Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category
Lucy Parissi shares her banana muffin recipe
These muffins can be put together in a matter of minutes – they are incredibly easy and oh-so-tasty. The ground almonds and coconut make them incredibly moist, while the streusel topping provides crunch.They are quite versatile too – leave the desiccated coconut out if you prefer and replace with oatbran or flour. Hate white chocolate? Replace with milk/dark chocolate or raisins or leave out altogether. If you don’t have spelt flour you can use plain or wholemeal flour instead. Do use coconut oil if you can – apart from being healthy, it lends a lovely fragrance to the muffins. Read the rest of this entry »
The unexpected cold snap has got us craving hearty snacks, and luckily Paul Hollywood has a few straightforward tricks under his rolling pin. Here Britain’s favourite master baker shares his recipe for a proper malt loaf. Exceptionally easy with a rich flavour, this loaf has a light texture and is more like a risen bread than the dense ready-made versions you find in supermarkets. Read the rest of this entry »
I’m a keen amateur baker, having ditched my bread machine a few years ago when I started working at BakeryBits - it’s very hard to resist giving traditional bread baking a go, when, wherever you look you see artisan bread baking paraphernalia!
My earlier attempts left quite a lot to be desired – unless you’re the sort that enjoys chewing on concrete, but now, most of the time, my bread turns out pretty well. However as I’ve basically taught myself at home, from reading books and asking Patrick every 5 minutes for advice, I knew there was a lot I was missing, many things I was probably doing wrong and also a heap of stuff that I was just guessing at without the technical knowledge to know how not to make the same mistakes over and over again. Read the rest of this entry »
If making Panettone sounds like a lot of effort to go to for Christmas .. you’d be entirely wrong. This straightforward recipe from food writer Vanessa Kimbell may not be the 3-day process that the original recipe comes from, but as she says in her house it took about three minutes to devour so she recommends making two at the same time!
This is an easy recipe but can be just as complex in character as the complicated one .. if the right ingredients are used. For me the essence from Bakery Bits just knocked up the flavour, and the new candied peel was honestly almost too delicious to pop in the mix. It took quite some will power to not eat the ingredients before they got in the bread.
Listen here to Vanessa discussing how to make panettone and the right ingredients with fellow foodie, Carmela Sereno Hayes. Read the rest of this entry »
Vanilla extract is a ubiquitous ingredient in cakes – it’s an ingredient in virtually everyone’s kitchen. Why not make your own? It is really, really easy to do and you can customise it too.
The extract takes about 8 weeks to make – no heating or factory processing needed here. The first thing you need to get is some attractive bottles so that you have something on your shelf or to give away that look good. I used 250ml push-cap bottles which are available from your local cook shop (I got mine from Wendy’s Cookshop in Honiton) as they are just the right height for a vanilla pod.
You need two ingredients:
Naturally, the better the vanilla, the better the essence, so we use our vanilla pods grown by subsistence farmers in the Totonac region of Mexico – which is where vanilla originally came from before being grown on an industrial scale in other parts of the world.
Next, you need some alcohol which dissolves the vanillin from the pods which is the active compound that gives vanilla its flavour. IT should be something strong, around 40%, I’ve used vodka which gives little or no flavour to the extract and also rum which, when mixed with vanilla, gives a heady aroma which I find hard to stop sniffing.
Easy. Take about 4 vanilla pods – more if you want a stronger flavour – and slice them along the length to allow the alcohol to penetrate and get the flavour out. Put the pods into the bottle and fill with your choice of alcohol. Close the cap, and that is it. The rest is a waiting game: the bottles will darken over the next few weeks so that in about 8 weeks, they will have taken on a much darker colour.
Treat yourself to a hot chocolate with a slosh of rum-based vanilla extract for a fabulous winter-warmer.
