If you have some pitta or flatbread which has gone a little stale please don’t throw it away!!! Make these Pitta Croutons instead which are low in fat and high in flavour. Just tear the bread I into pieces, spray with oil (I use a […]
Month: November 2017
This Warm Courgette and Mint Salad is a great way of using up courgettes and it’s such an interesting side dish. It compliments fish so well and is brilliant as part of a buffet as it’s so colourful and a bit different. I like to […]
made these as an experiment as I had some butternut squash puree left over from another recipe and now these Spiced Pumpkin Rolls are possibly one of my favourite things ever!
I love this style of enriched dough bun but often they have been covered in a thick layer of icing which I find over-sweet and which ruins the delicious spicing and rich, soft bun so I have just dusted them with some icing sugar. If you love that thick icing though slap some on!
Often yeast based cookery puts a lot of people off as they believe it’s time consuming. I just think you have to make the timings work for you and remember you can slow down the rise if you need to by popping the dough in the fridge for a while for the second prove. I work these buns around kids bedtime! I make the dough, which takes minutes, as the children are eating their dinner or straight after. Then leave it to rise in a warm place while I do their teeth, reading, stories, snuggles. The dough is ready to roll when this is done so I load it up and then leave it to rise for another hour or two until doubled in size and bake just before my bedtime. If I’m running late then it is just rolled out and popped into the fridge to go in the airing cupboard in the morning as soon as I get up meaning it’s warmed up and risen ready to cook as soon as I return from the school run. Which also means I get first dibs on these frankly amazing buns.
Don’t be put off by the length of this recipe, I promise it is easy and very much worth it. Can you tell how excited these buns make me!?!
Spiced Pumpkin Rolls
- For the Dough
- 80ml milk
- 30g unsalted butter
- 125g roasted, mashed squash or pumpkin (or plain tinned pumpkin)
- 45g dark muscovado brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
- 350g bread flour
- 80g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 80g dark muscovado sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- Also: butter and oil for greasing
- Step 1 Warm the milk and butter together over until the butter has only just melted – you don’t want the liquid to boil as it will be too hot and kill off the yeast.
- Step 2 Beat together the puree, sugar and nutmeg (I used an electric whisk). Gradually add the milk and butter mix. Beat in the eggs then the flour and yeast.
- Step 3 Place the finished dough into an oil greased bowl and rub a little on the top too so it doesn’t develop a hard skin or stick. Cover the bowl with cling film so it is not touching and has some growing room.
- Step 4 Leave to double in size in a warm place then knock the dough back and knead on a floured surface for about a minute.
- Step 5 Roll out the dough into a rectangle approx. 45cm x 25cm. Spread the soft butter over the whole area.
- Step 6 In a small bowl combine the sugar and spices then sprinkle evenly over the butter and dough.
- Step 7 Tightly roll the dough up starting the longest edge and rolling up to the longest edge opposite. You need to make the resulting sausage shape as long as possible.
- Step 8 Cut into to 12 equal size pieces and place in a butter greased oblong brownie tin, evenly spaced (you should end up with 4 rows of 3 buns).
- Step 9 Cover with plastic wrap and once again let the dough double in size. This takes about an hour but if you don’t have time you can pop them in the fridge until you are ready.
- Step 10 When the buns are risen, place in a preheat oven which is at 180°C / 350°F / Gas mark 4.
- Step 11 After 15mins in the oven cover with foil and cook for another 10mins.
- Step 12 Remove from the oven when cooked (the buns should spring back when you prod them) and cool a little before dusting with sugar.
I’m not sure what kids party tea and lunchboxes comprised of before hummous or hommous or hummus – however you like to spell it! – was a staple of childhood. There’s no doubt it’s a brilliant go to for the whole family, whether as a […]
I am lucky enough to have a friend who embraces veggies and throws together meals with them so well I want to recreate their fantastic flavours as soon as I return home. And this Italian Kale Stew came about as a direct result of a wonderful afternoon at her house. And finding some fresh full-stem kale at the local farm shop which I just had to have.
