Fennel Seed Bread Recipe

 

The fennel seed is a a beautiful ingredient for bread baking – think subtle aniseed with warm, sweet aromas. This fennel seed bread recipe brings out the best of the seed’s aromatic flavours. A flavoursome breakfast bread for any day of the week!

For my fennel bread recipe, I’ve chosen a combination of flours: strong white wheat, semolina and  maize flour. Taking a look at other bakers’ recipes, there are plenty of fennel and nut combos, specifically hazelnuts (e.g. Ottolenghi’s fennel seed crackers or Hamelman’s hazelnut and fig bread with fennel seeds and rosemary). Dried fruits such as raisins, cherries or figs are also popular fennel seed companions (e.g. Andrew Whitley’s semolina, raisin and fennel bannock). As such, I’ve opted for a fennel bread which includes nuts and dried fruit and it works beautifully.

Fennel seed bread
Fennel seed bread

Fennel Seed Bread Recipe

My recipe uses a fruit, nut and fennel seed soaker to infuse some of the liquid that goes into the dough to extract some extra flavour from the seeds and to soften the raisins pre-bake.

Fennel seeds
Fennel seeds

Ingredients

Soaked raisin, hazelnut and fennel seed mix

  • 50g raisins
  • 50g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 6g fennel seeds
  • 100g water, hot

Main dough

  • 325g strong white wheat flour
  • 125g semolina
  • 75g maize flour
  • 9g salt
  • 5g dried yeast
  • 315g water
Fennel seed bread slice
Fennel seed bread slice

How to make fennel sead bread

  1. Prepare the raisin, hazelnut and fennel seed soaker by lightly toasting the fennel seeds in a frying pan for a few minutes until fragrant. Transfer to a mortar and roughly crush with the pestle. Combine the fennel seeds and other soaker ingredients in a bowl, stirring before covering the bowl. Leave to rest for a few hours or overnight.
  2. After this, combine all of the main dough ingredients and add the liquid from the soaker.
  3. Form a dough and knead for 10 minutes.
  4. Place in a bowl and cover for about an hour. The dough will have visibly risen by then.
  5. Take the dough back out of the bowl and fold in the raisin, hazelnut and fennel seed soaker until distributed evenly throughout the dough.
  6. Shape the dough into a round loaf, cover the outside with flour and place into a pre-floured proofing basket.
  7. Cover the proofing basket in a polythene bag to prevent the dough from drying out.
  8. Rest for an hour or two until the dough is fully proofed.
  9. Preheat the oven to 220°C and – if you are using a baking dome – preheat the dome from cold at the same time.
  10. Turn out the fennel seed loaf onto the baking dome plate (or otherwise a baking tray lined with baking paper) and score the bread with a scoring knife. Cover the dome if using.
  11. Bake at 220°C for 10 minutes, then turn down the temperature to 200°C for another 45 minutes. Take off the baking dome lid for the final 10 minutes to brown the loaf nicely.
  12. Cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy!

I also used fennel seeds in this Moroccan bread recipe.

Irish Potato Farls Bread Recipe

 

Weekends are my time for experimenting with food and this morning I was looking to Northern Ireland for inspiration. Visiting Belfast last year and stopping by at St. George’s Market, there was a huge variety of potato farls on offer and I’ve been a fan ever since. Irish potato farls are simple ‘breads’ made from potatoes, flour, butter and salt. Try my potato farls bread recipe for a simple and comforting treat.

Potato farls bread
Potato farls – a Sunday morning treat

“The word farl literally means ‘fourths’: they are shaped from a circle of dough cut into quarters.” The Guardian

Potato Farls Bread Recipe

A simple recipe, success guaranteed. Have the potato breads with your cooked weekend breakfast or simply with butter.

Potato farl bread
Potato farl bread – I left the skins on the potatoes before mashing them, works perfectly

Potato Farls Ingredients

  • 1 kg floury potatoes
  • 50g butter
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 190g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • Fresh thyme leaves (optional)

How To Make Potato Farls

Day 1

  1. The day/evening before you plan to make the potato farls, cook the potatoes and mash them with a potato ricer or regular potato masher.
  2. Add the butter and season to taste.
  3. Leave to cool, cover and place in the fridge overnight.

Day 2

  1. On the day of making the potato farls, add the flour (and thyme if using) to the mashed potatoes until well combined and smooth.
  2. Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide in half.
  3. On a floured work surface (to prevent sticking), flatten the dough into a round shape. You can do this with your hands or with a rolling pin. The round should be approximately 5mm thick.
  4. Cut each circle into quarters.
  5. Heat a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat until hot.
  6. Add the potato farls in batches (use a dough scraper if they stick to the surface), and fry for four to five minutes on each side, or until golden-brown on both sides. I don’t use extra butter to do this.
  7. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Irish potato farls can turn your breakfast into something extra special but if you are looking for other breakfast options, take a look at these: