• Category Archives Bread
  • Brioche Buns

    2014-04-30 18.01.18

    Bit time consuming but pretty tasty and always worth a go.

    500 g strong white flour
    50 g sugar
    4 eggs
    4t water
    1t salt
    1 pkg easy bake yeast
    250 g soft butter

    Easy part first…put everything into a stand mixer!

    Turn on to medium and let it rip for about 5 minutes using the beater not the dough hook.

    Now 2 options….put the dough hook in and put on low for about 10 minutes…..or…..pop out onto the counter and work your muscles and knead it for 10 minutes or until it looks smooth.

    Cover with cling film and let stand for 1 hour, then pop in the fridge for 2 hours.

    Pop the dough out of the bowl and cut it into 8 equal bits, then roll them into balls. Flatten and then tuck the edges into the centre and flip over and roll with your fingers like a cage. This will make them evenly round and smooth.

    Pop these onto a baking tray and cover loosely with cling film and put aside to let rise. It will take 2-3 hours as the dough is chilled to begin with.

    Preheat oven to 160c.

    Double brush them with an egg wash and pop them in the oven on the middle rack for about 22 minutes.

    Allow to cool and make some burgers!



  • Vanilla Scones

    2014-03-16 13.27.36

    Now these are trulky kick ass scones! We have a SLIGHT vanilla fetish in this house and seeing as we had purchsed some vanilla sugar we felt the need to use it in something. So, after deciding to kick off our sunday with some scones, jam and cream, I researched some scone recipes and decided to adapt a James Martin scone recipe from a Saturday Kitchen show we’d seen. These a proper Yorkshire scones….we enjoyed them with some whipped double cream and some rhubarb and ginger jam….the ginger and the vanilla truly went together well. Very civilised morning before heading out to see Steel Panther at the Apollo in Manchester!

    2014-03-16 21.17.07

    Great gig! The Apollo is a great venue, good acoustics and ambiance. The opening act left something to be desired but after seeing Steel Panther open for Motley Crue and Def Leppard they didn’t disappoint! They are a really tight group of musicians and you can see the lead singer has a real Dave Lee Roth influence! Very entertaining and not for the politically correct crowd as they are pretty rude but they have a good time and it shows!

    Now back to scone making.

    460 g Strong white flour
    5 tsp baking powder
    pinch of salt
    75 g butter
    75 g vanilla sugar…we purchased ours from Vanilla Mart online
    2 eggs slightly beaten and 1 egg yolk to use as a wash
    125 ml whole milk…give or take…you’ll see what I mean

    Preheat oven to 220c and line a baking sheet with parchment.Put the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and whisk it to make sure all the dry ingredients are miked well. Cut the butter into cubes and rub it into the dry ingredients until it looks like breadcrumbs. This is something you need to do by hand and takes some time but the right texture makes it worth it! Add the sugar and then the 2 beaten eggs and mix with a spoon. Slowly add the milk a little at a time until the dough is fully formed, you might not need it all…you might need a wee bit more. Don’t make the dough too wet or you’ll have chewy scones, don’t make it too dry or you’ll have crumbly scones. Sprinkle your counter with flour and pop the dough on the counter and roll it til its about 2 cm thick. Cut out circles and re roll the dough until it’s all used up. Tip here I learnt from James is don’t twist the cutter or the dough won’t rise evenly as it bakes and you’ll get lopsided scones! And as I had to twist a couple of them it showed that he was right. Pop them onto the baking tray and then beat up the egg yolk and brush the tops to give them a lovely golden colour when they are done. Bang them in the oven for 10-12 minutes…mine took more on the 12 minute side as they were quite big! We enjoyed ours with a big dollop of cream and jam with an Americano…bliss for a sunday morning!



  • Cinnamon Buns with and Apple and Walnut Twist

    2014-02-06 11.12.10

    These take some time as they need to rise but it’s worth it! Prep these and then when they are rolled up pop them in the fridge overnight and voila you have breakfast!

    Ok…ingredients….for the buns

    1 c whole milk
    8 T butter
    1 pkg instant yeast…7 g….2 1/2 t
    3 1/2 c plain flour
    1/2 c sugar
    1 egg
    1 t salt
    1 c dark brown sugar…maybe a bit more…if you have a sweet tooth 😉
    2 T cinnamon…more if ya like it
    3 medium apples of your liking grated…I kept the peel on for texture
    1 c walnut pieces

    Now the technical and part where it can all go wrong…I know…happened to me :( Heat the milk and butter together and put the yeast in and let it proof (go foamy) for 5 minutes. You can not… I repeat…can NOT let the milk get too hot or it will kill the yeast. Keep the temp under 115 degrees c…now what I did was to pop the milk in a bowl, cut the butter into bits and pop in the microwave.I pinged it until the butter was leaving those little greasy pools but not completely melted and then stirred it until the butter melted then put the yeat in and that worked.

