Sunday, 21 September 2014

rose meringue cupcakes with a kirsch & cherry jam filling

... a few months ago I was invited to join a special group of male bloggers on facebook.  It's just a little meeting place where a few of us rare-breed male bakers can share recipes and cooking ideas and  generally encourage each other towards greatness.  We've also decided to set ourselves a monthly challenge to cook anything we like as long as it includes that months theme, there's no pressure to take part but there are a lot of bloggers in the group that i'd not come across before and it's nice to link up to all those bloggers and spread some baking love... this months theme is meringue.

rose meringue cupcakes with a raspberry jam filling
my main inspiration for these cupcakes are these stunning little beauties over on Janice's blog... it was the stewed apple filling that really got me going and that's when I remembered that my old friend Satu bought me a cupcake corer years ago and i've never used it... last week I also attended a fun launch event for Billington's sugar.  The event was to promote their new campaign called #BakeFace which is encouraging us all to take pictures of our face whilst eating cakes... a bit daft, I know but it's all in the name of fun and if you upload your pic to their on-line gallery you could be in the chance with winning some baking fun... of course we left the event with a bag full of Billingtons goodies so in their honour i'm using some of their gorgeous golden caster sugar to make these cupcakes.  It's a lovely, light and frothy basic cupcake recipe that i've adapted from the Primrose Bakery book of Cupcakes and it's a winner.

for the cupcakes
110g slightly salted butter at room temp
225g Billington's golden caster sugar
2 large free-range eggs
275g plain flour sifted with
2 teaspoons baking powder
120ml milk
1 teaspoon rose water
1 tablespoon kirsch liquor
2 tablespoons cherry jam

for the rose and meringue buttercream icing
110g unsalted butter at room temp
60ml milk
1 teaspoon rose water
500g icing sugar - sifted
2 meringue nests - crushed
one drop of red food colouring

me and Edd Kimber #GBBO winner, doing our #bakeface

pre-heat the oven to 160C fan assisted and line a 12 hole cupcake tray with paper cases

in a large bowl using a hand-held electric whisk, cream the sugar and butter for about 5 mins until it is light and fluffy then add the eggs one at a time, beating for a few minutes after each egg is added

add the rose water to the milk

weigh the flour together with the baking powder and then sift one third into the batter and whisk in followed by a third of the milk whilst beating, continue until all the flour and milk has been used

carefully spoon into your cupcake cases until 2/3rds full and then bake for 20 - 25 minutes until golden and risen.  Let them cool in the tray for 10 mins then remove and place on a wire rack until completely cool

next, make the icing... in a large bowl beat the milk, butter, rose water and half the icing until smooth which can take several minutes with a hand-held electric whisk, then add the remaining icing sugar and any food colouring and beat until the icing is smooth and creamy.

break one of the meringue nests into a million pieces and gently beat these in to the icing

prepare the kirsch filling by mixing together the kirsch liquor and cherry name and then you're ready to assemble the cupcakes... take your corer and core out the centre of each cupcake, then fill each hole with the jam and cover liberally with icing... sprinkle large chunks of meringue on top

... don't forget to check out all the other Baking Boy Bloggers on the list in my right-hand column and everyone who's taken part in this months challenge... oh and if you're a baking boy then feel free to join our gang over on Facebook.

other great meringue recipes from the Baking Boy Bloggers:

Eton Mess Fudge from The Crafty Larder
Carrot Cake Meringue Pie from Cakeboi
Tart au Citron meringue from Les Plaisirs Sucres d'Antoine
Cataron from Oh la vache!

because i've used kirsch as a main ingredient I am entering these cupcakes into this months AlphaBakes which has the letter K to be thankful for... AlphaBakes is hosted by Caroline from Caroline Bakes and Ros from The More Than Occasional Baker.

eat and of course, enjoy!

