves

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from Art Of Cooking page 822.



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Light Rye Bread

One of the best breads to serve with soup or as part of a cold buffet which includes salad, fish, cold meat and cheese.

500 ml rye flour
250 ml  cake flour
2 x 8 g sachets instant yeast (less if time is unlimited)
15 ml brown sugar
10 ml salt
5 to 10 ml caraway seed (optional)
30 ml butter or oil
30 ml honey or treacle sugar or molasses (see note below)
375 ml lukewarm water
250 ml extra cake flour

a little plain yoghurt or buttermilk
rye flour

  1. Combine the dry ingredients and add the butter, margarine or oil and honey, treacle or molasses and water and mix well.
  2. Add sufficient of the remaining flour to form a dough that is still slightly sticky and soft but just firm enough for kneading.
  3. To knead by hand, turn out the dough on a floured surface, knead for 5 minutes, adding extra flour as necessary and return to the bowl.
  4. Or, to knead in an electric mixer, knead 3 to 4 minutes with the dough hook or until no longer sticky, adding a little extra flour as necessary.
  5. Cover and allow to stand for 15 minutes.
  6. Knead down well, cover and allow to stand for another 15 minutes.
  7. Grease a baking tray with butter or margarine. Divide the dough into two portions and shape into oval-shaped loaves.
  8. Place the loaves onto the baking tray lined with a Wizbake baking sheet and brush with yoghurt or buttermilk and sprinkle with rye flour.
  9. Slash the top of the loaves diagonally with a sharp knife or snip with a pair of scissors.
  10. Allow the loaves to rise until doubled and pre-heat the oven to 200°C while the loaves are rising.
  11. Place the well-risen loaves into the oven, lower the temperature to 190°C and bake for 20 minutes.
  12. Lower the temperature to 180°C and bake another 15 to 20 minutes or until the loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the top crust.
  13. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Yields 2 medium loaves or about  16 to 20 slices

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from her Art of Cooking Recipe Book page 813.


  • If a bread with a dark colour is preferred use treacle or molasses.
  • For a light bread use honey only or ½ honey and ½ molasses.


Cranberry and nut rye bread

Add 250 to 500 ml cranberry and nut mix or mixed cranberries and pecans or walnuts to the dough after the initial kneading. Mix until evenly combined and continue as explained above.

Light Rye Bread
Cranberry and nut rye bread
Cranberry & Nut Rye Bread



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Ring Doughnuts

A doughnut is a type of dough confectionery that is fried in oil. The two most common types of doughnuts are the ring doughnut, which has a hole in the center for the oil to bubble through to ensure even cooking, and the filled doughnut, which is fried and then injected with a sweet filling such as jam or cream.

Be sure to read more about the latest craze, cronuts, which is a croissant/doughnut hybrid in the post Crazy For Cronuts.

1 or 2 x 8 g sachets instant yeast (depending on time available)
750 ml cake flour
30 ml sugar
2,5 ml salt
250 ml lukewarm milk
2 large eggs
5 ml vanilla essence
60 ml butter
± 250 ml extra flour

Icing glaze
500 ml icing sugar
175 ml milk
10 ml vanilla essence
750 ml canola oil for frying