There are days you just don’t get a moment to bake. This recipe for soda bread is one of the fastest baking tricks on the planet. I challenge anyone to take more than five minutes flat to get it into the oven. Make no mistake: the speed of making it doesn’t mean you’re compromising on the taste. On the contrary, the pace of its creation should be counterbalanced by the speed to eat it – which really is best soon after baking. Read the rest of this entry »
With a Northern-Irish ex-pat father, occasionally through my childhood we’d be treated to various Irish specialities. Potato cakes are what I remember best, thin pancake-like triangles of potato, butter, flour and maybe some herbs fried to give a brown, caramelised crunch. Just thinking about them makes my mouth water and yet for some reason they aren’t popular in my part of the world.
When he moved to England in the ’60s, my Dad was shocked at the poor range of flour available in supermarkets, just white or wholemeal in the main and the wholemeal was very much finer than he was used to in Northern Ireland. He says that, unlike what he found in England, there would be a wide variety of wholemeal (or wheaten meal) flours available, from fine to coarse – and even with today’s ever homogenising supermarket offerings, several grades of coarseness are available.
Some time ago, he contacted various millers in Ireland to try to produce some “proper” coarse flour used in scones, farls, wheaten bread amongst others but couldn’t convince any to send some across-the-water and so had given up the search. This is where the marvellous Jon Cook at Foster’s Mill comes in. He has made a mid-coarseness stoneground wheaten meal for us to stock – and it has had the thumbs-up in the ex-pat authenticity test!
Here then, is a very straightforward recipe for Wheaten Scones using Jon’s flour and a family recipe. Traditionally these would be cooked on a griddle but work well in the oven (use the top of your range cooker if you have one). The scones have much more bite than the more common white scones and, with the turn half-way through baking, they have a delicate crust too. Great with butter and jam, in fact, I think, I need another one for inspiration while writing-up the recipe.
This recipe contains buttermilk, another ingredient readily available in Ireland and much less so in England. The buttermilk available in the supermarkets isn’t quite the same but is near enough. The recipe makes 12 excellent scones, good hot, cold or toasted.
- 300g The Prior’s Organic Wheaten Meal
- 100g The Prior’s Organic White flour
- 1tsp baking powder
- 1tsp salt
- 30g softened butter
- 50g caster sugar
- 284ml buttermilk (1 pot)
Preheat your oven to 230°C (215°C for fan ovens).
Soda breads should not be kneaded and rely on the baking powder to make them rise. So, mix the wheaten meal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together to make sure that all are well distributed. Rub the butter into the mix with your hands until the butter is lost in the flour and then add the buttermilk, mixing (rather than kneading) until all comes together as a fairly stiff dough.
Flour your worktop and roll the dough to about 1″ thickness and then using a 60mm pastry cutter cut out the 12 scones, placing them on a greased baking sheet.
Put the scones into the pre-heated oven for 7 minutes before turning the scones over and then baking for another 7 minutes until golden brown. Tip onto a cooling rack, cool a bit before eating.
White bread made from stoneground flour tastes great. Add a little rye flour to it and it tastes even greater. Use fermented dough to raise the bread and it is greater still. Now, add some dried apricots and it is the greatest.
This recipe comes from Panibois, the French manufacturers of the wooden baking moulds commonly seen in France in bakeries for displaying and selling breads and cakes. Often they are used as baskets for loose rolls and pastries on the burgeoning boulangerie countertop.
The recipe makes three 500g loaves, just right for the Duc baking mould which means that the loaf can stay in the mould from final proving through baking to serving, taking any selling, hiking or freezing in its stride.
- 140g Strong White Flour
- 100g water
- 5g fresh yeast
- 5g salt
To make the bread, make the fermented dough the night before and put it into the fridge, for a few hours before and keep it warm to develop ready to add to the main dough.
To the water add the yeast and stir until evenly dispersed. To this add the flour and the salt and form into a dough with your fingers or a dough whisk. Give a knead for about a minute and then place the dough in a covered bowl either in the fridge if keeping until the next day, or in a warm room for about 6 hours. The dough will have risen to about double its volume when ready.
