I love these little close textured loaves. They look beautiful and are a real talking point. You can vary the herb / cheese / onion mix to suit your taste. I will set out what I do but it’s just a guide!
To make these you will need 4 Clay flowerpots about 12cm diameter and 12cm high. I find it best to line them with baking parchment but if they are well seasoned you can simply oil them!
750g White Bread Flour (I use 400g Canadian (112) and 350g Bakers White (101))
250g Organic Wholemeal (205)
20g Fresh Yeast (or 10g dried)
300g Milk (Full fat is best)
75g Butter (melted)
15g Fine Sea salt
50g grated hard cheese (preferably Welsh but cheddar will do)
1 Tsp finely chopped fresh sage
2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
2 finely chopped spring onions (or Welsh Onions or chives)
An Egg to glaze, plus seeds (poppy are nice) for decoration.
1. Set a batter with 500g White flour, the yeast and the milk and water and leave for a couple of hours (or overnight – in a cool place)
2. Then add the remaining ingredients (except the egg) and mix to a fully developed dough which should feel fairly stiff.
3. Shape into a ball and place in a clean oiled bowl and cover. Rest for an hour.
4. Deflate and divide into 4 equal pieces. Form each into a ball than stretch the bottom slightly downwards to mirror the shape of the flower pot. Drop each piece of dough into a pot, cover and leave in a warm place to prove.
5. Once the dough has risen slightly above the rim of the pot (about an hour) glaze the top with beaten egg and sprinkle with seeds to decorate.
6. Bake in a hot oven at about 230C for 5 Minutes (or in an AGA on a stone set on the grid-shelf on the floor of the Roasting oven) then either lower the heat to about 200C or move to the baking oven in a 4 oven AGA (as high as you can) for a further 30-40 minutes or until well coloured.
7. I find that these loaves tend to do best if they are cooled in the pots else they sag a little on a rack. Take them out of the pots, peel off the parchment and check you are happy they are cooked then pop them back in the pots to cool.