Marmite & Cheddar Spirals

Marmite and Cheddar spirals

Love Marmite, or loathe it, these easy spirals are perfect for lunch boxes or picnics. If you really can’t stand Marmite, just leave it out and use only your favourite cheese; or try spreading with pesto or ‘nduja instead. And if you’re in a hurry, then a batch of savoury scone dough can be used in place of the bread (no proving required), or for ease you could use a 500g pack of bread mix, to save all the weighing and measuring.

Prepare: 25 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Makes: 12

500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
7g sachet fast action yeast
½ tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
2 tbsp Marmite, or to taste (the squeezy one is easier to use for this recipe, if you have it)
100g Cheddar cheese, grated

  1. Place the flour into a large bowl. Put the yeast to one side of the bowl and the salt and sugar on the other side. Gradually mix in 250-300ml water until very soft.
  2. Keep kneading either by hand or with a stand mixer until the bowl is clean and the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover and set aside in a warm place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200C, gas mark 6 and line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
    Turn onto a floured surface and using a rolling pin, roll into a large rectangle – about 35-40×25-30cm. Spread or squeeze over the marmite, as evenly as possible, then scatter over the cheese. Starting at the long edge in front of you, roll up, like a swiss roll. Then using a sharp knife, cut into 12 even pieces.
  4. Place cut-sides up on the prepared tray and place into the oven for 20 minutes, or until bubbling, risen and golden. Leave to cool slightly and serve warm or cold. They are best on the day they are baked, but will keep in an airtight container for a day or two.

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Sesame & banana traybake

There’s no added sugar in this easy cake recipe – just honey – and no eggs either. It’s quick to make and if you don’t like sesame seeds, just leave them out.

Prepare: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Makes: 16 squares

30g unsalted butter
3 tbsp clear honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
150g plain flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp mixed spice
Large pinch sea salt flakes
2 large, very ripe bananas
Sesame seeds, to sprinkle

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C, gas mark 5 and line a 20x20cm square tin with baking parchment.
  2. Warm the butter, honey and vanilla extract in a small pan over a low heat until melted. Then set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Meanwhile, put the flour, baking powder, bicarb, mixed spice and salt into a large bowl. Mash the bananas and mix with the butter mixture. Don’t over mix – it should be lumpy, but all the flour should be incorporated.
  4. Pour into the prepared tin, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and bake for 20 minutes until springy to touch. Leave to cool for 5 minutes in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before cutting into squares.

Top tip: you could also spoon the mixture into 12 muffin cases – they might take 20-25 minutes to cook though. Try swapping the sesame seeds for roughly chopped walnuts, or a blend of pumpkin, sunflower and linseeds.

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Sticky fig, red onion & pine nut focaccia

Sticky fig and red onion focaccia

This delicious and easy bread recipe makes a perfect accompaniment to scores of dishes and is also amazing on its own spread with lashings of Taleggio or goat’s cheese.

Preparation: 20 minutes, plus proving time
Cooking: 20 minutes
Serves: 8

250g strong white bread flour
1 tsp (5g) salt
7g sachet easy blend yeast
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
2 figs, cut into thin wedges
1 small red onion, cut into thin wedges
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 large sprig rosemary
1 tbsp pine nuts
Maldon sea salt, for serving

  1. Place the flour, salt, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 200ml warm water (1 part boiling:1 part cold water) into the bowl of a stand mixer. Knead with a dough hook on a low setting for 15 minutes until soft.  Alternatively knead in a mixing bowl by hand.
  2. Cover the bowl with a lightly oiled piece of kitchen film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size. Turn the dough into a square tin 20 x 20 cm in size and press it into the corners.  Cover with the film again and leave for a further 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 220C, gas mark 7. Meanwhile toss the fig and onion wedges with the molasses.  Press them randomly into the top of the dough, together with little sprigs of rosemary and the pine nuts.  Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.
  4. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and drizzle with more oil and sea salt flakes, before cutting into squares to serve.  Great spread with soft taleggio or goat’s cheese.
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