Tag Archives: bread

Japanese Egg Salad Sandwich

From time to time I find myself craving the food I had in Japan. Sometimes it’s the simplest of things, like this Japanese egg salad sandwich. Because even though you’d think there isn’t much wiggle room in how to make egg salad you’d be amazed what a difference a few little tweaks make. I think the biggest difference is that the egg is mashed, not chopped and the mayonnaise must by kewpie for a truly authentic taste. The pinch of salt adds that little je ne sais quoi that makes this run of the mill sandwich spectacularly moreish!

For one sandwich:

2 hard boiled eggs

2tbsp kewpie Japanese mayonnaise

Pinch of salt

Soft salted butter

Two slices white bread

– Put the eggs, mayonnaise and salt in a bowl and mash with a fork until there are no large chunks. You could even use a food processor to get it even smoother (some conbini do) but I prefer a little texture.

– Spread the bread with butter and add the egg mix. This should be a well filled sandwich! (Though factors such as egg size and bread size will affect it, you may find this makes two less well filed sandwiches if using smaller bread.)

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Filed under Basic, Easy, Japanese, quick

Cheats flatbreads

Coming to an end of my Indian theme I wanted something quick and easy to accompany my meal, the Fritters were doing a good Yorkshire Pudding substitute but I just felt that it needed a flatbread to accompany it.  I could have made up some dough without too much hassle but with everything else going on in the kitchen I just wasn’t in the mood.  I had a can of bread roll dough in the fridge so I improvised!

Cheat's Flatbreads

They worked brilliantly!  Perfectly portioned, beautifully fluffy inside.  This is a cheat I’m sure to turn to again as it was effortless!

Cheat's Flatbreads

1 can of dough for 6 bread rolls

  • Roll out each “roll” on a lightly floured worksurface.
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large frying pan.
  • Place the dough in the pan and fry for about 2 minutes on each side until the dough is firm and browned on both sides.
  • Place the cooked flatbread on a paper towel and keep on a plate in a warm oven until the rest are done.
  • Repeat with the remaining dough, topping up the oil as necessary.

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Filed under Breads, Easy, Sides

Pinwheel Pizza Rolls

As with so many things in my life I blame Pinterest for these little morsels of joy!  These Pinwheel Pizza Rolls are so simple to whip up and make a fabulous grab and go lunch.  They’d also make great picnic or party food!

Pinwheel Pizza Rolls

 

The only tricky part might be the bread dough but once you have the hang of that there’s nothing to it!  It’s a good way to practice your techniques for bread too as there isn’t a proper crumb to mess up while you’re learning.

Pinwheel Pizza Rolls

I love making bread of all kinds, its’s so satisfying!  I love how it magically puffs up and fills out.

Pinwheel Pizza Rolls

Makes 9

300g strong bread flour
3g fast action yeast (1 tsp / 1/2 a sachet)
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
150ml warm water
5 tbsp tomato puree
3-4 large slices cooked ham
75g grated cheese

– Place the flour in a large mixing bowl and add  the yeast on one side and the salt on the other.
– Mix together and make a well in the centre.
– Add the oil and almost all of the water, reserve a little in case
– Mix well until a dough forms.  If it won’t quite come together add the remaining water until it does.  You may not need it.
– Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured worksurface and knead for about 10 minutes until it is soft and elastic.  If you’ve overdone it with the water you can add a little more flour if it is sticking very badly.
– Place the dough in a clean, oiled bowl and cover and place in a warm, draft free place for 1 hour until the dough it risen and doubled in size.
– Knock the dough down by ‘punching’ it in the middle, give it a little knead to pick up all of the dough into a ball and turn out onto a lightly floured worksurface.
– Roll the dough out into a rectangle about 30cm wide.
– Spread the tomato puree evenly over it.
– Sprinkle over the grated cheese and lay the ham on top.
– Roll the dough up into a long spiral starting from the long edge furthest away from you.
– Pinch the long open end closed so the the dough forms a tube.
– Slice into 9 equal pieces and place cut side up on a large baking tray evenly spaced.
– Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for 30 minutes.
– In the meantime get your oven preheating to gas mark 7 / 220C.
– Bake for 25-30 minutes until risen and golden brown.
– Leave to cool or enjoy warm, whichever grabs your fancy!  (I know you’re going to eat at least one warm, fresh from the oven!)
– To heat up later simply microwave for 30 seconds.

