I'm currently having a another revival of my Delia Smith books. For those not in the UK, I've written about the TV chef I grew up watching before, but this time round I'm obsessed with her breads in "How to cook book 1". She has a couple of interesting breads; one using potatoes and the other parsnips. Her recipes really are pretty much foolproof; she pays good attention to detail to ensure the end product really does look (and hopefully taste) like hers.
With bread in mind, I got some fresh parsnips at my local farmers market; my town of Suffern is having a fabulous monthly winter market. I love parsnips but the supermarket ones are usually bendy and thoroughly unappetizing, so I happily snapped up a couple of lbs of the fresh ones.
In addition to the bread, I was planning on making a fantastic parsnip gratin with some of them. That will have to wait, as my husband and I enjoyed the bread so much that I made it twice, the second time doubling the recipe. No parsnip gratin this weekend.
As an aside, my kids are not so fond of this bread.; it's got quite an assertive flavor for a 3 year old. I did try the hard sell on "cheesy bread"; it oozes parmesan goodness when still warm, but still "no thank you" was the response. Onwards in my veggie eating quest.
I have changed a few things about this recipe as usual; Delia recommends sage in this recipe but I was all out so I added Dijon mustard. No regrets, although the sage would be delicious. I also subbed in some wholewheat flour and found it needed more milk than her recipe.
Parmesan Parsnip Bread
3/4 cup /4oz self rising flour (see below)
3/4 cup/ 4oz whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
6oz peeled and grated parsnips
2 oz Parmesan cheese roughly chopped into 1/4 " cubes
3 tablespoons milk
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- Preheat the oven to 375
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flours salt and baking powder
- Add the parsnips and toss together ( I find clean hands work best)
- Toss in the cheese and mix again
- In a medium bowl, lightly beat together the eggs, milk and mustard
- Add the egg mixture to the flour.
- Mix until just combined; Delia suggests using a pallet knife, I use my hands but with a light touch
- The dough will be loose and sticky, if it seems too dry (such as in the winter here) add another tablespoon of milk
- Form the dough into a ball and place on a floured baking sheet or pizza pallet
- Flatten the ball into a disc approx 6" diameter
- Cut a cross on the top and place the bread in the oven
- Bake for about 50 mins or until golden on top
- Cool on a wire rack and serve
I love this with soup or a creamy cheese and sliced apples or pears.
Tips on this recipe:
Don't have self rising flour? For each cup of regular all purpose flour add
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. In this recipe where only 3/4 cup self rising flour is required, I would add 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt to a scant 3/4 cup all purpose flour.