  1. Place the yeast, 750 ml flour, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the milk, eggs, vanilla and butter and beat to combine.
  2. Add sufficient extra flour to form a soft, slightly sticky but kneadable dough. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface.
  3. Knead the dough about 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Add extra flour only if necessary. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a plate and rise about 30 minutes or until doubled.
  4. Knead down the dough and turn out onto a floured surface. Roll out the dough to about 2 cm thick.
  5. Dip a doughnut cutter into flour and cut out rings for the doughnuts, close to each other to prevent leaving excessive dough for re-rolling.
  6. Re-roll the leftover dough and continue cutting until all the dough has been used.
  7. Place doughnuts and balls if used onto a lightly oiled tray and rise in a mildly warm protected spot until almost doubled. Take care not to rise too much for the dough rings will become too soft and loose shape when lifted to place into the oil.
  8. Mix together the ingredients for the glaze in a mixing bowl, large enough to hold a few doughnuts at a time. Allow to stand while doughnuts are rising to soften any small lumps.
  9. Pour sufficient oil into a deep saucepan to come 5 cm up the side of the saucepan and heat to moderately hot (160ºC for those who use a thermometer), when the doughnuts are ready for frying.
  10. Take care not to overheat the oil to smoking point for it will harm the oil and spoil the flavour and brown doughnuts too soon and too much without allowing time for further rising.
  11. To test the temperature of the oil, fry a doughnut or small tester ball in the oil which is still below the desired temperature and turn up the heat as necessary.
  12. Place a few doughnuts at a time into the oil and fry about 1½ minutes on each side in the moderately hot oil until light golden brown.
  13. Test for doneness with a cake tester or break open a doughnut to determine whether it is cooked.
  14. Place a wire rack over a tray to catch up glaze which drips from the doughnuts.
  15. Lift the fried doughnuts out of the oil with a perforated spoon and place into the glaze. Turn over with a large fork or tongs to allow the glaze to coat the doughnuts all over.
  16. Place onto racks to cool and allow excess syrup to drip off.
  17. Roll or dip the doughnuts immediately after coating with the glaze into coconut, chocolate vermicelli, cinnamon sugar or toasted nuts or slivered almonds.
  18. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container.

Yields 24 – 30 doughnuts, depending on size.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from Art Of Cooking page 860.


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Danish Health Loaf

This is an incredible loaf of bread which will change your life!  This bread has no raising agent and uses whole grains, nuts and seeds!  It is high in protein and incredibly high in fibre. It is gluten-free and vegan. The Danes are excellent bread makers and their breads are moist, dense, chewy and filling.  A single slice is almost like a meal in itself – a whole other level of bread making and eating! Use the ingredients as given in the recipe or adjust by using the variations but replace ingredients in the same proportion and with a similar ingredient for best results.

250 ml sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds or mixed seeds
125 ml flax seeds or sesame or partly poppy seeds
± 60 g/125 ml hazelnuts or almonds or mixed raw nuts
375 ml rolled oats
15 ml chia seeds *
60 ml psyllium seed husks or 45 ml psyllium husk powder
5 ml salt
15 ml maple syrup or honey or a little stevia
45 g butter, melted or coconut oil
375 ml water at room temperature

  1. Select a medium size loaf tin (± 22 x 10 x 6 cm) and grease with butter or cooking spray.
  2. Measure out all the dry ingredients in a bowl, mix well and add to the loaf tin.
  3. Place the maple syrup, oil and water into a measuring jug and mix well.
  4. Pour the liquid over the dry ingredients and mix with a fork until all is completely moistened and a stiff dough forms – sticky and too thick to stir. If necessary to make the dough come together and become manageable, add one or two extra tablespoons of water.
  5. Smooth the top with the back of a wet spoon.
  6. Cover the pan and let the dough sit on the counter for at least 2 hours (or all day or overnight) to allow the liquid to become completely absorbed.
  7. Preheat the oven to 180°C when ready to bake. Place the loaf pan in the oven on the middle rack, and bake for 30 minutes.
  8. Turn out the firm bread and place it onto a baking tray or onto the overturned loaf tin to bake for another 20 minutes – the bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped.
  9. Let cool completely before slicing (difficult, but important!).  Store the bread in a sealed container for up to five days.
  10. The bread freezes very well – slice before freezing for quick and easy toast!

Yields 1 small loaf or 16 slices

* For more info on chia seeds and the difference between chai and chia, read my post Know Your Chai From Your Chia.


  • Oats are inherently gluten-free, but if you have a severe sensitivity to gluten, make sure to purchase certified gluten-free oats.
  • Nuts may be replaced by other nuts or even mixed nuts and fruit (nuts and cranberries) or additional seeds.
  • There is no substitutes for the psyllium husks or powder.
  • The chia seeds may be omitted.
  • Whole flax seeds may be replaced by ground flax seed but you will have to add more water for ground flax seed is highly absorbent.
  • Whole flax seeds can be replaced with sesame seeds.

