clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
Welsh rarebit at St. John, one of central London’s best snacks Eater

Filed under:

5 Bread Recipes from Great London Chefs to Try This Week

More carb-based ideas for home cooking from some of London’s best chefs and restaurants

Hello regular readers of 5 to Try. While we pause on directing to you restaurants across the city for the weekend and as the industry continues to react to significant changes brought about by the novel coronavirus outbreak, each Friday afternoon, for the time being, we’ll bring you recipes from some of London’s best chefs and restaurants to try at the weekend instead.

And, we’re going to theme them. This week, it’s bread, with ideas from Oklava’s Selin Kiazim, Dumpling Shack’s John and Yee Li, St John’s Fergus Henderson, Bake Street’s Feroz Gajia, and Hoppers’ Karan Gokani.

If you like them, let us know, and share with a friend. And take care.

Artichoke Pide
by Selin Kiazim, Oklava

Pide. This has a different filling to the one in the recipe given
Selin Kiazim

A simple filling would be to either take some mince, diced chicken/lamb or vegetables and combine with grated garlic, tomato or pepper paste and chopped parsley. Fill and bake following the instructions above, top with some cheese if you fancy it too.

Note: You can literally fill a pide with anything, and if you prefer you could even shape it closed like a calzone or pasty. For alternative fillings, essentially treat it like a pizza. So different cheeses, sausages, anchovies, diced chicken, mince or even make it vegan with a variety of chopped vegetables. Just don’t use anything too wet as a filling.

Yields 6

2 jars marinated artichokes in oil, drain thoroughly and cut into quarters
3 tsp Turkish chilli flakes-pul biber (or regular chilli flakes/powder of even fresh is fine)
6 tbsp Tulum cheese (available in Turkish supermarket. If not, parmesan or something like that is good too)
¼ bunch parsley, finely shredded

For the dough:
625g flour (preferably bread flour)
7g sachet dried yeast
12g extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp fine salt
1 tsp Caster sugar
360ml approx.. lukewarm water

For the garlic cream:
280g cream cheese
1 large clove garlic, finely grated
50g Parmesan cheese, grated (or any hard cheese like Pecorino or Manchego)

For the broccoli ezme:
1 head broccoli
1 green chilli, finely sliced
1 lemon, juiced (or you could use lime juice or vinegar)
50ml extra virgin olive oil

Pre-heat the oven to 220c fan, with your pizza stone if you have one. If not, preheat a large flat baking tray upside down.

To make the pide dough, combine 150ml of water with the yeast, olive oil and sugar. Whisk together, and place to one side to allow the yeast to plume. Place the flour into a large bowl make a well in the centre, and place the salt to the side of the flour. Once the yeast mix is ready pour into the well, and using your hand, incorporate it into the flour, slowly adding the rest of water to form a dough that doesn’t stick to your hands. Knead for approximately five minutes or until smooth. Place into a fresh bowl, cover with a damp cloth and allow the dough to prove, which should double in size.

Meanwhile, make the garlic cream by combining all the ingredients and season to taste.

To make the ezme, cut the broccoli into florets, trim up the stalk and cut into pieces too. Bring a pan of water up to boil and add some salt. Cook the broccoli for approximately two minutes. I like to leave the broccoli with a bit of a crunch. Drain thoroughly and place onto a tray to cool. Once cooled, roughly chop up the broccoli, and add the olive oil, lemon juice, chilli, and season to taste.

To make the pides (I would suggest doing one at a time, and if you wish to serve them all at the same time you can re-heat them and finish off in one go) divide the dough up into six pieces. Roll into balls and cover with a damp cloth.

Roll out a ball of dough on a floured surface into a large oval shape, approximately 25cm x 15cm, and 3mm thick. Leaving an edge of around 3cm, spread around 1/6th of garlic cream down the centre. Lay over some artichokes. Fold over the edges leaving the centre of the filling exposed. You are looking to achieve a canoe shape, ensure you pinch the ends really well to avoid it unraveling whilst baking.

Place into the oven by sliding onto your hot baking tray, alternatively if you have a pizza paddle then use that to place into the oven on your baking tray or pizza stone. Bake in the oven for approximately 12-16 minutes: you are looking to achieve a golden brown, crisp exterior. Take out of the oven. Brush with melted butter, cut into slices, and sprinkle over the chilli flakes. Scatter over some of the broccoli ezme, Tulum cheese, and finally a sprinkling of parsley.

Cong You Bing (Spring Onion Pancake)
by John and Yee Li, Dumpling Shack

Spring onion pancakes
Spring onion pancakes
John Li

Yields 6-8 pancakes

500g flour
2 tsp salt
200ml boiled water

½ teaspoon of salt
2 stalks of spring onion chopped finely (only use the green part)
4 tbsp melted unsalted butter (can use shortening too)

For the dough:
Combine flour and salt and water either by hand or in a stand mixer with a dough hook.