Friday, 19 September 2014

all in one - slow roast chicken thighs with plums, carrots, potatoes, garlic and celery

... the perfect Friday night dinner.  Like all good jewish boys the Friday night dinner holds a very special place in my heart.  Whilst we didn't consider ourselves a particularly religious family we proudly embraced any celebration involving food and this included the traditional Friday night dinner.  Most secular jewish households would welcome in the weekend sabbath with a big roast meal - the equivalent of the traditional Christian Sunday lunch which itself has become a very British institution these days of gastropubs and extended groups of friends.  As a child we we often invite good friends over to eat with us and we in turn would go to their houses for this special meal... and much like this I do like to gather the masses, be it family or friends and bung a chicken in the oven on a Friday night... the FND usually starts with a dish of chopped liver, followed by traditional chicken soup and then followed by a large roast meat of some kind, usually chicken... we like our chicken and will use every little bit of the bird if we can... it's a great way to start the weekend as you mean to go on, full of good food and a little bit tipsy with wine...

all in one - slow roast chicken thighs with plums, carrots, potatoes, garlic and celery
can you believe it's been nearly a year since I posted a chicken thigh recipe...many of my long-suffering readers will know all about my love of chicken thighs... just take a look at my word cloud in the right-hand column of this blog to see just how many recipe i've created... but should there be anyone out there who hasn't experienced the delights of the humble chicken thigh then let this super-easy, and ultra-tasty recipe get you hooked.  Chicken thighs - they MUST have their skin-on and bone in - are so wonderfully tender and tasty.  They have the perfect ration of fat to meat compared to the bland breast, which means they slow cook beautifully and after an hour or two on a low heat the meat falls of the bone and the juices become rich and deeply satisfying... they are thoroughly versatile and will take a lot of seasoning without losing their own special flavour so you can whip them into a curry or a gumbo with gusto and I suppose most importantly they are wonderfully inexpensive, even the free-range organic ones...

the victoria plums that i've added here are not traditional but work beautifully with the rich thigh meat... heavenly!

1 packet of mixed free-range chicken thighs and legs (my pack had 3 thighs and 2 legs)
1/2 large onion - roughly chopped
1 medium carrot - roughly chopped
1 large celery - roughly chopped
3 small potatoes - roughly chopped
3 victoria plums - quartered
1 bulb of garlic - cut in half through the middle
a selection of fresh herbs
a little seasoning and olive oil

pre-heat the oven to 140C

place all the chopped veg and plums into an oven proof dish or into a crockpot with a lid, season well and sprinkle with fresh herbs of your choice.

lay the chicken pieces on top, season again then cover tightly with foil or place the lid on and roast in the oven for at least an hour on 140C then take off the lid, turn the heat up to 180C and roast for a further 20 mins to brown the chicken and potatoes

I'm also entering this dish into the Slow Cooker Challenge hosted each month by the jubilant Janice from Farmersgirl Kitchen... the theme this month is to cook something with fruit and yes I know I didn't make this in an actual slow cooker but it is slowly cooked and i'm stubbornly entering it wether she likes it or not...

eat and of course, enjoy!

Sunday, 14 September 2014

roast mushroom and caramelised onion pie with quick flaky pastry

... we're off to Cologne this week for a fashion and technology event.   I've never been to Cologne before and to be honest it's not a place i'd ever really considered as a destination and even though we're mostly going to be stuck inside one of those vast exhibition halls all day i've done a little research and it looks as though there's a healthy restaurant and food scene and so i'm hoping it will be more than just sausage and pickled cabbage... we should have a few free evenings to go off exploring and our hotel is in the heart of town so I am keen to seek out a few special places.

Isn't it funny how we think of 'food first', before all else the question of 'but what and where shall we eat?' will be muttered.  Of course most of the time it's in anticipation of culinary delights and perhaps trying something local and new to the pallet but with a vegetarian in tow I always have a little panic about what The Viking will be able to eat without it impacting on the above... like taking the preverbal 'coals to Newcastle' you really shouldn't take a vegetarian to the sausage capital of Europe...

roast mushroom and caramelised onion pie with quick flaky pastry
i'm so glad we're finally coming up to pie season... it seems like a long summer without pie but now the evenings are starting to draw in and despite the current late Indian summer we seem to be experiencing there's enough of a chill in the evening air to call for pie, so I thought a nice, hearty and very simple vegetarian classic was in order... this is my favourite go-to veggie pie... dark and rich with a red wine reduction and the promise of colder more autumnal flavours in mind... but to be honest any vegetables you have in the fridge will work... plus a nice and quick flaky butter pastry which obviously has the power to heal all ails and restore body and soul...

