Wholemeal Sourdough Loaf

Wholemeal Sourdough Loaf | Selma's Table

When you see the timeline on this recipe, you are going to laugh and say who has 3 days to make a loaf of bread?! The truth is that you barely spend any time on it yourself – the wild yeast is doing all the work for you. As I mentioned in my post on Fruited Sourdough, it’s all about deciding when you want to bake and working backwards from there. I start the process on a Friday afternoon to bake on Sunday morning. The long, slow cold proofing allows the flavours to mature and take on even more of that distinctive sour, sourdough taste.

Wholemeal Sourdough Loaf | Selma's TableI bake my bread in an lidded enamel roasting dish. Baking it like this, creates steam so that the crust doesn’t become so hard that the loaf cannot expand and rise in the heat. This bit is referred to as oven spring. Slashing the dough helps with  creating a good oven spring too.  If you don’t have a lidded pot then, bake on a sheet/pizza stone but pop a small tin of ice cubes or water into the oven to create that steam. The lid is removed halfway through baking and I am always childishly surprised and in wonder at how much the loaf has grown and split open in that time.

Wholemeal Sourdough Loaf | Selma's Table

Wholemeal Sourdough Loaf | Selma's TableI don’t know about you but I really struggle with counter space – I just seem to have so much out on it but that’s just the way I am. If I put things in a cupboard, they tend to shuffle off to the back and lie forgotten. So, when it comes to stretching and shaping dough, rather than clear away appliances and bottles of oil, I use a large stainless steel tray – it’s portable and so easy to clean. As an added bonus, the dusting flour/semolina etc is contained and doesn’t get everywhere! Stainless steel is really easy to work on too. Wholemeal Sourdough Loaf | Selma's TableSo, if you have sourdough starter of your own or had some from Celia or me, give this method for Wholemeal Sourdough, a go!
Wholemeal Sourdough Loaf | Selma's TableAlways start with a bubbly bowl of starter. Following Celia’s advice, I take out ¼ cup of Twinkle (my starter) from the fridge at 1pm, feed her ¼ cup each of bread flour and filtered water, followed by ½ cup of each at about 4pm. By 8pm, Twinkle is bubbly and ready to go!

Set a large mixing bowl on the scales and add the ingredients, re-setting to zero between ingredients. Wholemeal is a dry thirsty flour, so you may need more water. Start with 300g first and add more if you need it. Squelch them all together and leave to autolyse for half an hour. Then stretch and fold a half dozen times, cover and leave to prove on the worktop, overnight. The following morning, stretch and fold the dough again and this time place in the fridge to prove for 24 hours. On Day 3, shape the dough, let it have a final short proof on the worktop and bake.

Wholemeal Sourdough Loaf

  • Servings: Makes a 500 g loaf
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 150 g of bubbly starter
  • 300 – 320 g of room temp or cool filtered water
  • 250 g of organic wholemeal bread flour
  • 250 g of organic strong white bread flour
  • 9 g of fine salt
  • olive oil
  • fine semolina or rye flour
  • poppy seeds


Day 1 Evening

  1. Use a large mixing bowl and set it on the scales, re-setting to zero between additions.
  2. Tip in 150 g of bubbly starter.
  3. Then add 300g of the filtered water. (Start with the lesser amount first – you can always add a little more if the dough is too dry.)
  4. Measure in the bread flours.
  5. Add 9 g of fine sea salt.
  6. Squelch it all together with a clean hand until it is well mixed. This shouldn’t even take a minute. Add a little more water if the dough is too dry. Wholemeal is a thirsty flour! Scrape all the floury bits off your hand and back into the bowl. (I’ve been using latex disposable gloves – very little sticks to them.) Cover the bowl and set the timer for ½ an hour for the dough to autolyse.
  7. When the half hour is up, stretch and fold the dough, inside the bowl, 5 or 6 times. Clean the bowl  then smear some olive oil in it and place the dough inside, seam side down. Cover and leave out on the worktop, overnight.

Day 2 Morning

  1. In the morning, the dough will be bubbly and have doubled in volume at least.
  2. Dust the work surface (I use a large stainless steel tray) with fine semolina or rye flour (white tends to stick) and gently scrape the dough out, onto it. Repeat the stretch and fold a half dozen times. Place seam side down in a large oiled bowl, cover and place in the fridge.

