Food & Drink

Fruit Scones and a bit of Bread!

I’ve neglected my blog for a few days, sorry! However i am poorly sick with the man flu and feel like death warmed up so i’m sharing some baking from a few weeks ago if that’s ok. I love baking but the problem is so do my hips! If i bake i eat it all cause i live with a fussy husband and teenager. My son won’t eat anything unless it has chocolate in it and my husband is a bit of (well actually a lot of!) a health nut so won’t eat anything that has fat or sugar in it haha!
Me on the other hand will eat anything with flour in it which i know is no good for my waistline.

So some Scones…….who doesn’t like a good scone. I’d only ever baked them once before i tried this recipe and it works a treat. The secret to a good rise? Bring the mixture together barely and don’t knead it, don’t roll out much either. Also when using the cutter don’t twist it, just push down and pull up!

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National Trust Scones (adapted slightly)

  • 450g/1lb self-raising flour
  • 115g/4oz hard butter
  • 85g/3oz caster sugar
  • 85g/3oz sultanas
  • 1egg, beaten
  • 200ml/7fl oz milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Add the flour and cubed butter to the bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in the sugar and sultanas.
  2. Add the egg and gradually mix in 150ml/¼ pint of the milk to make a soft dough. Knead lightly on a floured surface then roll out gently to a generous 2cm/¾ inch thickness, or two fingers.
  3. Stamp out circles using a 7cm/2¾ inch fluted biscuit cutter and transfer the scones to a lightly oiled baking sheet.
  4. Knead the trimmings and continue rolling and stamping until you have made eight scones.
  5. Brush the top of the scones with a little of the remaining milk, then bake for 10–15 minutes until well risen and golden brown.
  6. Serve warm, split and topped with jam and clotted cream.

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This bread is easy but bread does take time so don’t rush it or it will fail.

This is the recipe for a White Cob by Paul Hollywood 

Makes 1 loaf
Prep 3 hours
Bake 30 minutes

500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
10g salt
10g instant yeast
30g unsalted butter, softened
320ml cool water
Olive oil for kneading

1. Tip the flour into a large mixing bowl and then add the salt and yeast, making sure they are placed on opposite sides of the bowl. Add the butter and ¾ of the water, turning the mixture around using your fingers. Slowly add more water until all the flour has been incorporated. When the dough is soft and not soggy it is ready. Move the mixture around the bowl to clean the sides until the mixture forms a rough dough.

2. Cover your work surface with a little oil and then begin to knead the dough. Knead for 5 – 10 minutes, working through the wet stage until the dough starts to form a soft, smooth skin and feels silky. Put the dough into a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel. When it has risen to at least double in size and the dough is bouncy and shiny it is ready. This should take at least 1 hour, but can be left for 2 or even 3 hours.

3. Line a baking tray with baking parchment or silicone paper.

4. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and shape into a ball by knocking it inwards several times until all the air is knocked out and the dough is smooth. Then flatten the dough into a rough rectangle and then roll it into an oblong. Turn the dough so that the longer edge is running away from you and flatten it slightly. Now roll the two ends in towards the centre, so you end up with a chunky squarish shape. Turn the dough over so that the join is underneath.

5. Next, using both hands you need to shape the dough into a smooth domed cob. With your palms turned upwards, position your hands on each side and slightly under the dough. Using your hands tuck the dough neatly underneath itself. Continue, softly forcing the sides of the dough down and underneath, creating a smooth, taut top and a rough underside. Try not to add too much extra flour during shaping.

6. The dough is now ready for proving. Place it on your baking tray and place this in a clean plastic bag. Leave to prove for about 1 hour, until it has at least doubled in size and the dough springs back if you prod it gently with your finger. Whilst the dough is proving turn your oven to 230°C and put a roasting tray in the bottom to heat up.

7. Once ready dust your dough with some flour and then slash deeply with a knife. Add hot water to the hot roasting tray, this will create steam in your oven giving your bread a lighter crust. Put your bread into the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until it is cooked and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Leave your cob to cool on a wire rack.

If you’re anything like me i can’t wait for it to cool before i smother it with best butter!!

 

Food & Drink, Uncategorized

Raisin Flapjack

Easiest flapjack recipe you will ever need and pretty fool proof.

I have to hide this after I’ve made it because it just weirdly disappeared otherwise. I think we have elves!

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So here’s the recipe:

  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 125g light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of golden syrup
  • 200g porridge oats
  • a good pinch of salt (optional)
  • 80g of Sultanas (exchange for nuts or apricots etc… if preferred)

Grease a 20cm square tin with butter and set aside. Preheat the oven to 150 C/ 300 F/ Gas Mark 2

Melt the butter in a pan with the sugar and the golden syrup.

When melted take off the heat and add the porridge oats, salt and raisins.

When everything has been incorporated put into the tin and using a spoon pack it down well.

Bake for around 25-30 mins until golden brown. After 5 mins of cooling score the flapjacks into the size you like (big pieces for me!) When cooled completely remove from tin and place on some kitchen roll for a few minutes to remove excess butter then store in an airtight tin.

Happy Eating!!

 

Food & Drink

Pass me the coffee!

I absolutely love my coffee! I couldn’t possibly function daily without it. It’s definitely my go to drink. I rarely drink other hot drinks other than the odd cup of tea but i really have to be in the mood for that. If i’m out it’s generally a Latte or a Flat White and usually always either Starbucks or Caffe Nero (Costa is just way too weak).

Usually in a morning i reach for the easiest which is Nescafe Azera. Before this i used to use the instant granules but since i started to use this i could never have a normal coffee again. This is the middle ground. Has the instant coffee hit and doesn’t taste dissimilar to a filter coffee.20170714_162055

Today whilst shopping in Asda i spotted some new coffee (well new to me!) and as it was only £2.50 i thought if i didn’t like it then i hadn’t wasted an exorbitant amount of cash. Well no, no thank you Asda. It’s way to bitter and harsh for my liking. On first appearance it looks like a filter coffee but does disperse well in water. It left a really horrible taste in my mouth so that will be resigned to the cupboard as a backup to my back up if ever i run out (in other words it’ll still be there in a couple of years).

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Throughout the day it’s filter coffee for me these days. I only used to make it about once every weeks but since coming back from the States where it’s the staple drink (and they always seem to get it right!) i have found myself making some if not every day then every other day. My go to blend is the House Blend from Starbucks. I love it. It’s a smooth, rich taste and you don’t need too much for a nice deep cuppa. I don’t actually like it too strong but it’s easy to add a bit of water if you’ve added too much coffee. I used to use a cafetiere but these days i use my trusty peculator, it’s just really easy.

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Occasionally if i really want filter coffee but i’m pressed for time i’ll get out my drip feeder. This means i can get a good cup of coffee but fairly quickly.

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Right, time to take 10 minutes to sit with a bit of TV and this beaut before i have to make dinner!
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