... and yes, whilst I may be criticised for the slipped pastry, I adore the rustic look of this pie and I have to tell you that that pastry was phenomenally good!

for the flaky pastry
250g strong bread flour
250g slightly salted butter - room temp cut into cubes
3 or 4 tablespoons water to mix

for the filling
3 medium onions - roughly diced
300g closed cup mushrooms or button mushrooms - quartered
fresh rosemary and thyme
1 pint good quality vegetable stock
1 teaspoon plain flour
1 large glass of red wine
a large handful of frozen peas
seasoning and olive oil

pre-heat the oven to 180C

start with the pastry by placing the flour and butter into a large bowl and rub together with your fingertips... you want it to be well rubbed in but still with large pieces of butter rather than breadcrumbs

add the water and bring together into a ball of dough, flatten out, wrap in going film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes until completely cold

whilst you're waiting for the pastry to chill place your mushrooms into an oven-proof dish, drizzle with a little olive oil, season well and sprinkle with plenty of fresh rosemary and thyme.  cover in foil and roast for 20 minutes until tender, then remove the foil and roast for a further 10 minutes until they begin to turn golden - set aside

now the pastry is ready for it's first roll... flour your rolling surface generously and then roll out the pastry nice and thin, then gate-fold the pastry together (fold the top half over towards the centre and the bottom half over to the top) then roll flat, wrap and refrigerate once again until very cold

meanwhile, heat some oil and butter in a pan and very gently sauté the onions with a dash of sugar until they begin to caramelise... this can take up to 30 minutes... then turn up the heat, add the wine and let it bubble away and reduce by half, then add the stock and do the same

time to take the pastry out of the fridge and repeat the roll out and fold, pop it back into the fridge for the last time

take the mushrooms out of the oven and stir them into the onions along with a large handful of frozen peas and then pour the whole lot into your pie dish

take the pastry out of the fridge and roll out... we like our pastry nice and thick in this house, you have to cook it for longer and slower but it's so beautifully buttery it really doesn't matter...

using an egg and milk wash, brush the edges of the pie dish, then cut some pastry strips and fold then along the edges of the pie dish, then brush these strips with the egg wash and lay the main sheet of pastry over the top, brush with milk and score your pastry

bake for 30 mins on 170C until golden

using the rosemary and thyme gives this pie a little Mediterranean flavour so i'm entering it into the Cooking with Herbs and Tea Time Treats bloggers challenges... Cooking with Herbs is hosted by Karen from Lavender and Lovage and Tea Time Treats is also hosted by Karen alongside Jane from The Hedge Combers

eat and of course, enjoy!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

mini white chocolate and raspberry jam marble loaf cakes with a white chocolate jam ganache

... for the past few weeks we've had a little furry visitor to Belleau in the shape of a beautiful young feline.  She's quite skittish and is mostly seen darting off when spooked and to be honest I simply presumed that she was a local farm cat pushing the boundaries of her boundaries as it were... but this weekend it became clear that she was more than an occasional visitor and that she was in fact a stray and lost little puss.  She's been very lucky with the weather of late but hungry and tired she's been visiting nearly all the 8 houses in the village and most of us have been feeding her and then finally on Sunday we invited her into the cottage for some love and a basket to sleep in.  As most of you know we're only at the cottage sporadically and our direct neighbours have two dogs so neither of us can truly adopt her but she's clearly so young and loving that I feel as though she'd make such a wonderful pet...

... i've done all the right things such as registering her on a few websites and have told the local Cats Protection League plus I took her to the vet to see if she's microchipped which she's not (people tend not to bother with cats out here in the deepest darkest countryside) and it's more than likely that she's the progeny of some farmyard cat-love and she simply ran off to fend for herself... we've propped open our shed door and put a basket and water in there with her and she seems to have taken well to the shelter with the promise of the neighbours all taking turns to feeding her and maybe she'll make a good village mascot outdoor cat but other than that I am at a loss as what to do... it breaks my heart to leave her to come back to London but I also don't want her languishing in a cats home waiting for an adoption that may never come...

... she also needs a name... i've been calling her Geri, The Viking fancies calling her Fang, Tracey calls her Graham and my mum thinks she should be called Honey due to her gorgeous honey tones...

mini white chocolate and raspberry jam marble loaf cake with a white chocolate jam ganache
a simple cake was baked this weekend as we had some friends turn up out of the blue and I wanted to make something quick and sweet and a little bit naughty but you know when you really want a slice of homemade cake but you don't want the nagging guilt of having the whole thing... I don't know about you but I can never eat just one slice... so these mini loaf cakes are ideal.  One is enough to serve 4 or 5 people for afternoon tea and the other one you can give to your guests as a leaving gift, one hundred percent guilt-free, with extra brownie-points as a bonus for doing a good deed and giving away cake... the ganache icing is particularly naughty and quick to make, it is literally jam stirred into melted chocolate and since my masterclass a few weeks back with master chocolatier Paul A Young I learnt that you can make ganache by adding any liquid to melted chocolate I have been doing exactly that ever since...