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Filed under Breads, Easy, Mains, Teatime Treats

Sodabread

Sodabread!  Ok, confession time: In a moment of new year  madness I decided not to keep bread in the house as it was too tempting and I am trying to cut back on refined carbs… well, that didn’t last!  I desperately needed a vehicle for the poached egg I was craving so as a compromise, instead of going out and buying a whole loaf of worthless white bread I whipped up this little loaf of sodabread.  It made me feel slightly more virtuous!  Its an excellent recipe to turn to in times of need and goes brilliantly with eggs, soup, pate and more!

Sodabread

 

1tbsp lemon juice
a scant 200ml milk
200g self raising flour
1tsp bicarbonate of soda

– Heat the oven to 180C/Gas4.
– Grease a small loaftin.
– Add the lemon juice to your milk and set aside.
– In a medium sized mixing bowl combine the flour and bicarbonate of soda.
– Add almost all of the milk to the flour, keeping a little in reserve.
– Give it a good mix around to make sure everything is combined.
– If the mixture is too dry add the remaining milk.
– Tip/scoop it into your greased loaf tin.
– Bake for 40 minutes.
– Remove from the oven and tip out of the tin, it should be floaty light and sound hollow when tapped on the base.
– Let it rest for 10 minutes or so before serving warm.
– Wrap any leftovers in clingfilm and try to eat it within 2 days.

Sodabread

Do as I say, not as I do! For reasons of rust I had to line this tin.  MISTAKE!  The lining stuck and stuck hard!

 

 

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Filed under Basic, Breads, Easy

Christmas Tree Tear and Share Bread

This Christmas Tree Tear-and-Share Bread is the perfect side to any holiday meal, it’s cute, easy, and can be made ahead the night before for a low stress gathering all round!  It’s not so garlicy or cheesy as to overwhelm, but feel free to dial it up!

Christmas Tree Tear and Share Bread

Bread making doesn’t have to be hard, in fact this takes about 20 minutes hands on time, total!  It’s a real crowd pleaser and could easily be scaled up to suit any size of gathering.

Christmas Tree Tear and Share Bread

Serves 4

250g strong bread flour
4g fast action yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
150ml warm water
100g shredded mozzarella
1 tsp crushed garlic
25g butter
small handful fresh parsley or basil, shredded

– Put the flour in a large mixing bowl, add the yeas to one side and the salt to the other.
– Mix to combine.
– Add the olive oil and most of the water, keep a little in reserve in case it’s too sticky.
– Start to bring the dough together in the bowl with your hand, or a dough hook attachment on a mixer.
– If using your hands, when the dough has formed tip out onto a worksurface and continue to knead by hand until the dough is soft, smooth and elastic.  If using the dough hooks continue to knead in the bowl.
– Set in a clean, oiled bowl and cover.  Leave in a warm, draft free place to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
– When the dough has risen add the cheese and garlic and knock it down.  Knead in the bowl until the cheese and garlic are evenly distributed.
– Grease an oven proof dish.
– Pinch off small balls of dough, about the size of a walnut.  I needed 23 balls.
– Roll them in your hands and arrange them in the dish to form a Christmas tree!
– Now you can cover the dish with clingfilm and keep in the fridge overnight, or you can set aside at room temperature for another 30 minute rise.
– When you are ready for your bread get the dough out of the fridge and heat the oven to gas mark 6/200C or higher.
– Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown on top.
– Immediately upon removing from the oven, dot the bread with butter.
– Scatter the parsley on top for a green Christmas tree!

Christmas Tree Tear and Share Bread

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Cinnamon Rolls

Merry Christmas!!! Do you like the snow?  

Cinnamon Rolls Collage

I have a new obsession.  I don’t know what came over me.  All of a sudden I woke up one day and out of nowhere I NEEDED to have cinnamon rolls! I couldn’t think about eating anything else.  I just wanted cinnamon rolls.  Soft, spicy, pillowy cinnamon rolls.

Cinnamon Rolls

Now, for some people I understand that this is quite a normal state of affairs… but I don’t like cinnamon!!!  Yeah, well that’s a thing of the past!  I love cinnamon now!  For about a week, I kid you not, I pretty much existed on a diet of cinnamon rolls.  Nothing else.  I couldn’t stop thinking about them and craving them, and I had to get the recipe exactly right.  I had to pursue this cinnamon roll nirvana!

Cinnamon Rolls

Happily, I think I succeeded in my quest.  These cinnamon rolls are everything I dreamed of.  They are soft, sweet, squishy, delicious, moreish… I’ll stop now, shall I?

Having attained my perfect cinnamon roll I am pleased to say that I have moved on to new experiments but luckily even excessive consumption hasn’t put me off these… in fact, I might just make up another pan tonight, it would be a shame not to!