 Acknowledgement: Original recipe and photo from Sarah B’s blog –



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Mozzarella and Rosemary Beer Bread

This bread is quick to mix and bake and the perfect choice to serve as part of a starter or topped with additional cheese and spicy relish or pickles.

750 ml self-raising flour
1 ml salt
15 ml sugar
1 x 330 ml can or bottle of beer
60 ml melted butter or margarine or oil
250 ml finely diced or grated Mozzarella
2.5 ml mixed dried herbs
15 ml finely chopped fresh rosemary
5 ml chopped garlic (optional)

freshly ground black pepper
sprigs of fresh rosemary

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 ºC  and grease a medium loaf tin (23 cm) generously with butter or spray with cooking spray.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  3. Add the beer and melted butter or margarine or oil and stir to combine. The mixture should be moist and  sticky – add a little water if it seems too dry.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, smooth the top, sprinkle with black pepper and stud all over with sprigs of rosemary.
  5. Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes until golden and cooked through if tested with a metal skewer.
  6. Turn out onto a cooling rack and cool for a short while.
  7. Serve warm with butter or slice and freeze for later use and toast before enjoying as good as freshly baked.

Serves 12.

Variation – Individual breads

  1. Grease the cups of a muffin tin or muffin tins well as explained above.  For smaller breads grease 18 to 24 cups, for jumbo breads use 12 cups.
  2. Divide the batter between the cups and top with rosemary sprigs  and pepper.
  3. Bake 15 minutes for smaller or up to 25 minutes for larger breads until cooked.

Also see the Quick Bacon & Herb-flavoured bread on p. 708 of the Art of cooking recipe book by Carolié de Koster for a beer-less quick bread.

Mozzarella and rosemary beer bread

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American Corn Bread

The aroma of cornbread fresh from the oven is irresistible and will combine well with any meal, from breakfast to a braai.

250 ml polenta (yellow mealie meal)
250 ml cake flour
15 ml baking powder
2.5 ml bicarbonate of soda
5 ml salt
375 ml buttermilk
2 large eggs
60 ml melted butter
50 ml maple syrup

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 ° C and grease an average loaf tin (280 x 220 x 65 mm/225 x 125 x 80 mm) with butter or non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, add the remaining ingredients, mix well to form a smooth batter and pour into the tin.
  3. Smooth the top and bake for about 25 minutes or until set and golden.
  4. Cool in the tin for a few minutes, turn out and allow to cool completely.

1 loaf of cornbread or about 16 slices


  • This bread can be stored for up to 3 days or longer if kept refrigerated
  • It freezes very well. Thaw and reheat at 160 ° C for 8 – 10 minutes to serve warm

Add 125 ml cooked or drained canned kernel corn to the batter if a more chunky loaf is preferred.


Art Of Cooking page 709


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Gluten-free Mock bread

The lightest and quickest option for gluten free breads yet! Delicious with sweet toppings such as syrup or jam or or savoury toppings, instead of English Muffins or served with curries or soup.The original name was “Oopsies” – it was discovered by mistake.  The mixture can also be spooned over warm cottage pie and baked until golden and firm.

3 large eggs, separated
100 g cottage cheese, cream cheese or ricotta cheese
pinch salt
30 ml Gluten-free flour (any favourite)
2,5 ml baking powder
30 ml water

Topping (optional but good!)
Any typical such as poppyseeds, garlic and herb seasoning and rosemary sprigs, onion seeds

  1. Line a baking tray with baking paper and grease with butter or spray with non-stick spray or line the Wizbake sheets – no greasing required!
  2. Preheat the oven to 160º C.
  3. Beat the egg whites until stiff.  Beat or process the cheese, egg yolks, flour, salt and water and fold into the egg white.
  4. Place about 1/3 cup of the mixture onto the lined tins and shape into ovals or rounds with the back of a spoon.
  5. Leave as is or sprinkle with topping if preferred.
  6. Bake about 15 – 20 minutes or until golden and firm.
  7. Serve warm or cool a short while and serve fresh for best results.

The gluten-free flour can be substituted with cake flour if preferred.


Mock Breads

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Beer Bread

This is a quick and easy bread to make and it can easily be tailor-made to taste with the addition of cheese, herbs, etc.

