No knead cheese and bacon rolls

A delicious version of cheese and bacon (or ham) rolls where you’ll produce an entire batch for about the cost of two in the shops.

The bread renaissance is still in full flight over here and this is the pinnacle. I use grated cheddar cheese and thick strips of ham (I buy it like that from the deli, you can get the cubes if you so wish) in equal quantities and learnt quickly to pile it on top of the bread – too little and it doesn’t produce the best result. I’ve made it with the beer no knead bread and the straight no knead variety.



No knead cheese and bacon rolls

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 cups water (and a splash more)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp dry yeast
  1. Mix it all together until a shaggy mess (don’t try and make it look pretty, just make sure it’s all combined) then cover and leave for 8 to 18 hours (I’ve left it as long as 24 and it still works a treat)
  2. Turn it out onto a floured bench and turn it in on itself about 8 times – as in look at the dough on the bench, bring the top of the dough to the middle, the bottom up to the middle, the sides into the middle and then do it again.
  3. Break the dough into as many rolls as you like – 8 big ones if you want to replicate those of certain bread chains, 12 if you want a more reasonable number and 18 if you want delicious 3 bite wonders.
  4. Shape them into nice round balls and place on a baking paper lined tray and cover loosely with either a damp tea-towel or glad wrap and set aside for 2 hours.
  5. Preheat your oven to 220C and mix together 220g grated cheddar cheese and shredded or cubed ham – I use this quantity over 18 rolls. I suspect you wouldn’t need so much if you’re doing big rolls
  6. Take a big pinch of the cheese and ham mix and press it into the tops of each of the rolls. Don’t worry about fall off, that makes the yummy crunchy bits around the base of the roll. And then, once you’ve done each roll, spread any left overs as you see fit.
  7. Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes. You want some darker charred bits, golden crunchy bits and melty goodness.

Go on, you know you want to.





Traditional hot cross buns & no knead hot cross buns

Two recipes for hot cross buns, one traditional and one using a no knead bread approach. Take your pick!

My beautiful friend, fellow breeder of boys and blogger Ruth (of Gourmet Girlfriend fame) has been responsible for a renaissance of no knead bread making. Seriously, check out #ggbreadrevolution on instagram to see all the bready goodness.

Of course this is doing nothing for my current carb binging due to life stress but at least it’s homemade I guess.

Anyway, I’ve been using my fail-safe no knead bread recipe from the esteemed Joe and have been experimenting.

Because hot cross buns involve fruit and spices, which inhibit rising agents in dough, most hot cross buns are in a bread base more like a brioche using milk and butter in the dough.

I’ve given you two recipes here – a fantastic traditional one and the no knead, so knock yourselves out!

Traditional hot cross buns

One of my (many) kryptonite foods
One of my (many) kryptonite foods

Traditional hot cross buns
Traditional hot cross buns recipe
Serves: 12 buns
For the buns
  • 2 tblsp dry yeast
  • ¼ cup caster sugar
  • 1½ cups warm milk
  • 4 cups plain flour
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 85 g butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup caster sugar
  • 1½ cups sultanas (or 1 cup sultanas, ½ cup raisins and/or currants)
  • ⅓ cup candied peel (or finely grated rind of an orange and a lemon)
For the crosses
  • ½ cup plain flour
  • ⅓ cup water
For the glaze
  • 2 tblsp sugar
  • 1 tsp gelatine
  • 2 tblsp water
For the buns
  1. Combine the yeast, sugar and milk until bubbles form
  2. Add everything else
  3. Mix with a palate knife to combine, then knead for 5-10 minutes
  4. Place dough in an oiled boil and set aside for 30 mins
  5. Knock back, divide into 12 (or 24 to make mini-buns)
  6. Place in a greased 23cm square tin (or place close together on a baking tray for freer form), cover and let rise until doubled
  7. Top with cross paste and bake at 200C for 20 mins
For the crosses
  1. Mix together into a paste
  2. Put into a bag of some description (I use a snaplock bag, then cut off one corner)
  3. Draw crosses over the top
For the glaze
  1. Combine over heat and cook until the gelatine dissolves
  2. Brush over warm buns



017No knead hot cross buns

No knead hot cross buns
No knead hot cross buns
Serves: 12 buns
For the buns
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • ½ tsp yeast
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup water + 2tbsp
  • ¼ cup beer + 2tbsp
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • ¾ cup sultanas
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
For the crosses
  • ½ cup plain flour
  • ⅓ cup water
  1. Combine the flour, yeast, salt, water, beer and vinegar until it's a shaggy mess, cover and let sit somewhere warm for 8-18 hours
  2. Turn out onto a floured benchtop and push into a rectangular shape - sprinkle over the sultanas and spices
  3. Fold the two long sides of the rectangle into the middle and then do a couple of folds until the sultanas are spread through the dough - it took me about 10-15 folds.
  4. Divide into 12 buns - they're about 85 grams each if you're a stickler for regularity. You can do them individually or make a round starting with one bun in the middle and working outwards.
For the crosses
  1. Mix the ½ cup flour and ⅓ cup water together and then drop into a snap lock bag.
  2. Clip the corner off one side of the snap lock back and pipe the paste across the buns to form the crosses.
  3. Leave to rise for 2 hours.
  4. Bake at 220C for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Best served on the day of baking and ideally warm, slathered in butter.


What, I like sultanas
What, I like sultanas

004 005



No Knead Bread

A beautiful homemade bread you can make with minimal effort. The addition of beer adds a greater depth of flavour.

my ‘go to’ non-junk food comfort food (which I’m currently trying to rebadge discomfort food but with minimal success) is bread. Not any bread, proper bread. Sourdough or something wholesome. With a dish of extra virgin olive oil, drops of balsamic vinegar, sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper. I can eat that shit till my head falls off. Or my stomach so distended my arms can’t reach the bench anymore.

I have my firm favourite homemade bread which I firmly stuck to throughout the whole no knead bread fad. But the other day I had a hankering to try something new and of course it was my ‘ole mate Joke who came to the party with a recipe that hit the spot. You do need a cast iron pot with a lid but apart from that I am guessing you could go coco bananas with what sort of flour, beer and vinegar you use.

(Almost) No Knead Bread


  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons mild-flavoured lager
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  1. Whisk flour, yeast, and salt in large bowl and then add the water, beer and vinegar
  2. Fold the mixture together into a shaggy ball then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 8 to 18 hours
  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead the dough 10 to 15 times – I then get a long piece of baking paper and place it in the bowl
  4. Shape the dough into ball by pulling edges into middle and then transfer it, seam-side down, to the baking-paper lined bowl. (see below – that glorious round of dough? Just 15 turns and it is that glorious)
  5. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until dough has doubled in size and does not readily spring back when poked with finger, about 2 hours
  6. About 30 minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to lowest position, place your Dutch oven (with lid) on the rack, and heat oven to 250 degrees
  7. Lightly flour top of dough and, using a sharp knife, make a long 1cm deep slit along the top of the dough
  8. Then, taking care not to burn the crap out of your hands, wrists, arms, carefully lift the lid off the pot, transfer the dough and baking paper (hence a long piece of paper, so you can lift it and lower it) into the pot
  9. Put the lid back on and place in the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 200C and bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove lid and continue to bake until loaf is deep brown – about 20 to 30 minutes longer
  10. Carefully remove bread from pot, transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours*.


*Pfft as if that ever happens.