Cinnamon Rolls

Makes 9

500g strong bread flour
7g sachet fast action yeast
1 tsp salt
100g butter
2 eggs, beaten
150ml milk, warmed
50g butter, melted
4 tbsp demerera sugar
1 -2 tsp cinnamon
200g cream cheese
300g icing sugar

– Weight out your flour into a large mixing bowl.
– Put the yeast on one side of the bowl and the salt on the other.
– Mix gently with your hand to combine everything.
– Add the butter, cut into chunks, and rub it into the flour until all chunks have disappeared.
– Make a wekk in the centre and add the egg and almost all of the milk.  Hold back a little milk in reserve.  You probably will need it, but you may not.
– Start mixing everything together using your hand.  ( I like to keep one hand clean for holding the bowl and just use the other to get all sticky!)
– It should come together into a smooth dough, if it is still floury add the remaining milk.  You want a soft, smooth dough, not too sticky, not too dry.
– Turn it out on to a lightly floured worksurface and knead it for 10 minutes until soft and elastic.
– Place in a buttered bowl and leave covered in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
– Turn out the dough on a lightly floured worksurface and roll out into a large rectangle, about 30cmx40cm.
– Brush the dough all over with melted butter.
– Sprinkle the surface evenly with sugar and cinnamon.  (I’ve left how heavy to go with the cinnamon up to you, I go for less at 1tsp and find that a comfortable amount.)
– Starting from the long edge furthest away from you, tightly roll the dough towards you into a tight spiral.
– Press the edge of the dough gently to seal it together.
– Slice into 9 equal sections.  (About 4-5cm each.)
– Place in a large, high baking dish cut side up.
– Leave to rise for 30 minutes.
– Bake in the oven for 25 minutes at gas mark 6 / 200C.  The centres should be springy and the dough lightly browned.

– For the frosting mix together your cream cheese and icing sugar until smooth.  Try to work it as little as possible.  Place it in the fridge to refirm it as it will be quite runny to start with.

– If you are not eating the cinnamon rolls straight from the oven simply microwave each one for 30 seconds before icing and eating!  There is little in this world more pleasurable than unrolling a warm cinnamon roll as you consume it!

Cinnamon Rolls

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Filed under Breads, Breakfasts, Desserts, Easy, Teatime Treats

Nutella Braided Ring

NUTELLA!  Is there anything finer? Nutella smothered over sweet bread?  Got you covered here!  Nutella is one of the finer things in life and I thought it deserved something fun so this Nutella Braided Ring was born! Just look at it! (I kinda want to lick the screen!)

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This recipe uses about half a jar of Nutella.  You may want to push the envelope further and use a whole jar, but don’t!  Bad things will happen!  (Oozing and burning things!)

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It’s a tricky, sticky thing to get right but it tastes amazing, with each fold of bread hugging a ribbon of Nutella to it.  It is the perfect breakfast/afternoon snack type bread, just sweet enough but still nice and filling!

Nutella Braid

Serves 12

250g strong bread flour
1 tsp salt
7g instant yeast
50g unsalted butter
135ml warm milk
1 egg
1/2 jar Nutella (or own brand, who can really tell these days?)

– Take a large mixing bowl and add the flour, then add the salt to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other.
– Mix it all together.
– Chop your butter up into little bits and add this along with the milk and egg.
– Get in there with one hand and mix everything together.
– Keep mixing by hand in the bowl.  It will be sticky but keep going and after not too long it will start to come together into a cohesive dough.
– Once you have almost everything as one ball of dough you can turn it out onto a floured worksurface and really start kneading! (There will still be some sticky bits, you can take a small bit of dough and clean round the bowl to mop up stragglers.)
– Keep working it, the trick with a wetter dough is time!
– After about 10 minutes you should have a smooth, elastic dough.
– Place in a clean, oiled bowl, cover and place somewhere sheltered to rise for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.  I found 2 hours about perfect.
– Prepare your apples.
– Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured worksurface.  Do NOT knock it down.
– Simply start to roll it out with a rolling pin.  You want it to be about 25cm deep and 45cm long.  Try to keep it rectangular.
– Spread the Nutella in a thin layer across the dough, leaving a strip nearest you to seal it together at the end.
– Carefully roll the long end of the dough towards you, keeping the roll quite tight.
– When you have a long roll gently press to seal the dough back to itself.
– Starting about 1″ in from the end cut straight through the dough all the way along to the other end.
– Now for the messy bit!  Twist each half around the other, one over the top, followed by the next, arranging the cut side so it faces uppermost.
– Gently manoeuver onto a baking tray covered in baking parchment and bring each end round to form a circle.  Press the ends together gently to secure.
– Place in a plastic bag (bin bags work well here) and leave in a sheltered spot to rise for another hour.
– Heat the oven to gas mark 6/200C.
– Bake for 25 minutes.
– Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire cooling rack.
– Enjoy!

