Sunday mornings are a pretty lazy time for Planet Elldrew, it’s the one day of the week that we like to move slowly. Really slowly. We also like to have a really nice breakfast and enjoy the luxury of having no time pressure and being able to linger in the kitchen preparing something more exciting than a slice of toast or a cereal bar. So we’re always overjoyed to come across a recipe that just says “make me, and make me for a Sunday breakfast, and sod the fat content because you’re going to make me, and then you’re going to do something physical to counter the fat”.
So on a recent Sunday morning shortly before a round of physically punishing DIY we started our day with Donna Hay’s “Baked Ricotta and Bacon Breakfast Loaf”. It was so good we thought we’d share the recipe as it has been awhile since we posted some stellar dishes we have cooked at home…and we’re assuming if our readers enjoy reading about food then they probably also enjoy making it!
BAKED RICOTTA AND BACON BREAKFAST LOAF
1 sourdough loaf
2 rashers of bacon
8 cherry tomatoes (preferably vine ripened)
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup finely grated Parmesan
Sea salt and cracked pepper
And it being a Sunday morning the recipe goes pretty much like this:
- Doze in bed until approximately an hour and 15 minutes before you will want breakfast.
- Wipe the sleep from your eyes, if it’s a little chilly put on a dressing gown (cashmere preferably) and slippers (Uggs, sheepskin for warmth) and plod downstairs.
- Locate the recipe, look at it. Get out the ingredients. Stop and wonder what you’re missing. Remember you’re about to handle knives and hot pans so put the kettle on for a coffee. Pour an orange juice (the short burst of sharp and sweet can get the motor running whilst the kettle boils).
- Slice the top off the loaf and remove bread to leave a shell. I know you’re still sleepy and a bit groggy but try not to cut yourself and try not to scrape out so much bread that you make a hole in the base or side (do get enough out so that it really is a fairly thin and crusty shell).
- ‘Donna’ says you can freeze the breadcrumbs and use them another time (Elldrew have frozen them but will probably forget about them and end up throwing them in 18months when we need to make some space in the freezer).
- Take the 2 rashers of bacon, trim off the fat and line the bottom of the loaf with them. You might wonder if 2 rashers is enough but, unless your loaf is HUGE, then it should be. If 2 rashers doesn’t pretty much cover the base then you will need more of ALL the ingredients.
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Briefly worry because you should have done that 10 minutes ago but then remember it’s Sunday. Swig some coffee and relax.
- Spread the ricotta on top of the bacon. Pop the tomatoes on top of the ricotta. Remove the tomatoes from the ricotta remembering you should have washed them first. Do that and replace them.
- If you’re like Elldrew and have a mini herb garden on the window sill then pluck, rinse and chop some fresh herbs – they help add flavour and also look pretty in the picture.
- Place the eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk to combine.
- Grate the cheese – unless you’re one of those really organised people who did this when you measured out the ingredients earlier.
Handy Elldrew HINT: At this stage move the loaf from wherever you’ve been preparing it and place it on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper (it’s much harder to move after the next step).
- Pour the milk and egg mixture into the bread, top with Parmesan and bake for 55 minutes, or until golden and cooked through (ours took about 1hr 15mins).
- If you can resist then leave it to stand for about 15 minutes before slicing into “hunks” and serving. It will be HOT!
Leave the rest of the loaf on a chopping board with a knife. Then go and do manual labour occasionally returning to saw off another hunk to keep you fuelled up (Drew thinks it actually tastes just as good cold as the heat masks some of the flavours!).