22 Jan 2017

Thermomix Soft White Bread Rolls

Soft White Bread Rolls

There's nothing more satisfying than making a batch of bread rolls and pulling them apart to reveal their light fluffy interior.

I cut these in half, spread mayonnaise over and filled mine with lettuce, tomatoes, bacon, home made beef burger, and melted some cheese over the burger. Yum. These are perfect rolls for beef burgers because the burger stays put in the bread roll!

I love making bread in the Thermomix, it takes only two minutes to knead the dough and then it's ready to rise for an hour in the Thermie jug, shape, rise and bake - what's not to like?

Thermomix Soft White Bread Rolls

I've included conventional instructions below....

Thermomix Instructions in Italics

Makes: 8

500g strong white bread flour
7g easy blend yeast
1tsp salt
35g butter
200ml warm water or 200g of cold water (if using a Thermomix)
100ml warm milk or 100g of cold milk (if using a Thermomix)

1. Put the flour into the bowl of the mixer and using the appropriate attachment rub in the butter.
2. Add the yeast and salt to the bowl, it's always best to place them on opposite sides of the bowl.
3. Fit the dough hook and pour in 200ml of warm water and 100ml of warm milk, knead for 5 minutes until the dough is elastic.
Pour 200g water and 100g milk into the jug, add the yeast and set to 1 minute/37ºC/Speed 2, then to ensure the yeast is mixed in thoroughly I tend to set for another 1 minute/37ºC/Speed 2 reverse.
Now add the flour, salt and butter. Set to 2 minutes/Knead Function.
4. Remove the dough and place into a greased bowl, cover with cling wrap and prove for an hour or so until doubled in size.
Prove the dough in the TM jug, leave until double in size about 1 hour.
5. Remove the dough from the bowl, return to the stand mixing bowl and using the dough hook knead for a minute to knock out the air.
Remove the dough from the TM jug and knock out the air.
6. Cut the dough into 8 even size pieces and shape into balls. Place onto the floured baking sheet leaving a small gap between each dough ball. Dust with flour and cover with a tea towel to prove until double in size, approximately 30-45 minutes.
7. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200ºC. Place the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Place on a wire rack to cool.

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15 Jan 2017

Pear Polenta Cake

Pear Polenta Cake

I know January is typically the month we all turn our thoughts to getting rid of the Christmas excesses, but I'm not sure how you can do that when there is still Christmas food in the freezer. I've always tried to make a bit of an effort towards the end of January, afterall I've got a stash of chocolate that needs eating up and I'm sure it's not going to go to waste whilst starting some kind of daft diet.

I'm not sure that this is an authentic Italian polenta cake, but putting that aside, it tastes delicious. The recipe is a bit of a faff and the mixture at times doesn't look very promising but it turned out to make a fabulous dessert. If you have a couple of ripe pears in the fruit bowl, but not overly ripe, this recipe is a great way to use them up.

Pear Polenta Cake

You will need: 23cm springform tin, greased with butter and base lined. Dust the tin with flour.

100g plain flour
40g polenta
1 tsp baking powder
large pinch of salt
grated zest of one lemon
2 large eggs
75g golden caster sugar
5 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 tbsp raisins
50g unsalted butter (softened)
2 medium desserts pears (peeled and sliced)
25g unsalted butter, softened
10g caster sugar
2 tbsp apricot jam
toasted flaked almonds
icing sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
2. Mix the flour, polenta, baking powder, salt and lemon zest together in a bowl.
3. Beat the eggs and half the sugar until light and fluffy.
4. Little by little beat in the milk and almond extract. Beat in the flour and very soft butter. Note: I had an issue mixing the butter into the batter by hand and had to whiz everything briefly in the food processor (but in my case the Thermomix) to make a lump-free batter. Stir in the raisins. Now dollop the mixture into the tin and smooth evenly.
5. Arrange the pear slices over the cake batter. Melt the butter and brush over the slices of pear. Sprinkle over the caster sugar.
6. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes until golden and cooked through.
7. Place the tin on a cooling rack and allow the cake to cool in the tin for 15 minutes.
8. Remove the cake from the tin. Heat the apricot jam with 1 tablespoon of water, brush over the top of cake.
9. Decorate with toasted flaked almonds and a dusting of icing sugar.

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