This Marmite Bread recipe is an adaptation of a recipe I stumbled across on Jack Monroe’s Instagram page a few months ago. I’ve been obsessed with it ever since, and now make at least one loaf a week.
As I’ve done so, I’ve made my own adjustments to it and, when my parents came down to visit recently, passed the recipe onto them. Even my father – well known for his fussiness when it comes to trying new things, particularly food – admitted that he liked this bread. Trust me when I say that is high praise indeed!
‘Marmite Bread’ is a bit of a misnomer, if I’m honest. Yes it contains Marmite but – believe the Marmite addict on this one – it doesn’t taste like it. It’s got a slight umami tang to it, but it isn’t overwhelming and it doesn’t scream “Marmite!!”. I’ve fed this loaf to people who claim to vehemently hate the stuff, and they’ve all asked me for seconds. Take from that what you will!
As I’ve got some Australian roots in me, and keep it in the house, I’ve also used Vegemite in place of Marmite and it’s been just as successful. The flavour changes slightly, but I really like both. If you have a particular preference, go for whichever you like best or have to hand.
This bread makes particularly excellent toast and is awesome in place of normal bread in cheese on toast. It also freezes very well once cut into slices, and stale pieces make great breadcrumbs for use in meatballs etc.
- 50 g Marmite or Vegemite
- 400 ml warm water
- 500 g strong white flour
- 2 tbsp quick yeast
- 2 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
- 1 pinch table salt (optional)
Method #1: By Hand
Dissolve the Marmite in the warm water with a metal spoon. I would advise using hot water to begin with to make this easier, and then leave it to cool until it is tepid enough to be used without killing the yeast.
Add the dry ingredients (flour, yeast & optional salt) to a bowl and mix until they are combined.
If you are using salt, add it on one side of the bowl and the yeast on the other to stop them coming into direct contact.
Once the liquid is cool enough and the Marmite has all been dissolved, make a well in the flour and add in the Marmite liquid, along with the oil. Bring the mixture together using a wooden spoon. Due to the liquidity of the Marmite, this dough will be quite sticky - it is quite normal.
Turn out the dough onto an oiled work surface, and knead thoroughly for 5-10 minutes unti, the dough becomes smooth, springy and stretchy as gluten starts to form.
Leave the dough to rise in a lightly oiled bowl or floured banneton (proving basket) until the dough has more than doubled in size. Depending on the warmth where the bowl is placed, this can be anywhere from 1-4 hours. Cover the bowl to prevent the dough from drying out, and put it in a warm place.
Once the dough has risen, oil/flour a work surface. Tip the dough out onto it, knock out all of the air and shape it to fit into a greased (2lb) loaf tin. Cover once and leave to double in size again
Once it has risen, preheat the oven to 180C (170C Fan).When the oven has reached temperature, place the loaf on the middle shelf of the oven and cook for 40-50 minutes.
Check regularly to ensure it is not overcooked. To check whether the loaf has cooked is cooked, first knock on the top of the loaf. If it sounds hollow, turn the loaf out of the tin and tap the bottom to. If this also sounds hollow, it is done!
Cool on a wire rack and slice as needed.
Method #2: Bread Maker
I've made this repeatedly in my Panasonic bread maker by following the same steps as above but adding the yeast into the yeast dispenser.
I find that mixing the ingredients together slightly before starting the cycle gives the best results. Otherwise, it doesn't capture all the flour for some reason, meaning the loaf ends up with a floury bottom (oops!)
Once mixed, I set the cycle for Large White Bread and press start. I've also made just the dough on a basic white dough cycle and then put the dough in a loaf tin to cook in the oven
Concerning bread makers, I absolutely adore mine. I have this one, which I cannot recommend highly enough. I use it multiple times per week, and never buy bread now. In the three years I’ve had it, it’s paid for itself several times over.
The choice is yours – however you try to make this loaf, the result will be great. Personally, I don’t believe that this dough is suitable for cooking outside of a tin. As it is a bit softer than most other bread doughs, I think if you tried to bake this freeform, the dough would just spread out and the rise wouldn’t be so great. However, feel free to play and prove me wrong!
Please let me know what you think of this recipe in the comments section below. If you make it, feel free to tag me (@fenwench) in any pictures on Instagram. I’d love to see!