Sunday, 18 July 2010

Honey and walnut bread

After having walnut bread at various restaurants, I've been on the look out for a good/interesting walnut bread recipe. I ended up using britishlarder's recipe for spelt, honey and walnut bread.
I changed it slightly, adding a bit more honey and swapping spelt for strong wholemeal flour. The bread turned out delicious! The taste of the walnut is so distinct and honey - MMM. It's a simple recipe and the kitchenaid did most of the work. It looks so pretty after cutting the patterns on top and brushing the dough with egg yolk.
The bread when warm has a crunchy outside and a soft inside. Delicious even on its own. Definitely a keeper. It didn't even take too long to make. Apart from waiting for the dough to double in size.

Honey and walnut bread
minor changes made below - do refer to britishlarder for original recipe
makes 2 loaves

250g strong white flour
250g strong wholemeal flour
10g table salt
7g dried yeast
2 Tbsp honey
260ml warm water
150g walnuts

1 egg yolk

1. Place yeast, 50g flour and honey in a small mixing bowl and add 50g of the water, mix well, cover and leave to prove for 30 minutes in a warm spot until the mixture starts to bubble.
2. In the bowl of a mixer add the remaining flour, bubbling yeast mixture, walnuts, salt and the remaining water together. Attach the dough hook and mix the bread dough on slow speed for 10 minutes.
3. Grease a large mixing bowl. Once the dough is ready turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and shape the bread dough into a smooth ball. Place the smooth bread dough into the greased mixing bowl and cover the bowl with a clean dry tea towel. Leave to prove until the dough has risen to double in size.
4. Preheat the oven to 200°C and dust two baking sheets with flour, set aside.
5. Gently turn the bread dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide the dough into even size dough balls.
6. Roll each ball into a evenly shaped smooth ball, place each ball onto the dusted floured tray and cover gently with cling film or a clean dry tea towel and leave it to prove for the second time until nearly double in size. Brush the risen bread carefully with the egg yolk and use a knife to make small cuts at the top of the risen bread.
7. Place the baking sheets in the preheated oven and pour 100ml of cold water directly onto the floor of the oven and shut the door quickly. The water will give a burst of steam that will help the loaves to puff and form a lovely crust.
8. After about 10-12 minutes, place a sheet of foil over the bread if it is browning too quickly.
9. Bake the loaves for 35 - 40 minutes, give the bread a tap at the bottom and if it sounds hollow it means the bread is cooked, place the bread onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.

Saturday, 10 July 2010


Calzone - YUMMYYY!! I have never used a recipe from the BBC website but I gave this one ago because (a) the recipe uses milk and that sounded interesting and (b) it was the first site to pop up when googled searched. The dough was soft and easy to work with - slightly sticky at times but I just sprinkled flour on the work surface. It was really easy rolling out the dough thinly. It didn't seem as though it would be nice the next day as leftovers but we wouldn't know as Y and I finished all 4 calzones.
I know it says meat feast calzone and I'm not really a person so I ended up just using the dough recipe and making my own filling. For the filling, I just stir fried some onions, garlic, mushroom, carrots, brocolli, capers and some dried basil. Leave to cool and when it's time to fill the calzone, put a heap of filling and loads of shredded cheddar cheese on top. Next time I'll probably add black olives to the filling. I suppose you can use anything as long as the filling isn't too watery.
Y had some leftover strawberries so I cooked them in a pan with sugar and some other frozen fruits i.e.blueberries, blackberries etc. I used a bit of cornflour dissolved in water to thicken it up. Dessert calzones - delicious with ice cream.

I did end up with way too much filling which kept falling out whilst eating it. Actually, I ended up eating the filling on its own and eating the bread with ice cream.
minor changes made below - do refer to meat feast calzone of the BBC for the original recipe
makes 4 descent sized calzones

8 oz strong white flour, plus more for dusting
90 ml warm milk
50 ml room temperature water
1 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

1. Mix the milk, water, sugar and yeast together in a separate bowl.
2. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl.
3. Using a mixer with the dough hook attachment, add the yeast mixture to the flour and mix together on medium speed.
4. Scrape down bowl and add in 1 tsp of olive oil.
5. Continue mixing on medium speed for 3-4 minutes.
6. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave somewhere warm for 2 hours.
7. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions and roll into balls.
8. Place each ball onto a floured work surface and roll out into 8-9 inch circles.
9. Place filling onto one half of each dough circle and cover with shredded cheese, leaving a 1 inch gap around the edge.
10. Fold the sides over to cover the filling and pinch the edges to seal.
11. Preheat oven to 210 C. Place a baking sheet in the oven to preheat.
12. Brush the calzones with vegetable oil/olive oil and place the calzones onto the preheated baking sheet and transfer to the hot oven to bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the dough is cooked through.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Earl grey chiffon cake 2

This cake recipe is definitely a keeper. This is my second time making an earl grey chiffon cake and this time, I added in the zest of an orange. I'll probably use some lemon zest next time.

I really like the lightness and texture of this cake and the cake is so easy to make especially when you're out of butter and running out of flour.
To think, I used to be intimidated by the idea of folding in egg whites.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Orange bundt cake

Have a couple leftover oranges - make orange bundt cake! It's a really simple recipe, similar to the lemon bundt cake made previously. The orange taste is so prominent due to the zest of 3-4 oranges.
The texture of the cake is moist, not dense or oily and when warm, the crust is crispy. YUMM. I even made a not so watered down icing and the result - a really pretty looking cake. The zest of an orange in the icing added a nice touch too. I ended up with too much icing/glaze. Taking into account the amount that drips off the cake.
I used the recipe from sugar&spice by Celeste. I left out the cardamom, cinnamon, lemon and cut down on the baking powder. Below are the changes I made to the Orange Cardamom cake.

Orange bundt cake
makes one 9 to 10 inch bundt cake

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
2/3 cup vegetable oil
zest of 3-4 oranges (basically the zest of oranges squeezed to get juice)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs (I used 4 medium sized eggs)

1 cup powdered sugar
10 tsp fresh orange juice (I ended up using about 10 tsp orange juice)
zest of an orange

1. Preheat oven to 180 C. To prepare cake, coat a 9 to 10 inch bundt pan with cooking spray or butter; dust with flour. Set aside.
2. Combine dry ingredients - sugar, flour, baking powder and salt.
3. In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients - orange juice, oil, zest, vanilla extract and eggs.
4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients on low speed until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.
5. Spoon batter into prepared cake pan, spreading evenly.
6. Bake at 180 C for 50-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted in centre comes out clean.
7. Cool in pan for 5 minutes on a wire rack and then remove.
8. To prepare glaze, combine 1 cup of powdered sugar and 6 tsp orange juice in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk or fork. Add in remaining orange juice a tsp at a time till correct consistency is obtained. Drizzle glaze over warm cake; cool cake completely on wire rack.
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