i'm using a method for baking

for the marble cake
3 large free-range eggs
220g white sugar
220g self-raising flour
220g butter - room temperature
vanilla essence
2 tablespoons raspberry jam
a little milk to slacken if needed

for the ganache
100g white chocolate
1 tablespoon raspberry jam
a little extra jam for swirling

I greased and lined two half pound loaf tins but you could use one large loaf tin or a 20cm springform cake tin

pre-heat the oven to 180C

using your hand-held or bowl mixer, beat together the eggs and the sugar until light and fluffy (roughly 3 mins) then add half the soft butter and beat again, then half the flour and beat again.

scrape down the side of the bowl, add the vanilla, the rest of the flour and butter and gently beat until well blended, you may need to add a tablespoon of milk to slacken off a bit

remove half the batter into another bowl and stir in the jam until well mixed then using a tablespoon, spoon randomly spaced dollops of the raspberry batter into the loaf tins, followed by dollops of the white batter until used up, then take a chopstick and swirl it through the batter to combine

bake for at least 35 minutes until golden and risen and a skewer inserted comes out cleanly then set aside to cool

make the ganache by gently melting the white chocolate, then when fully melted stir in the jam and spread it languidly on top and perhaps shimmy some more jam on top just for looks

this month the brilliant we should cocoa bloggers challenge, hosted by Choclette from the Chocolate Log Blog, is celebrating it's 400th year in business and to celebrate we've all been challenged to bake with jam...

I will be writing up my experience with Paul A Young in an upcoming post and it will also appear on the Intel iQblog soon where I've recently had a series of articles published.

eat and of course, enjoy!

Sunday, 7 September 2014

thai green curry coconut broth with homemade noodles

... i'm trying to change up our diet a little bit from a summer of salads and cake, it all gets a little bit repetitive doesn't it, and rather than going straight into autumnal stews and pies I thought i'd turn my hand to something a little more adventurous - for me anyway - but just as warming.  I'm crazy for noodles at the moment, there's such a massive plethora of wonderful asian restaurants in London and noodles are everywhere from hand-pulled chinese noodle bars to aromatic vietnamese Pho.  The Viking loves a fat udon whilst I like the stylish and sleek thai glass rice noodle... but of course the one thing i've never done is make my own... i've never made any kind of pasta before, always believing you needed one of those clever pasta machines and seeing that The Viking has banned me from getting any more kitchen gadgets for a while I just never got around to trying to make pasta...

... then, whilst surfing the inter-web thingy the other day I came across this rather basic video on the Easy Chinese Food youtube channel for making chinese noodles (i'm now obsessed with all these amazing videos..) and was astounded to see how easy it looked.  Ever vigilant, I read the comments before I started (don't bother, jet follow the video) and i've got to say, not only where they a breeze to make but they tasted beautiful and complimented the soup beautifully... I was a little impressed with myself by the end of the day...

thai green curry coconut broth with homemade noodles
ok, so i'm mixing asian cultures here but i'm sure you'll forgive me... I adore a spicy coconut soup and I have made one before but not with my own noodles... the base is a basic thai green curry paste which is also beyond easy to make and then to make the soup it's then a matter of choosing the vegetables you like and throwing it all together... i've boiled the noodles in separate water and added them to the bowls at the end as I think this is the done thing.

enough soup for 4 hungry people

for the noodles
3 cups of strong bread flour
3/4 cup of water (I used about 2 tablespoons more)

for the thai green curry paste 
(makes enough to prepare the soup 4 times and will last in the fridge for 2 weeks)
4 medium green chillies - de-seeded and roughly chopped
1 small onion - roughly chopped
a thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger - peeled and chopped
2 cloves of garlic - peeled
a large bunch of fresh coriander with stalks
2 lemongrass stalks
the juice and zest of one lime
7 or 8 kaffir lime leaves
a thumbs sized piece of galangal
1 tsp corriander seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp light soy sauce
3 tblsp olive oil

for the broth
a bunch of large salad onions or spring onions - roughly sliced
2 large flat mushrooms - thickly sliced
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon flavourless
vegetable oil2 400ml tins of coconut milk
2 pints of good quality vegetable stock or miso stock
100g peas (fresh or frozen)
100g sugar snap peas
3 mini or 1 large pak choi
a large bunch of fresh coriander
a large bunch of fresh thai basil (if you can find, if not, don't worry..)
salt and pepper

probably best to start with the noodles and follow the video as above, it's unbelievably easy... as I say in the ingredients list above, I did use a little more than the 3/4cup but only a tad... the dough is very dry at first but I kneaded it for a good 10 mins the first time and then 5 mins the second time and it worked perfectly.... Lots of flour, don't be afraid... here's a little instagram film of me making the noodles today...

