Looking for a delicious homemade canapé recipe or simply for a savoury snack? These bread shots (original recipe taken from a book by Richard Bertinet called “Dough“) are just what you are looking for!
Bertinet’s bread shots are made of basic white yeast dough – little dough balls (smaller is better as it allows for a good topping-to-bread ratio), filled with the topping of your choice.
Ingredients for 36 bread shots
500g strong white bread flour
7g sachet of dried yeast
3/4 tsp salt
375g water, lukewarm
2 tbsp olive oil
Sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped and mixed with dried Italian herbs
Black pitted olives
Strong white cheddar, 1cm-cubes
Walnut halves and strong white cheddar (my favourite)
Spicy sausage, 1cm-cubes
How to make the bread shots
Put the flour, yeast and salt into large bowl and whisk together with a balloon whisk.
Add the water and mix together to form a rough dough with a wooden spoon.
On a clean work surface, knead for about 10 minutes until your dough is smooth and elastic.
Place the dough in a lightly floured bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel and leave to rest in a warm place for about one hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
Take the dough back out of the bowl and onto a very lightly floured surface.
Flatten the dough until it’s about 3 cm thick, then divide into 6 strips.
Divide each strip into a further 6 parts. These 6 parts will initially resemble little squares and will now need to be shaped into tight, smooth balls (as per Bertinet this is best done by folding each edge in turn into the centre of the dough and pressing down with your thumbs, rotating as you work, before giving the dough ball a final roll in the palm of your hand, smoothing the edges underneath).
Place the 36 bread shots on two sheets of baking paper and leave to rest for 15 minutes.
Use the handle of a wooden spoon to make a well in the centre of one bread ball at a time before putting one of the chosen toppings into the mold. Try to make the well quite deep as the dough will still rise and move the filling up- and outwards. When placing the bread balls on the baking paper, make sure you leave enough space between each bread shot to allow for further growth – you need to avoid them sticking together.
Cover the filled dough balls with a kitchen towel and leave to rest for a further 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven for half an hour.
Bake for 10 minutes or so at 220°C. It took a little longer in my oven – so just bake until golden brown.
Allow to cool on a wire rack
One final tip – the bread shots with cheese topping always come out best, so use cheese on its own or alongside another topping whenever you can!
It’s nearly Christmas! Today I baked some beautiful Christmas bread wreaths inspired by Artisan Bread in Five. I’ve noted down this easy Christmas bread wreath recipe below. Try it – you’ll be rewarded with some very decorative festive breads.
There are also some wonderfully adventurous Christmas bread and baking recipes in Trine Hahnemann’s beautifully presented book ‘Scandinavian Christmas‘.
Christmas bread wreath recipe
A simple white yeast bread dough is transformed into beautiful wreaths with the help of a pair of kitchen scissors and some rosemary sprigs.
Ingredients (for 3 Christmas bread wreaths)
1kg strong bread flour (plus a little extra for dusting)
650ml water, lukewarm
21g (3 sachets) dried yeast
1.5 tablespoons honey
1 level tablespoon salt
A few sprigs of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves
How to prepare the bread dough
Prepare all your ingredients.
Add 200ml of the lukewarm water, the honey, 1 sachet of yeast and 4 tablespoons of flour into a large bowl and mix together with a balloon whisk. Don’t add salt at this stage!
Leave to rest in a warm place for about ½ an hour.
Add the remaining ingredients to make the dough. Start with the flour, then add half the water followed by the yeast, salt, rosemary, thyme and finally the rest of the water, using a fork to stir initially until the dough starts to combine.
Knead for 10 minutes to form an elastic dough.
Place in a lightly floured bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel and leave to rest in a warm, draught-free place until it has doubled in size (approximately an hour).
How to shape the bread wreaths
Knock the air out of the dough with your hands.
If required – lightly dust the dough to avoid it sticking to your hands.
Flatten the dough, then divide into three equal parts. You can use a serrated knife to help with this.
Form each part into a roll (approximately 25 cm long), then combine the ends into a ring i.e. the wreath-form. Wet your hands with warm water to help fuse the ends together.
Place each wreath on a piece of baking paper and allow to rest for half an hour in a warm place.
Preheat the oven to 220°C.
Lightly dust the dough with flour.
Using kitchen scissors make deep cuts into the dough ring. Cut almost to the bottom of the wreath to achieve the desired effect.
Carefully place the resulting ‘wedges’ out away from the ring to form points.
Since it’s Christmas, I used some rosemary sprigs to decorate the wreath and rock salt to garnish the top of the bread wreath.
Slide the ring and the parchment paper right onto the wire rack (or baking stone if you have one) and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and hollow when tapped at the bottom.
An excellent addition to our annual Christmas lunch. We had it with a warming celery, leek and potato soup.