Baking Bread from Facebook Live with Naomi Hansell

Brilliant AGA Demonstrator Naomi Hansell shares her recipe for an easy bread dough and all the delicious baked treats you can make from it. Catch up on our Facebook Live with Naomi here.

A selection of freshly baked bread

450g water

1.5 tsp dried yeast or 35g fresh yeast

750g strong (bread) flour - either white or 2/3 white flour and 1/3 whole grain

1.5 tsp salt

A little olive oil

A Simple AGA Loaf


1. Mix the water and yeast in a jug and set on the back of the AGA to warm for 10 mins. Weigh the flour into a bowl with the salt and mix in the yeast mixture, using a wooden spoon or your hands.

2. Form the dough into a ball, turn out on to a work surface and knead, using a gentle ‘stretch and fold’ movement for 10 mins or until the dough feels springy. Use a little flour on the worktop or alternatively a little water to help prevent the dough sticking to the worktop. The dough can also be kneaded using a mixer with a dough hook, a food processor with a kneading function or a bread machine with a knead only setting.

3. Next, place the kneaded dough into a large bowl with a tbsp olive oil, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place. Next to the AGA or on a chefs pad or protective tea towel on the simmering plate lid is ideal. Leave to rise until doubled in size which usually takes an hour or so. The dough can also be proved more slowly in the fridge for 8 hours or over night.

4. Then shape the dough. Turn it out on to a worktop and stretch and fold a few times, just enough to tighten up the dough a little then shape into an oblong loaf, approx 20cms x 15cms x 8cms. Place the loaf on to a floured baking sheet - the AGA cold plain shelf is ideal - cover and leave to rise again for 20 mins.  

5. Remove the covering, dust the top with flour and score with a sharp knife, either along the length of the loaf or making a pattern. Bake in the AGA roasting oven on the 3rd or 4th set of runners for 30 mins. Cool before serving.

This loaf freezes beautifully once cooked and can be defrosted near the aga or in the warming oven. It can be handy to slice the loaf or cut into smaller sections before freezing to allow smaller pieces to be defrosted as needed.


Fluffy White Rolls

Divide the risen dough into 12 pieces. Roll each one into a ball and arrange on a baking tray, close together but not touching. Cover and prove for 20 - 30 mins. Dust with flour or brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with seeds. Bake in the AGA roasting oven on the 3rd set of runners for 15 mins. Cool before serving.

Tomato and Fennel Seed Knots

When making the dough, add 3 - 4 tsps tomato puree and 2 tsp fennel seeds along with the flour. Divide the risen dough into 12 - 16 pieces. Take one a roll into a sausage shape, the width of both your hands. Roll in flour and tie carefully into a knot. Place on a baking tray and repeat with the remaining dough. Cover and prove for 20 - 30 mins. Dust with flour or brunch with beaten egg and sprinkle with a few fennel seeds.  

Dough balls

Divide the risen dough into tiny pieces, about the size of a walnut. Roll each one into a ball and place on a baking tray - use one with a shallow lip such as the AGA baking tray to make sure the dough balls don’t roll off the tray once baked. Bake in the AGA roasting oven on the 3rd set of runners for 10 mins. Serve warm with some garlic and herb butter to dip.

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