Retro Red Bread with Whipped Feta
Why Retro Red Bread? Well, this recipe goes back a little way. Gifted to me from my beautiful friend Terri after she made this for our lunch while our boys were over for a playdate. Easy, delicious, vibrant colours, and not tricky even with four very young boys underfoot. Long time since I competed with toddlers for kitchen space though! And a long time since I had made this Red Bread. This week it was a Third Tuesday Bookclub, and despite the fact that I had volunteered to bake a cake, this bread just kept pushing itself forward in my mind. Add in that yesterday saw the return of rowing (yes, off season rowing, in winter, in the dark!) and by 9 am I had been up for hours and hankering after something more substantial than cake. Sleep deprivation not an issue here, as it really is so easy.
Start with two mixing bowls. In the first pop in your sifted self raising flour, pine nuts, parsley, dried herbs, and chopped black olives.
I have always used parsley in the recipe, but yesterday started to wonder about the inclusion of basil – would be perfect I think. I will let you know once I have planted in my new basil seedlings and have a plentiful supply. In the second bowl, mix an egg, tomato paste, milk, parmesan cheese and olive oil. The original recipe called for soy milk, which of course I did not have, but the flavour was not much altered. You can use soy or even almond milk if you prefer. Mix all the wet ingredients together:
and you are starting to see where the name comes from! Use really good quality tomato paste (I used Mutti brand) as this impacts on the overall flavour of the bread. Now mix together the wet and dry ingredients and place in a greased loaf tin.
Smooth the top and place into the preheated oven for about an hour. Timing will depend on the size of your loaf tin (my narrower tins are visiting my neighbour right now) so I started testing the bread at 40 minutes, and was done at 50. Done being when a skewer inserted comes out clean. Rest for a few minutes in the tin to cool:
then turn out onto a rack to cool completely. This week the bookclub ladies were lucky to have this served still warm from the oven. This is when I do believe it to be at its best, but it keeps well. Slices could be individually wrapped and frozen for future lunches. Slice thickly and serve with spreadable cream cheese, baked ricotta , or whipped fetta.
This Red Bread makes the perfect Lunch for Ladies. Light, fresh, serve with a salad and a nice crisp white and we can feel satisfied and not over indulgent. Enjoy!
- 1½ cups self raising flour, sifted
- ½ cup pine nuts
- 2 tbs fresh parsley
- 1 tbs dried mixed herbs
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- ¾ cup pitted black olives, roughly chopped
- ¾ cup milk*
- ¼ cup parmesan, grated
- ½ cup tomato paste
- 1 egg
- 3 tbs olive oil
- Preheat oven to 180°C and lightly grease a loaf tin.
- Sift flour into a large bowl. Add in pine nuts, herbs, salt and pepper and olives.
- In a separate bowl, combine milk, parmesan cheese, tomato paste, egg and olive oil.
- Combine both mixtures until smooth. Spoon into prepared tin.
- Bake for 1 hour, or until inserted skewer comes out clean**
- Serve with whipped feta, baked ricotta or cream cheese
**Cooking times may vary from oven to oven or depending on the size of the loaf tin you use. Please check after 45 minutes