The yummiest, “healthy” (maybe not) flapjacky, oat and date ginger slice also Gluten Free :)

Oat and ginger slicesOver the last week I have baked Nigella’s new breakfast bars which I was going to post the recipe for. Then I stumbled across this recipe in the Peyton and Byrne British Baking book. I literally cannot stop eating them, although in about five minutes I will have to as I am on the last bit (don’t tell hubby!) 😦

I may still write up the Nigella one as it is definitely on the healthier side. This one gets it’s sweetness from lots of golden syrup but my goodness they are worth it.  The added extra nomminess, I think comes from the fresh ginger. I’ve not used fresh ginger before in anything other than curries and stir fries but after this I will definitely try it in some sweet bakes. It cuts through the sweetness and adds just the right amount of freshness and heat. I have a ginger cake recipe that I may try it in 🙂

Although the recipe calls for dates I would think most dried fruit would work well here. Think apricots with the ginger may be lovely. I may make that later on today!!

Photo’s are not great today as the camera appears to have run away so I was limited to my phone.

Ingredients:

  • 180g unsalted butter plus a little extra for greasing your pan
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 6 tablespoons of golden syrup
  • 100g de-stoned dates (I had 125g left over which was fine, tis a very forgiving recipe) and chopped into small bits
  • 20g fresh ginger
  • 275g rolled oats
  • quarter teaspoon salt

Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C or gas mark 4.
  • Butter and line your tin. The recipe calls for a 20cm square. I used my brownie tin which is a 25cm oblong. Don’t overthink it, as long as your mixture is in a tin around that size then it should bake fine.
  • In a saucepan melt your sugar golden syrup and butter together over a low ish heat stirring with a wooden spoon constantly. Once melted pop to one side.
  • Put your oats and salt into a bowl and if you want to you could add some cinnamon and ground ginger too. I did because I can’t ever seem to follow a recipe to the letter. Mix.
  • Add your dates to the butter mixture and grate in the ginger too. Mix.
  • Combine wet and dry, easy peasy. I added a few more oats as the mixture was quite wet. I may have been a little heavy handed with the golden syrup.
  • Put your mixture into your prepared tray and using a spatula smooth over till it is even.
  • Bake for 30 minutes till golden.
  • Leave in the pan to cool completely before cutting up and serving. These apparently last for up to a week in an air tight tin but hubby took some to work and I ate the rest so all gone in less than a day!!

oat and ginger slice

Enjoy,

Lx

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Mia’s Spaghetti Bolognese for the Clark Family Offspring to refer to – easy peasy promise :)

Spag BolThis blog started life as a handwritten notebook of recipes that I use on a fairly regular basis. The cunning plan being that my offspring would be able to refer to it and use it in their teen and adult lives to enable me to have more freedom!!! Ha Ha Ha, I make myself laugh. Turns out I’m such a control freak in the kitchen I don’t like anyone helping or sharing the cooking load. Anyway, now as the children have left home and started their adult lives officially they are starting to ask me for those recipes that I never got round to writing down. So I thought I would make a start on it finally, starting with my version of Spag Bol. As all family recipes do, this one has evolved over the years and isn’t always the same as written down here. You know how it is, sometimes you have a red pepper, sometimes some mushroom, sometimes not. The only constants are onion, beef and tomatoes. You also need to have a stick blender, a blender blender or something to make the veggies squishy once they’re cooked.

Ingredients:

  • 500g-750g beef mince ish. The amount varies depending on what I’ve got, what’s on offer. You know what it’s like.
  • 1 red onion or two, depends on you and what you have
  • 1 red pepper, or more
  • Stick or two of celery
  • 4-6 large tomatoes, plum ones are yummy but again whatever you have will be awesome
  • Any other veggies you wish to squish and use up or hide from small, medium, or large people 🙂
  • some mushrooms if you have them
  • tin of chopped tomatoes
  • clove or two of garlic
  • sea salt, generous pinch of
  • Olive oil or similar
  • Mixed dried herbs, or oregano, basil. Whatever floats your boat or is hiding in your cupboards!!

