Pretzel Buns

Pretzel Buns

Definitely more a bun than a traditional pretzel!

And my “best efforts” may have caused a fair bit of mirth from my daughter as she looked on whilst I attempted to twist and mangle the dough into shape – only to provide me with a perfect how to tutorial once they were baking.

But, hot from the oven definitely delicious.

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For this Pretzel recipe you will need:

1 ½ teaspoons fast action dried yeast
175ml warm (not boiling) water
¼ teaspoon pouring salt
½ teaspoon sugar
280g white bread flour
1 egg (beaten)
1 – 2 tablespoons rock salt

Makes approximately 10 – 12 pretzel buns

  • Measure the yeast and warm water into a small bowl.  Allow to stand for 10 – 15 minutes until it is creamy and starts to bubble.
  • Transfer the yeast mixture to a large mixing bowl together with the pouring salt, sugar and half of the flour.  Beat well (I used my Kitchen Aid fitted with the dough hook, but you could beat my hand).
  • Add the remaining flour gradually and continue beating until combined and a sticky dough forms.
  • Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with cling film and put in a warm place to prove for about an hour / until the dough has doubled in size.
  • Grease and line two large baking sheets and pre-heat the oven to 230C / 450F / Gas Mark 8.
  • Once the dough has proved, turn it onto a lightly flour surface and divide into 10 – 12 equal pieces.
  • Roll each piece into a long thin stick and twist to form a pretzel shape (or as in my case, your interpretation of one!).
  • Place the pretzels on the prepared baking sheets.  Brush with the beaten egg and top with rock salt.
  • Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes or until risen and golden brown.

In a pickle {Pickled Onions}

Pickled Onions

Personally I have never eaten Pickled Onions – it really is a case of, as my niece would say (and frequently does, much to my sister’s chagrin), “I’m sure it is delicious, but not to my taste”….

My husband, however loves them.

Although I have to say, I am currently unsure as to whether his recent request for Pickled Onions was extremely retro or further hard evidence of his spiralling mid-life crisis?

Pickled Onions and Cheese

Love them or not, should you wish to pickle your own onions, I followed this recipe, which was not only simple, but I am reliably informed also produced a delicious end product.

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On your marks, get set, bake {Tarte Tatin}

On your marks
Get set
Bake!

Week 9 of The Great British Bake Off, or semi-final week, was with more than a touch of oh, la, la…..LA SEMAINE FRANÇAISE.

The four remaining competitors whipped up canapés, Charlotte Royale desserts and Opera cakes.

Vegetable garden canapesCharlotte RoyaleOpera cakes

Image source

But I have to confess the best moment of the show for me was when hosts Mel and Sue dispatched Paul Hollywood from the baking marquee whilst gleefully remarking that he boasted un derrière comme une pêche (had we noticed this during the last 9 weeks?!…..).

As you know if you have been following my efforts to bake along with the show, I have been wildly generous with my brief, and this was very much the case once again this week.

So, with a nod of my beret towards all things French, I made Tarte Tatin.

Tarte Tatin

As I am not particularly fond of puff pastry (quite frankly too much “puff” for me), I made my tarte using sweet shortcrust pastry instead.

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For this Tarte Tatin recipe you will need:

For the pastry
125g butter (cut into small cubes)
175g plain flour
15g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon cold water

For the apple filling
25g butter
50g caster sugar
450g Granny Smiths apples

  • Begin by making the pastry:  Measure the flour and butter into a bowl and rub together until the mixture takes on the texture of fine breadcrumbs.  This can be done by hand but I prefer to use my Kitchen Aid.
  • Stir in the caster sugar.
  • Add the egg yolk and water, and mix together to form a dough.
  • Lightly knead the dough, wrap tightly in cling film and chill in the fridge whilst you make the filling.
  • Peel, core, half and thinly slice the apples.
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the sugar.   Gently heat until the mixture is caramelised and golden brown in colour.
  • Pour the caramelised sugar mixture into the bottom of a 20cm round cake tin.
  • Layer the sliced apples on top, making sure there are no gaps.
  • Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface until you have a circle of pastry slightly larger than the cake tin.
  • Carefully place the pastry on top on the apples, tucking the edges in.
  • Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
  • When you are ready to cook your tarte, preheat the oven to 200C / 400F /
    Gas Mark 6.
  • Place on a baking sheet and cook for 30 – 40 minutes until the pastry turns golden brown.
  • Turn onto a plate and serve apple side up.
  • Delicious hot with cream or cold (if there is any left!) the next day with a cup of coffee.

If you haven’t already read them, you might like to catch up on my previous bake-along efforts:  Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6, Week 7 and Week 8.