Once ingredients are incorporated (normally takes 5 minutes in mixer), take dough out and wrap in cling film. Leave it to rest for two hours

For the bings:
Take the dough and give a quick knead by hand until it is smooth.

Portion out the dough into 100 gram portions. It’s easier to do if you shape the large ball of dough into a sausage shape.

Roll each portion out into a long flat wide shape about 1cm thick.

Brush with butter and sprinkle evenly with spring onion.

Roll the flattened dough into a cylinder shape and roll each end of the cylinder to meet in the middle. Click the link below to see the technique for rolling.

Once assembled put them on a tray cover with cling film and set them aside for an hour in the fridge

For cooking the pancake:
For our version, we like to use a fair amount of oil to cook because it allows us to get the bings to a high enough temperature so it has a crispy, flaky texture. Get a pan (ideally a cast iron one) and pour enough oil in there so you can shallow fry the bing. Put it on a medium heat.

Take one of the assembled bings and with a rolling pin, roll it out flat whilst trying to maintain a circular shape, you want it to be about 10cm in diameter.

The oil temperature should be around 170 degree C. Carefully place your bing in the pan and begin frying. If the centre of your bing starts to convex, flip the bing over. You want to try and get an even fry all over the bing on each side. It should take around 3 minutes on each side.

You can test to see if it’s ready by pinching the edge of the bing — if it cracks under pressure it’s good to go.

Drain any excess oil on the bing and it’s ready to eat!

Welsh Rarebit
by Fergus Henderson

Welsh rarebit at St. John, one of central London’s best snacks
Welsh rarebit

Welsh Rarebit is a noble version of cheesy toast. Everyone loves cheesy toast! Our Rarebit is a proud thing, and, if we might say so, extremely popular. So it is odd that Fergus gleaned this recipe from a chef who had previously worked at Bucks Club, which was well known at the time for selling the worst rarebit in London.

Another thing that we might add, if you are amused by a little mathematics. At St. JOHN Smithfield, we sell an average of 45 Welsh Rarebits per day. Taking into account annual closures, in our 25th year we had sold somewhere in the region of 405,000 rarebits. By the time we are 30 we will have surpassed the half-million mark (a welcome note of forward-looking optimism!

To serve at least 4, depending on the dimensions of your toast

A knob of butter
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp English mustard powder
½ tsp cayenne pepper
200ml Guinness
A very long splash of Worcestershire sauce, and a bottle to serve
450g mature strong Cheddar cheese, grated
4 pieces of toast

Melt the butter in a pan, stir in the flour, and let this cook together until it smells biscuity but is not browning. Add the mustard powder and cayenne pepper then stir in the Worcestershire sauce and the Guinness, then gently melt in the cheese. When it’s all of one consistency remove from the heat, pour out into a shallow container, and allow to set.

Take a piece of good white bread and toast on both sides. Allow to cool just a little, then cover one side with rarebit mixture to about 1cm thick — if you find that it doesn’t spread with ease then press it on with your fingers. Put on a baking sheet and place under the grill until golden and bubbling — grilling to just beyond your comfort threshold, to allow the flour to cook out.

When it comes to eating, irrigation channels are essential: Make a gentle criss-cross pattern on your hot rarebit with a knife, creating the perfect flood plain for the Worcestershire sauce.

— This recipe is from the Book of St. John

Makhani Chicken Bun
by Feroz Gajia, Bake Street

Makhani chicken bun
Feroz Gajia

Being a big fan of chicken makhani/butter chicken I always wondered why no one had combined it with the global obsession that is fried chicken. In the end the craving became too great and I added it as a weekend special and it has stayed on ever since. Our marinade and frying is a lot more labour intensive and requires a fair few speciality ingredients so I’ve produced a simpler version and have given you the option to simply pan fry which also works well. The makhani sauce remains unchanged.

For serving:
50g mayonnaise with 3g extra lemon juice or cider vinegar mixed in
4 slices of American cheese
Coriander chutney
Vinegar-based slaw or sliced gherkins
4 brioche buns of your choice (Iceland and Morrisons do best supermarket brioche, but if people have access to good brioche/milk buns at their local baker, then that is obviously going to yield a better sandwich — in London, Pavilion and Spence do good ones. Or, if it’s the corner shop, then Baker Street are good. But even the crummy packet ones are good as long as you steam and then toast.)

