The basic dough recipe for bread is a perfect target for experimentation as the resulting bread can be made much more interesting by adding some tasty bits and pieces. Here is a sampling of things I have successfully tried over the years:
- Onions: Chop two or three big onions (not too finely) and mix them into the mix of ingredients (before adding the water). As the onions bring some fluid to the flour, you will need less of the warm water. Best is to start with about half of the water (ie 200 ml) and add more, as required.
- Garlic: If you like garlic, you'll love that. Take eight cloves (or more or less:-)), chop them very finely and put into the dough. It's also possible to simply crush the garlic.
- Cumin: Fresh cumin gives the bread an amazing taste. I normally use about two teaspoons of fresh cumin and another two teaspoons of cumin powder. This makes for a rather strong taste. (Even if you don't like cumin, try it at least once: Vero hates cumin, but she loves my cumin bread.)
- Bacon: Well, that's a difficult one. I don't use British bacon, as this is simply too soft. I normally take some firm “Schinken” or “Bauchspeck” from Germany, something, at any rate, that's tasty and that can be cut into small, but firm cubes and then mixed into the dough without producing too much of a mess. A really tough French saucisson sec or a chorizo-style sausage will also work.
- Indian spices: Three, four, five… teaspoons of curry powder, Tandoori spice mixture, Turmeric, perhaps some cumin… Or half a pot of Indian cooking paste (there are many varieties, I often end up with something spicy, Tandoori or Jogan Rosh).
The end result is a lot darker than normal and might look like the loaf in the photo to the right.
- Horseradish: As I normally can't get fresh horseradish I use Colman's Hot (not the Creamy) Horseradish Sauce. The result is not really convincing as the Colman stuff is alas not hot enough but it's still worth a try. Real horseradish is of course a different story…
- Black Olives: Take about 200 gr of black olives, get rid of the stones and chop them roughly. Again, you will need a little less water.
- Olive Oil: This gives the bread a nice, soft taste. I use about a cup (makes for a rich bread: very definitely a diet-killer) and of course less water.
Let me stress that all this is just a sampling. There are many other possibilities (walnuts or pistachios, for instance). If you find something that works well for you, please drop me a line: I am always looking for new ideas.
$updated from: Bread Variants.htxt Sat 18 Jan 2014 13:14:25 thomasl (By Thomas Lauer)$