14 Jul 2013

Easy Bread Rolls - Recipe

I didn't make these bread rolls today for many reasons - it's too hot and I no longer have a kitchen. The fitters come on Monday to fit my new kitchen, we are also having a new boiler which means a few difficult days.  It's a great excuse to eat out but I'm sure I'll soon want to cook again.  I've chosen some appliances that are going to take me a few weeks to get used to and at the moment I'm not sure when cooking will resume.

Choosing a kitchen and appliances has taken months and at last the day of the refit is about to arrive. I've learnt a lot over the last six months about appliances and the process of choosing a kitchen and interestingly I couldn't find all of the help I needed on the internet.

The dough balls before I put them into the airing cupboard to rise.
 I always flour my trays instead of greasing them.
I weighed out each piece of dough but somehow they didn't rise evenly.
Even the poppy seeds didn't want to stick evenly to the risen dough.
The rolls are made with an enriched dough which is milk and egg mixed together instead of the usual water.  Easy and straight forward to make and they freeze too.

Makes: 12 bread rolls

450g strong plain flour
1½ tsp salt
½ tsp caster sugar
7g easy blend dried yeast
55g butter
1 egg beaten
250ml warm milk
Seeds or a dusting of flour to decorate

1. Flour two baking trays.  Into the bowl of the mixer add the flour, salt, sugar and yeast.  Rub in the butter.  Place the bowl under the dough hook of the mixer and pour in most of the milk and egg to make a soft dough.  On a low setting let the mixer do it's work for 8-10 minutes.
2. Spread a film of vegetable oil over the dough and cover the bowl with a greased piece of clingwrap.  Place in the airing cupboard until doubled in size.
3. Remove the cling wrap and return the bowl to the mixer - let the dough hook knock back the dough on low for a couple of minutes.
4. Turn the dough onto a greased board and divide into 12 even pieces.
5. Take a piece of dough and place under the palm of your hand and move your hand around in a circle until you have a dough ball.
6. Take a floured baking tray and place six dough balls on each tray.  Cover with greased cling wrap and leave to rise until doubled in size.
7. Preheat the oven to 220ºC.
8. Brush the tops of the rolls with the retained milk and egg mix and sprinkle with seeds or flour the tops.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden.
The floury rolls had the best rise and the flour keeps the dough crust soft

6 Jul 2013

Strawberry Meringue Slice: Recipe

Strawberries dipped in chocolate
I love strawberries dipped in chocolate, I also love looking at them sitting on a cloud of meringue and cream. Sunshine, the odd glass of bubbly, a BBQ and the perfect dessert to end a meal......happy:)
Halved strawberries dusted with icing sugar are perfect too.
For the meringue:
4 large egg whites
¼ tsp cream of tartar
225g caster sugar
2 tsp cornflour
1 tbsp white wine vinegar

For the filling:
284ml pot double cream
225g strawberries

You will need:  Large baking sheet lined with baking parchment.

1. Preheat oven to 140°C.
2. Place the egg whites in a bowl with the cream of tartar and whisk until they hold their shape and soft peaks are formed. Add the sugar a teaspoon at a time and whisk until the meringue is thick and glossy. Whisk in the cornflour and vinegar.
3. Take a few blobs of meringue and place these on the four corners of the baking sheet,these will act as glue, now place the baking parchment on top. Spread the meringue mixture out to a rectangle approx 27cm x 17cm. Bake for 1 hour until crisp on top. Remove from the oven. Leave to cool completely before removing the paper from the base and transferring onto a plate.
4. Whip the cream to soft peaks and spread over the meringue.
5. Dip a few strawberries into melted chocolate and leave to set on parchment paper. Decorate the meringue slice as you wish.

Freshly picked from my garden
More berry meringue recipes:

Strawberry & Redcurrant Pavlova
Chocolate & Vanilla Berry Pavlova
Berry Meringue

2 Jul 2013

Cheese, Mustard and Poppy Seed Plait - Recipe

This crusty bread goes well with soup, it is fabulous toasted and topped with grilled cheese and tomatoes or with a wedge of cheese and a few grapes, better still a ploughman's lunch.  What more can you ask from a slice of bread. It freezes perfectly too....

I didn't make the bread by hand and get into a sweaty mess using muscles that need a workout (although the bingo wings would be grateful), I have no aggression to rid myself of,  I always use the dough hook on the mixer and am more than happy to see it doing the work rather than me.

The liquid used is milk which makes a very tender crumb, mustard powder from the store cupboard and a piece of cheddar cheese which most of have in the fridge.

You will need: 

450g strong plain white flour
1½ tsp salt
25g butter
7g easy blend dried yeast
85g strong mature cheddar cheese, grated
2 tsp mustard powder
freshly ground black pepper
300ml milk warmed until tepid
Poppy seeds
Olive Oil

1.   Flour a baking tray.
2.   Into the mixing bowl of your stand mixer sift the flour and salt. Add the butter and let the beater rub this into the dry mixture. Add the yeast, cheese, mustard powder and black pepper to the bowl.
3.   Place the dough hook onto the mixer, pour in most of the milk and mix on low until a soft dough forms, adding more of the milk if necessary to achieve a soft dough.
4.   Turn the mixer to medium speed and knead for about 10 minutes.
5.   Pour some olive oil onto your hand and spread over the dough.
6.   Cover the bowl with cling film and leave until doubled in size.
7.   Knock the dough back with the dough hook and set on low to knead for 3 minutes.
8.   Remove the dough from the mixer, divide into two equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a long sausage.  Plait the two pieces of dough together, pinch the dough together at both ends, tuck under the plait.
9.  Place the plait onto the floured baking sheet, cover with a piece of oiled baking parchment.  Leave to double in size about 30 minutes.
10. Preheat the oven to 190ºC. Brush the plait with some milk and sprinkle over the poppy seeds. Bake for 40-50 minutes until the bread is a deep golden brown.

More bread recipes:
Walnut & Rosemary Focaccia
Sunflower and Honey Flowerpot Bread
Sunburst Rolls