Day 3 Morning

  1. The next morning, the dough will have risen and is ready to bake. You could even leave it in the fridge for another day for the flavours to develop.
  2. Pre-heat your oven to 240/250C – as high as it will go.
  3. Dust the work surface and gently scrape the dough out, onto it. There is no need to punch down – you want to keep as many of those bubbles in the dough as you can.
  4. Pull the outside thirds into the middle, then turn it over so that it is seam side down and shape it as you wish. Try and pull the outside of the dough as tightly as possible to get a good gluten coat which will hold it’s shape well.
  5. Oil some cling film and cover the dough on the worktop for about 45 minutes to an hour, for the final prove. The dough should warm up a little and also expand. If your kitchen is really warm, it may only take half an hour – so keep an eye on it, setting the timer as this is the only proofing that should NOT be over done.
  6. Then, after it has finished the final proofing, remove the cling film, and sprinkle generously with poppy seeds.
  7. Slash the top of the dough and place it in a lidded **enamel roaster/dutch oven. Cover with the lid and place in the oven. Turn the heat down to 220C (fan assisted) and bake for 20 minutes.
  8. After 20 mins, remove the lid and carry on baking for another 20 mins. Check to see if the bread is done by tapping it on the underside – it should sound hollow. If you like a crispy crust, then place directly on the oven rack and bake for another 5 minutes. Otherwise, remove from the pot and cool on a wire rack.

**If you don’t have a lidded pot, you can, of course, bake the bread on a baking sheet/pizza stone. In that case, place a few ice cubes/water in a small tin and put this in the oven to create the steam that baking in a lidded pot does.

© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2015. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Fruited Cinnamon Sourdough Loaf

Fruited Cinnamon Sourdough Loaf | Selma's TableYou can’t rush sourdough bread making. The physical time spent on making the bread is minimal however the proofing takes time; time to develop the wild yeast and those coveted bubbles, to develop the gluten strands  and  to develop that unique flavour. I like to think of it as nurturing. And it’s so inherently satisfying, almost on a primal level, to be able to produce the staff of life, using ancient methods – made with wild yeast, additive free ingredients and with a pedigree. My starter, Twinkle, comes from Celia’s starter, Priscilla, which is nearly 8 years old.  Since I got my starter from Celia of the fabulous blog Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, last month, I have been baking bread – getting to know and learning how to handle Twinkle just like a would a baby! So it’s all about setting out a time plan starting with when you want to bake or eat the bread and working back from that. I tend to start on a Saturday afternoon, to bake a basic sourdough loaf on the Sunday morning but this Fruited Cinnamon Sourdough Loaf takes a little longer because it goes in the fridge for the yeast and flavours to develop slowly and more fully.

Fruited Cinnamon Sourdough Loaf | Selma's TableOver on Twitter, there is a small group of us who started baking our Pricilla originated sourdoughs at the same time. Led by Celia, we have the most hilarious, informative and inspiring conversations. This Fruited Cinnamon Sourdough Loaf was inspired by Annie’s efforts and has also led Celia to bake the most gorgeous looking fruit loaf too!  Other people dip in and out of our conversations, commenting, offering advice or asking questions. Oh, and it’s mostly on Australian time so when I’m getting up, they may or may not have had a glass or two!! Fruited Cinnamon Sourdough Loaf | Selma's Table

Start the Fruited Cinnamon Sourdough Loaf a couple of days before you want to bake. I started the process on Friday afternoon and baked the loaf on Sunday morning. The full, printable recipe with some links is below but in a nutshell, this is what I do. I start by feeding Twinkle to make a poolish. Then I add the rest of the ingredients to make the dough and squelch the lot together for a minute. After half an hour, I stretch and fold the dough a few times. This goes into a lightly oiled bowl and sits out on the counter to bulk prove overnight. The next morning, I incorporate the dried fruit using the stretch and fold method, place the dough back in the cleaned and oiled bowl and leave it in the fridge until the next morning. The photo below is what I woke up to! Fruited Cinnamon Sourdough Loaf | Selma's Table At this point, I incorporate the cinnamon sugar and shape the loaf. This sits out on the counter to proof once more for 30-45 minutes, while the oven heats up and then goes into a lidded casserole dish, gets slashed and bakes for 20 minutes with the lid on. After another 30 minutes with the lid off, this is what it looks like…go on – you know you really want to give this a try! Fruited Cinnamon Sourdough Loaf | Selma's Table If you’ve had starter from Celia or from me, give this Fruited Cinnamon Sourdough Loaf a go once you are comfortable with baking Celia’s Overnight Sourdough.

Some resources – Emilie of the Clever Carrot, who got her starter from Celia a year ago, has this brilliant beginners guide to sourdough on her blog. She has been baking the most gorgeous looking breads – bakery worthy!  The Weekend Bakery have a couple of great videos on how to fold and stretch dough and also how to shape the loaves. I have added the video links to the recipe below, in the appropriate places.

Fruited Cinnamon Sourdough Loaf

  • Servings: 1x approx 750 g loaf
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

For the sourdough poolish

Day 1At 1 pm –  Remove ¼ cup of starter from the fridge and feed her ¼ cup each of bread flour and filtered water, followed by ½ cup of each at about 4pm. By 8pm your poolish will bubbly and ready to incorporate into a dough.

