Bread made with olive oil

To Bella and Tasha. This is the recipe for white bread, made with olive oil.


500 g of white extra strong bread flour
About 300 – 320 g of water
1 tsp of easy bake yeast
3 table spoons of olive oil
1 tsp of salt

Use the best and ‘strongest’ flour  e.g. Waitrose Canadian bread flour


Do you have a magi mix? If so, put all the ingredients in the magi mix, set up with a metal blade (or dough hook).

Combine the ingredients.
The dough will be quite sticky to start with. 

Process (to knead)  for 1 minute.
It will warm up with the motion. The dough changes as it is kneaded, becoming smoother and more flexible. It should come away from the sides easily.

If you don’t have a food processor, knead by hand for 10 minutes.

Use a spatula to ease the dough into a spacious bowl. Cover the top of the bowl with cling film (use oiled cling film if touches the dough)

Leave to rise for 1.5 hours
It likes a warm place. You can also leave it overnight. When the dough is double the size, fold the dough in on itself using the spatula and a little extra flour to make a neat ball.

Grease a baking tray &  pre heat the oven to 230 C degrees.

Tip. Sprinkle polenta on the greased baking tray or use a piece of reusable silicon baking paper to stop it sticking.

For a Pizza

Press down the dough to make a pizza base (like we did). Cover with tomato sauce and mozzarella.

Bake at the top of the oven for about 20 mins, checking to see how it is going. It slides off the tray when it is cooked.

For Focaccia.

Press the dough down so it is  3 cm thick. Cover with oiled cling film.

Leave to rise for a second time.
It takes about 1.5 hours.

Tip. If you want the dough to rise more quickly put a hot water bottle under the tray.

Pre heat the oven to about 230 C . i.e. a hot oven. Every oven is different so you may have to experiment.

Punch a few holes in the doubled dough with your fingers or the end of a wooded spoon. Drizzle olive oil over the dough over so it pools in the holes. Sprinkle with salt. and add a sprig of rosemary, olives or cherry tomatoes.

Bake for 20 mins
You may have to check after about ten minutes as every oven is different. When bread is ready, you can wrap it with your knuckles underneath and it should sound hollow. It’s hot though, so this is not easy.

Cool on a wire wrack.
The bread is still cooking as it cools.

Express Myself



During the working day, I often spend hours talking through graphic design jobs on Skype. I enjoy use the pictoral emojis. They are funny, expressive and functional and have a lot of admiration for the animations. So I have made the video This is how I express myself. The emojis and omnipresent icons in our digital lives are our modern hieroglyphics. Over the past few years, we have become so used to using them.

Express myself. from Luce on Vimeo.




Notes on making flapjack.

The main ingredient of the flapjack is golden syrup. This is the amber industrial byproduct of the refining of white sugar. The syrup was once discarded as waste until it was seen as an asset and developed into a tinned sweet product at a sugar refinery on the Thames in the East End of London.

The famous brand Lyle has sold their syrup in a green and gold tin since 1884, which carries a biblical image of a dead lion harbouring a bee colony. The slogan behind this is ‘sweetness from strength’.

The syrup is melted into sugar and butter over a low heat. It is combined with oats and salt, flattened into a tin tray and baked.



295g of butter
FAT. A huge amount of butter!  250g seems to work. Even this is a whole pack. 

500g of oats
It is good to have two textures of oats, fine and coarse, so the mixture melds together better.
Or replace some of the oats with ground up seeds and oats and dessicated coconut. 

SALT – a pinch

250 golden syrup.
Sticky, heavy, transparent and slow moving. Some use 120g of syrup and 75g of demerara SUGAR instead.


Preheat the oven to 190
Melt the butter, syrup and sugar in a saucepan over a low heat.
Mix in all the combined dry ingredients
Press down on a baking tray
Cook in the over for 25 minutes
Cut in to pieces and allow to cool in the tray.

The recipe on Lyles Golden syrup website >>


The lion and bees on the Lyle’s Golden Syrup tin




Porridge oats


Apple crumble

A traditional hot fruit pudding, whipped up in response to war time rationing.



