Having been at the sharp end of international cuisine, making homes in strange cities while cooking in prestigious, Michelin-starred restaurants, Nadine Ingram knows a thing or two about being far from home in hot, intense kitchens. So perhaps a retreat into homely, wildly popular baking back home in Australia was the natural, inevitable response. People feel when something intuitively right is happening behind the doors of any business, especially bakeries, and the people of Sydney have taken her Flour and Stone bakery to their hearts.
Based near the water at Woolloomooloo, Ingram’s bakery started modestly with just a few things done well in 2011, expanding gradually to do a whole range of Australian classics (people flock for her Lamingtons) and new inventions that combine her rich experience with flavours and desire to simply make people happy, with tastes and smells that transport people to a cosy, warm and friendly place.
They are delicious fresh from the oven, just don’t forget the butter.
Now the experience is encapsulated in a book, returning the principles of grounded, home-style baking to home kitchens. ‘Flour and Stone’, with the tagline ‘baked for love, life and happiness’ is a bible for family and community-focused baking, the very principles on which the bakery itself has been founded. Nadine offers her recipe for Zucchini, Chilli & Gruyère Buns to Dough Culture, a satisfying bake that just needs one, vital addition once they’ve emerged from the oven.
Nadine says: “At Flour and Stone, we slice them in half horizontally and toast them, although they are just as delicious fresh from the oven. Either way, don’t forget the butter.”
‘Flour and Stone’ by Nadine Ingram is published by Simon & Schuster Australia. For more information visit www.simonandschuster.co.uk
Photography © Alan Benson
- Preparation Time: 1:00
- Cook Time: 02:00
- Servings: 16
- 300g strong bakers flour
- 100g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 2tsp caster sugar
- 2tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 10g fresh yeast OR 5g dry yeast
- 300ml tepid water
- 1 tbsp milk
- 2 bird’s eye chillies, finely chopped
- 1 medium zucchini/courgette, grated
- 60g grated gruyère cheese
- 1Place the flours, sugar, salt, oil, yeast, water and milk in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook (or use your hands to form the dough into a ball). Mix on low speed for a couple of minutes until it begins to form a ball, then increase the speed to medium and mix for 5 minutes to develop the protein and give your dough structure. (If you are kneading with your hands, stretch the dough as you are kneading it and continue to work it on the bench for 10 minutes longer than you would if using the machine.)
- 2Place the flours, sugar, salt, oil, yeast, water and milk in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook (or use your hands to form the dough into a ball). Mix on low speed for a couple of minutes until it begins to form a ball, then increase the speed to medium and mix for 5 minutes to develop the protein and give your dough structure. (If you are kneading with your hands, stretch the dough as you are kneading it and continue to work it on the bench for 10 minutes longer than you would if using the machine.)
- 3Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with plastic film or a tea towel and place in a warm place to prove for 45 minutes or until it has doubled in volume.
- 4Knock back the dough by turning it out onto a lightly floured work surface, then gently pat it into 30 cm x 20 cm rectangle. Fold the dough in half, then in half again (as if you are folding a piece of paper). Return it to the bowl, then cover and prove for a further 30 minutes or until doubled in volume.
- 5Turn out the dough onto a floured surface once more, patting it gently with your hands to form the same rectangle as before. Sprinkle the chilli evenly over two-thirds of the dough, leaving the remaining third bare. Squeeze any moisture out of the zucchini and spread it over the chilli, followed by the cheese. Fold the bare portion of dough over half the cheese mixture, and then over again to completely envelop the filling.
- 6Turn the dough so the seam is parallel to your body, using extra flour on the bench to stop it sticking, then pat it out to a 30 cm x 15 cm rectangle. Dust the top of the dough with a little flour (or leave it plain if you prefer), then cover with a tea towel and rest on the bench for 10 minutes.
- 7Preheat the oven to 190°C and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
- 8Using a dough cutter or a large knife cut the dough in half lengthways, then cut across the two rows to form 16 even square buns. Place the buns on the prepared baking sheet, cover with a tea towel and prove one last time for 15 minutes or until they have doubled in volume.
- 9Bake the buns for 25–30 minutes or until golden, then remove them from the oven and cool on the tray.