Nigel is taking us on a picnic this week. Or maybe I should say I Heart Cooking Clubs is taking Nigel on a PICNIC! That’s the theme this week. And I bet Nigel would have enjoyed it had he been with us.

When ever we went on a picnic we always had potato salad, some time of sweet, and sandwiches. And for sandwiches, you need bread.


This is Nigel’s BASIC LOAF And it is useful for many different things pizza, focaccia, buns, etc etc. This time I just made BREAD!

    500 gm/ 3.75 cups bread flour
    10 gm/1 tsp salt
    14g/1 tsp fast-acting dried yeast
    350 ml tepid water, about


    Put the flour into the bowl of a food mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the salt and the fast-acting yeast and mix thoroughly. Pour in the water (you may not use all of it, and use the dough cycle of your machine. The dough will be quite sticky.

By Hand:

    Put the flour and salt and yeast into a large bowl, mix well then pour in the water (you may not need all of it) to make a sticky dough. After removing from the machine, knead slightly on a well floured board incorporating some of the flour into the dough.

    Knead the dough on a well floured board and knead in some of the flour from the work surface, adding a little more if the dough remains sticky. It should come away from the work surface cleanly.
    Keep kneading until the dough no longer sticks to the board – about 5 minutes.

Whichever way you start the dough:

    Place the dough into a floured bowl {I used a Baneton} and set aside, covered with a thin towel, until it has risen to double its size. This generally takes anything up to an hour depending on the warmth of your room.

Set the oven at 410C/220C/gas mark 7. Remove the dough from the bowl onto a stone/sheet pan or place in a loaf pan. Allow to rise until well above the top of the pan or until about doubled in size. Bake for about 40 minutes till they sound hollow when tapped on the base. Remove from the tin or baking sheet and leave to cool

{The original recipe is for two loaves and is HERE!

Nice crusty bread ready for whatever fits your fancy – egg salad, ham salad, chicken salad, bologna!! Or maybe your favorite ingredients for a dipping oil!


Check out what the other Clubbers brought on the PICNIC!