Summer's in full swing and temperatures are soaring, but does that mean you have to give up making fresh bread or risk a full kitchen meltdown? These no bake recipes offer an alternative to turning on the oven and won't disappoint. Whether you're a firm believer in making your family's daily bread or just want to give something new a try, these recipes are a fun way to avoid the processed bread sold in supermarkets.
I've been making my own bread for several years now and have grown to really dislike the taste of shop bought loaves, so in the summer months I now have three main recipes that meet our bread needs without using an oven. I make simple flatbreads for a quick breakfast with eggs, or to fill with salad and lentil pâté for lunch. The flatbread dough can be stored in a large container in the fridge for up to a week, meaning you can simply tear a chunk off, roll out and cook as required.
I first thought of making bread on the cooker top when I came across a no-knead recipe for muffin bread. The high moisture levels in the recipe created a loaf with lots of large air holes, making it perfect for toasting and slathering with butter. My cooker top bread recipe benefits from the moisture created in the pot and the end result is a soft and versatile loaf that works well with fresh preserves or topped with sharp cheddar cheese.
If you're thinking that those breads sound all well and good but you'd rather be out in the sunshine, this one's for you. My BBQ loaf can be made on a gas or charcoal grill after you've finished cooking up your alfresco feast as long as your barbecue has a lid. Simply turn the gas to low or wait until the embers are dying down, place your loaf on the grill, close the lid and leave to cook. Making a thin focaccia works best for this method and adding fragrant herbs such as rosemary and a little garlic to the dough will offset the mild charcoal aroma. What could be better than getting a loaf of bread made to accompany tomorrow's salad while enjoying the sun!
Fast flatbreads (makes 8)
These flatbreads can also be cooked directly on the BBQ, making the dough ideal to pack in a cool box for trips to the beach or camping.
250g plain flour
½ teaspoon of salt
1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil
160ml of warm water
1 teaspoon of fast action yeast
1. Combine the flour, salt and yeast in large bowl.
2. Make a well in the centre of the bowl and add the oil and water. Stir to combine and tip onto a floured work surface.
3. Knead for 2-5 minutes until dough is smooth and either refrigerate in a large container until required or split into eight balls for immediate use.
4. Allow the balls of dough to rest for 5-10 minutes and then roll out one at a time as thinly as possible. Place each round onto a hot dry skillet and cook for 30 seconds on each side until the dough bubbles.
5. Remove from the pan and keep covered with a tea towel until the rest of the flatbreads are cooked. This prevents them from drying out.
Cooker bread (serves 12)
500g of bread flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of sugar or honey
2 tablespoons of olive oil
7g of fast action yeast
300ml of warm water
1. Combine the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in large bowl.
2. Make a well in the centre of the bowl, add the oil and water and stir to combine.
3. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead for 5-10 minutes until dough is smooth.
4. Line a large, heavy-bottomed pot with two layers of tin foil and oil the top layer of tin foil liberally.
5. Form the dough into a round and place into the pot. Place the lid on the pot and leave the dough until it doubles in size (around an hour).
6. Place the pot on the cooker top on the lowest heat setting and leave for 10-15 minutes. You will hear some crackling as the oil heats up.
7. Remove the lid and use the tin foil to lift the loaf out of the pan. Place the loaf with the foil still under it onto a plate and turn the loaf over using a wooden spoon or fish slice. Pick the loaf up using the foil and put back into the pan to cook the other side. Replace the lid and leave for a further 10-15 minutes.
8. When each side has browned and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped, remove the loaf and cool on a wire rack.
Garlic and rosemary focaccia BBQ bread (serves 6)
250g of bread flour
1 teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of fast action yeast
3 tablespoons of olive oil
175ml of warm water
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons of fresh rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon of sea slat for sprinkling
1. Combine the flour, salt and yeast. Add the oil, garlic and water. Knead on a floured work surface for a few minutes until smooth and elastic.
2. Shape into a rectangle around ½ an inch deep and place onto a floured baking tray or into any shallow heat-resistant dish.
3. Cover loosely and leave for 45-60 minutes until the dough is an inch deep.
4. Use your index finger to press holes all over the surface of the dough and place a little rosemary in each hole. Sprinkle with the sea salt and place on the grill of a covered BBQ for around 20-30 minutes until the bread is brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on the tray.