I woke up to bright sunshine and time on my hands today, which meant that I felt the need to put my solar panels to good use and harvest the free energy and burn the oven. I used a simple enough recipe. I say recipe but I kind of just eyeballed the ingredients. Sorry, I know that can be frustrating for most who are looking for a definitive measure. I will try and be as accurate as possible but please go with your instincts which will guide you to a smooth,supple and slightly tacky dough at the end (add more flour / water if you feel the need)
Wholemeal flour – 500g
Water (tepid)- 350ml
Sugar – 2 tblsp – I used agave syrup but any sugar will do including honey.
Yeast (dried) – 7g packet
Salt – 1 tsp
Melted Butter – 50g
Cheddar cheese (grated) – 150g or to taste (add after 1st proove)
Combine all ingredients except for the cheese in a mixer or on a worktop and knead until you have a smooth, supple and slightly tacky dough. Work it for at least 10 minutes. Adjust flour and water if necessary as you go (sorry but you will get better at it I promise).
Leave to rise until it has doubled in size then knock it back (punch the air out) and flatten it out into a rough oblong shape. This is so that you can sprinkle most of the cheddar (or other) cheese onto it. Leave about 40g of cheese to sprinkle on top later.
Fold and knead the cheese that you have sprinkled on so that it becomes incorporated in the dough then divide into nine equal portions. Roll out into smooth balls with your palms – I have begun to use the claw/cage technique with my hands with some success.
Then place dough balls onto a greased / buttered baking tray and space them out evenly so that they will rise and touch together for that batch baked effect. Now just place a generous pinch of cheese on top of each roll. Don’t worry if cheese spills onto the tray as this will give the bottoms a nice cheesy crunch.
Cover with oiled cling film and let rolls rise again until they are almost doubled and touching each other (30-40 mins approx.). Careful how you remove the cling film as it may catch on the dough and cause it to tear and collapse.
Finally bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 200 Celsius until golden brown. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack. The challenge now will be to see if you can resist eating less than one while they are still warm.
Well the year has whizzed by once again and arrived back at the annual bake off. I am still not convinced that the birthday person should provide the treats. Ho hum! Reading and maths assessments marked for the evening left me a little time to craft these bad boys. Bon apetit tout le monde (I may have a sliver too).
Same old Vicky sponge with cream and fruit followed by Granny’s chocolate fudge cake.
While going through the motions of my standard banana cake (bread) routine, came up with the idea for this delicious offering (I am sure someone else has done the same before). Using blackened bananas and other end of life fruit bowl items, I set about the task.
Ingredients used today (next week may be different)
4 oz butter + some for greasing
4 oz white sugar
6 oz SR flour
3 old bananas
2 old eating apples
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
3-6 tsp Ground cinnamon or to taste
Demarara sugar – 5 sachets from Starbucks (other coffee houses are as helpful)
Brownie tin / large loaf tin
Oven heated to 160 deg c (fan)
Melt butter in pan and add sugar to dissolve it. Add flour, baking powder and 2 tsp cinnamon to melted butter and sugar. Mix thoroughly until you get a thick paste.
Then smush the bananas in a separate bowl and add the eggs and vanilla, mixing well.
Combine the wet mix with the thick paste. I stick it in the same pan to save washing up.
It may look a bit wet, but that’s fine. It is meant to be a moist cake. Just make sure all the flour lumps are well dispersed.
Meanwhile, grease the baking tin liberally with butter. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon evenly over the base then do the same with the demarara sugar. Once that is done lay out the finely diced apple as evenly as possible. As you can see I like cinnamon and went for another cheeky little dusting on top of the apple. 🙂
Then pour the banana mix evenly over the apples tapping gently to release any trapped air.
Bake in th lower part of the oven for 45-50 minutes until brown, clean skewer evident and coming away from the sides. Comme ca…
Leave to cool for 10 minutes then flip out onto your serving plate.
