Every home cook wants to turn their hand at bread-making. There’s no doubt about it, bread-making is a challenge, but anyone who rises to the challenge will agree that it’s worth it.
Which child whose mother baked fresh bread every Saturday morning wouldn’t grow up, looking back with fondness at that very image of their childhood? Which husband wouldn’t boast to his colleagues when his packed lunch consisted of a home baked roll, even if the filling was simple cold ham and cheese?
The appeal of freshly baked bread really is universal. Of course, there is the added benefit that the maker knows exactly what ingredients are included and can taylor the bread specially to those family members who have special dietary requirements.
In this article I’m going to explain how to make bread without the fancy bread-maker which is a nightmare to clean. In fact, I even hate cleaning the oven and so I’ve turned to making bread using nothing more than my griddle pan.
The beauty of the griddle pan is that it’s so easy to clean, and making bread using it instead of the oven is quick and convenient.
Griddle bread, is made using a simple soda bread dough, cooked slowly on a griddle pan. It is a traditional bread first baked in Ireland many centuries ago, over the open fire in the main room of the country home. In fact, in Ireland in the eighteenth century, most homes would only have had one room. It really is a wonderful standby when you haven’t a single crumb of regular bread left in the house.
To make the perfect griddle bread, it is important to cook over a low, gentle heat until the surface of the bread is blackening slightly in places.
This bread really does taste of Ireland. It must be eaten with lashings of butter and jam and a little clotted cream goes down well too. It’s particularly magical when cooked outside in the countryside with some traditional Irish music playing in the background. The aroma it gives off as it cools down is simply sublime.
2 cups plain flour
pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tbsp sugar
1 ½ tbsp melted butter
1 cup milk
1 egg (beaten)
1. Mix the flour, salt and baking powder and sieve.
2. Add the sugar, butter, milk and mix together into a dough.
3. Divide the dough into 4 to 8 triangular shapes.
4. Heat a greased griddle pan
5. Add the dough to the griddle and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, on each side over a moderate heat.
Serve hot with plenty of butter and jam or honey.
Pitta bread is a flatbread that has been used in Middle Eastern cooking for at least 4,000 years. I think that’s tried and tested. It makes wonderful use of the griddle pan and once you’ve made it a few times you will find it really quite quick and easy to throw together as part of any family meal. It’s a great lunchbox treat too.
Please don’t be put off with the lengthy method in this pitta bread, it really is quite simple and much more tasty than the shop bought version.
3 ½ cups plain flour
1½ cups of warm water (add ½ boiling to ½ cold)
1 tsp. dried yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1. Mix 1 cup of flour, yeast, sugar, and 1 cup of water.
2. Cover with clean kitchen towel, and let stand in warm place 30 minutes, or until mixture is foaming.
3. Stir the other 2 cups of flour, the salt, and ½ cup water into yeast mixture.
4. Knead for 2 to 3 until dough is smooth.
5. Add remaining ½ cup flour and olive oil
6. Knead for a further 2 to 3 minutes until the dough comes together.
7. Transfer to floured work surface
8. Knead 5 to 7 minutes more until dough is glossy.
9. Shape the dough into a ball
10. Place in floured bowl, and cover with kitchen towel for 1 hour (until dough has doubled in size). Punch down the dough and cover for another 30 minutes.
11. Shape dough into 10 2-inch balls on floured work surface.
12. Cover with kitchen towel, and let rise 30 minutes.
13. Roll balls into 1/4-inch-thick patties and flatten with a spatula.
14. Cover, and let stand 30 minutes more.
15. Grease griddle pan and heat over high heat.
16. Place 1 dough circle on the griddle.
17. Cook 1 to 1 ½ minutes per side, or until pita is puffed, push on the puffed pita with a spatula to make sure that the edges are fully cooked.
18. Repeat with remaining dough patties.
Bread is said to be older than metal. Prior to the Bronze Age, our ancestors were sitting down and sharing bread together. Sourdough is one of the oldest and most traditional forms of bread-making. Before yeast was discovered, our ancestors were constantly thinking of ways to make their doughs rise. Sourdoughs was this primitive method.
2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup buttermilk
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
Mix flour, salt and sifted baking soda.
Make a well in the center and pour in buttermilk.
Mix into a dough, kneading lightly on a well floured surface.
Form into a pattie about ½ inch thick
Cut into quarters with a floured knife.
Sprinkle a little flour over the base of the hot pan
Cook for 6 to 8 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
Not everyone wants to go to the effort of mixing dough together and often in our busy lives, we simply don’t have time. It’s still lovely to have that fresh smell of baking bread in your home and the joy in the families face of having freshly warmed bread really is delightful, so its probably not a surprise to you that I have developed a cheats method for providing my family with that very treat without any of the work. When this is the case, I simply buy soda bread from the local supermarket and lightly toast on the griddle until it is light brown on both sides. Served with lashings of butter, it really is quite a magnificent quick breakfast.
Garlic bread, serve alongside a pasta dish at a dinner party is very straightforward, but really raises the bar and sets you apart as a culinary expert, a real Italian Mama or Papa. You can use store-bought bread and I would advise investing in a tin camping mug.
1 good quality crusty loaf
1 cup butter, cubed
3 garlic cloves, crushed
Salt and pepper for seasoning
1. Cut bread into slices.
2. Warm griddle gently
3. Put butter and garlic in a tin mug and sit it on the griddle.
4. Melt the butter in the mug stirring together with the garlic.
5. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
6. Butter one side of each slice of bread using the melted butter and garlic mix.
7. Put the slices, buttered side down, on the gridle.
8. Cook for 1-2min until crisp and golden.
9. Brush uppermost sides with remaining butter
10. turn over and cook.
Best served warm
This is possibly the simplest bread recipe yet. Flatbreads are always quick and easy, because they do not need to rise. Unleavened bread was most famously used in Egypt at the Passover when the Israelites were escaping and didn’t have time to wait for their bread to prove. For me, it really is the perfect Easter treat and I love thinking of the love that the Israelite mothers had for their children. Quickly baking bread to ensure that their little ones didn’t go hungry on their long journey to escape from the Egyptians.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup water (ice cold)
3 tbsp butter
2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 pinch baking soda
1. Combine all ingredients and form into a dough.
2. Cover with a clean cloth or tea towel and allow to sit for at least 30 minutes.
3. Cut into 4 or 5 equal pieces.
4. Roll out to a thin 8-inch circle.
5. Prick the surface of the dough with a fork
6. cook on hot oiled griddle.
7. Turn with a spatula.
Be careful to watch the flatbread closely because it cooks very fast.
The griddle has many uses and traditional bread is one of them. The main luxury for me is that of the beautiful aroma of freshly cooking bread and the speed in which it can be made on the griddle. Of course, I also enjoy the ease of cleanup, this can never be overstated.
Please share this post so that your friends can enjoy the benefits of cooking bread on a griddle and feel free to comment and include your own griddle bread recipes below.