Mary Berry Tear-and-Share Bread Recipe

Mary Berry Tear-and-Share Bread Recipe
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 30 Mins Cook Time: 30 Mins Total Time: 1 Hr

Mary Berry’s Tear-and-Share Bread is a wonderful addition to any meal, perfect for special occasions or simply to make a family dinner more memorable. This bread combines the joy of homemade baking with the pleasure of sharing, making it not just a dish, but a part of the dining experience itself.

Throughout this article, I’ll walk you through each step of making Mary Berry’s Tear-and-Share Bread, providing tips and tricks to ensure you achieve a beautiful and delicious result. Whether you’re hosting a gathering or want to add something special to your meal, this recipe is sure to be a hit.

What is Mary Berry Tear-and-Share Bread?

Mary Berry’s Tear-and-Share Bread is a visually appealing, savory loaf made of soft, pillowy dough, seasoned with herbs and possibly filled with ingredients like cheese or garlic butter. It’s designed for easy sharing, making it a perfect accompaniment to meals or as a standalone treat. It serves 6-8 people, the recipe can be completed in about 2 hours.

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Communal Eating Experience: Designed for sharing, it enhances the dining experience, promoting a sense of community and togetherness.
  • Versatile Flavors: Easily adaptable with various fillings and flavors, it’s perfect for any palate or occasion.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Its unique presentation is sure to impress guests and make it the centerpiece of any meal.
  • Simple Ingredients, Stellar Results: Utilizing basic pantry staples, this recipe yields a delectable bread that belies its simplicity.

Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Tear-and-Share Bread

To make Mary Berry Tear-and-Share Bread you need the following ingredients:

  • 500g Strong White Bread Flour: The backbone of the bread, providing structure.
  • 7g Fast-Action Yeast: For leavening, ensure the bread rises properly.
  • 1 tsp Salt: To enhance flavor.
  • 1 tbsp Sugar: A touch of sweetness to balance the flavors.
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil: Adds moisture and richness.
  • 300ml Warm Water: Activates the yeast and brings the dough together.
  • Optional Fillings: Such as grated cheese, finely chopped herbs, or minced garlic, for added flavor.

Instructions to Make Mary Berry Tear-and-Share Bread

Follow these simple steps to make this recipe:

Step 1: Preparing the Dough

  • Combine Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. Ensure the yeast and salt are placed on opposite sides of the bowl to prevent the salt from inhibiting the yeast’s action.
  • Add Liquids: Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in the olive oil and gradually add the warm water, mixing until a soft dough forms.
  • Knead the Dough: Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. This develops the gluten, giving the bread its structure and texture.
  • First Proofing: Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, covering it with a damp cloth or cling film. Let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size, ensuring a light, airy bread.

Step 2: Shaping the Bread

  • Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 220°C (428°F) to ensure it’s ready for baking.
  • Punch Down the Dough: After the dough has doubled, punch it down gently to release any air bubbles. This step is crucial for a uniform texture.
  • Add Fillings (Optional): If you’re adding fillings like cheese or herbs, now is the time to gently knead them into the dough.
  • Shape the Bread: Divide the dough into equal-sized pieces, rolling them into balls. Arrange the balls in a circle on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, leaving a slight gap between each for expansion.

Step 3: Baking the Bread

  • Second Proofing: Cover the shaped dough loosely with a clean cloth, allowing it to be proofread for an additional 30 minutes. They will expand and join together during this time.
  • Bake: Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  • Cooling: Allow the bread to cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before serving. This allows the steam to escape, preventing the bread from becoming soggy.

Mary Berry Tear-and-Share Bread

What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Tear-and-Share Bread?

  • Dipping Sauces: Offer a selection of olive oil and balsamic vinegar or a creamy garlic dip.
  • Soups and Stews: Serve as a side to absorb the rich flavors of hearty dishes.
  • Cheese and Cold Cuts: Perfect for a casual, grazing-style meal with a variety of cheeses and meats.
  • Salads: Complement a fresh, vibrant salad with a piece of this flavorful bread.

