Yoghurt and herb bread

L-plates cookbook

Yoghurt herb bread

Sy’s loaves (see comments)

L-plates, 132pp.
by Ian Parmenter
ABC Books, Adelaide, 1996
Cooking on page 32

Ian Parmenter has a consuming passion for cooking and eating. So it’s no surprise that his successful TV series was named Consuming Passions. The show, which first aired in 1992, includes 10 series and 450 episodes. In 1997, Ian won the Festival Grand Priz for best TV food show.

This book is aimed at inexperienced cooks—hence the reference to L-plates (L for learners). Our daughters were in their teens when I bought it.

Thinking back, I don’t suppose we cooked from it much, but I am impressed by the variety and simplicity of the recipes. There’s also great advice on kitchen equipment, cooking techniques, stocking the pantry, and using herbs and spices.

So let’s check out page 32, which makes good use of some herbs.

Yoghurt and herb bread

Yoghurt and herb bread

2 sachets dried yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp plain flour
water at room temperature
1 kg plain flour plus extra flour for kneading
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
4 Tbsp natural yoghurt
pinch of salt
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary or oregano, finely chopped

bread dough

bread dough

bread dough

bread dough

bread dough

Place the yeast, sugar and the one tablespoon of plain flour in a mixing bowl. Add two or three tablespoons of water (room temperature). Mix well and allow to stand in warm place for 15 minutes or so.

Stir in the one kilogram of plain flour, oil, salt and about 700ml water. Mix all ingredients together. When mixed, cover with damp tea towels and leave for at least 45 minutes in warm room, or up to 1 hour in a cold room. The dough mixture should double in size.

On a floured cutting board or work surface, knead the dough for at least 15 minutes. Add a little flour when required to keep the dough from sticking to the fingers.

Cut the dough into three portions and knead each piece separately. To add more flavour, stir in one tablespoon of pitted chopped olives and one tablespoon of chopped walnuts before kneading.

Using a rolling pin, roll each piece into a pizza shape. Then place them on oiled pizza tins, or roasting pans. Spread a little yoghurt on to each piece of dough. Press little indentations into the dough with the fingertips for the yoghurt to settle in.

Sprinkle with salt, rosemary and oregano.

Leave to sit for 10 minutes in a warm place.

Bake in a very hot oven (220°C) for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden on top.

Serve warm.

How it played out
A couple of things surprised me about this learner recipe.

I thought the 700ml of water should be listed in the ingredients, instead of just in the instructions. Also thought there should be mention made of the fact that the dough mixture, before kneading, is extremely sticky. It was so sticky that it was very hard to stir together. In the end, I tipped the dough out of the bowl and did a mini knead (pictured) just to incorporate all the ingredients. I’m an experience baker but a novice might have no idea what to do.

herb and yoghurt bread

Oh, and a comment about measurements. Australian tablespoons are typically 20ml, rather than the 15ml common in most other parts of the world.  Also, a sachet of yeast is about 7 grams, so two sachets equals 15 grams or 3 teaspoons.

My garden has an abundance of fresh herbs, so I added two tablespoons of a rosemary, oregano and thyme combo, and could easily have added more. Oh, and I used a strong and tangy Greek yoghurt.

herb and yoghurt bread

I took this, along with two dips (baba ganoush and an olive tapenade), to Friday afternoon drinks at work. A complete success. Now that they know about this recipe, I bet I’ll be pressured into making it often.

It is delicious and very quick and easy to make. Hope you try it.

If you have enjoyed this, please take a moment to check out my travel blog.


About leggypeggy

Intrepid overland traveller, keen photographer, avid cook—known to jump out of airplanes and do other silly things. Do not act my age.
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10 Responses to Yoghurt and herb bread

  1. G’day! Ian Parmenter is quite the colorful character in real life too!
    As I have the pleasure of meeting and chatting with him too!
    Your Herb & Yogurt Bread looks GREAT Peggy!
    Who can almost smell the bread through the screen? Me! lol

  2. Sy S. says:

    Do I read Yogurt… I’m in for making this recipe. I had a small problem because the measurements are in metric…. like I put my oven on for 220C ? and waited 15 minutes for the bread to bake… then realized it should be 428 Fahrenheight. I also used one small envelope of yeast, 2 cups of water (instead of 2 3/4 cups)… with the result being to loose/sticky dough. So had to dump in a lot of flour to get a kneading dough. And I divided into two portions; 1 small and 1 large. The bread was excellent tasting only the small piece… and hope that the bigger piece cooked through (inside). I will send a photo…

    Sy S.

    • leggypeggy says:

      Hi Sy. I had no idea that yoghurt (our spelling in Australia) was one of your go-to ingredients. I love using tangy Greek yoghurt in cooking. I even like to eat it straight from the carton. 🙂 Thanks for the photo.

  3. Sy S. says:

    I am a big time user of REAL YoghurtYogurt… creamy Yoghurt, not the non-fat ones. As I was making this recipe, I ate 1/3 of the big container. I also used several tablespoons in my slow cooker beef curry as well. And I own a Salton Yogurt maker and use 1/2&1/2 cream and whole milk for a richer yogurt. And I often get the yogurt drink (big plastic container) in the supermarkets… And when I am in a middle eastern food store, get a small container of their yogurt drink, on the go walking around in NYC. And I am a big time Buttermilk drinker… enough…
    Yummy! Ok one more comment, I will be getting Goat Milk next week and make my home made yoghurt.
    Sy S.

    • leggypeggy says:

      I use real yoghurt too. Plus Poor John uses it on his breakfast cereal in place of milk. I don’t have a yoghurt maker, but you are inspiring me to make my own anyway. Wish I could find a recipe on a page 32. 🙂

  4. Sy S. says:

    I have a recipe on food dot com on making home made yoghurt, but it is not that easy… a hit or miss, too many variables. If you use a lot of yoghurt, a yoghurt maker is not expensive and you can vary the taste and contents; sharp, not so sharp/tart… add fruits, sugar, 1/2 & 1/2 cream. The best yoghurts I had were in Turkey.. Iran. Buying already made yoghurt in the stores, is convenient.

    • leggypeggy says:

      Thanks Sy. I’ll have a look at your recipe and think about a yoghurt maker too. One of my favourite yoghurts comes from the Middle East. It’s called labneh and is really just yoghurt that has been drained/strained for much longer so it is much thicker.

  5. Pingback: The etiquette of the baguette | Where to next?

  6. Mary Pat Frick, aka twissis says:

    The sure-fire cure for a lifetime of yeast-phobia is to have 1 of your favorite chefs travel the globe to your home in Iceland & show you that making homemade bread need not be a source of stress if you know what you’re doing. The finished product was excellent, invites variations, smelled divine & you made it look easy for this fearful, intimidated & inexperienced bread-maker. I’m already half-convinced that I might be able to do it on my own from your tutorial. Siggi, his family & our friends will be forever grateful, I’m sure. — Now just 1 more fear to conquer — The “I’ll never be able to make a Pavlova” phobia. 🙂

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