About £1 a portion: Rukmini Iyer’s one-pan bread recipes


I have a confession: conventional, loaf-style bread-making is not my forte, but let me loose with a bottle of olive oil and some other store-cupboard ingredients, and it’s a different story. Today’s onion and rosemary skillet bread is so moreish that you’ll be hard pressed not to eat several slices while standing at the counter. Ambitiously, I tested the thyme and tomato rolls on Niki Segnit, the genius author of The Flavour Thesaurus: thankfully, they got a thumbs up and an empty plate, which isn’t bad for a bread dough that uses tinned tomatoes instead of the liquid.

Celebratory baked camembert with mini thyme and tomato rolls (pictured top)

Prep 5 min
Prove 1 hr 30 min
Cook 40 min
Serves 4

650g strong white bread flour
8g fast-action
dried yeast
tsp sea salt flakes
1 x 400g tin
chopped tomatoes
80ml olive oil
, plus extra for drizzling
1 small bunch fresh thyme
1 x 250g camembert
, unboxed and unwrapped

In a large bowl, mix the flour, yeast, salt, tomatoes, olive oil and the leaves from three or four sprigs of thyme, then knead for five to eight minutes, until you have a smooth and elastic dough. Cover and leave to rise in an oiled bowl for an hour and a half.

Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6 and put the camembert on a lined baking sheet. Punch down the dough, then pinch off golf ball-sized pieces and roll into balls. Arrange these all around the camembert, as pictured, leaving a 1cm gap between each one.

Scatter over some whole thyme sprigs, drizzle everything with a little more olive oil, then bake for 20-25 minutes, until the rolls are well risen and cooked through (steal one to tear open and test). Serve the dipping wheel with a small knife to cut off the lid of the camembert.

Caramelised onion and rosemary skillet bread

Serve this with your choice of soup.

Prep 5 min
Prove 1 hr 30 min
Cook 40 min
Serves 4

325g strong white bread flour
4g fast-action
dried yeast
tsp sugar
tsp sea salt flakes
70ml olive oil
150ml water
tbsp olive oil
30g butter
tsp dried rosemary
2 onions
, peeled and thickly sliced
1 tsp sea salt flakes
125g mozzarella
, torn

Tip the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, oil and water into a large bowl, and stir with a wooden spoon until it comes together into a dough. Tip out on to a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, until smooth and springy, then transfer to an oiled bowl and leave to rise for an hour and a half.

When the dough has 15 minutes of proving time to go, heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan (ovenproof, if you have one) and, when the butter starts to foam, add the rosemary, onions and salt. Turn down the heat to medium-low, then cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, until the onions are soft and caramelising around the edges.

Heat the oven to 220C (200C fan)/425F/gas 7. Punch down the risen dough, then roll it into a circle the same diameter as your frying pan. (If your pan isn’t ovenproof, tip the onions into a round oven dish large enough to hold them all closely in one layer and put in the oven while it heats up.) Once you’re ready to bake, scatter the mozzarella over the onions, then gently lay the dough circle on top, lightly pressing it down all over. Put the frying pan (or ovenproof dish) in the oven, and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the top of the bread is golden and sounds hollow when tapped.

Remove from the oven, place a heatproof plate on top, then carefully, using tea towels so you don’t get burned, flip over and invert the bread on to the plate, so the caramelised onions now sit on top of the bread. Serve warm.

  • Rukmini Iyer is the author of the Roasting Tin series. Her latest book is India Express: Fresh and Delicious Recipes for Every Day, published by Square Peg at £22. To order a copy for £19.14, go to guardianbookshop.com

  • This article was amended on 21 February 2023 to clarify that the tinned tomatoes should be chopped.

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