500 g self-raising flour
5 ml salt
30 ml olive oil
1 x 340 ml can beer, at room temperature
± 100 ml water

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 ° C.
  2. Grease a medium bread pan or a 2 litre ovenproof dish generously with butter.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and add the oil, beer and enough water to form a firm but slightly sticky dough.
  4. Spoon the dough into bread pan or dish, smooth the top and place in the oven.
  5. Turn the temperature down to 180 ° C and bake for about 25 minutes or until well risen and golden and a metal skewer comes out clean if tested.
  6. Cool in the pan or dish for 5 minutes.  Turn out onto a serving platter and serve slightly warm or cooled but preferably on the same day of baking.


  • Add 5 ml mixed dried herbs & 50 finely chopped spring onion for a Herbed Beer Bread.
  • Add 125 to 250 grated cheese with or to replace the herbs for a Cheese Beer Bread.
  • Replace the beer with buttermilk for a Buttermilk Bread.
  • The beer can also be replaced with soda or sparkling water.
Beer Bread
Beer Bread
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Parmesan & Potato Focaccia

This is my version of focaccia bread that I ate in Tuscany, Italy a few years ago.  Focaccia (pronounced “fo-KA-chee-a”) is an Italian flatbread, often topped with herbs and spices or other ingredients such as cheese, vegetables or meat. It is similar in style and texture to pizza dough, but without the tomato sauce base that most pizza’s have.

4 medium potatoes (about 500 g), peeled and thinly sliced
50 g butter
5 ml crushed garlic
10 ml fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped and 2.5 ml salt or
10 ml Ina Paarman’s Lemon & Rosemary seasoning
500 g shop-bought bread dough
200 ml Parmesan cheese, finely grated

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 ° C.
  2. Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with boiling water.  Bring to the boil and cook until the potato is soft but not falling apart.
  3. Drain the excess water and add the butter, garlic, fresh rosemary and salt or Lemon & Rosemary Seasoning and stir to combine.
  4. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and place the first ball of dough on a Wizbake baking sheet sprinkled with a little flour.
  5. Also sprinkle a little flour on the dough and onto a rolling pin to prevent sticking and roll the dough out to an even thickness – about 0.5 to 1 cm.
  6. Transfer the Wizbake sheet to a baking tray and spoon half of the the potato mixture on top of the dough.
  7. Do the same with the other half of the dough.
  8. Bake the focaccia’s for about 15 minutes or until golden and crispy.
  9. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese.  Serve immediately.

6 servings.

Potato Focaccia

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Aniseed Bread

Aniseed Bread

An aromatically flavoured loaf to serve with soup, stews or cheese and salads.

Preparation time: 1 hour, including rising time
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2 medium loaves or 20 slices
Note: This bread can also be made in a bread machine.

2 x 8 g sachets instant yeast
1 cup (250 ml) High grade flour
½ cup (125 ml) semolina
2 tsp (10 ml) aniseed
2 tsp (10 ml) salt
1 Tbsp (15 ml) sugar
1 cup (250 ml) milk
1 cup (250 ml) hot water
± 3 cups (750 ml) additional High grade flour


  1. Place the yeast, first measure of flour, semolina, aniseed, salt, sugar, milk and water in a mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer and mix to combine.
  2. Add sufficient of the extra flour gradually to make a soft dough. Knead the dough in the electric mixer for about 8 minutes or turn out on a floured surface and knead very well by hand for about 10 minutes until smooth and very elastic. Return to the bowl, cover and allow to rise at room temperature or a very mildly warm spot until doubled.
  3. Punch down the risen dough, divide in half and shape into oval-shaped loaves. Line a baking tray with baking paper or aluminium foil. Rolls the loaves into semolina to coat lightly and place onto the baking tray. Cut diagonal slashes into the top with a pair of kitchen scissors and allow to rise uncovered until doubled in size.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200 ºC while the loaves are rising. Place the risen loaves into the oven and bake 10 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 170 ºC and bake 30 minutes more until the loaves are lightly browned and the crust crisp and sounds hollow when tapped. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster.

Aniseed Bread
Aniseed Bread