    Get your stand mixer…put 1 c…yup just 1 of the flour in with the sugar, egg and salt. Mix on medium for about 3 minutesadd the next 2 c of flour and mix until the dough pulls away from the edge of the bowl and forms a ball of dough on your beater…mines called a k beater as I have a wicked Kenwood Chef…awesome piece of kit I must say…I’ll review it one day…promise!
    I digress…..when the dough has come together ( there’s a song in that) turn it out onto a floured counter top and beat the crap out of it….or knead it til smooth takes about 5 minutes if you know what you are doing…a bit longer if you are a newbie. Be patient…the results are worth it. Like my Kenwood review I’ll do a tidbit on kneading! The dough must be smooth and not too sticky. Oil up a big bowl and pop the dough in and put come cling film (saran wrap…for my North American friends) and a tea towel and put in a warm spot for about 2 hours or until doubled in size. While you are waiting you can go listen to some kick ass music or play guitar or some video games or have a nap…read a book…

    Now I buttered a 9 x 13 pan…but if ya don’t have one of those 2 8×8 will work too.

    Now when you have been patient and the dough has doubled…turn out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out into a big ass rectangle about 18″ x 12″….ish…but it need to be rectangular.

    Now the fun part where you have a bit of carte blanche…the amounts I have given you are guidelines…everyone has different tastes.

    Now you have your rectangle of doughy goodness…spread butter or spread over it evenly, don’t skimp :) but leave the longest edge the farthest away from you stuff (butter, apple, nuts, spice free so you can seal the buns!

    Now spread the brown sugar evenly over the dough….srinkle the grated apple and the walnut pieces the sprinkle the cinnamon over and I added some nutmeg too!

    Now the tricky part…start on the edge closest to you and roll it up as tightly as possible. This forms a great big long roll

    Here’s where you use the math skills you never thought you’d use…divide into 12 equal pieces (well I did 12 for a 9″x12 ” pan. Put the pieces into the pan as evenly as possible…not to be condescending but put them in so you can sww the swirls..so on the cut side…gotta try to be specific as you know SOMEONE will try it the other way!

    Now, cover with cling film and…. the choices….pop in the frige overnight to slowly rise for the next morning…or….let rise in a warm spot for about 45 minutes and then heat the oven to about 200 c and then when risen bake for about 45 minutes…if you have left them in the fridge I’d let them warm up to room temperature before putting in the oven. When done…hint…the tops look a lovely golden brown…take them out and while they are cooling you have another decision…yup another one…let them be eaten plain…BORING…top with cream cheese icing..my choice…or a simple icing glaze.

    Cream Cheese topping:

    8 oz (250g) cream cheese…go on go full fat…I dare ya!
    1/2 c butter
    2 cups icing sugar
    2 t vanilla extract
    2 t whole milk

    Beat cream cheese and butter together…beat in icing sugar. Now I’d use a stand mixer and use the plastic cover or your kitchen will be covered in icing sugar dust! When beaten together add the vanilla and add the milk a bit at a time until it’s the consistency you like. Spread liberally over the cooled buns.

    Icing Glaze:

    1 1/2 c sifted or superfine icing sugar (if you’re lazy like me….sifting add washing up!)
    5 T milk

    Basically, beat together until smooth and then drizzle over the cooled buns.

    Whichever topping you use….these are kick ass with a hot cup of Americano!



  • Blood Orange or Normal Orange or Lemon or any damn fruit Loaf

    2014-02-06 11.09.48

    Ok…so I made this as a blood orange loaf but after discussion it was decided that it could be made from any fruit that you can manage to squeeze juice from. But for this exercise we’ll say orange juice. Saves me typing! It’s made in 3 parts….the loaf…the syrup and the glaze…then I put candied oranges on top but they aren’t necessary really, but rather yummy!

    Loaf:

    1 1/4 c plain flour
    1/4 c corn flour
    1 t baking powder
    1/4 t baking soda
    1/2 t salt
    1 c sugar
    4 medium eggs
    1 orange….zested and juiced
    1/2 c melted butter
    1/2 c sunflower oil
    1/4 c plain greek yogurt
    1 T vanilla flavouring

    Preheat the oven to 180c. Grab a loaf tin and line with baking paper or grease and flour.