next make the paste by plaint all the ingredients into a blender or into a large bowl and use a stick blender and blend into a paste, if it seems too dry add a glut or two more oil.

onto the broth and in a large pan or casserole dish, gently heat the oils and then sweat the onion and mushrooms until beginning to tender, then add a large tablespoon of the curry paste (more if you like it hotter) and let the paste sizzle and simmer then cook gently for five minutes, then add the coconut milk and the stock, stir and let that bubble together for a few minutes before adding the rest of the ingredients.

turn down the heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes then turn off the heat entirely whilst to boil up the noodles

boil the noodles for 4 minutes in boiling hot water and a drop of oil, then drain well and add to the soup before serving

as this is a gorgeous vegetarian soup I am sending it off in style to the no croutons required bloggers challenge hosted by Jac from Tinned Tomatoes and Lisa from Lisa's Kitchen

eat and of course, enjoy!

Friday, 5 September 2014

dark brown sugar cake with apples and dried figs

... at lunchtime yesterday a few of us at the office decided to venture over to the newish street food market in Covent Garden as most of us hadn't eaten from there yet and it always smells so delightful when passing.  As you can imagine I am and will always remain dubious and sceptical about the quality of these street markets.  My scepticism comes in from many angles and i'll try and elucidate one or two for you now - bet you're really excited about this - firstly and of course the most important is taste.  Having tried food from many street markets over the years i'm more often than not disappointed when I finally chow down.  Style over substance comes to mind.  I think mass catering in any form is always a little lacking in something and I find that these places do 'alluring' very well... who wouldn't fancy a giant slab of honeyed marble cake dripping in caramel sauce? Then there's the who 'queueing for food' thing that quite frankly i've never quite understood.  I've always been allergic to popular.

... and then we're onto my main bug-bare which is that I feel we're constantly swindled into eating 'street food' that's has this dreadful homogenised ethnicity to it... I think it's one thing when you're on the streets of some exotic city or in a restaurant where the cook has century's worth of heritage behind every ingredient that he puts into the dish but when your paella is made by some hipster from Sheen who saw on twitter that chorizo was trending this season then i'm sorry but that ain't paella...

... and it's funny because of the 8 of us who went to the street market, 7 of us went for the pulled-pork which was nice but was served with a barbecue sauce that was over generous in its dollop and so sweet it dominated the whole dish and ruined what was actually very well slow-cooked meat... we also bought a box of 12 mini cupcakes, each one with a beautiful swirl of themed icing on top and each one tasting as dull and sadly flavourless as the last...

dark brown sugar cake with apples and dried figs
since having my dark chocolate cherry cake marked down for 'burning' the edges i've been looking into different cakes and sugar and how different sugars make such an impact on the way that cakes turn out... this is one of those cakes that uses the wonderful dark brown sugar to create the flavour and richness of the sponge.  The dark brown sugar adds a caramelised quality to the cake and adds a beautiful structure too.  It also comments the apples so well that they taste as though i've pre-caramelised them.  The figs were a late but welcome edition as I was clearing out the cupboard the other day and the packet, which had been open for a while, fell out onto my foot as if in some desperate cry for attention before they pass their use by date for ever...

... as ever my London oven was playing silly buggers and what should have been a 35-40 minute bake ended up taking closer to an hour, so much so that I had to foil the top of cake to stop it turning even darker... so my advice to you is to keep an eye on it after 40 mins and cover it if you have the same experience as me... either way it was a surprisingly moist cake and stayed moist for as long as it lasted...