- 250g Fermented Dough
- 600g Strong White Flour
- 140g Rye Flour
- 400g warm water
- 5g fresh yeast
- 15g salt
- 120g dried apricots, halved
If you are using a dough mixer, add the water, fresh yeast, fermented dough and both flours and start to mix at a slow speed until combined. Next, add the salt and knead at a fairly slow speed for about 3 minutes and add the apricots 30 seconds from the end.
If preparing by hand, in a large bowl stir the fresh yeast into the warm water until dispersed and then add the fermented dough and flours, mixing together with a dough whisk or your hands if you want to dive in. Turn out onto your work-surface add the salt and apricot and then knead for about 5 minutes, until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
Place the dough into a bowl, cover with a damp tea-towel and leave in a warm room for an hour and a half. Cut the dough into 3 even pieces and gently fold into a loaf shape and place each into a Duc mould. Cover these with the damp tea-towel in a warm room and leave until doubled in volume. Preheat your oven to 210°C (200°C for a fan oven) and bake for about 40 minutes, until golden.
The bread is excellent sliced with butter and cheddar and keeps well for several days.
Our 13″ Pullman Pan from Chicago Metallic has been very popular, and has prompted requests for a smaller version and so we have started to stock a 9″ Pullman by USA Pan, a sister company to Chicago Metallic. The recipe below is based on the Practically Perfect recipe, adapted to fill the 9″ pan. Using the quantities below, you have the basis upon which your can alter the recipe to suit you.
- 385g Little Salkeld White flour (75%)
- 115g Little Salkeld Granarius flour (25%)
- 25g Dried Malt Extract (or milk power) (5%)
- 12g sugar (2.5%)
- 25g softened butter (5%)
- 300g warm water (60%)
- 12g sea salt (2.5%)
- 12g fresh yeast (2.5%) (or 2 tsp dried yeast)
The method I prefer to use is based on that described in Dan Lepard’s Handmade Loaf as it is easy and takes most of the slog out of kneading the bread. In a large bowl, add the sugar and dried malt extract (or dried milk), butter and water and stir until dissolved. Add the remaining ingredients and stir together until reasonably mixed (for this, I use a dough whisk). Leave for 10 minutes then scrape out the bowl onto a lightly oiled work surface. Give a light knead for 10 seconds or so. The dough will be pretty wet and gooey at this point, so I hold a scraper in one
hand to scoop the dough and push down with the other which stops the dough getting all over the place. Put the dough back into the bowl for another 10 minutes and Repeat. Repeat once more and then after 30 minutes by which time the dough should be much more elastic and smooth. You probably won’t need the scraper to help with kneading any more.
Put the dough into the bowl again and leave it for an hour in a warm place and covered with a damp tea towel (this helps stop a skin forming on the dough).
Lightly oil the Pullman Pan with a light vegetable oil (not olive oil as this become very sticky when baked). Take out the dough and give a light knead to leave it flattened and round. Roll up the dough to form a cylinder – don’t be too worried about the precision of t
his as the dough is very soft and will fill t
he pan as it goes through its final prove. Put the dough into the pan and put back into the warm place, again covered with a damp tea towel.
In about an hour, the dough should have risen to about an inch (2.5cm) from the top of the pan. This is the ideal point for baking the loaf as it will expand a little more in the oven to completely fill the void. Take the pan from the warm place and pre-heat your oven to 200°C. Making sure that the lid of the pan has been lightly oiled, slide it into place, closing the pan. Place the pan into the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes. Check to see if your loaf is baked and, if it, is, turn it out onto a cooling rack.
It is fairly warm outside and the kids are off school so what better than an easy home-made ice-cream? This is a no-hassle ice-cream, made with very few ingredients – no stabilizers, emulsifiers, vegetable oils or any of that nonsense commonly used in mass-produced ice-cream.