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Filed under Breads, Breakfasts, Cakes, Desserts, Moderately easy

Apple Crown

I am a bit odd when it comes to apples.  I don’t like them.  Except for these apples.  These apples I will eat every day that they are in season and come up with ways to preserve them just a little bit longer.  I love them.  But they are the only ones.  They are the apples from the tree in my parent’s front garden.  These apples are ‘Discovery’ and are an eating apple that does a bang up job of being a cooking apple too.  When ripe they are gorgeously fragrant and the flesh holds a rosy pink blush, which makes these just the prettiest apples ever!

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In this incarnation I have worked them into a sweet braided crown the better to cram as much appley goodness into every bite as I can.  It’s a bit tricky, and some may say overloaded, but no.  More apple = better! The enriched dough makes a perfect vehicle for these lovely chunks of apple and the sticky cinnamon sauce it all creates is a delight!  I’m sure if this were to be presented on Bake Off there would be “Soggy Bottom” comments but I really can’t bring myself to care, the juicy apples and sweet cinnamon are worth a tiny bit of sog!

IMG_5381.JPG

 

If you wanted to you could brush the finished crown with an apricot (or apple jelly!) glaze to make it shine and a drizzle of simple glace icing would make it look lovely too.  Alas, I had run out of icing sugar on this occasion and couldn’t wait to share this recipe with you so you have here the unglazed crown.  Still beautiful in its own way!

Apple Crown

 

Serves 12

250g strong bread flour
1 tsp salt
7g instant yeast
50g unsalted butter
135ml warm milk
1 egg
3 apples, chopped
1 tsp cinnamon (or less if you prefer)
4 tbsp granulated sugar

– Take a large mixing bowl and add the flour, then add the salt to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other.
– Mix it all together.
– Chop your butter up into little bits and add this along with the milk and egg.
– Get in there with one hand and mix everything together.
– Keep mixing by hand in the bowl.  It will be sticky but keep going and after not too long it will start to come together into a cohesive dough.
– Once you have almost everything as one ball of dough you can turn it out onto a floured worksurface and really start kneading! (There will still be some sticky bits, you can take a small bit of dough and clean round the bowl to mop up stragglers.)
– Keep working it, the trick with a wetter dough is time!
– After about 10 minutes you should have a smooth, elastic dough.
– Place in a clean, oiled bowl, cover and place somewhere sheltered to rise for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.  I found 2 hours about perfect.
– Prepare your apples.
– Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured worksurface.  Do NOT knock it down.
– Simply start to roll it out with a rolling pin.  You want it to be about 25cm deep and 45cm long.  Try to keep it rectangular.
– Scatter the surface with 2 tbsp sugar, then the cinnamon, then the apples, then the remaining 2 tbsp sugar.
– Carefully roll the long end of the dough towards you, keeping the apples inside and keeping the roll quite tight.
– When you have a long roll gently press to seal the dough back to itself.
– Starting about 1″ in from the end cut straight through the dough all the way along to the other end.
– Now for the messy bit!  Twist each half around the other, one over the top, followed by the next, arranging the cut side so it faces uppermost.  Shove the apple back in as it falls out!
– Gently manoeuver onto a baking tray covered in baking parchment and bring each end round to form a circle.  Press the ends together gently to secure.
– Place in a plastic bag (bin bags work well here) and leave in a sheltered spot to rise for another hour.
– Heat the oven to gas mark 6/200C.
– Bake for 25 minutes.
– Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the tray.
– When cool the sticky puddle of sauce in the centre should separate nicely as you peel the baking paper away leaving you with your crown!
– Serve as is or glaze with jam and drizzle with icing, the choice is yours!

 

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Filed under Breads, Cakes, Christmas, Desserts, Moderately easy

Slow Cooker Bread

When I first heard about the slow cooker method of cooking bread I was astounded.  There was no way that would work, right?  No way at all… I had to try it!

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I am rather happy to report that it does, indeed, work!  If you want a quick (slow), hands off way to get a loaf of sandwich bread on the table then this is a brilliant method!  And it is quite a versatile one too.  You can try it with breadbuns, flatbread, boules, anything really.  Just remember to line the crock pot as otherwise it will stick to the bottom (trust me, I’ve made these mistakes so you don’t have to!) and also remember to get the bread out of the slow cooker once it has finished cooking or you will get soggy bread due to condensation.  The only other issue is the anaemic look that this bread has… it’s not quite the glorious golden crust of home made bread.  A grill or a blowtorch takes care of that one though!  Just lightly toast the top of your loaf until you get the desired hue.

