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.

Homemade baked beans from scratch

 

Making homemade baked beans from scratch is absolutely worth the effort. Try my recipe for a stunningly colourful and flavoursome weekend brunch. I promise, you will never want to go back to the shop-bought variety of baked beans again!

Homemade baked beans
Homemade baked beans (using butter beans)

Vegetarian homemade baked beans from scratch

A beautiful vegetarian recipe for homemade baked beans. Your efforts will be rewarded with the rich taste of the tomato sauce, balanced with the wonderfully textured beans.

Homemade baked beans ingredients

  • 180g dried white beans, such as butter, haricot or cannellini (you can use a mix of beans)
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 100g white onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 200g passata (use passata maker if using fresh tomatoes)
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 75g red wine vinegar
  • 250g water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A few sprigs of thyme (optional)

How to make baked beans from scratch

Day 1

  1. Cover the white beans in cold water and soak overnight.

Day 2

  1. After the beans have soaked overnight, drain them and put them in a large saucepan. Cover them with plenty water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 1 hour until the beans are just tender. Top up with more boiling water if required.
  2. Drain the beans and set aside.
  3. Heat the rapeseed oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat.
  4. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and stir for a few minutes until the onion is softened.
  5. Add the passata, tomato purée, smoked paprika, vinegar and water and bring to the boil.
  6. Season with salt and pepper and add the thyme if using.
  7. Add the beans, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for an hour or so until the sauce has thickened.
  8. Serve while hot with freshly baked bread or homemade potato farls.