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Tear-and-Share Bread

  • Optimal Yeast Activation: Ensure your water is warm but not hot; too high a temperature can kill the yeast, affecting the rise.
  • Even Pieces: For uniform baking, try to make the dough pieces as equal in size as possible.
  • Dough Hydration: Adjust the water slightly if needed. The dough should be tacky but not overly sticky.
  • Proofing Environment: A warm, draft-free area speeds up the rising process. Consider using your oven with the light on as a proofing box.
  • Scoring the Dough: Before the second proofing, you can lightly score each dough ball for a more rustic look.

Variations of Mary Berry Tear-and-Share Bread

  • Cheesy Delight: Incorporate grated cheese like cheddar or mozzarella within the dough balls for a gooey center.
  • Herb Infusion: Mix in finely chopped herbs such as rosemary, thyme, or basil for an aromatic twist.
  • Sweet Version: For a sweet treat, add cinnamon and sugar to the dough, and drizzle with icing after baking.
  • Garlic Butter: Brush the top with garlic butter before the final proofing for a savory, fragrant crust.

How to Store Mary Berry Tear-and-Share Bread Leftovers

  • Room Temperature: Keep it in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
  • Freezing: Wrap the bread well and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw at room temperature before reheating.

How to Reheat Mary Berry Tear-and-Share Bread Leftovers

  • Oven Method: Wrap the bread in foil and warm it in a preheated oven at 180°C (356°F) for about 10 minutes.
  • Microwave: For a quick option, microwave individual pieces on a microwave-safe plate for 10-20 seconds.

Nutrition Value (per serving, based on 8 servings)

  • Calories: Approximately 250-300 kcal
  • Protein: About 8-10g
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 50-55g
    • Sugars: 2-3g (varies if additional fillings are added)
  • Fat: 3-5g
    • Saturated Fat: Less than 1g (varies with fillings)
  • Fiber: About 2-3g
  • Sodium: Approximately 300-400mg (depends on the amount of salt and fillings used)


Can I use all-purpose flour instead of strong white bread flour for Mary Berry’s Tear-and-Share Bread?

Yes, you can use all-purpose flour in place of strong white bread flour for this recipe. However, strong white bread flour is preferred because it has a higher protein content, which helps develop the gluten structure necessary for light and airy bread. If you opt for all-purpose flour, the bread might be slightly denser but still delicious.

What’s the best way to proof bread if I don’t have a warm spot in my kitchen?

Finding a warm spot for proofing bread is crucial for optimal rise. If your kitchen is on the cooler side, one method is to turn your oven on to the lowest setting for a few minutes, then turn it off and place the dough inside with the door closed. This creates a warm environment conducive to rising. Just be sure the oven is not too hot to avoid killing the yeast. Another method is to place the dough in a microwave alongside a cup of hot water to create a warm and steamy environment.

Can I add other fillings to Mary Berry’s Tear-and-Share Bread?

Absolutely! Mary Berry’s Tear-and-Share Bread is versatile and welcomes a variety of fillings. Popular additions include grated cheese, minced garlic mixed with butter, finely chopped fresh herbs, or even small pieces of sun-dried tomato for a Mediterranean twist. Just ensure that any added fillings are not too moist, as they may affect the dough’s consistency.

How long does Mary Berry’s Tear-and-Share Bread stay fresh after baking?

Mary Berry’s Tear-and-Share Bread is best enjoyed fresh, ideally within a day of baking. However, it can be kept for up to 2 days when stored properly. Wrap it in aluminum foil or store it in an airtight container at room temperature to maintain its freshness. For longer storage, consider freezing slices of the bread and reheating them when ready to enjoy.

Final Words

Mary Berry’s Tear-and-Share Bread is more than just a recipe; it’s a celebration of togetherness, a delight for the senses, and a testament to the joy of baking. Whether you’re a novice baker or a seasoned pro, this guide aims to equip you with everything you need to create a stunning, delicious centerpiece that your guests will remember. Happy baking, and may your home always be filled with the warmth and aroma of freshly baked bread!

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Prep Time: Approximately 30 minutes Cooking Time: 25-30 minutes Total Time: About 2 hours (including proofing time)

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