Everyone can recognise a nettle, so even if you are new to foraging, you are unlikely to go wrong picking them. When picking nettles, you’ll need a thick pair of rubber gloves – marigolds are perfect! Only pick the small, young nettle tops, and from a spot unlikely to have been urinated on.
Remember they can still sting after being finely chopped, so wear gloves to knead the bread – A mistake I found out the hard way!
Stinging nettles are high in vitamin A and calcium and are a good source of protein.
- Large handful of finely chopped nettle tops
- 350g white bread flour (plus extra for dusting)
- Tsp salt
- 7g yeast
- 100 ml milk (any will work, but I used soy)
- 50 ml water
Put the nettles, flour and salt into a large bowl and mix together. Add the yeast.
Mix together the water and milk.
Slowly add the milk solution to the bowl of dry ingredients and mix together to form a dough. You can add more or less milk/water depending on how your dough feels. I find it varies slightly every time.
Tip out onto your worktop and knead for around 10 minutes.
Roll your dough into a ball, and dust with a little flour. Put it into a bowl and cover loosely with a plastic bag, or damp cloth, to stop it drying out. Place somewhere warm, I usually put it near our wood-burner or in the conservatory on a warm day.
Leave to prove for 1-2 hours, until the dough has roughly doubled in size.
Tip your dough back out onto your work surface and carefully deflate it by poking it with your fingers. Divide the mix into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and coat with a little more flour.
Place onto a baking tray, that has been dusted with flour, and leave for another hour or to prove again.
Heat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
Cook for about 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven, the rolls should sound hollow when you tap them on the bottom.
Leave to cool fully before serving with butter.