For the fruit soak

Day 1At 8 pm – Soak 200 g dried fruit of your choice – my mix included cherries, cranberries, sultanas and raisins with 100 ml strong hot black tea and leave out overnight. Drain well before using.

For the Fruited Cinnamon Sourdough Loaf

  • 200 g bubbly sourdough poolish
  • 300 – 320g filtered water
  • 250g organic white bread flour
  • 250g organic wholemeal bread flour
  • 9g fine sea salt
  • fruit soak, well drained
  • 1 tsp cinnamon mixed with 2 Tbsp sugar


  1. Day 1At about 8 pm – Pop a large mixing bowl on the scales and reset the scales to zero.
  2. Measure in 200g of the poolish and reset the scales to zero.
  3. Pour in 300g of filtered water and reset the scales to zero.
  4. Measure in the flours and the salt.
  5. With a clean hand, squelch everything together for about a minute or so. If it is really dry, add a little more water – wholemeal flour can be very thirsty. Scrape off all the bits on your fingers, into the bowl, cover the bowl with cling film and leave it to rest for ½ an hour. (The first time I made bread, I wanted to protect my manicure and popped on a disposable latex glove to squelch. Not much sticks to the latex so I have carried on using one every time I make a loaf.)
  6. If your bowl is large enough, you can “knead” in it. Otherwise, scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and spread it out a little. Start to stretch the dough (which will be sticky but just persist without adding any extra flour) by pulling it and folding it over on it self. Do this several times until the dough starts feeling a little more elastic. This is called the stretch and fold method.
  7. Clean your large bowl, and lightly oil it and place the dough inside. Cover it with cling film or a shower cap and leave it out overnight. This is called the bulk prove.
  8. Day 2 – The next morning, you will find the the bowl is pretty well full of bubbly dough. Scrape it out again on a lightly floured surface and gently pull and stretch it out into a rough rectangle. Spread with the well drained fruit soak. Fold the dough over it in thirds, (like an A4 letter), then do the same again. Gently stretch it out into a rectangle and repeat the folding once again, as best as possible.
  9. Lightly oil the bowl and place the dough inside. Cover with cling film and put the bowl in the fridge to prove. (Putting it in the fridge, slows down the rise you can leave it in the fridge for a couple of days if you need to.)
  10. Day 3 – The next morning, the dough will be doubled in size and full of bubbles; somewhat resembling an alien life form!
  11. Pre-heat your fan oven to as high as it will go.
  12. Gently scrape the dough out onto a very lightly floured surface, and gently pull into a rectangular shape. Scatter over the cinnamon sugar and fold in thirds, stretch and fold into thirds again.
  13. Shaping the dough – Seam side down, drag and pull the dough towards you, cupping it with your hands and keeping the seam on the bottom, Make a quarter turn and repeat until you have a nice tight gluten coat on the top. I pulled mine into an oval shape as I was doing this. Cover with some oiled cling film and leave out to warm up and rise for 30-45 minutes.
  14. Line a lidded casserole dish with parchment paper and flour the paper. Transfer the dough into the dish and slash the top as you wish – I made 3 diagonal cuts to the top.
  15. Cover the dish and place in the oven. Turn down the heat to 220C fan and bake for 20 minutes.
  16. Remove the lid, turn down the heat to 190C and bake for 30 minutes. Check that the bread is cooked by tapping on the bottom to see if it sounds hollow. Otherwise, put it straight onto the oven rack and bake for 5 more minutes.
  17. I know it’s difficult, but let it cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing into it!

You can of course bake this on a pizza stone or on a baking sheet. If you do, put a few ice cubes or some water into a muffin tin or small tin and place on the floor of the oven to generate steam.

© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2013 – 2015. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

In My Sourdough Kitchen – Jan 2015

In My Sourdough Kitchen | Selma's Table Happy New Year to you all! I hope that you all had a wonderful time over the festive season and have set some achievable intentions for the coming year. It’s always good to have goals, right? In My Sourdough Kitchen | Selma's TableI (together with several others) received THE most brilliant gift over the holidays – a sachet of dried sourdough starter from Celia. For those of you who don’t know, Celia is a prolific bread maker and has the most wonderful sourdough starter called Priscilla. As in Priscilla, Queen of the Refrigerator! When Celia offered to send me some, I was quite beside myself with excitement – I have always wanted to have a go making a starter but was put off by how long it took to get one going. In My Sourdough Kitchen | Selma's TableIn anticipation, I pulled out my two bread baking  books to read up on the history, methods and recipes and before I knew it, an envelope covered in colourful Australian stamps landed on the doormat – I could not get to it fast enough! So holiday food aside, this is what has been going on in my kitchen.

