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I often keep a bowl of bread dough in the fridge. I got the idea from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. He calls it Magic Dough because you can make so many things with it. If I think I might make a loaf sometime soon, I make a larger batch, otherwise, I just keep the bowl topped up. After a week or so, it will develop a wonderful sour dough tang.
These are just some of the things I have made using Magic Dough. I’m sure there will be others!
125g white flour 45p/1500, 4p
125g strong white flour, 4p
1 scant tsp salt
half tsp instant yeast, if you use a quarter of one of the 14p sachets, it would be 4p
1 tbslp oil, 1p
If you can, get a tub of instant yeast, it’s much cheaper than the sachets, a quarter of the price in fact.
Put everything in a bowl and add 160ml warm water. Mix everything together and pop it in the fridge overnight. Or if you want to use some or all of it straight away, give it all a good knead for about 10 minutes, or if you have a food mixer, use the dough hook for 10 minutes, or you can use a food processor, process for 5 minutes.
Cover the bowl and leave it in a warm place to prove for an hour or two, until doubled in size. Flavour develops in this time, so leave it as long as you can.
I leave the dough in the fridge, and every two or three days, I feed the yeast, adding a mug of flour and a splash of water. Take out want you want to use. Any dough left at the end, or flour on the worktop, ie you made too much for the flatbreads you wanted, mix it back into the bowl of dough. Keep the mixture loose, it’s better for the yeast, so you may need to add a little water as well.
This is how I made a free form loaf using the Magic Dough in the fridge
This post shows hot to make cheapy bread rolls using value flour. Or use the Magic Dough in the fridge and jump straight to the shaping and proving stage
These pitta bread are super simple to make, and if you use ordinary value flour, which I do, you get 4 large pitta for just 6p. If you use pitta often, it would be worth making quite a few and keeping them in the freezer, ready to use. They taste so much nicer than shop bought, and you can make them any size you like, which is very handy if you have littlies with small appetites, are on a diet, have hollow legged teenagers to feed, or any other reason yu might want non-standard size ones. Small children seem to like anything small, so it may encourage them to tuck in if they have miniature pitta
Pizza becomes a much quicker dinner if you don’t have to make the dough first.
I haven’t made any bread sticks, but you could easily use this dough to make some. Here’s a recipe showing how to shape and cook the dough.
Raisin Pan Bread
I’ve just had this for breakfast. I put a spoon of dough on the worktop, added enough flour to make it look like bread dough, then kneaded in a handful of raisins. I use raisins most of the time rather than sultanas as raisins count as a purple portion and not many things do. Then I melted a little butter in a frying pan and gently cooked the patty for a few minutes on each side. Once plated, I sprinkled over a tiny bit of sugar, about half a teaspoon. The plate is a side plate and the patty the size of a small saucer.
It had the pleasant tang from the sourdough, and was chewier, in a good way, than pancakes made with similar ingredients. As well as breakfast or an anytime snack, this would make a good filler for hungry teenagers. The fruit could be anything you have in.
Instant Sun Dried Tomato Focaccia
Using the same method as above, knead in a few chopped sun dried tomatoes and fry in olive oil for the best focaccia flavour, drizzling over a tiny bit more right at the end, or any other fat you have if you’re not bothered about the olive oil flavour.
Crumpets and Pikelets
I had a wonderful play trying these out. Once I’d mastered the recipe, I plumped for pikelets and made some smashing flavoured versions, both savoury and sweet.
Nan breads go with everything, like any bready thing. The recipe link is to an unleavened version, which I use often, or I have equally successfully used Magic Dough. Do try the curried lentils in the link too, they are super good, and very cheap
Flat breads are very easy to make once you have the dough made, older kids could manage it if they are ok with frying pans. Flat breads, like the pitta, can be made in miniature sizes and children seem to enjoy making them, I tend to give them a biscuit cutter to cut out of dough that I or they have rolled out.