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Individual Brioche Breads

I love brioche bread, I love French breads, sweet and soft! I recently bought a muffin tin out of Ikea, one of the tins that make tall cupcakes/muffins. I thought it would make a lovely tin to bake individual brioche breads in. And it really does. These are lovely, and look rather special too! I use a food processor as this is really quite a wet dough, would not want to knead it by hand. 400g strong white bread flour 1 sachet dried yeast (7g) 1 scant tablespoon salt 90mls warm milk 2 tablespoons sugar 100g soft butter 4 eggs To Glaze: 1 egg 2 tablespoons milk Using a dough hook in the food processor, add all the ingredients. Mix on a low speed to combine them, then leave to knead for about 10 mins, until the dough is smooth and silky. Empty the dough into an oiled bowl and leave to prove. Once the dough is doubled in size, knock it back. Grease the individual muffin holes, then tear off small pieces of dough and roll into ball shapes. Fill each muffin hole, and leave to rise for another 15 mins. Mix the egg and milk together to form the glaze, and paint onto the individual mounds. Cook in a preheated oven 200°C/gas mark 6 for 10 mins, before turning back to 180°C/gas mark 4 for 20mins. Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterEmailLike this:Like...

Christmas Bread: Cougnou (Jesus Bread)

I love the continental breads of Christmas. My favourite is the Italian Pannettone, however that is a little bit too difficult for me to make! But each Christmas I do try and explore some simpler Christmas breads. Last year I discovered the Cougnou bread- Bread of Jesus. This is a traditional bread of Belgium, it is meant to be shaped to look like baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes… I don’t do fancy moulding of bread, so mine looks like little rolls. But it tastes beautiful! Ingredients 4 cups plain flour 1 sachet of yeast 4 oz butter, melted 150 mls warm milk ¼ cup raisins 3 eggs ¼ cup sugar ½ teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon salt Warm the milk, until it is pleasant to the touch. Add all the ingredients to a food processor with the dough hook attached. Allow the dough to knead for about 5 mins. You can mix the dough by hand and hand knead, but it is quite a sticky dough so this way is much better. Place dough in an oiled bowl and leave in a warm place for about 2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size. After the dough has risen, knock it back, and break pieces off- about the size of a satsuma. Shape the dough into little rolls, and place on a baking sheet. Glaze with a milk and egg wash mixture. Cook in a pre-heated 200° for around 20-25 mins Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterEmailLike this:Like...

Butternut Squash and Yellow Split Pea Soup

I think this soup is like a bowlful of autumn. I have tried repeatedly to grow my own squashes, but the slugs do their worst long before autumn! Wonderful with a large slab of white crusty bread! 1 leek 1 fat garlic clover, crushed 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 medium Butternut Squash 1 large carrot 1 cup of dried yellow split peas 1½ pints of chicken stock ½ teaspoon chili powder (vary according to taste) salt and pepper. Chop the leek and heat the oil in a large soup pot, throw in the leek and garlic, cook until soft. Add the chopped carrot and butternut squash, next pour in the stock. Add the split peas. Cover and simmer for about 1½ hours, until the yellow split peas and tender. Finally add the chili powder. Liquidise the soup until smooth, and season to taste. Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterEmailLike this:Like...

Home Made Pizza Recipe

I don’t do elegant food! So my home made pizza may be more any odd rectangle shape than a circle, but it has it where it counts. This may sound a lot of work, but it is spread through the day, and isn’t too bad really. I prepare the dough after lunch, and just leave it to prove for the afternoon, that way if I have to go out it’s all ready and waiting! Dough 250g Strong White Flour 250g Plain White Flour 7g easy yeast 1 scant tablespoon salt 1 tablespoon honey 1 tablespoon olive oil 325ml hand warm water. plus a large hand full of flour (rye/cornmeal optional) for kneading Mix all the ingredients together, so they are combined. Then tip them out onto a floured work surface, if makes a lovely twist to the flavour if you use a course flour for this like rye or cornmeal, but ordinary white will work fine too. Knead the dough for about 10mins, or until the dough is shiny. Then put the dough in an oiled bowl and leave until risen to double the volume. I like to put the bowl inside a black bin bag, this helps keep a nice ambient temperature around the dough. Pizza Toppings 250g tin of tomatoes 1 teaspoon sugar 1 tablespoon tomato puree 1 large ball mozzarella cheese couple handfuls cheddar cheese tomatoes mushrooms salami etc, etc When the dough is ready preheat the oven to 220°. Cut the dough in two and roll out each half to a circle (if you like, I’m rubbish at that bit, so I just roll to fit my baking tray!) Place the rolled out dough on a slightly floured baking tray. In a pan add the tomatoes, sugar and puree. Mix them and heat them through, then spoon half the mixture onto each pizza base. Then add the toppings out your preference. I like a veggie pizza with mushrooms, peppers, onions, sweetcorn etc in different combinations. My children like salami. Finally cover in the cheese, I tear the mozzarella, and dollop it all over the top. Cook for around 20 mins. Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterEmailLike this:Like...

Frugal Food: Breakfast

We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It is also becoming more expensive, with the rise of cereal prices. Although I have seen the cost of porridge rise, it is still the cheapest of the breakfast options. But the best thing about porridge is the way it keeps you feeling satisfied for longer- reducing the temptation to snake before breakfast. Over the years I’ve tried different cereals and none of them keep hunger at bay like a bowl of porridge. It is also a superfood. Here are some of the health benefits of porridge: a) Helps the immune system. The proteins in porridge can help to build repair damaged cells thus boosting the immune system. b) Studies show porridge reduces the risk of heart disease. c) Can re-balance levels of testosterone and oestrogen in the body d) Helps reduce depression, as it is high in vitamin B6. e) The slow release of energy is good for brain function, so it helps concentration. f) Is a good source of folic acid, so is fantastic for pregnant women. g) Helps with constipation since it is high in fibre. h) Porridge is rich in the antioxidant vitamin E, which has been shown to help fight cancer. i) Porridge is a source of essential minerals like magnesium and zinc I make my porridge with: 1 part porridge; 1 part semi-skimmed milk; 1 part water All of these are heated in a large pot until thick and creamy. You can serve the porridge with different toppings: sugar, salt, golden syrup… or my absolute favourite maple syrup! Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterEmailLike this:Like...

Easy Spanish Pork Recipe

At the weekend we had a truly massive joint of pork! We have been left with enough to do another three nights of dinners. So I have been looking for easy creative ideas for left over pork- before we all get fed up with it. So tonight I came up with an idea inspired by a dish my mother makes crossed with paella, hence the Spanish flavour! I love paella rice. It is so easy to cook with. You add all you ingredients, the stock, then the rice and leave it alone until it is cooked. This recipe is quick, healthy and easy! Left over pork a small onion garlic infused oil a 400g tin of chopped tomatoes one red pepper 4 mushrooms a carrot a handfull of peas 1 teaspoon each of paprika and cinnamon 500 ml chicken stock 250g paella rice Firstly put the chop the pork and onion and blitz them in a food processor. Then heat the oil in a large pan, and the ground pork mixture, followed by the tomatoes and the chopped vegetables. Sprinkle the spices on top and stir. Add the stock and paella rice, then stir to incorporate the mixture. Bring to the boil, before turing down to a simmer, and leave it alone for 20 mins until the rice is cooked. Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterEmailLike this:Like...
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