Several types of bread making flours have been purchased. White bread flour, organic spelt flour, organic rye flour, organic white bread flour and organic wholemeal bread flour…

The flours have been decanted into large air tight jars which are awaiting the new chalkboard stickers. A few years ago, I had a kitchen with a terrible damp problem which rendered the cupboards useless. So I used to keep everything out on a large 4 tier steel rack. One day, I noticed a few tiny white specks on a box of cereal – when I took a closer look, I could see that EVERYTHING on the rack was covered in these tiny white bugs – I felt sick as I threw out a huge amount of food – really, waste makes me very upset. I washed and disinfected everything and all the while, I had the heebie-jeebies – honestly, it felt as if my hair was standing on end! I went straight for a shower after I finished. I also placed a large order for airtight bottles in various sizes so that I would never have to go through it again. Apparently, the bugs come into one’s home on the packaging from the shelves in the shops/storerooms/transport etc.

I’ve named my starter Twinkle as she’s just so shiny and bubbly and I love anything with a sparkle. Twinkle came to life much to the delight of Celia, who followed, encouraged and cooed via our Twitter conversations. In My Sourdough Kitchen | Selma's Table In My Sourdough Kitchen | Selma's TableThis was my first loaf with Twinkle *chest swells with pride* I have been using Celia’s method and half the recipe from her Overnight Sourdough Tutorial.

Then I tried a 50% spelt loaf and also a 50% wholemeal loaf. The spelt loaf was quite heavy but still really tasty. The wholemeal loaf was sensational!

There is always left over starter from all the feeding so I made sourdough pancakes. I added cinnamon to Celia’s recipe and also made a fresh blueberry compote to go with them.

While a lidded pot isn’t essential, it does give the loaf a great shape. I’ve been using my 26 cm oval Le Creuset but the high heat has been staining the enamel which I’m not particularly happy about, considering how much those babies cost. So I’ve bought a 30 cm Lidded Enamel Oval Roaster. It’s only just arrived so I haven’t had a chance to use it but I know that it is what Celia uses for her breads. It will stain from the heat but I’m not going to mind as it’s less than a tenth of the cost of my beloved Le Creuset!

I’ve dried some of the left over Twinkle and revived her to make sure she worked and she did. I shall be spreading the love and sending out sachets to a few of my friends as well as keeping some as a back up in case of a starter-disaster!

Well, that is it from my kitchen – huge thanks to the lovely Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial who hosts this monthly event – peeking into everyone’s kitchens all over the world is so inspiring!  Make yourself a cuppa and have a little browse – all the links to the participating blogs are on the right hand side of Celia’s post. I have linked her post to  her blog name so click on it and take a little tour! Have a wonderful January, everyone!

Thyme & Seed Pide topped with Leek, Celery & Cheese

thyme-and-seed-pide-with-a-leek-celery-and-goats-cheese-toppingIt’s funny how inspiration strikes. Aware that the clock was counting down fast on the deadline for submitting a ‘yeast and herb’ based post for Angie’s first Fiesta Friday Challenge, I found myself dithering over recipes, like a debutante in a dress shop. I cursorily glanced through some of my bread baking books but nothing appealed. I googled “yeast recipes”; still nothing appealed. In the meantime, fabulous dishes were being submitted; Sue with her fabulous fermented kvas as a base for a Russian soup, Michelle with her luscious peach and basil danishes; Angie herself posted a stunning looking Fougasse…tick, tock, tick tock… Oh, what to do? I pop into my local green grocers to pick up some tomatoes and basil for a salad. Checking my purse, there isn’t enough change to cover it so I pull out my card to pay then realise that there is minimum £5 purchase for card transactions. I had been eyeing up a tray of squidgy Mejool dates, so I added them to the basket as Jake loves them. The next day, I wander into the kitchen to make a coffee, idly thinking about the day ahead when my eyes fall on the dates. I think about flavour combinations and imagine that dates and goats’s cheese would work. A quick internet search shows that I am not alone in thinking this. Progress! I plump for a seeded flatbread by bread maestro, Dan Lepard, to which I will add thyme, make tamarind and date sauce and a topping of leeks & celery. I have a moment’s worry as to this flavour combination, so try a teaspoonful of the leek and celery, topped with a cube of goat’s cheese with a dribble of the date and tamarind sauce. Hurrah!! It is delicious! Sharp, tart, grassy, crunchy, earthy, lemony, spicy – it works!! I will go to the ball, I will! thyme-and-seed-pide-with-a-leek-celery-and-goats-cheese-topping thyme-and-seed-pide-with-a-leek-celery-and-goats-cheese-toppingOnce baked, the goat’s cheese has melted and the creamy ricotta is a wonderful counterpoint to the heat from the chilli flakes and the crunch of the seeds. Next time I will add more ricotta (I’ve updated the recipe below to account for this). Angie is being very ably assisted by Catherine @ Catherine Cuisine. Please do go and look at the entries for this yeast and herb based challenge; you will find crumpets, semolina pancakes, pizzas, flat breads and  much, much more – the Creative Fiesta Friday Crew are rising beautifully (see what I did there, Angie and Catherine?) to the challenge! So this is how to make some easy and delicious Turkish inspired Pides – feel free to use different toppings but I have to say that I was really pleased with the combination below. As always, a printable recipe follows the photo tutorials and any musings. thyme-and-seed-pide-with-a-leek-celery-and-goats-cheese-topping Ever since I attended Nina Oortman’s bread making class, I have been coveting the stainless steel counters that make bread kneading, shaping and  clean up so effortless. I came across this rather large stainless steel serving/prep  tray from my catering days, while I was unpacking and had a Eureka! moment. Rather than bestowing the tray on my local charity shop, it could come in useful for pasta and dough making – and it has, as you will note from the photos below… thyme-and-seed-pide-with-a-leek-celery-and-goats-cheese-topping I used a chopstick to roughly mix the dry ingredients into the wet, thanks to a tip from Aneela @ The Odd Pantry and it worked brilliantly. No more sticky dough adhering plaster-like to each finger! The dough is sticky – resist the temptation to add lots of flour when you are working with it. This dough does not require very much handling – hardly any kneading in fact. A light hand and as little additional flour as possible will yield a more tender bread. http://theoddpantry.com/2014/05/07/in-my-kitchen-of-alternative-uses-may-2014/ http://theoddpantry.com/2014/05/07/in-my-kitchen-of-alternative-uses-may-2014/