Coffee CakeEnglish Breakfast MuffinsOn your marks, get set, bake {Profiteroles}On your marks, get set, bake {Lemon Tart}FlapjackSweet Tea LoafOn your marks, get set, bake {Jam Roly Poly}Five carrots

 

Cheese and Chive Biscuits

Cheese and Chive biscuits - being snaffled

I only wish I had made twice the amount.

These biscuits were snaffled by my children (who for once chose not to take offense at the “green bits” which would normally be considered tantamount to poison!) whilst my back was turned.

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Cheese and Chive biscuits

For this biscuit recipe you will need:

115g plain flour
55g butter (cubed)
55g cheddar cheese (finely grated)
1 tablespoon fresh chives (chopped)
salt and pepper (to taste)
1 egg yolk

Makes approximately 20 biscuits

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180C / 350F / Gas Mark 4 and grease and line two baking sheets with baking parchment.
  • Measure the flour and butter into a bowl and rub together until the mixture takes on the texture of breadcrumbs.  This can be done by hand but I would recommend using a stand mixer.
  • Stir in the grated cheese, chopped chives and season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the egg yolk and mix to form a soft ball of dough.  If the mixture is too dry gradually add a little water.
  • On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough until it is approximately 10mm thick.
  • Cut out the biscuits (I used a 5cm round biscuit cutter) and carefully place the biscuits onto the prepared baking sheets.
  • Cook in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes until the biscuits turn golden brown.

Note:
Eat quickly before the rest of the family finds them!

On your marks, get set, bake {Doomed Carrot Cake}

On your marks
Get set
Bake!

Week 8, or quarter final week, of The Great British Bake Off was a week of UNUSUAL ingredients, or would perhaps be better described as BAKING WITHOUT.  The remaining five bakers were challenged to make bread without wheat flour and cake free from eggs and dairy.  And, given their limited remit they produced some stunning looking novelty cakes incorporating vegetables.

Allotment Cake and Block of cheese CakeSpiced butternut squash toadstool houseSweet potato and marshmallow fondant guitarImage source

My effort to bake along this week however was a complete and utter disaster…..

The dairy free carrot cake I made was actually verging on the inedible – you know it is bad when the children refuse to even taste it (my husband is made of sterner stuff and has forced down a couple of slices, the rest though is destined for the compost heap).

And, rather than have a second attempt, I happily met a friend for coffee instead – where with a nod in the direction of my doomed bake I enjoyed a very large slice of exceptionally delicious carrot cake!

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If you haven’t already read them, you might like to catch up on my previous bake-along efforts:  Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6 and Week 7.

Coffee CakeEnglish Breakfast MuffinsOn your marks, get set, bake {Profiteroles}On your marks, get set, bake {Lemon Tart}FlapjackSweet Tea LoafJam Roly Poly

Pumpkin Cookies

Pumpkin Cookies

Possibly it is bad form to post two pumpkin recipes in a row, but if ever there was a time of year for pumpkin it is now.

These cookies are melt-in the mouth light and almost cake-like in texture.

Or as my daughter described them cookie-a-licious.

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For this cookie recipe you will need:

150g plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice
150g caster sugar
60g butter (softened)
125g pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg (beaten)
2 tablespoons icing sugar

Makes 12 large cookies

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180C / 350F / Gas Mark 4 and line 2 large baking sheets with baking parchment.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and mixed spice into a bowl, and set to one side.
  • Measure the caster sugar and butter into a second bowl and beat together (I used my Kitchen Aid to do this, but you could mix by hand).
  • Add the pumpkin puree, vanilla extract and egg.  Beat until fully combined and creamy in texture.
  • Gently stir in the flour mixture.
  • Spoon 12 equal mounds onto the prepared baking sheets, making sure to leave enough space between each one as they will spread as they cook.
  • Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15 – 20 minutes.
  • Place the cookies on a wire rack to cool.
  • Whilst the cookies are cooling, mix the icing sugar with just enough water to make a runny icing.  Drizzle a little over the top of each cookie.

Shared at Fall into the Holidays #4

 

Spiced Pumpkin and Apple Muffins

Spiced Apple and Pumpkin Muffins

It occurs to me that a week after finally managing to find some pumpkin, that I haven’t made anything with it!

And, lovely as the cans are to look at (oops, did I just say that out loud!), the pumpkin would be much better used in a batch of muffins than as a dust catcher on the kitchen counter.