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This bread is the answer to my issues with crisp, crunchy homemade bread.  I am all for a cracking crust.  Really, I am… except when I’m not.  You know, when you really just want some worthless white bread for a soft sandwich, or your wisdom teeth are playing up and crunch is BAD!  I know that supermarket loaves are filled with horrible things, but prior to this loaf I had never managed to create a delicious, soft crust in my home cooked bread.  Now, I can finally get that delightfully squishy texture in the comfort of my own home!

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Makes 1 2lb loaf

500g strong bread flour
7g fast action yeast
2 tsp salt
3 tbsp oil
300ml tepid water

– In a large mixing bowl place the flour, then on one side the yeast and the other the salt.
– Mix to combine then all and make a well in the centre.
– Add the oil and the water.
– Mix until it all comes together into a dough.
– Knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is soft and elastic.
– (Alternatively, combine and knead using the dough hooks on a handheld mixer, or a stand mixer, whichever you prefer. For a truly hands off approach!)
– Shape your loaf and place in a tin (if using) or line the slow cooker.  (Check before starting that your loaf tin will actually fit in the slow cooker!)
– Place the loaf in the slow cooker, pop on the lid and turn it up to high.
– Bake for 2 hours.  This may well vary from slow cooker to slow cooker so check and if it’s not then just give it a bit longer.  When the base sounds hollow, it’s done!

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Bagels

Bagels are, in theory, very easy to make.  If you can make a simple bread then you have all the skills you’ll need for bageling.  However, it seems to be an acknowledged problem that unless you have very good luck your first batch won’t be great.  You have to learn by experience with bagels it would seem! *

[ * I have now given bagels another go and it was indeed my fault the first time, see my Bagel Update for how to get those holes in.] 

The problem with these bagels was that I left them for too long on the second rise coz the kitchen was occupied.  This meant that they just collapsed after poaching.  They’re still delicious but rather flat.  Something of a cross between an English Muffin, melba toast and a bagel really!  I also didn’t make the holes big enough so they have dimples instead.  But I make these mistakes so you don’t have to.  Take heed and don’t over rise and make a bigger hole! 

The other problem I’m having at the minute is the temperature.  We’ve got 6″ of snow!  Unless the fire’s going in the evening I don’t have anywhere to rise bread so I’m having to just about double the time for everything.  Even regular baking is going a bit haywire as everything’s too cold!  I did the first rise overnight but didn’t need to use the fridge, the whole house is a fridge! 

Makes 10

450g bread flour
7g fast action yeast
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
250ml warm water
2tbsp honey
3 tbsp sugar
seeds for sprinkling
1 egg white

– Mix together the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl. 
– Make a well in the centre and add the warm water and honey.  This should be quite a stiff dough so you may not need all of the water keep back a few tbsp and go very gradually, mixing a little between additions. 
– Mix with a spoon until combined into a dough. 
– Turn out onto a lightly floured worksurface and knead for about 10 minutes until soft and smooth. 
– Lightly oil a clean bowl and leave overnight in a cold place or in a warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.  Overnight is recommended as more flavour develops. 
– Prepare 2 baking sheets with baking paper brushed with oil. 
– Once risen knock down and divide the dough into 10 roughly equal balls. 
– Roll into spheres by cupping your hand over the ball on the work surface and rolling it around until even. 
– Poke a hole in the middle using a wooden spoon. 
– Use your fingers to coax the hole bigger until you can get your hand inside it. 
-Roll the circle a bit bigger and looser. **
– Lay down on your oiled baking paper keeping the hole at around 2 inches if you can.  The dough will be quite elastic so this will take a bit of cunning!
– Leave to rise for about 20 minutes until they’re puffed up. ***
– Meanwhile heat the oven to gas mark 7 and get a very large pot of water to the boil with the last 3 tbsp of sugar, you want the absolute biggest pot you can get and it wants to be a good 3-4″ deep.  It doesn’t want to be a rolling boil but just simmering. 
– Once the bagels have risen slip them into the water in batches and poach for one minute on each side using a spatula to flip them. 
– Fish them out and drain them off a bit and put them back on the oiled tray.  Brush with the egg white let down with a little water and whisked a bit and sprinkle on any toppings you like.  I used  nigella seeds.  
– Put the trays in the oven and cook for 10 minutes then flip over the bagels and switch the trays over and cook for another 10 minutes until golden brown. 
– Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes then enjoy!

** See the Bagel Update for a better technique, twirl the ball round the stick to get a bigger hole. 

*** This is unnecessary it would seem but feel free to give them a bit of a rest before poaching.

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