Thyme and Seed Pide with a Leek, Celery and Goat's Cheese Topping

  • Servings: makes 4 pide
  • Difficulty: easyish!
  • Print
Adapted from Dan Lepard’s Supper Flatbread Recipes in the Guardian INGREDIENTS For the pide:

  • 175 g all plain flour
  • 75 g spelt flour (or wholemeal)
  • 25 g sunflower seeds
  • 25 g pumpkin seeds
  • 1 Tbsp chopped thyme leaves (fresh)
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 175 g warm water (this is the same as 175 ml in volume. Weighing the water is a more accurate measure)
  • 25 g honey
  • 7 g sachet fast acting yeast

For the leek and celery topping:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 100 g diced celery (3 stalks)
  • 2 shallots finely sliced
  • 140 g finely sliced leeks
  • water as required
  • 1 mini sweet red pepper finely diced
  • pinch of chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp finely chopped thyme leaves (fresh)
  • 60 g cubed or crumbled goat’s cheese
  • 12 tsp ricotta cheese
  • salt and pepper

For the tamarind and date sauce:

  • 10 soft pitted dates roughly chopped – soak them if they are dry
  • 1 ½ tsp tamarind concentrate
  • 100 ml water

INSTRUCTIONS For the pide:

  1. Measure out all the dry ingredients (not the yeast though) into a mixing bowl and stir well to combine.
  2. Measure the honey and warm water directly into a mixing bowl set on the scales and mix well to combine
  3. Sprinkle over the yeast and stir in.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and mix until it is a soft, shaggy, sticky dough (I used a chopstick to stir it round and round ).
  5. Cover and let this rest for 10 minutes.
  6. Lightly flour a work surface and very lightly knead the dough for about 10 seconds! It comes together very quickly.
  7. Place back in the bowl, cover and leave to prove for 30 minutes.

For the leek and celery topping:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pain set on a medium low flame.
  2. Add the celery and shallots and sauté gently for 5 minutes to soften a little. Season with a good pinch of salt.
  3. Stir in the leeks. If there isn’t enough oil, add a splash of water to get things going – you may need to do this several times. Cook until floppy then stir in the thyme and red pepper and chilli flakes. Cook for a couple of more minutes, season to taste then take off the heat and leave to cool.

For the tamarind and date sauce:

  1. Place the dates and tamarin in a saucepan set over a medium low flame.  Add the water in splashes, stirring  with a wooden spoon to dissolve the tamarind – mash the dates with the back of the spoon too. Let this reduce to a thick lumpy sauce (mashing and stirring all the while) and take off the heat.
  2. Scrape into a wire mesh strainer and set it back over the saucepan. Using the wooden spoon, stir and press the mixture through the sieve until you are left with just the date fibre in the sieve. Scrape the sauce from the bottom of the sieve and into the pan.