Method:

  • Chop up one of your onions into large pieces (around 4-6), same with the peppers, tomatoes and any other veggies that you may have that roast well. I’ve chucked carrots, courgettes, and swede in before now. As long as it will roast and squish it will work.
  • Chuck all of these is a large roasting pan, drizzle over some of your olive oil, a generous pics of sea salt, some pepper if you like and herbs if you have. Also throw in your garlic cloves, depending on taste. They sweeten up a fair bit when roasted so you can be generous if you like.
  • Pop all of this in your oven that you have already switched on (if you’re efficient, if you’re like me you’ll switch it on as they go in, ha ha. It matters not one jot) to around 180 degrees C. Roast your veggies for about half an hour till slightly charred and squishy.
  • Once cooked pop them in your jug ready for your stick blender or whatever you are using to do this. Blitz till smooth “ish”.
  • Meanwhile in a frying pan, fry up some more chopped veggies – onions, celery, garlic, carrots, mushrooms. Whatever you have to hand really.
  • Then add your mince and brown that off.
  • To this mixture add a tin of chopped tomatoes, your squished roasted veg, some salt and your herbs to taste.
  • Then bring to a gentle bubble and leave to gently bubble away for as long as you can be bothered. You will need to check it from time to time. If it starts to stick then add a little water and turn it down. If you can, a couple of hours is great.
  • Serve with pasta of your choice or use this as a base for a lasagna or add chilli, cumin, paprika, red kidney beans and hey presto Chilli con carne 🙂

Handy Cunning Tip

  • Not sure if this is as much a tip as a guideline but this would serve a hungry six comfortably or even better, freeze into portions and then reheat on a busy Wednesday when you cannot be bothered to do anything more than that. This ALWAYS tastes better on a reheat.

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Enjoy,

Lx

 

Yummy Focaccia style bread

IMG_0011Before I go to far into this recipe, I must thank my daughter in law to be for the wonderful photography. I am truly amazed by how yummy she has made bread and tomatoes look 🙂 Jasmine Poole you are a wonder 🙂 check out her wonderful website 

I have been using this recipe for ages. My kids have referred to it over the years as Your Focaccia. I am pretty sure there was an actual recipe that I followed at some point but I honestly don’t know which one. I often make this when I know I have either the whole family home or friends coming over. It’s an easy to make bread (I think) that I happily serve with olives, antipasti and olive oil with a smidge of balsamic. It also magically turns into burger buns when cut into squares. The other week we had it with roast chicken that had been marinated in honey and turmeric 🙂 The only thing I would suggest is a must is a good solid food mixer. You can of course knead by hand but the mixture is pretty wet so the mixer makes light work of this hard sticky job.

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Ingredients:

  • 500g strong white flour
  • 325ml warm water
  • 10g sea salt, crushed plus extra for sprinkling on top later
  • 7g fast action yeast
  • a good drizzle or 4 of olive oil. I prefer the light one but your choice. Rapeseed oil is good here too although I am sure not correct for a focaccia.
  • dried herbs – rosemary is traditional but I often use whatever is to hand.

Method:

  • In your mixer bowl. Put in your water first and then your dry ingredients. Make sure your salt is away from the yeast. Or even mix the salt in with the water first.
  • Set your mixer with the dough hook to the lowest speed and mix for 10-13 minutes or so. As it is mixing drizzle in a good slug of olive oil. This is easier if you do this fairly early on in the process. You want a lovely smooth dough that’s nice and stretchy.
  • Once mixed, unhook your dough hook and pop a plastic cover of some sort over the top of your bowl. Shower cap is the best way to do this, makes the job so much easier. You can pick them up from eBay easily for pennies or make sure all your friends bring back the shower caps from their hotel stays 🙂 I honestly am never happier than when someone gives me their free shower cap (not used though!!)
  • Leave your gorgeous dough to rise for an hour or so till doubled in size. This can take longer, worry not. Keep it cozy and draught free and that will help.
  • Flour the tray you will bake it on and pop your risen dough on top and gently push it out to a sort of rectangle shape.
  • Leave to prove again for about half an hour whilst your oven heats up to whatever the top setting is.
  • Your lovely dough needs a couple of finishing touches before you stick her in the oven. First give your dough lots of deep dimples with your fingers and then drizzle over some more olive oil. Sprinkle your salt and herbs and then pop in your piping hot oven.
  • Cook at this high temp for the first ten minutes only and then turn your oven down to between 180 and 200 depending on how feisty and fan assisted your oven is. Then cook her for about another 20 minutes. Again you will need to watch and see how fast your oven is. What you want is a loaf that looks golden, smells fab and makes a hole sounds when tapped on the bottom.
  • Cool on a wire rack for as long as the family will allow, although it does slice more easily if it is cool.

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Enjoy,

Lx

Granola – the perfect breakfast cereal of champions or ordinary mortals!

Granola As ever I have turned to my recipe book of choice. Nigella’s Feast has a fabulous breakfast section and I have tried most of the recipes. The recipe for Granola is not her own, she got it on one of her trips to the USA. This recipe is called Andy’s Fairfield Granola and was gleaned from a deli called The Pantry in Fairfield, Conneticut. As always I have tweaked a bit but as Nigella was so enthused by this recipe I will show the original recipe “with nuts” and my modified “no nuts” version. For both sets of ingredients the method remains the same. This granola is definitely one to add to your repertoire and I think benefits from some personalisation. Quite frankly if you are going to go to the trouble of making yourself home-made breakfast cereal it might as well include all of your favourite things.

Ingredients original recipe:

  • 450g rolled oats
  • 120g sunflower seeds
  • 120g sesame seeds
  • 175g apple compote or apple sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 120g brown rice syrup, or rice malt syrup or golden syrup
  • 4 tablespoons clover honey
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 250g whole natural almonds
  • 1 teaspoon maldon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 300g raisins

My ingredients list:

  • I replace the nuts for extra seeds.
  • I replaced the raisins last time for dried cranberries and apricots
  • I often add an extra teaspoon of cinnamon as I love it. I punched up the ginger last time too which was yummy.
  • Sugar content is pretty high for this one and I have reduced the brown sugar by half and the golden syrup by a third without it causing too much trouble. If you do reduce the “wet” sugars be aware that this will make the mixing harder and you will have a drier granola. You could add a little extra oil though if needs be.
  • Most dried fruits work really well with the granola, use whatever rocks your world.

Method:

  • Mix everything together except the raisins/dried fruits. Nigella recommends using two spatulas as this is a really sticky mixture. I have bought the disposable gloves you can get easily from the supermarket and just got stuck in with my hands. I find it easier to tell if everything has been mixed this way.
  • Spread the mixture evenly into two baking tins, large roasting size is about right.
  • Bake your granola in your oven at gas mark 3/170 degrees C for about 40 minutes. You will need to turn and stir your granola on occasion throughout the baking time to ensure you get a good even golden bake across the granola.
  • Once baked, leave to cool, add your raisins or other dried fruits, store in an airtight container.
  • I tend to serve this with vanilla yoghurt, strawberries or seasonal berries. So yummy and almost virtuously good for you.

Granola and yoghurt

Enjoy,

Lx

Banana bread cake a.k.a Banana Breakfast Ring. This is a real keeper, perfect for lunch boxes and as ever easy breezy to make.

IMG_9501As always I have to make the nod to Nigella, Feast. This was the first cook book that I really started to try recipes from. Up until that point I would read cook books and stare longingly at the pictures. Nigella’s book made me want to have a go. Her recipes are easy to follow and that is what I wanted to achieve for my family. A collection of recipes that are reliable, tasty and good value.