Another year has zipped by and the staff room tradition pervades. I dutifully created these two offerings so that my work colleagues could celebrate with me. The first is my Grandma Sybil’s chocolate cake recipe in a bundt tin with added orange zest and a few dark chocolate chips.Victoria sponge topped and filled with whipped cream (jam in the middle) and adorned with fresh fruit. Well it was my birthday after all. Both were deliciously moist as I watched the baking time closely and went close to under just to make sure. Nom Nom!
So my good friend of more than 20 years decides to open a restaurant / cafe nestled in a long established and highly frequented public park populated by the exacting, affluent and ordinary people of Glasgow’s southern Burbs; although I suspect the ordinary may travel a bit further. The Boathouse is a well appointed and ideally located destination eatery / coffee house that serves excellently prepared simple food. Good portions, great prices and even better coffee and service. Have a look at their Facebook page to get a flavour. The first weeks have been very busy and have required effort from all to get a rhythm going. (The Boathouse – Rouken Glen Park)
I am very pleased to report however that I have been able to offer my support to him in more than one way. It transpires that he has presented me with the ultimate accolade of having one of my recipes on his menu; JK’s malted shake. I have also bussed tables, washed dishes, served meals, flattered guests and trained staff. In and amongst all of this I also introduced them to my (now refined) Chelsea Buns. Here is the recipe that a local charitable organisation asked to get as they said “that was the best Chelsea Bun I have ever had!”
Boathouse (Chelsea) Buns (makes 15-20):
1kg plain flour
200g caster sugar
125g soft margarine
15g dried yeast
250mlml warm water
Additional sultanas, margarine, sugar and cinnamon to use after the dough has mixed and proofed.
Start yeast off in water with a spoon of sugar (5 mins)
Add all ingredients and mix for 10 mins on speed 1 with dough hook.
Mix should be smooth, tacky and elastic to touch
Proof until doubled
Roll it into a rectangle about 3/4 cm thick and then tack down the edge closest to you
Sprinkle rectangle generously with sultanas, cinnamon and light muscovado sugar
Roll up towards yourself and cut into 5cm (2 inch) rounds
Space evenly into generously buttered (marg) and sugared (muscovado) tins. Cover and proof until doubled
I think I will take out shares in Paul Hollywood as once again I have used his recipe to create these wonderful Easter treats. My sons are becoming more involved with the kitchen and were responsible for the final shape and form of the buns. You will need:
For the buns
300ml/10fl oz whole milk
500g/1lb 2oz strong white flour
75g/2½oz caster sugar
1 tsp salt
7g sachet fast-action yeast
1 free-range egg, beaten
50g/1¾oz mixed peel
1 apple, cored and chopped
1 orange, zest only
1 tsp ground cinnamon
sunflower oil, for greasing the bowl
For the cross
75g/2½oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
For the glaze
3 tbsp apricot jam
Bring the milk to the boil and then remove from the heat and leave to cool until it reaches hand temperature.
Mix the flour, sugar, salt, yeast, butter and egg together in a bowl, then slowly add the warmed milk until it forms a soft, sticky dough.
Add the sultanas, mixed peel, chopped apple and orange zest, then tip out of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough by holding the dough with one hand and stretching it with the heal of the other hand, then folding it back on itself. Repeat for five minutes, or until smooth and elastic.
Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise for approximately one hour, or until doubled in size.
Divide the dough into 12 even pieces, and roll each piece into a smooth ball on a lightly floured surface. Arrange the buns on a baking tray lined with parchment, leaving enough space so that the buns just touch when they rise and expand. Set aside to prove for another hour.
Heat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
For the cross, mix the flour with about five tablespoons of water in small bowl, adding the water one tablespoon at a time, so that you add just enough for a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag with a small nozzle. Pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses.
Bake for 20-25 minutes on the middle shelf of the oven, or until golden-brown.
Gently heat the apricot jam to melt, then sieve to get rid of any chunks. While the jam is still warm, brush over the top of the warm buns and leave to cool. Gently rip the buns apart to serve, revealing temptingly soft edges.