Five minutes is all you knead for some lovely loaves

Oat and Molasses Bread

475g (15oz) strong wholemeal flour; 2 tablespoons butter; ¼ plain or orange flavoured 1000mg vitamin C tablet; 1½ teaspoon salt; 4 teaspoons molasses sugar; 100g (3½oz) rolled oats; 1¼ teaspoons fast action dried yeast; 350ml (12fl oz) water.

To make by hand:

Put the flour into a large bowl, add the butter and rub in with fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Crush the vitamin C tablet between 2 teaspoons then stir into the flour along with the salt, oats and yeast. Gradually mix in enough warm water to make a soft dough.

Knead well on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Put the dough back into the bowl, cover loosely with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place to rise for an hour or until doubled in size.

Tip the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and knead well. Press into a greased deep 20cm (8in) round cake tin.

Cover loosely with oiled film and leave in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes or until the dough just reaches the top of the tin.

Remove the cling film and bake in a preheated oven, 200C/400F for 35-40 minutes until the bread is deep brown and sounds hollow when tapped with the fingertips.

Holding the tin with oven gloves, loosen the bread with a palette knife. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

[The Bread Book]

Rye and Soured Cream Bread

A New England-style rye bread, given fluffiness by thick soured cream or crème fraiche to make a perfect smoked salmon sandwich. From The Bread Book.

175g (6oz) rye flour; 175g (6oz) granary flour; 125g (4 oz) strong white flour; 2 teaspoons caraway seeds; 1½ teaspoons salt; 1¼ teaspoons fast-action dried yeast; 150ml (¼pint) soured cream or crème fraiche; 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice; 2 tablespoons molasses sugar; 250ml (8 fl oz.) water.

To make by hand:

Put the flours into a large bowl. Stir in the caraway seeds, salt and yeast then add the soured cream, lemon juice and molasses sugar. Gradually add enough warm water to make smooth, soft dough.

Knead on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic, then put it back into the bowl. Cover loosely with oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

Tip the dough out on the work surface, knead well then shape into a round loaf about 15cm (6in) in diameter.

Transfer to a greased baking sheet and make cuts across the top of the bread with a small sharp knife, like the spokes of a wheel. Cover with oiled clingfilm and leave to rise for 30 minutes until the dough is half as big again.

Remove the film and bake in a preheated oven, 200C (400F), for 25-30 minutes until browned and the bread sounds hollow when tapped with the fingertips. Holding the tin with oven gloves, loosen the bread with a palette knife. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Spiced Potato and Onion Bread

A rich, golden crumb speckled with Indian-spiced onions, delicious served warm with soup. From The Bread Book.

200g (7oz) potato, peeled; 1 tablespoon sunflower oil; 150g (5oz) onion, finely chopped; 1½ teaspoons cumin seeds, roughly crushed; 1½ teaspoons fennel seeds, roughly crushed; ½ teaspoon turmeric; ½ teaspoon paprika; 2 tablespoons butter; 475g (15oz) strong white flour; 2 teaspoons caster sugar; 2 teaspoons salt; 1½ teaspoons fast-action dried yeast; 200ml (7fl oz) water; melted butter, to finish.

To make by hand:

Halve the potato then cook it in a small saucepan of boiling water for 15 minutes or until tender. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion and fry gently until softened and pale golden. Stir in the spices and cook for a minute. Drain the potato and mash finely with the butter.

Put the flour into a large bowl then stir in the sugar, salt and yeast. Add the potatoes, and all but 2 tablespoons of the spiced onions. Mix in enough warm water to make a soft dough.

Knead well on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Put the dough back into the bowl, cover loosely with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Tip the dough out on a lightly floured surface, knead well then press into a greased 20cm (8 inch) springform tin, mark into wedges and sprinkle with the reserved onions. Cover loosely with oiled clingfilm and leave for 30 minutes or until the dough reaches the top of the tin.

Remove the clingfilm and bake in a preheated oven, 200C (400F), for 30-35 minutes until the bread is golden and sounds hollow when tapped with the fingertips.

Holding the tin with oven gloves, loosen the bread with a palette knife. Transfer to a wire rack and brush with a little extra melted butter.

Carrot and Mustard Bread

250g (8oz) malthouse or granary flour; 200g (7oz) strong white flour; 1½ teaspoon salt; 2 tablespoons butter; 1½ teaspoons fast-action dried yeast; 1 tablespoon clear honey; 2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard; 125g (4oz) carrot, coarsely grated; 200ml (7 fl oz.) water; 1 egg yolk, to glaze.

To make by hand:

Put the flours and salt into a large bowl. Add the butter and rub in with the fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the yeast, honey, mustard and carrots then gradually mix in enough warm water to make a soft dough.

Knead well on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Put the dough back into the bowl, cover loosely with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Tip the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead well. Shape into a long rope about 50cm (20 inches) in length. Twist several times, then put in a greased 1.8 litre (3 pint) loaf tin.

Cover loosely with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes or until the dough reaches just above the top of the tin.

Remove the film, brush with the egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon of water and bake in a preheated oven, 200C (400F), for 30-35 minutes until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped with the fingertips.

Check after 15 minutes and cover with foil if overflowing.

Holding the tin with oven gloves, loosen the bread with a palette knife. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. [From The Bread Book]