I love making bread. There’s something so right about creating something soooo totally gorgeous from such simple ingredients, and the smell as it cooks just tells you you’re home.
I have a bread maker so I do cheat, and why not? I often make a regular loaf of bread to serve with a main meal. However, my favourite setting on the bread maker is the dough setting. If you use the dough setting, all the hard work is done for you – all the mixing, all the kneading, even the initial rising – and you can simply take out the prepared dough and create something delicious. This spiced mint and pine nut bread is one of those delicious creations. It’s not a crusty bread, but I think that’s just fine. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a very big place for crusty bread, but this bread is soft with a crispy edge reminiscent of a pizza.
Don’t worry if you can’t take hot spices, there’s not a hint of heat here. Just fragrant gorgeousness that will conjure up thoughts of the East.
I like to serve this bread simply – with a feta salad whilst sitting outside in the sun or along-side a roast chicken and green salad on a Sunday. Today I’m serving it with olives, griddled vegetables and stuffed vine leaves….feel free to serve it with whatever floats your boat.
Spiced Mint and Pine Nut Bread
For the dough
- 125 g strong white flour plus extra for dusting
- 100 g strong wholemeal flour*
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 5 g fast action dried yeast
- 140 ml luke warm water
For the toppings
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, (crushed)
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint leaves
- 40 g (4 tablespoons) pine nuts
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
For the dough
- Place the flour, salt, yeast and water into your bread maker pan in the order directed by the manufacturer. Turn on the dough setting and leave to run as normal. Alternatively mix the ingredients together by hand, knead for 10 minutes, place in an oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise for 1 hour.
- Flour the kitchen unit and turn the dough out onto it. Punch down and roll into a ball. Roll out into a 25cm circle – you will need to be firm and persistent doing this, it will try and spring back but you will get there if you keep going. Place onto a well-floured baking sheet**.
For the topping
- Mix the olive oil, garlic and spices together in a little bowl.
- Brush each piece of dough with the oil and spices ensuring that the entire surface is covered. Sprinkle over the pine nuts. Gently press these into the dough so that they do not roll off. Sprinkle over the mint and salt. Leave to rise for 20 minutes. Pre heat the oven to 200°C.
- Once risen, place into the centre of the hot oven and bake for 14-18 minutes until golden.
- Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly, then cut into large wedges to serve.
**Feel free to use polenta or semolina instead of flour. This adds another dimension to the bread that Dan really likes.