To assemble and bake the pide:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 240C/465F. Prepare 2 baking trays with parchment or silicone paper or dust with flour.
  2. Cut the dough into quarters (I weighed the dough, then divided it by four and tried to get 4 balls fairly equal in weight)
  3. Shape into balls by cupping and pushing the dough to stretch it out and get a smooth top.
  4. Cover and leave for 5 minutes.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each ball into an oval that is about 20 cm x 10 cm. Push at the edges to make a slight lip and lay on the prepared baking sheets.
  6. Spread a 1 ½ teaspoons of the tamarind date sauce on the dough, leaving the edges free.
  7. Top each pide with ¼ of the leek and celery mixture.
  8. Top this with the goat’s cheese and little blobs of ricotta.
  9. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes. Mine were ready in 10 minutes.
  10. Eat warm!
© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2013 – 2015. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Nutella Espresso Sticky Buns

nutella_espresso_sticky_bunsIt’s Fiesta Friday over at Angie’s blog The Novice Gardener and we are all invited! I’ve thought long and hard about what I want to bring to the party. A bright and cheeky salad with blood oranges and halloumi? A bold as you dare Thai curry? Perhaps a steady and comforting fish pie…. Nope, I’ve decided to take something tall, dark and handsome to prop me up and look and smell gorgeous while I mix and mingle with all the other party goers.


When I first made this recipe I remember thinking what an inspired combination the flavours were – coffee and Nutella in a sticky bun! But when I made it, I felt that the dough wasn’t rich enough and well, I just had to tweak it here and there.

I have attached my C.V. and hope that you find that my experience is relevant for this role.  In my current role, I manage operations, oversee projects, run the office and support the Managing Director in both a private and business capacity. I have also worked in a private family office, supporting the Principal and his family. The majority of my experience has been in small offices. I have excellent interpersonal skills and am able to communicate with people at any level. As an experienced administrator, I am able to prioritise and manage my workload effectively and to deadline. I am organised and detail oriented; a team player, willing to support and pitch in as necessary to get a job done.  Please don't hesitate to contact me should you have any questions about my experience and suitability for this role. I would also be grateful if you would keep me in mind for any other roles that you think I may be suitable for. I am available for interview at short notice and would relish the opportunity to discuss my experience with you. Sincerely Selma Jeevanjee Since then, I have taken a bread making class with Nina Oortman where she introduced me to fresh yeast. It doesn’t last more than a couple of weeks but it has no chemicals in it and is super easy to work with. In the UK, you can ask for it from the in-store bakeries or buy it in little blocks from the dairy section in Eastern European grocery shops. It’s called “Drozdze” in Polish.  Store opened packs of fresh yeast in an airtight container in the fridge as otherwise, the smell of yeast will permeate everything.


Fresh Yeast – 100g packet

To convert recipes which call for active dry yeast, multiply the number of grams by 3 to arrive at how much fresh yeast you will need.  There are 3.5g in a teaspoon. You need 20% more instant yeast than active dry.  (This site explains it in more detail – http://makebread.com.au/fresh-yeast-conversion/) I’ve given measurements and instructions for all three types of yeast in the recipe below.

Please don’t be afraid to work with yeast – it’s so easy that once you try it, you will wonder why you didn’t do so sooner. Kneading dough is actually quite easy – it’s more like stretching the dough. Keep one hand at the base of the dough, use the other to pull it away from you. Then bring it back over on itself, give it a quarter spin and keep going,  There are lots of videos on YouTube if you want a demonstration – as my son told me the other day, “YouTube is your friend, Mum…you should pay it a visit!”


Cocoa Nibs

I’ve used cocao nibs to take the sweet edge off the sugar and the Nutella – and it’s good for you too. They have quite a bitter flavour and I think they would be wonderful in smoothies, shakes, granola, hot chocolate, biscuits and mole type sauces.

My recipe for Nutella Espresso Sticky Buns can be made in one go – I prefer to make the dough, fill and slice it and then prove it in the fridge overnight. A long, slow prove makes for a tastier dough. Then in the morning, pop them in the oven and hey presto, you have delicious, warm, gooey buns for a decadent mid-morning pick-me-up.

As I prepared the dough  in the evening, the lighting is not the best but the photos below give you an idea as to how easy it is.


1. Yeast mixed into water and milk
2. Butter, egg, sugar and espresso mix
3. Pour into yeast mix
4. Stir to blend together


1. Add wet ingredients to the dry
2. Mix in the bowl
3. Scrape onto floured board
4. Kneaded and ready for first proving.


1. Proved dough doubled in size   2. Without the cling film
3. Scraped out on the lightly floured board   4. Flouring the top


1. Dough rolled out
2. Covered in Nutella
3. Sprinkled with sugar espresso mix
4. Sprinkled with cocoa nibs


Rolling up the filled dough


Before and after the second proving


1. After overnight proving in the fridge
2. Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts
3.Sprinkle with remaining brown sugar mixture


Click on the link to be taken to Angie’s blog The Novice Gardener and join the party! Mix and mingle with the the guests – who knows who you might meet! http://thenovicegardener.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/fiesta-friday-5/

If you blog and would like to join the party, here are the guidelines http://thenovicegardener.wordpress.com/fiesta-friday/


Nutella Espresso Sticky Buns

  • Difficulty: intermediate
  • Print

adapted from The Pastry Affair and Perfect Cinnamon Rolls


For the dough:

  • 100ml luke warm milk
  • 50ml luke warm water
  • 15 g fresh yeast (or 5 g active dry yeast or 6 g instant yeast)
  • 60 g melted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 45 g/3 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 30 g/ 2tsp espresso powder
  • 250 g plain flour plus extra for dusting

For the filling

  • 30g/ 2 tsp muscovado or brown sugar
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 150g  Nutella
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa nibs
  • chopped roasted hazelnuts



  • Fresh yeast – place luke warm milk and water in a cereal sized bowl and crumble in the yeast. Stir until yeast has dissolved. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  • For active dry yeast – place milk and water in a bowl and sprinkle over the yeast. Set aside for 5 – 10 minutes until frothy
  • For instant yeast – add straight into dry ingredients


  1. Melt the butter in a cereal sized  bowl and allow to cool a little; crack the egg into the butter, add the sugar and espresso powder and whisk well to blend. Scrape into the milk/water/yeast bowl and mix.
  2. Measure flour into a large bowl and make a well in it.
  3. Pour in the yeast mixture and using the fingers of your dominant hand, stir in the flour, spinning the bowl round as you go. It is going to be a wet and sticky dough to begin with.
  4. Once the flour is incorporated, start stretching it in the bowl (to develop the gluten) by picking up a bit, stretching it out and then laying it on top. Spin the bowl a quarter turn and keep repeating this until the dough starts to feel like it’s coming together – this should take 4 or 5 minutes – keep going – it will come together!
  5. Scrape it out onto a well floured surface. Scrape all the bits off your fingers onto it. Start to gently knead the dough – it will be sticky and you may have to keep dusting it with small amounts of flour. Try to use as little as possible.  I used an additional 30g (2 Tbsp) of flour. Knead for another 5 minutes or so.
  6. When it feels nice and elastic, form it into a  tight ball,  pop it back into the bowl and cover with cling film. Set aside for  1- 2 hours (depending on how warm your kitchen is) to double in size. Mine took 2 hrs.
  7. Mix sugar and espresso powder for the filling and set aside
  8. Butter a 26cm/10″ cm round baking tin and set aside
  9. Lightly flour your work surface and  measure out 12″ x 16″ on it.
  10. Scrape out the dough onto it using a rubber spatula ad lightly flour the top.
  11. Roll it out gently and evenly, adding a little more flour if it gets stuck or is sticky – but it really won’t be. The dough is  soft and lovely to work with. I sort of  pat it out into a rectangle and then roll it out.
  12. Warm up the Nutella – 30 seconds or so in the microwave should do it. It should be soft enough to spread easily onto the soft dough.
  13. Spread it over the dough, leaving a 1/2″ border around the edge.
  14. Sprinkle over ⅔ of the sugar and espresso mixture
  15. Sprinkle over the cocoa nibs
  16. Start rolling up, as tightly as you can, from the long side of the dough.
  17. Cut into 1 ½” slices – I got 11 because I didn’t trim off the ends – all that lovely dough!!.
  18. Arrange in the baking tin, cover with cling film and pop in the fridge to prove overnight. Or you can leave the tin in  warm place for 45 – 60 mins to rise.
  19. Pre heat oven to 190C 375F
  20. Remove the tin from the fridge and sprinkle the top with some chopped hazelnuts and the remaining sugar mix.
  21. Bake for 15-20 minutes and enjoy them warm.
© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2013 – 2015. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Fruited Soda Bread with Sunflower Seeds and Rosemary


I have been intending to make a soda bread ever since baking one on Nina Oortman‘s brilliant bread making class.  (You can read the post I wrote about that class – Bread Angel –  Nina Oortman  by clicking on the link.)  I’ve mulled over different flavour combinations and wondered if my temperamental oven would render the bread inedible. I finally took the bull by the horns and made one, lightly perfumed with rosemary and scattered through with mixed peel, dried cranberries and sunflower seeds. It was very nice indeed. Lovely with a piece of cheddar as an after school snack.


Soda breads are so quick and easy to make – they are made without yeast and don’t require any kneading either. In fact, the less the dough is handled, the better. One has to work quickly as the baking soda starts to react pretty much straight away with the buttermilk so I wasn’t able to stop and take photos of the process this time. It will work with all sorts of different combinations of ingredients, sun dried tomato and feta cheese; cheddar and spring onion; raisin and cinnamon, chopped olives and mozzarella…

Buttermilk – The name conjures up bucolic images of  metal canisters of rich creamy milk at the barn door full of fat globules of yellow butter floating in it. Buttermilk is nothing of the sort. Originally it was used to describe the whey that was left behind after butter had been churned from cream. Today it is made from pasteurised skimmed milk to which a culture of lactic acid bacteria added. The lactic acid works on fermenting the lactose, ( the main sugar in milk) decreasing the PH which causes the milk to clabber or get thicker and taste sour. 100ml contains 59 kcals, 0.1 g of fat, 7.8g sugar, 8.8g carbohydrate and 5.5g protein which is quite respectable. Buttermilk is often used with baking soda as a raising agent as the acid activates the bicarbonate to produce carbon dioxide, thus producing pockets of air in baked goods like scones, pancakes and soda bread. It is wonderful for tenderising chicken in a marinade and making salad dressings too.


