Bread Recipe

If you learn to make one thing in life, make it bread.  I have lost count of how many times I have made bread, due to being snowed in during winter months.  I always keep strong bread flour and yeast in my cupboard, so whilst others are panic buying sliced loaf, I am happy and content in my kitchen, which fills with the wonderful aroma of baking bread.  Baking bread is a great stress reliever too, as I find kneading somewhat therapeutic.  Sometimes I do cheat and use my Kitchenaid mixer with its dough hook, which gives great results.

 

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Ingredients

500 g strong White flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
A little olive oil for greasing
7 g easy bake yeast (I use Allinsons)
300 ml luke warm water

Add flour and sugar to a large bowl, place the salt one side of the bowl and the yeast the other side of the bowl.  The reason I do this, is that salt can kill yeast, so to place it away from each other initially helps.  Add enough water and mix to form a soft dough.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for up to 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.  If using my mixer with dough hook, I also knead for ten minutes.

Place the dough in a bowl which has been greased lightly with olive oil inside.  Place the dough inside and then cover it with cling film tightly.  This stops a skin developing on the dough.  Leave in a warm place to rise until it has doubled in size which may take around an hour.  If your house is cold it can take up to three hours! Remove the dough onto a floured surface and knock back the air.  Place in a 900 g loaf tin, cover with a big loose bag and let it prove a little longer for half an hour. Preheat the oven to 230 degrees centigrade.

When ready to bake, slash the top of the dough and dust with a little extra flour.  Place into the oven for around 15 minutes.  Reduce the oven temperature to 200 degrees centigrade and cook for a further 20 minutes.  Check that it is cooked by tipping the loaf out of the tin and tapping the bottom, it should sound hollow.

Place the bread on a wire rack, and let it cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

 

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Granola

This recipe for granola may seem slightly decadent with the addition of sugar and golden syrup, however these can always be substituted for something similar if you wish.  It does make quite a large batch, so it isn’t as if you will be eating the whole lot in one sitting.  Granola is crunchy and slightly clumped together, so if you don’t have a sticky substitute like the ingredients in the recipe, it will not be the same.  I also use this as crunchy topping for puddings, see photos below for some inspiration, and you can also check out my video for this recipe on youtube.

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Ingredients

55g Butter
60g Honey
25g Golden Syrup
85g Demerara Sugar
1tsp Vanilla Extract
30g Hazelnuts roughly chopped
80g Pecan nuts roughly chopped
35g Pistachio roughly chopped
60g Flaked almonds
70g Sunflower seeds
45g Desiccated coconut
125g Porridge Oats
Zest of 2 oranges

Preheat Oven to 150 degrees centigrade approx gas mark 2-3

In a saucepan gently melt the butter, honey, golden syrup and Demerara sugar until it is a smooth liquid and the sugar has melted.  Once off the heat, stir in the vanilla extract.

In a large bowl place all the nuts, seeds, oats and orange zest.  Mix round the dry ingredients and then add the butter syrup from the saucepan.  Mix well, this may take some time to make sure there are no dry pockets of oats and nuts around the bowl.

Pour into a roasting tin and level out.  Place in the oven for around 50 – 60 minutes.  Every 15 minutes, remove from the oven and turn the mixture in the roasting tin, then place back in the oven.  This helps the mixture get golden all over.

Once the cooking time has expired, take the roasting tin out of the oven and let it cool down.  Once cool, you will see that it crisps up and goes crunchy, you can see this in the video clip.  Once properly cool place in a sealed container.

 

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I love this crunchy granola on top of a layer of Greek yoghurt and stewed rhubarb.  Simply chop some rhubarb, add a little water, a couple of drops of vanilla extract and a little sugar  (if you want) in a saucepan.  Let it cool and then place it at the bottom, then layer the other items on top!

