Perfect for a quick & simple breakfast
If I asked you to think of the best thing that happened in your life this last week, what would it be?
Anyone who read my most recent post will know that we celebrated our eight year anniversary this weekend. Smiles filled our flat, glasses were raised and some seriously delicious celebratory food was consumed. It was a wonderful weekend, a truly special occasion and probably what I would highlight as my most amazing thing if asked the question above.
Soft & golden: the perfect breakfast loaf
Let’s imagine it’s Sunday morning. You’re in bed. The curtains are still drawn where you left them last night but a little chink is letting in just enough light to make you stir. Cocooned in a warm envelope of covers, your eyes and nose peek out over the top and, as you begin to wake, the salty, smoky smell of sizzling meat wafts in under the door. Someone – probably someone who loves you very, very much – is making you a bacon sandwich.
Light, crusty wholemeal loaf – simple & delicious
The first recipe I ever posted on this blog was a simple malted loaf. Back then it felt like such an achievement – a whole afternoon of weighing, mixing and kneading, praying that it would rise, that the oven was the right temperature and that I’d end up with something edible after all that effort.
Perfectly soft, light little pitta breads
Up until the age of eleven I took a packed lunch to school every day. My primary school was pretty small and didn’t have a kitchen to cook up school dinners on a daily basis. While it sometimes seemed a shame that we didn’t get to eat anything hot at lunchtime, given that this was well before Jamie Oliver waved his magic wand over what we’re allowed to serve to kids in this country, it was probably quite a good thing.
I’ve talked before on this blog about how important healthy food was to my Mum when we were growing up. This is the woman who would offer little packets of Sunmaid raisins to trick-or-treaters come Halloween while the other mums were doling out chocolate and sweets, so you can imagine the contents of my packed lunch were always pretty virtuous. Continue reading
Smooth, creamy custard swirled with crunchy nuggets of brown bread
Fact: Britains throw away over four million tons of edible food every year.
Do you know what’s number one on the list of wasted products? Bread. Approximately one third of this beautiful crunchy-crusted, tender-crumbed, breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner staple purchased is binned by households on an annual basis, at a cost to the country of over a billion pounds.
Crusty ciabatta loaves fresh from the oven
When was the last time you licked the plate clean?
In a previous post on sticky toffee cupcakes, I talked about dishes that look ‘too good to eat’. Today it’s the turn of another favourite food expression. While ‘finger licking good’ is a phrase that is sadly slightly tainted (for me anyway) by its association with greasy fast food and a certain white bearded colonel, the idea that something can be so delicious that it makes you want to lick the plate (as well as your fingers) clean is not. It’s appealing and enduring. And something that we all do. Continue reading
Buckwheat breakfast muffins packed with earthy kale & a kick of chilli
On average, how many of your government recommended 5-a-day do you manage to eat?
Despite, or perhaps (in part) because of, my love of baking and this blog, I’m very conscious of getting my daily quota of fruit and vegetables. In the UK it’s fairly easy to stick to, with the government recommending a modest five 80g portions. However in Australia it’s seven, Spain eat eight and in Japan they suggest a staggering seventeen, although I’m guessing each serving size is slightly smaller than ours given that consuming over a kilo of even the most ambrosial fruit would be a struggle for most sensible human beings in any given day.
Little spiced buns with a sticky syrup glaze
Hot cross buns. The name for these Easter treats always anthropomorphizes them in my eyes: rather than being crossed for religious reasons, I always imagine them as hot and bothered: a flustered little addition to any baking repertoire. Luckily making these lovely seasonal buns is anything but bothersome. A simple enriched dough of flour, sugar, butter and egg is stirred through with mixed spice and additions of your choice – typically raisins, sultanas and candied peel, although chopped dried dates, apricots, cherries or even chocolate are all delicious alternatives – before being quickly kneaded, left to rise then divided into perfect little pillows and marked with a cross.
This month I’m hosting the Fresh From the Oven challenge and I’ve decided to task anyone who wants to get involved with making spiced buns. With Easter just a few days away and the shelf-life of a homemade hot cross buns a little less than 48 hours, now couldn’t be a more perfect time to get baking. But don’t worry if you’ve been hugely organized and already baked a batch for your freezer – there are some suggestions below for alternatives to your standard hot cross bun, and the more diverse and imaginative the entries the better!