Ingredients:

  • 450g mashed bananas. 3 medium bananas is about right, I have never weighed them and the recipe works fine. No stress baking here. Make sure the bananas are very very ripe. You know the ones that sit in the fruit bowl until you throw them away, they are perfect for this.
  • 60ml corn oil. I never seem to have the right oil but vegetable/sunflower, even light olive oil all work fine.
  • 3 eggs, medium
  • zest and juice of half a lemon
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 325g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • half teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. I tend to use vanilla paste for preference but whatever you have is as always fine! 🙂

Method:

  • Preheat your oven to gas mark 4/180 degrees c. My oven is a little feisty so I find that 160 degrees c is about right.
  • Oil your tin of choice, I have ring mould (1.5l) which makes the ring shaped cake that Nigella refers to but use whatever you have. I have also baked this cake using two standard cake tins and adjusted the cooking time. This is a really forgiving mixture so play around with whatever you have.
  • In a bowl put your mashed bananas, add the oil, eggs, lemon juice and zest, vanilla and sugar. Whisk together.
  • Then fold in your flour, bicarb and baking powder.
  • Pour your batter into your oiled tin/s.
  • Bake for around 40 minutes. As I said earlier you may need to adjust this depending on your tin choice. You’ll know it’s cooked when a skewer run through comes out clean and it has a bounce to it when gently pressed. I also find that when the teenagers start appearing it is nearly done. It does smell yummy when cooking.
  • Take it out of the oven and leave it for around 10 minutes before turning it out to cool properly.
  • This cake keeps for a good long while. I can usually add it to packed lunches for the week as well as snacks for after college. You can of course eat it as Nigella intended, for breakfast with a cuppa and a smidge of chocolate spread if you like.

Possibly one of the easiest recipes you will ever make,

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Enjoy,

Lx

Extra lemony lemon drizzle, soooooo yummy in your tummy :)

January is a tricky month to get motivated generally. Last week  my middle son asked me for a lemon drizzle cake. As he is my favourite child (don’t tell the others!) his wish was my command.

The following recipe was taken from Nigella’s How to be a Domestic Goddess. She has called it the Lemon syrup loaf cake, which is posh for lemon drizzle!

As ever I have tweaked it a teeny tiny bit and have also adjusted the cooking temperature as well. This has been a long period of trial and error for me. I usually find small cakes cook great in my oven but larger cakes can be a bit hit and miss for me. I will of course give you Nigella’s recommended temperature but for my Stoves range oven, fan assist I had to reduce the temperature 20-25 degrees C. Timings remained the same.

Ingredients:

  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • zest of 1 lemon ( if you want the extra lemonyness add the zest of 2)
  • 175g self raising flour
  • 4 tablespoons of milk or for my version add 2 of milk and 2 of buttermilk
  • pinch of salt

23 x 13 x 7 cm loaf tin, buttered and lined with greaseproof

For the syrup:

  • Juice of 1 and a half lemons (about 4 tablespoons) although add more or less to taste
  • 100g icing sugar

Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C/gas mark 4. As I said in my intro you may need to adjust according to your oven.
  • Cream together your butter and sugar. Do spend a bit of time on this. The more you blend and mix the lighter the cake mixture will be. Cream until smooth and pale.
  • Beat your eggs and add them to the butter and sugar mixture. Add the zest too. Mix well.
  • Then add in your flour and salt, folding them in with a gently touch.
  • Finally add your milk or milk and buttermilk combo.
  • Spoon the mixture into your prepared loaf tin and bake for 45 minutes.
  • While your cake is cooking gently heat the lemon juice and icing sugar for your syrup until the icing sugar has dissolved.
  • Stick a skewer in to check it if cooked. It should come out clean if properly cooked.
  • Immediately skewer your cake all over to create holes that you can then drizzle your syrup into. Pour it slowly or even spoon it on taking care to make sure that the whole cake gets a good soaking.
  • Leave the cake in it’s tin to cool. Do not try and take it out of the tin before it’s cold or risk collapse. Having said that we have done this before. We were too hungry and it smelled too good, so although it collapsed it tasted great 🙂
  • According to Nigella this serves 8-10. In my household it tends to serve a family of five with one who doesn’t like lemon cake! Share if you must, but there is pleasure to be had with a couple of your favourite offspring, a pot of tea and a slab of this cake.