Polish Buttermilk

If you come across any shops with Polish groceries, then look for Maslanka in the dairy section, which is the Polish name for buttermilk.





Fruited Soda Bread with Sunflower Seeds and Rosemary

  • Servings: 1 loaf
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Adapted from Nina Oortman’s Bread Angel Baking Class


  • 250g strong white or plain flour (not self raising)
  • 1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda (or baking soda)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 50 g mixed peel
  • 50 g dried cranberries
  • 25 g pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tsp finely chopped rosemary needles
  • 300 g buttermilk (or full fat milk with lemon juice)


  1. Preheat oven to 200C/400F and line a good solid baking tray with parchment.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt until it is well mixed and aerated.
  3. Gently stir in the dried fruit, seeds and rosemary.
  4. Make a well in the middle of flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk.
  5. Using a dinner knife, cut in as quickly and gently as you can until all the buttermilk has been absorbed and you have a scraggy dough. Do not over mix or your loaf will be tough.
  6. Scrape the dough onto the prepared tray and shape into an oval or a round. Using a serrated knife, slash a deep cross through it. This helps with heat distribution but tradition has it that it was to let the devil out! Sprinkle a little flour over the top.
  7. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes depending on how hot your oven is. The loaf should sound hollow when you tap the base.
  8. Delicious warm and best enjoyed on the day it is made.
© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2013, 2014. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

If you are in or around Malvern and want to learn how to make this and yeasted breads, Nina has added another bread making class to the roster  – click on the link for more information or if you would like to book yourself in – http://www.ninasbakery.co.uk/classes.html


Bread Angel – Nina Oortman

One of the lovely things about getting involved with the local food community is becoming acquainted with the many talented people who are on my doorstep. I finally met the wonderful baker, Nina Oortman  when she was trialling a stand  at our local Sunday Artisan Food Market. Shortly after, I received an email inviting me, Pauline Milligan who is the director of the Streatham Food Festival and Anna Nolan; both huge champions of Streatham;  to a trial run of Nina’s bread making class. And last week, we spent a very enjoyable and productive 4 hours learning how to REALLY make bread, under Nina’s expert guidance. Over the course of the session, I found out that Nina worked as an architect before leaving the practice to pursue her passion for baking.

Bread Angel Nina Oortman

Armed  with our pinnies, we watched Nina demonstrating before following suit, using silky organic flours from Shipton Mill and fresh yeast. I picked up lots of tips along the way, my favourite being that liquid is more accurate when it is weighed so 100ml of water is the same as 100g. I have included that little gem on my Tips and Tricks page. We stopped for a delicious lunch of nibbles, homemade soup, bread and cheese before popping in the last of our proved dough into the ovens to bake. By the end of the session we had learned how to knead, shape and prove yeasted dough and had produced a white loaf, bread rolls, a soda bread and a rye bread. And we got to take it all home together with the recipes and instructions.  Nina will be teaching 4 classes in January and February, two on  Friday mornings and two on Saturday afternoons. If you have never made bread before or just dabbled in it, this is an excellent class to really learn what the dough should feel and look like. I have made bread and rolls before but I learned so much from Nina. May I suggest that a voucher for one of her classes would make a marvellous Christmas gift? And you would be supporting a small local business.

Nina Oortman - Bread Angel

Click the link to be taken to  Nina’s  Bread Angel profile and site  where you can find out more about Nina, book classes y and also purchase gift vouchers. The excerpt below is from her site:

“In this 4-hour class you will learn how to bake a basic yeasted loaf, shape and bake bread rolls, learn about 100% rye bread and bake a quick soda bread. This is a hands-on class suitable for the bread baking novice. I will explain about bread ingredients, how easily you can fit bread baking into your life and why your own homemade bread is so good for you. You will get to take all the bread you bake home with you, including recipes and notes so you can easily replicate them in your own home kitchen. A light lunch or afternoon tea and some home baked sweet treats along with tea and coffee are included. Classes are small in order for you to get maximum individual attention. Be prepared to get sticky and floury – please wear appropriate clothing and bring along an apron if you have one.

November 2014

Nina has moved to Malvern, Worcestershire (which is very sad for me but lovely for her!) where she is working in a bakery but also teaching bread making. Her gorgeous new web site is http://www.ninasbakery.co.uk where you can find information on her, book her classes, find out what to bring and how to find her.