4 Bramley apples (cooking apples)
50g sugar
Juice of half a lemon

Crumble topping

150g flour
75g butter
50g sugar


Pre-heat the oven to 180 / 350 / Gas mark 4.


Peel, core and slice the apples. As you do this, put the slices into a bowl containing the lemon juice. The juice adds flavour and also stops the apples from turning brown.

In the food processor mix the the flour, butter and sugar until the mixture has the texture of bread crumbs. Or rub the butter into the flour and sugar by hand.

Assemble the crumble by putting the apple filling in a buttered, shallow oven proof dish or baking tray. Sprinkle on the topping, covering the apples in a deep layer of crumble.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the topping is golden brown. Serve hot with cream, creme fraiche, custard  or vanilla ice cream.

Crumble is said to be a war time recipe, which rose from food rationing in the 1940s. It takes less flour and butter than an apple pie covered with pastry.

Optional extras to experiment with:-
Added to the crumble

A few drops of vanilla essence
Ground almonds or oats
A quarter of a teaspoon of ground cloves
Ground ginger

In the filling

Lemon zest

War time rations of margarine and butter, photographed on the King’s Road, Chelsea. (IWM, London)


Preserve Parsley

Two recipes to preserve parsley.

Parsley pesto

An Italian style sauce and an alternative to basil based pesto.

1 cup walnut
2 cups chopped parsley
Half a cup of pecorino
3 cloves of garlic
Half a teaspoon of salt
Half a cup of olive oil

Blend all ingredients to a paste in a food processor, drizzling in the oil as you go.

Serving suggestion: Stir in to pasta.



This is a pesto-like French paste of parsley, which is kept in the fridge in a jar. It is useful to have in the fridge to a strong taste to salads and pasta.

100g parsley
10 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
100-200ml olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
Salt to taste.

In a food processor, chop the parsley (a few stalks in with the leaves is fine), the garlic and salt. Gradually add the oil and the lemon. Spoon into a sterilised jar. Make sure oil covers the surface, as this helps to keeps the concoction air tight.

Source: Author – Carle Legge


Dark Rich Ginger Cake by Elizabeth David

This is a dark, heavy, molasses rich winter cake.

This recipe is from   ‘Spices, salt and Aromatics in the English Kitchen’  by Elizabeth David. This is a dark, heavy, molasses rich winter cake.

A round cake tin – 3″ deep, 6″in diameter, 2 pint capacity
Buttered and floured.

Heat oven to oven temp.:160/170C /330F./Gas 3.for


4 oz butter
4 oz soft brown sugar
2 eggs
8 oz  flour
10 oz. molasses (or black treacle)
2 oz. sultanas/raisins
2 oz.preserved ginger
1 teasp. ground ginger
1/2 teasp. bicar. of soda
2 tablsp. of milk

Cream butter and sugar,  then amalgamate well with beaten eggs .
Add the sieved flour and mix well.
Pour in molasses
Add sultanas, ginger, ground ginger.
Stir the bicarb into the warm milk so it fizzes, then add to cake mixture.

Pour into the prepared tin.

Cook for 60 min. then 140C.for the next 45 mins
Leave to cool for 5 mins. before turning out.

Molasses is a by-product of the production of sugar, but ironically it is rich in minerals, particularly blackstrap molasses. Sugar cane goes though three stages of boiling as the sugar is extracted. At the third boiling, blackstrap molasses is formed as the juice leaves the cane.

Part of a Sugar Refinery in Hawaii
Part of a Sugar Refinery in Hawaii
(Library of Congress Photo Library)
Man harvests sugar cane in Cuba (Library of Congress Photo Library)
Man harvests sugar cane in Cuba

Sea salt, Portugese

Sea salt bought in a shop near the water front market in Lisbon. The shop had baskets of baccalau, dried and salted cod. The pieces are wide and long and cardboard stiff. I thought I spotted a bag of dry crackers for dipping in an on board fish stew.
My interest started with the book ‘The History of Cod’ that links cod fishing to world events. ‘Salt’ was the follow up book.