Posts Tagged ‘ricotta loaf’

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In the immortal words of Snoopy, it was a dark and stormy night.

I’d made loaves of ricotta bread earlier in the day, and bread and butter pudding seemed like an ideal way to use the leftovers.  The soft curd loaves have a fine, rich texture, slightly reminiscent of panettone.  Having bought 30  free range eggs from the markets that afternoon, it was the perfect dessert for a dark and stormy night.

Google turned up an interesting Bill Granger recipe, which I, of course, had to mess around with.  I reduced the quantity of eggs and cream, added apple brandy, eyeballed the other ingredients, and still ended up with the most delicious dessert we’ve had in ages.  Here is my rough recipe – feel free to play around with it as your ingredients on hand necessitate.

  • Golden syrup
  • Ricotta bread (I used about ¾ of a loaf)
  • Unsalted butter
  • Dark raisins
  • 5 large eggs
  • 400ml milk (approx.)
  • 250ml cream (approx.)
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • generous dash of Calvados brandy
  • 115g (½ cup) caster sugar
  • Vanilla sugar
  • Whipped cream to serve

1.  Carefully cut the crust away from the outside of the loaf, and then cut it into thick slices.  Butter one side of each slice and cut it in half on the diagonal.

2. Grease a pie dish and drizzle a generous amount of golden syrup all over the base.  I actually had enough to fill a 26cm pie dish and a small rectangular dish (which I subsequently took to the neighbours).   Arrange a layer of bread over the bottom of the dishes, butter side up.  Scatter with raisins, then place another layer of butter-side-up bread over the top. You could keep going with layers, but I’d cut thick slices, so just two layers of bread was enough to fill my dishes.

3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, milk, vanilla , Calvados and sugar.  Ladle the mixture over the top of the bread until the dishes are quite full and the bread is soaked.  Leave for 30 minutes, pushing the bread down every 10 minutes or so to help it soak up the liquid.  Preheat oven to 175C (160C with fan).

4. Sprinkle vanilla sugar over the bread, then bake in the oven for 45 – 55 minutes, or until golden brown.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 – 15 minutes before serving with whipped cream.

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ricotta bread finished

 There are four names regularly mentioned with great affection in our house whenever the topic of breadmaking arises – Kevin Sherrie and Johnny B (the millers), Richard Bertinet (aka “The Frenchman”) and Dan the Man.

Dan Lepard, a former Melbournian and all round good guy, has gone on to become one of the most respected bakers in the UK.  The Handmade Loaf is as comprehensive and enjoyable a read as you’re ever likely to find in a bread book.  A few of his recipes have become our household staples, particularly his sourdough focaccia, which was the basis of all school lunches for nearly two years.

This book provides a wealth of ideas and techniques, interwoven with photos and stories of old and new world bakers from all over Europe. Whereas most bread texts deal with manipulating a given dough in a multitude of ways, Dan’s book is full of innovative recipes and suggestions, such as this one for including leftover ricotta in your loaf.

dan lepard

If you live where I do, you’ll often end up with half a tub of ricotta in the fridge.  That’s because the lure of warm, fresh ricotta for  the price of a gold coin tempts you daily, often before you’ve finished the perfectly fine batch you bought a few days ago.  Loathe to throw out Friday’s purchase, I tried this recipe yesterday.  Pete was very happy with the results, which went particularly well with his homemade pluot jam.  This is a moist, fine-grained loaf with the distinct flavour of ricotta and just a little added richness from the curds.  Here are a few photos of the process…


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The best thing to do with leftover ricotta loaf is…bread and butter pudding!

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