Enjoy,

Lx

Lemon drizzle cake

Really easy straightforward recipe for a Christmas Yule Log

IMG_9462I found myself watching the Bake Off Christmas Masterclass the other day with my daughter. We spent a perfect hour together with tea, cake and Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood. Bliss 🙂

Mary Berry, with her effortless style walks us through a chocolate yule log. The yule log has a chocolate ganache topping, and after our first attempt at making this we decided that, although yummy ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/yule_log_15656) it was very,very rich. We thought a chocolate buttercream would make for a lighter alternative. The downside is that it is indeed lighter in colour so visually not as log like!

Anyway, this is a really easy recipe that has worked every time we have made it. Next time I may add some black cherries to the cream filling for an added yumminess.

Ingredients:

  • 65g self raising flour
  • 40g cocoa
  • 4 large eggs
  • 100g caster sugar

Filling:

  • 250 ml/300 ml double cream. Mary Berry uses 300 ml. When I made this earlier I had only 250ml left in the carton. This worked fine and I suspect 200 ml would also be enough.

Chocolate Buttercream:

  • 250g unsalted butter.
  • 100g chocolate of your choice. I used milk chocolate for this one but whatever your family likes works here. Melt this before you add it to your icing.
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste.
  • around 100g icing sugar, although I tend to add this bit by bit and then taste.
  • a little hot water.

Method:

  • Line a 33cm x 23cm swiss roll tin with baking paper. Butter it first, it helps the baking paper stick in all the right places. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk your eggs and sugar together until they have become thick and creamy. It will more than double in size too. The only way to really do this is with an electric hand mixer or a food mixer. I wouldn’t even attempt this by hand, you’ll be there all day!
  • Then sift in your flour and cocoa to the egg mixture. Fold this in gently, a metal spoon does this best. Once the mixture is an even colour (nice and chocolatey) you’ll have done it right.
  • Pour your mixture gently into your prepared tin and gently push it to the sides. If you are too rough you will knock your precious air out that you spent whisking in earlier.
  • Place in the centre of the oven and bake for around 8 minutes. The edges will start to come away from the sides of the tin and the cake will have a bounce to it when lightly pressed with your finger.
  • While your cake is baking prepare your work surface with a sheet of baking parchment that is roughly one and a half times the length of your swiss roll tin. Sprinkle this generously with icing sugar. You will be turning out your hot cake straight onto this when it is baked.
  • Peel off the baking parchment. Asbestos fingers help here! Then cut a groove about 2 centimetres from the end of your cake and then using the baking parchment roll up your swiss roll tightly and then leave to cool completely.
  • Once your log has cooled you can prepare the filling and topping.
  • Whisk the cream until it is thick and spreadable.
  • Unroll your swiss roll gently and then spread the inside with your cream. Re roll your log using baking paper again to help you.
  • Place log onto whatever you intend to serve it on.
  • Cut a section of log on the diagonal, and then place it alongside the body of the log to look like a branch. Apologies if this is phrased badly. Hope the picture helps with this.
  • For the topping, in a bowl whisk using an electric mixer, your butter until it is creamy and pale. Add icing sugar, vanilla paste and melted chocolate. Whisk together till creamy, adding a dash of hot water to this makes the mixture light and creamy. Go easy though, only a dash. Too much and your mixture will split 😦
  • You can either pipe on your chocolate icing or spread it on. I used a piping bag with a star nozzle to create the illusion “haha” of a log. However I have made this before and just used a pallet knife to cover the cake with icing and added grooves with it to give it a log effect! Whatever rocks your world. In fact if you have a small child handy, I would let them do it and then get them to find a robin (fake not real!) to perch on the top. I cannot find our robin so settled for a dusting of cocoa and edible glitter.

