Recipes and facts – Parsnips

Parsnip and thyme quick bread – Dan Stevens’s River Cottage recipe from the Gaurdians website.

This loaf doesn’t use yeast and Hugh says it’s great if you want to whip up a quick loaf to go with soup.

  • 1 tbsp rapeseed or sunflower oil, plus extra for oiling the baking sheet
  • 1 large onion, peeled, halved and sliced thin
  • 180g self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 50g hard mature goat’s cheese, strong cheddar or parmesan, finely grated
  • 180g grated parsnip
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2-3 tbsp whole milk

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium-low heat, add the onion and sweat until soft and lightly coloured, stirring from time to time – about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, thyme, cheese, parsnip and some pepper.

Add the onion, then the egg and two tablespoons of milk.

Mix to form a soft dough, adding the extra milk only if needed. Be careful no to overwork the dough, though – just bring it together with a little light kneading. Shape into a round and place on an oiled baking sheet.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the loaf is golden and makes a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom.

Leave to cool for a few minutes on a wire rack, then slice and serve, still warm, spread thickly with butter.

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