    Grab a decent size bowl, pop the first 5 dry ingredients in to the bowl…stop….not the sugar…I repeat NOT the sugar! Get a whisk and give it a quick whisk to mix and aerate the dry stuff.

    Now grab a smaller bowl, get the sugar and crack those eggs in throw in the zest and juice, give it a good mix up, make sure it’s all evenly blended together.

    Grab a measuring cup and melt 1/2 c butter into it….top up to 1 c with sunflower oil and stir them together.

    Now the fun part….pour the eggy, sugary mix into the big bowl of dry stuff…don’t thrash it….just mix it until blended. Now pour in the cup measure full of buttery goodness and again….don’t thrash it…just mix until blended. Pop in the yogurt and vanilla and mix til they are blended in and you’ll have a lovely tasty mix.

    Pour this orangey goodness into the prepared loaf pan and pop in the oven for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

    Let cool in the pan for about 15 minutes then pop it onto a rack until cool….keep your mitts off as it’s not ready yet.

    Syrup:

    3 tsbp caster sugar
    3 tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice

    Get a small saucepan and put the sugar and juice in and over a medium heat….patience is a virtue here…heat until the sugar has dissolved and you have a lovely orangey syrup.

    When the cake is cool…poke holes all over the top of it and slowly, gently, evenly pour the syrup….you need to do this slowly so the cake sucks up all that syrupy goodness!

    While the cake is in absorbing mode prepare the glaze…

    1 c superfine icing sugar….if you can’t get superfine then you need to sift it as lumps in icing sugar are a bitch to get out after you’ve added any liquid. Trust me on this one!
    3 T orange juice

    This part is really tough….mix them together to make a lovely thick glaze….now if your glaze is too thin…add more icing sugar….if it’s too thick add more juice…simples!

    Now lovingly, pour the glaze over the loaf…the bakers trick here to make it look pretty is make your glaze to a consistency where you can pour it but it doesn’t go sprinting down the sides of the loaf all over the place. Also put the cake on a cooling rack and the rack on top of a cookie sheet then it will catch the excess that drips off…the you can either scrape it off and pour it back over….or eat it. I did the latter!

    Now if ya wanna get fancy….slice an orange very thinly and place to one side. Get a frying pan and put in 1/2 c caster sugar and 1/2 c water and heat like the syrup…this time put the slices in and reduce the heat until its low and let the oranges simmer for about 20 minutes or so…make sure you turn them so they get that sugary goodness on both sides….

    When done go all artistic and pop them on the top of the loaf and voila! It is a moist and flavour filled loaf and it definitely won’t stick around for long!



  • Honey, Rosemary and Thyme Dinner Rolls

    600 g plain flour
    7g dried active baking yeast (1 packet)
    5 tablespoons honey
    60 g butter
    1 tsp salt
    2 eggs
    1 tsp rosemary
    1 tsp thyme

    Get a large mixer bowl, add 1/2 the flour and the yeast. Set aside.
    In a saucepan add the milk, honey butter and salt. Heat until warm and the butter is staring to melt, keep stirring until butter is melted.
    Turn your mixer on low and add the wet mixture to the flour and yeast, scrape the sides and mix for about 30 seconds.
    Add the rosemary and thyme to the rest of the flour and slowly mix in as much as you can with a spoon, yup by hand, no being lazy here, you’ve used the mixer now use your spoon!
    Now dump the dough out onto a floured counter top and knead in enough of the flour mix to make a reasonably stiff dough. the dough should end up smooth and elastic…this will be your daily workout and should take about 6 to 8 minutes.
    Shape into a ball and place in an oiled bowl,cover (we use cling film and a plastice grocery bag tied in a know) and let rise in a warm place until doubled. We use the airing cupboard (should take about an hour but can take longer…be patient!)
    Now, take out your frustration at having to wait and punch the dough down, split in half.
    Cover again and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
    Cut each half of the dough into about 8 pieces each, roll them into clemetine sized balls.
    Place into a greased 9×9 tin, space as evenly as you can.
    Let rise until doubled…use the cling film plastci bag scenario again.
    Sprinkle with a mix of dried rosemary and thyme.
    Bake in a preheated 190 degree oven for 12-15 minutes.
    They will bake all together and when baked remove from tin and let cool on a wire rack.
    These are a great tear and share addition to any meal!