I do hope you enjoy making this and I promise it is much simpler and more straightforward than the instructions suggest!

Yule Log

 

Enjoy,

 

Lx

 

Really yummy, flatbreads with tomatoes and mozzarella. Perfect for a big family Saturday evening supper.

Mozzarella and Tomato flatbreadFirstly I should acknowledge Paul Hollywood. This recipe was gleaned from his book, How to Bake. When I was leafing through his book I saw the picture of these breads and thought immediately how much my pizza loving brood would enjoy these. I also felt they were a tad healthier than pizzas. When I made these we had them with salads, cold meats and cheeses. They are a great tear and share bread. The bread is best served fresh and warm from the oven but I did keep one for the next day and it refreshed beautifully in the oven. I sprinkled a little water on it and blasted it in a hot oven (200 c) for around 5-7 minutes. Generally though if you have a family of teens and young adults as I do the 4 loaves that this recipe makes will be eaten in one sitting, no problem :). You will need around 2 hours to have these breads ready for dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 500g Strong White flour
  • 10g Salt
  • 10g Instant Yeast
  • 400ml tepid water
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • Fine semolina for dusting if you have it, optional.
  • 2 balls of Mozzarella
  • 20 Cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
  • Dried oregano for sprinkling

Method:

  • Oil a 2-3 litre square plastic container.That is what Paul say’s however I do not own a square plastic container so used the large plastic mixing bowl that I have instead. I believe this worked fine. Use whatever you have in your kitchen, the container is used to prove your bread.
  • In a food mixer with the dough hook is the best way to make this bread. It is too wet to mix by hand. However if you are feeling adventurous, give it a go. I would love to hear from someone who has made this by hand and how well it worked.
  • Put your flour in your mixing bowl with the salt on one side and the yeast on the other side. Add around three quarters of the water and start to mix the dough on a low speed. As it starts to come together add the remaining water. Mix for around 5-8 minutes on a medium speed. At this stage your dough should be nice and stretchy. Now add your olive oil and mix for another 2 minutes.
  • Pop your dough into your oiled tub and cover with whatever you have to hand. I always use a trusty shower cap but cling film, a damp tea towel work well. I have also used a “bag for life” when I had nothing else and that worked too!
  • Leave it to prove itself for about an hour. You want the dough to double in size. Put it in a warm place out of draughts.
  • Line a couple of baking trays with baking parchment. When I made this bread last time I had run out of baking paper so just lightly oiled the sheets and that worked fine.
  • Dust your work surface generously with flour, adding semolina too if you have it. Gently tip out your dough onto the floured surface, unusually for dough you don’t want to knock it back but keep as much air in as possible. Coat the top of your dough with flour too. Cut the dough in half lengthways and then cut each half across in two. You will have 4 pieces of dough.
  • Gently stretch each piece a little bit and lay down onto your prepared sheets. 2 loaves per sheet.
  • Push 10 tomato halves into the breads. As you can see from my pictures I did not have enough tomatoes, worry not, use what you have! Tear your mozzarella into smallish pieces and push them into the bread in-between the tomatoes.
  • Sprinkle your breads with a little olive oil and then your oregano. I used some garlic infused olive oil for extra yumminess and mixed italian herbs. Noms.
  • Leave your bread to rest for around 15 minutes. Meanwhile pop your oven on to 210 degrees C.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  • Pop them onto a cooling rack but make sure to eat them whilst still warm.

Enjoy

 

Lx

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Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins – easiest recipe ever!! promise

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins.