For the chicken marinade:
500g boneless and skinless chicken thighs or breasts in 4 pieces of even thickness
125g yoghurt
20g minced garlic
10g minced/grated ginger (peeling is optional)
10g garam masala
5g turmeric
5g ground cumin
5g chili powder (Kashmiri is preferred but cayenne is fine)
5g fine sea salt

For the sauce:
15ml neutral oil (rapeseed)
100g butter
1 large onion, sliced evenly
20g minced garlic
10g minced/grated ginger
1 chopped green chilli
10g ground cumin
10g garam masala
5g ground coriander
1 can of crushed or peeled plum tomatoes
5g red chili powder
5g fine sea salt
150ml double cream
10g sugar
3g dried fenugreek leaves

For the smoking (optional):
10g butter
5ml neutral oil (rapeseed)
1 small piece of solid charcoal
Metal egg cup

Mix the marinade ingredients in a bowl with the chicken. Let it sit for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sauce by softening the onions in the butter and oil. Once it has started to soften, add the garlic, ginger and chilli along with ground cumin, garam masala, ground coriander, chilli powder and salt.

Mix and simmer until it has cooked down at which point you can add the tomatoes and cook until the sauce looks semi-homogenous. Using a hand blender on low setting, slowly blitz up the sauce till smooth. With the pan off the heat, add a third of the cream slowly while blending.

You can take the blender out and use a spoon to mix in the sugar, fenugreek, and at least a third more of the cream. At this point it’s up to you to decide whether you want to add the rest of the cream, and perhaps more salt/sugar/fenugreek/garam masala/cumin. You’re looking for a rich rounded sauce with a hint of sweetness.

Once the sauce is done you can choose to smoke it. Put your egg cup in the sauce, fill with the oil and butter. Holding the piece of charcoal in a pair of tongs light it using a blowtorch or using your gas hob if you want to make a mess. Once it’s burning white hot carefully drop the fat in the egg cup and put the lid on your pan as soon as it starts billowing smoke. Leave this closed for at least five minutes. Taste the sauce to see if it has a hit of smoke, depending on the plumes of smoke you might need to do this 2-3 times to get enough into the sauce.

Heat half a cm of oil in a frying pan and cook the chicken over medium heat. If your pan is small do it in batches. Put the cooked chicken on kitchen towel to blot off any extra fat.

Alternatively, you can dredge your chicken in your preferred seasoned flour and shallow/deep fry at 180 degree C until the chicken is cooked, about eight minutes. An easy seasoning mix is: for every 200g flour add 5g each of ground cumin, coriander, chilli powder, turmeric, salt and garam masala.

Toast your brioche, on the heel of the bun put your slaw/pickles, some of the mayo and coriander chutney, while on the crown just add the mayo and chutney. Place a piece of the chicken on the heel, top it with a cheese slice and then spoon over plenty of the makhani sauce and place the crown on top. Eat!

Aloo Paratha
by Karan Gokani, Hoppers

Aloo paratha with chana, yogurt, salad and pickle
Karan Gokani

This ultimate, comforting dish from North India is great for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and perfect for the entire family (avoid the green chilli if cooking for kids), even if you’re on a shoe-string budget!

Tip: You can par cook the parathas on a dry non-stick pan for a minute on each side and freeze them once cool. When ready to cook them again, defrost fully in the fridge and cook in butter as below.

For the dough:
3 cups whole wheat flour (try and find ‘roti/chakki atta’ or blitz and sieve regular wholemeal flour until its quite fine)
1-1.5 cups warm water
1 tbsp ghee or rapeseed
1 tsp salt

Mix into a soft dough and rest covered for at least 30 mins or longer in the fridge.

For the filling:
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 large potatoes, boiled and peeled
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
1 green chilli, finely chopped

1 tbsp paratha masala (store bought/you can find some good brands on Amazon too! or see recipe below)

For paratha masala
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp anardana (dried pomegranate seeds)
1 tsp kala namak (or chaat masala)

Toast all on a dry pan for a couple of minutes and grind in a coffee grinder. Make a larger batch if you like and store in a zip lock bag in the freezer.

For the filling:
Heat oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Sauté the cumin and ajwain for a minute.

Add onions and sweat until translucent but not brown. Add the ginger paste and a splash of water and cook for three minutes.

Once cool, mix all the ingredients for the filling and mash together.

For the aloo paratha assembly:
Roll out the dough into 5-inch circles about 2 cm thick, using a little dry flour if it sticks. The centre should be a little thicker than the edges.

Place a generous ball of the potato mix in the centre of the circle and pull the sides up, and twisting up the excess on top. Make sure the top is sealed well and any excess dough is pinched off.

Gently roll out the paratha into a 4-inch circle.

Heat a pan on medium heat, and melt half a tablespoon of ghee or butter in it. Cook the paratha for approximately three minutes on each side until golden brown.

Serve hot with Punjabi chana and a bowl of chilled Greek yoghurt.

Island Social Club

258 Kingsland Road, , England E8 4DG 020 7254 4945 Visit Website

Quality Wines

88 Farringdon Road, , England EC1R 3EA Visit Website

Core by Clare Smyth

92 Kensington Park Road, , England W11 2PN 020 3937 5086 Visit Website


1 Saint James's Market, , England SW1Y 4AH 020 3583 4660 Visit Website


287 Upper Street, , England N1 2TZ 020 7288 1454 Visit Website