While I have called this a stew, it could also be termed a very full broth, although I think the chew factor always changes something from soup to stew! It’s just perfect for the winter as it is hearty but certainly not stodgy or unhealthy. In fact the high vegetable content, especially the kale which is packed with filling fibre but zero calories and is rich in antioxidants, vitamin C and a number of minerals many of us are deficient in, is perfect for keeping you feeling in tip-top condition this winter and balancing the approaching Christmas excess. The beans add protein and make it a satisfying meal. And it’s such a cheap dish to make it’s perfect for both saving money and losing the extra Christmas pounds in the New Year.
I like to serve this with fresh bread, to mop up the juices, or a homemade quiche but it’s just as yummy on its own.
Italian Kale Stew
- Splash of oil or water
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 sticks of celery, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 teaspoons garlic, finely chopped or minced
- 100ml red wine (optional)
- 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1 vegetable stock cube dissolved in 1 litre of water
- 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
- 2 teaspoons mixed dried Italian herbs or dried oregano
- 300g kale, hard stalks removed, sliced
- 400g tins of beans, for example black eyed, flageolet, borlotti, cannellini beans
- Step 1 Place the oil/water, carrot, onion, garlic, celery and kale into a large saucepan and cook with the lid off for 5mins, add a little water if it starts to stick.
- Step 2 Remove the lid and if using add the red wine, cook for a couple of minutes on a medium heat then add the tin of tomatoes, herbs, the vegetable stock, tomato puree and kale.
- Step 3 Bring to the boil and simmer for 10mins with the lid on.
- Step 4 Remove the lid and simmer for another 5mins or until all the vegetables are just cooked before adding the drained tins of beans.
- Step 5 Cooks for a few more minutes so the beans are heated right through then season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
A friend of mine asked how she could better use the premade mixes of vegetables and dried grains and pulses which are available in shops while also saving cash and eating healthily. As she’s a fan of a big salad which will last a few […]
I have a minor obsession with my children loving Indian food for no reason other than I love it myself and cannot wait to take them to India which I think is one of the most fascinating and special countries in the world. They love […]
This chocolate bark is so quick and easy to make but looks stunning. And with its firework like sprinkles and fire-side treat toppings is perfect for Bonfire Night.
It costs a fraction of the price of upmarket bark and makes a quick and simple present if you are at a friends for lunch – just melt the chocolate before you start getting ready in the morning (or bed) and it will be set ready to go. I just pop it in a nice clear bag and tie a ribbon on the top. Whisper it but even a supermarket economy chocolate works brilliantly which means you can make this stunner for less than 50p!
This bark is also brilliant if you have dietary requirements or allergies as you can make sure the toppings and the chocolate underneath work for you. A friend who is dairy intolerant struggles to find ‘exciting’ chocolate like this which has no dairy. This way you can use a delicious chocolate which fulfills
Firework Chocolate Bark
- 150g chocolate of your choice
- 15g plain popcorn
- 15g mini marshmallows
- Step 1 Simply line an 8 inch cake tin with baking parchment, or better still a silicone liner. Melt the chocolate, I place it broken up into small pieces in a microwaveable bowl, on high for 1minute then remove and keep stirring until it’s all melted. You can also melt it in a bowl over boiling water too.
- Step 2 Pour the chocolate into the lined tin and level out.
- Step 3 Sprinkle over the plain popcorn, mini marshmallows and sprinkle hundreds-and-thousands / sprinkles into the gaps. You can even add some edible glitter if you like.
- Step 4 Chill in the fridge until hard, about 20mins should do it, then break into pieces.
There is nothing better than free food! And this soup practically was. Even though winter is approaching nature is still providing some fabulous freebies. On a recent walk I found myself walking on a carpet of chestnut cases – many of which still filled with […]