One of my first attempts at blogging and food photography. This is still one of my all time favourite super easy recipes. It takes only minutes to whizz up a batch, they always work, they keep for ages ( I have posted them as a gift before, they took a week to arrive but were apparently still yummy! woo hoo)

And they also use up those three or four sad looking bananas that are always in the fruit bowl (or is that only me!)

Enjoy,

Lx

Bread, a basic white bread recipe that’s easy to follow and even easier to eat :)

After too long I am finally back to baking on a regular basis and therefore blogging can recommence as well. Bread making has been one of the things that I have been doing more of. Partly motivated by cost of horrible sliced bread, usually well over a pound a loaf, and also motivated by a need to eat good, healthy, tasty food. Of course there is a time element to baking bread but a lot of that time your lovely loaf of bread doesn’t actually need you. All you really need is 20 minutes or so to mix and kneed, go off and do whatever you need to do for an hour or so and then knock it back, re prove and bake. Actually reading that back it still sounds time consuming! I do tend to bake on days that I am at home and busy being a domestic goddess ( don’t believe a word of it, my house is shockingly messy! ). I can usually be a bit more motivated if there are yummy things baking whilst I do battle with the bathroom grime 😦 🙂

What I have decided to try and do is work my way through all my various bread recipe books and endeavour to find time friendly bread recipes that are easy to. But first here is my tried and tested standard white loaf recipe. It is a mix of recipes that I have tweaked to suit me and my kitchen. Feel free to tweak it for you, would love to hear any suggestions.

Ingredients.

  • 500g strong white flour
  • 325ml warm water
  • 7g easy bake fast action yeast
  • 10g salt

1 tbsp of oil of your choice – we use olive but rapeseed is lovely too.

Method.

  • I usually mix my breads in a food mixer with a dough hook but you can easily do this one by hand as it is quite a soft dough. In your bowl put all your ingredients in except the oil. Making sure you have the yeast away from the salt (opposite sides of the bowl).
  • Gradually add the oil whilst your mixer is doing it’s job. If you are hand mixing this you can add the oil at the beginning or incorporate it when you are kneading.
  • Mix for 10 minutes on slow speed or until the dough looks smooth and you can stretch the dough easily. If you are kneading by hand you will need to do this for at least 10 minutes. Great destresser!
  • Once you have a lovely smooth dough in your bowl you need to leave it to prove for around an hour or until doubled in size. If your house is chilly it may take a while, worry not the longer it takes the yummier it will be. You will need to cover the bowl to create the right environment for your dough. I use a shower cap as this makes that task so easy. You can use a damp tea towel or some cling film if you prefer.
  • Once your dough is all lovely and proved you can tip it out onto a floured work surface. Knock it back ( gently knock it with your knuckles) and then shape into whatever loaf you fancy making. I love to make freeform loaves but a loaf tin is useful especially if you want to slice this for sandwiches. You can also use this dough to make rolls. I made last night 10 good sized rolls out of this dough.
  • Put your loaf or rolls in/on their tins/baking sheets. I usually drizzle a little oil on to prevent sticking but sometimes forget and the bread usually comes out fine 🙂
  • Leave the bread in a warm area for around half an hour so it can rise again. Meanwhile preheat your oven to 200 degrees C.
  • You can put your bread in the oven naked ( the bread not you!) or you can do an egg glaze and sprinkle some seeds on this. On the rolls add some sesame seeds and the rolls work great as burger buns or cheese for an interesting twist.
  • Place in oven, bake for around 20/25 minutes for the loaf or 15/17 minutes for the rolls. You will have to play around with this as all ovens are different and you know yours better than I do.
  • What you are looking for is a golden crust and when you tap it’s bottom it should sound hollow.
  • Leave to cool on a rack for as long as you can. It will slice more easily if it’s cold!
  • Serve with other yummies.

Enjoy,

Lx

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