I used a 2lb loaf tin which I greased and lined with parchment

3 large free-range eggs
110g soft dark brown sugar
100g golden caster sugar
210g butter - soft
210 self raising flour
3 large apples - peeled, cored and diced
4 dried figs (these are the kind from a foil sealed pack that are not desiccated dry and still are quite moist) - chopped
1 heaped teaspoon of mixed all-spice

pre-heat the oven to 180C

place the eggs and sugars in a bowl and whisk furiously with a hand-held electric whisk for about 5 mins until the sugar has fully dissolved and the whole lot becomes thick and luscious, then add half the flour and half the butter and whisk again.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and then add the remaining flour and butter along with the spices and whisk until combined.

gently fold in the apples and figs and once thoroughly mixed pour the batter into the loaf tin and bake for at least 40 mins, checking as per above.

once baked to your satisfaction and a skewer inserted comes out clean, remove from the oven and leave in the tin for 10 mins before removing and cooling completely on a wire rack

this cake is served cold from the fridge as the pieces of apple chill so delightfully

eat and of course enjoy!

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

beetroot, cheddar and pecan bread

... and just as autumn took its grip on the UK, we turned into September and the sun came out again like it was summer... in fact i'm sitting here writing this post in my shorts, my legs desperately clinging on to the last vestiges of an Italian tan as I moisturise furiously - now there's an image for you.  I'm not sure quite how short lived it will be - the good weather, not my shorts which are short enough, so it's best that we make the most of it whilst it's here and autumn finally slams its fist down on the year.  You won't hate me will you if I tell you that The Viking and I are planning another little getaway for our birthday on the 24th... I know that it will mean my 3rd holiday of the summer but we've been busy boys and it looks as though we have a busy few winter months ahead so we're going away.  Not sure where yet.  Any recommendations gladly accepted.  Obviously somewhere with fabulous food and amazing weather is a plus... in the meantime here's some pretty pink bread...

beetroot, cheddar and pecan bread
i'd seen quite a few beetroot breads on the internet recently.  I was particularly inspired by Karen's Beetroot and Walnut Rolls and Lucy's Beetroot Loaf, so when it came to using up a bunch of ageing beetroot that had been languishing in the back of the fridge for quite some time I thought i'd have to give beetroot bread a go... plus was really intrigued to see if the colour would stay bright and vividly pink.  I've included a really strong but glorious cheddar and some pecans that have been in my larder since Christmas and the combination is exceptional... to be honest you can't really taste the beetroot and my colour is more orangey pink that hot pink like Lucy's but I doubled my bread recipe without increasing the beetroot amount so I knew the colour wouldn't be quite so intense... the bread also toasts beautifully, so i'm more than happy...

... again i've used my low-knead method.  The dough is very wet but have patience and stick to the low-knead technique and you'll be fine.  I've added a 4th knead to my usual 3 kneads as I think the dough benefits from this, plus the first rising time is way over 2 hours so be patient.

makes 2 loaves of any shape:

500g raw beetroot - peeled
800g strong white bread flour
2 teaspoons fast active dried yeast
2 teaspoon salt (not table)
100g strong cheddar - finely grated
50g pecan nuts - roughly crumbled as you add
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
400ml liquid, either water or the water you boiled the beetroot in plus some of the squeezed out juice - you may need less, you may need more depending on how wet your beetroot is

extra virgin olive oil

scrunch some parchment then line your loaf tin or baking tray... saves heaps of time!

cut your beetroot into cubes and boil until tender and set aside to cool, reserve the water, then blend the beetroot into a pulp with a stick blender, squeeze out the juice and add to your liquid measure.

place all the ingredients except for the oil, in a large bowl and bring together with a rubber spatula, it will be very wet but once combined set aside, cover with a tea towel and leave for 10 mins for the yeast to do its magic.

decide which hand you will knead with and which hand you will keep oil free... I use my right hand to knead... spill a little oil on your work surface, spread it around with the flat of your hand and then using your oiled hand grab the dough from the bowl and place it on the oil. Then swiftly drizzle a little oil into the bowl and wipe around using your oiled hand.

now turn to the dough and give it 8 'kneads'. This should take no longer than 30 seconds and you should already be able to feel the softness and air in the dough. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a towel and set aside for 10 mins.

repeat 3 more times then cover the bowl with cling film and let the dough rise for at least an hour or until doubled in size

once doubled oil your work surface with your hand again and punch the dough into an oval on it, then starting at one end, roll the dough tightly into a sausage, tuck in the ends and plop into your prepped loaf tin. Pre heat your oven to 200C and set aside for 30 mins till risen.

Place the tin in the oven and bake for 10 mins then turn down the heat to 180c and bake for a further 20 mins. Remove loaf from tin then bake on the naked oven shelf for five more mins.

Set aside till completely cooled

eat and of course, enjoy!



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