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Apple and Pumpkin Muffins

For this muffin recipe you will need:

300g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice
½ teaspoon ground ginger
400g caster sugar
225g pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)
70ml vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 dessert apples (peeled, cored and finely chopped)

For the topping:

2 tablespoons soft light brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Makes approx. 18 muffins

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180C / 350F / Gas Mark 4 and line your muffin tray with paper cases.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, mixed spice and ginger into a bowl.  Stir in the sugar.
  • Measure the pumpkin puree, vegetable oil and eggs into a second bowl and beat until fully combined.
  • Add the flour / sugar mixture and stir through.
  • Mix in the chopped apples.
  • Spoon the mixture into the prepared paper cases (fill each case to approximately ¾ full).
  • Mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle a little over the top of each unbaked muffin.
  • Bake in the pre-heated oven for 30 – 35 minutes, until risen and lightly browned.

On your marks, get set, bake {Jam Roly Poly}

Jam Roly Poly

On your marks
Get set
Bake!

The theme for Week 7 of The Great British Bake Off was PASTRY.

This week’s signature bake challenge was to make a family-sized suet pudding.  A challenge which I opted to take on too.

I suspect that the judges would have considered my Jam Roly Poly pudding perhaps a little stodgier than ideal.  But as far as my family were concerned this proper Autumn evening, stick to your ribs and keep you going for a week, pudding was delicious.

And after all, isn’t the proof of the pudding in the eating?

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To make this Jam Roly Poly you will need:

150g self-raising flour
2 tablespoons caster sugar
75g vegetable suet
100ml milk
150g blackcurrant jam
1 tablespoon soft light brown sugar

  • Preheat the oven to 200C / 400F / Gas Mark 6.
  • Line a baking sheet with greased parchment paper.
  • Sift the flour into a mixing bowl, add the sugar and suet, and stir.
  • Add the milk to the bowl and mix to form a sticky but firm dough.  If your mixture is too dry gradually add a little more milk as needed.
  • On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough to a 20cm by 30cm rectangle.
  • Spread generously with jam (but be careful not to spread the jam right to the edges, to avoid too much leaking out when in the oven).
  • Wet the edges with a little water, roll up and pinch the edges to seal.
  • Carefully transfer onto the prepared baking sheet (making sure you place the roll seam-side down).
  • Sprinkle the light-brown sugar over the top.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, until risen and golden-brown.
  • Best served immediately with cream or custard.

If you haven’t already read them, you might like to catch up on my previous bake-along efforts:  Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5 and Week 6.

Coffee CakeEnglish Breakfast MuffinsOn your marks, get set, bake {Profiteroles}On your marks, get set, bake {Lemon Tart}FlapjackSweet Tea Loaf

 

On your marks, get set, bake {Sweet Tea Loaf}

Sweet Tea Loaf

On your marks
Get set
Bake!

Week 6 of The Great British Bake Off was SWEET DOUGH WEEK.  And, under-baked and under-proved, really did seem to be catchphrase of the week.

For their signature bake the contestants were asked to make a sweet tea loaf, and for my bake-along challenge I made one too.  Toasted and buttered it was absolutely delicious for breakfast.

The Great British Bake off Everyday

To make my Tea Loaf I followed
Paul Hollywood’s recipe
which can be found in
The Great British Bake Off Everyday.

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If you haven’t already read them, you might like to catch up on my previous bake-along efforts:  Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4 and Week 5.

Coffee CakeEnglish Breakfast MuffinsOn your marks, get set, bake {Profiteroles}On your marks, get set, bake {Lemon Tart}Flapjack

Apple Chutney

Apple Chutney

Christmas is coming and will be here before we know it…..you may have spotted the ever so tasteful countdown Santa I have added to my sidebar!

As Santa counts down, I have been making Apple Chutney.  Since this chutney needs about 3 months to mature, making it now will mean it is just about ready for Christmas.

Although if I were to be a little more honest, my seemingly hyper-organised culinary preparations were not so much driven by critical timing as by the fruit bowl being full of far too many apples – a number of them just ever so slightly past their best!

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For this Apple Chutney recipe you will need:

450g apples*
175g onions
225g sultanas
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
200g soft light brown sugar
600ml malt vinegar

* I used eating apples from the fruit bowl, but you could use cooking apples if you prefer.

  • Wash peel, core and chop the apples into (smallish) cubes and place in a large mixing bowl.
  • Finely chop the onions and add to the apples.
  • Measure all of the remaining ingredients into the bowl, cover with a tea cloth and leave to stand for a couple of hours.
  • Transfer into a large saucepan and bring to the boil.  Turn the heat down and allow to simmer uncovered for approximately 45 minutes, until the mixture has reduced, thickened and turned brown.  Remember to stir frequently or it may stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Leave in the saucepan to cool slightly then pour into sterilised jars.
  • Store the chutney in a cool dark place for 3 months to allow the flavours to mature.