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Bread - Anything but humble


production: amor engelbrecht food assistant: katelyn williams food preparation: zola nene photographs: angie làzaro

Bread - Anything but humble

Brioche, baguette or brown, sourdough, soda or stollen – the history of bread has seen it rise from modest beginnings to a fundamental part of religions and customs in many world cultures. At the same time it still delights daily, enticing us in its many forms and flavours. Therefore, it is our canapé base of choice for the silly celebration season this December.


Basic bruschetta Grill sourdough (or baguette) bread slices on both sides. Rub one side with peeled garlic, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.


Asparagus Parmesan bruschetta

Toss steamed asparagus with rocket, olive oil and lemon juice.
Put on basic bruschetta with Parmesan shavings.

Mozzarella anchovy bruschetta

Toss rocket with olive oil and lemon juice.
Put on basic bruschetta, followed by sliced mozzarella and anchovies.

Tomato olive bruschetta

Cut plum tomatoes in half and squeeze out flesh.
Toss the flesh with olive oil, red wine vinegar and dried chilli.
Season and place on basic bruschetta with rocket and stoned black olives.
Drizzle with olive oil.

Mushroom and ricotta bruschetta

Fry mushrooms on both sides in oil with a few thyme leaves until soft.
Place on basic bruschetta and season.
Sprinkle overricotta and Parmesan shavings.

Bread variations

Bread baskets

Basic bread basket
Cut crusts off bread slices and roll out with a rolling pin.
Cut out with a round cookie cutter.
Press into mini muffin trays (dampen with a little water) and bake at 180ºC until golden brown.

Roast tomatoes mini Welsh rarebits

Halve, season and roast cherry tomatoes drizzled with oil at 220ºC for 15 minutes.
Melt 50g butter in a pan, add 1T flour and cook for 1 minute. Add 1∕3 cup beer or wine, 1T mustard and 225g grated cheddar cheese. Stir until creamy.
Remove from heat and add 1 egg yolk.
Fill bread baskets with the mixture, grill until bubbling and top with the tomatoes.
Makes 24.

Moroccan lamb with eggplant and hummus

Season lamb pieces with Moroccan spice mix, sear in a hot griddle pan and finish in the oven. Meanwhile drizzle sliced eggplant with olive oil, crushed garlic, salt and pepper and grill on a griddle pan.
Chop and place in bread basket with chopped lamb, hummus and a little rocket to garnish.

Onion, bacon and Parmesan quiches

Chop 100g bacon and fry until crisp.
Mix with 1/2 cup store-bought red onion marmalade, 2T chopped parsley and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan. Season.
Place a spoonful in the bottom of each toast cup.
Whisk together 3 eggs and 1∕3 cup cream and fill up the cups before baking at 160ºC for 5-10 minutes.
Makes 24.

Mini salmon and egg cups
Press buttered sliced bread (unbaked) into muffin cups, place a little thawed spinach flavoured with garlic in each cup.
Sprinkle with feta and chopped parsley.
Crack a quail egg into each and bake at 200ºC for 15 minutes. Garnish with a salmon rose and snipped chives.

Mini cappuccino bread
and butter pudding cakes

Spread 1/4 pre-sliced loaf of white bread or brioche with 40g soft butter.
Alternate layers of bread with 50g chopped dark chocolate in greased mini muffin tins.
Whisk together 2 eggs, 1T sugar, 1T espresso, 1/2t vanilla extract, 150ml cream and 100ml milk until combined.
Strain over the bread and chocolate.
Set aside until the liquid has been absorbed.
Bake at 150°C for 15 minutes until set.
Set aside to cool.
Serve with lightly whipped cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon.
Makes 12.

Fig and Gorgonzola toast tarts

Roll slices of bread with a rolling pin until thin, cut into circles or squares.
Spread with Gorgonzola cheese, top with a fig quarter or slices and bake at 200ºC until caramelised. Serve topped with rocket and balsamic reduction, if desired.

Vegetable terrine

Line a loaf tin with clingwrap and layer the bottom with slices of white bread.

Grill 2 red and 2 green peppers, 6 sliced courgettes and 3 sliced eggplants.
Whisk together 1/2 cup olive oil, 2T thyme leaves, 2T chopped parsley and 1 clove crushed garlic and marinate the grilled vegetables in the mixture.
Season to taste before layering alternately with more bread slices in the prepared loaf tin – ending with bread.
Weigh down with a chopping board (with something heavy on top) overnight before slicing.
Enough for 24 slices.

Peach Crostini

Peach crostini

Cut 4 circles out of bread with a cookie cutter.
Spread both sides with butter and place on a buttered tray.
Sprinkle with castor sugar.
Slice 2 peaches and top each circle with the slices of half a peach.
Sprinkle with more castor sugar.
(If desired, use vanillaflavoured castor sugar.)
Bake at 200ºC for 20 minutes.
Serve with cream or vanilla ice cream.

More recipes with bread:

Chilli popper flatbreads

Grilled Asparagus bruschetta

Open-faced steak sandwich

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