Pancakes

I am one of those people who do not just reserve pancakes for Shrove Tuesday, but will eat them for breakfast on many times throughout the year.  You can fill them with the usual naughty items such as golden syrup, sugar, lemon etc or you could try Greek yoghurt with chopped fruit or a gorgeous warmed cherry compote.  Another lovely way is to get two tablespoons of lemon curd, add a slight splash of hot water from the kettle to loosen it, and drizzle over the pancakes.  I tend to have them like this over Easter weekend.

You can also watch a video clip of this recipe.

 

pancakes

Ingredients

110g plain flour
2 Large Eggs beaten
200ml of Milk
75ml of water
50g of butter

Makes about 6-8 depending on frying pan size.

In a bowl place the flour, make a well into the centre and add in the eggs, milk and water.  Mix together well with a hand whisk for a few minutes ensuring that you get all the flour from the edge.  It may look lumpy at first but bear with it, as it will get smooth eventually.

In a frying pan melt the butter.  Once melted add the butter to the pancake mix.  Mix well to combine.

Heat your frying pan on a medium to hot setting, then add some of the pancake mix.  Occasionally the first pancake might not turn out as well as expected, but as the pan gets good heat through it, they turn out well.

Turn over after a couple of minutes … or flip them if you want!

 

Colcannon

This goes great with things like toad in the hole and as a twist on a roast dinner…. that said, I could eat it just on its own!  Whenever I have any spare (wishful thinking) I also like to fry it up with a cooked breakfast instead of a hash brown.  Sorry if you are still dieting, you could add less butter … but it won’t taste as dreamy.   You can also remove the bacon and make a vegetarian version if you wish too, and fry the cabbage and onion off in a little butter/oil.

colcannon

 

 

Ingredients

1Kg potatoes (preferably red), peeled and cubed
2 rashers bacon diced.
1/4 small cabbage, finely chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
60ml milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
30g butter.

Place potatoes in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to the boil,
and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender.

Place the bacon in a large, frying pan. Cook over medium high heat until
evenly brown. Drain, reserving the fat, and set aside. In the reserved bacon
fat, gently fry the cabbage and onion until soft and translucent. Place a lid
on the pan so that the onion and cabbage steam.  If you need to, add a splash
of water.

Drain the cooked potatoes, mash with the milk and season with salt and
pepper.   Fold in the bacon, cabbage and onions, then transfer the mixture to
a large serving bowl. Make a well in the centre as is customary for this dish,
and place the butter on top. Serve.

Lemon Curd

This is one of my all time favourite preserves to make, as not only is it delicious on toast or warm bread, but can be used in desserts.  Use it as a filling in a cake, swirl into a creamy fool or make up a quick lemon meringue pie.  Homemade lemon curd is relatively easy to make and store.  I always use unwaxed lemons and find that this recipe is a great way of using up left over lemons, that you are not sure what to do with!

 

honey

Ingredients
• 450g Caster sugar
• 4 Unwaxed lemons (zest and juice)
• 4 Eggs gently beaten
• 100g Butter
Sterilising Jars
To sterilise your jars you will need to wash and rinse in hot soapy water, or put in a hot cycle of your dishwasher.  Dry them, then place on a clean baking tray and put into an oven at 150 degrees centigrade for about 15 minutes.

You need to place a bowl over a pan of hot water, taking care that the water does not actually touch the bottom of the bowl.  Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix round.
Keep gradually mixing and eventually after about 25 minutes the mixture will start to thicken.  You can tell when the mixture is thick enough by taking about half a teaspoon out and placing on a cool plate for a few seconds.  As it cools it should start to thicken, if it is still too runny then keep cooking for a further few minutes.
Place into sterilised jars making sure you leave a good gap between the top of the lemon curd and the jar lid. Do not place the lid of the jar on immediately, just let it loosely rest on top until the lemon curd mixture has had a chance to cool down, otherwise you will end up with condensation.
I then place a disc of greaseproof paper on top before putting the lid on.