Soda Bread

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Crusty bread that you can be tucking into in just over an hour – what could be better?

Week 3 of The Great British Bake Off was Bread week and the bakes were quick breads, baguettes and bread sculptures. I definitely didn’t need to bake enough bread to open my own bakery so the bread sculpture wasn’t going to happen. I was tempted by the baguettes but they sound a little tricky and time consuming they would need to wait for another time when I was less busy. I had been wanting to make Soda Bread since Rien bought me Paul Hollywood’s ‘Bread’ book for my birthday. I had gone to make it a few times and then realised I needed buttermilk and didn’t have any so decided to make something else instead.

So finally I was going to actually get round to making soda bread. I rushed into Waitrose on my way home to find an empty shelf where the buttermilk was meant to be! A lovely lady went and had a look out the back to see if they had anymore and what must have been about 5 minutes later, back she came with some. I definitely learnt my lesson to buy my ingredients before Bake Off airs! Although you can make your own buttermilk by adding 1 tbsp of lemon juice to 1 cup of milk and letting it sit for 10 minutes; I thought I better use the real deal for my first attempt at soda bread!

From watching the show, I learnt that you need to be gentle and handle the dough as little as possible. So don’t go crazy and start kneading the dough like you would when making other types of bread. It is also what makes it the easiest bread I have made because it is so simple and quick.

I was very pleased with how the bread turned out, but as it is best eaten on the day it is baked I took some of it into work the next day (I thought seeing as it came out of the oven around 9pm, the following morning counted as the same day!). They were all very grateful and complimentary – one of my colleagues even said it was divine! It was good to know it actually tasted like it should because I’ve never eaten soda bread  before.

250g plain wholemeal flour
250g plain white flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
420ml buttermilk 

  1. Put both of the flours into a large bowl along with the bicarbonate of soda and salt and mix together
  2. Add the buttermilk and mix using a wooden spoon or your hand to form a sticky dough
  3. Lightly flour the work surface and tip the dough out onto it. Gently roll and fold the dough to bring it together making sure you don’t knead it

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  1. Shape the dough into a ball by turning it around on the surface between your cupped hands and then flatten it gently with your hand

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  1. Place the loaf on a baking tray lined with baking paper and then dust the dough with white flour. Using a large knife, score the loaf deeply, dividing it into quarters. Open the scores slightly to allow the heat to get into the centre

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  1. Set the loaf aside for 30 minutes to allow the bicarbonate of soda to work. In the mean time, heat your oven to 200ºC. If you are in a rush (or just don’t want to wait!), you can bake the loaf as soon as the oven is hot
  2. Bake the loaf on the middle shelf of the oven for 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown on top and pale brown at the base of the cross. The bread should sound hollow when tapped at the bottom

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  1. Allow the loaf to cool completely on a wire rack. It is best eaten on the day it is made but can keep for a day or so if needed

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Make sure you check out the rest of the Bloggers baking along as part of the #GBBOBloggers2015 by visiting www.mummymishaps.co.uk

Mummy Mishaps

Soft Bread Rolls – Ted’s Rolls

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Nothing is better than freshly baked bread and these rolls are perfectly soft and fluffy making them great with anything.

I came across these rolls on Twitter. Lots of people I follow would talk about Ted’s Rolls over and over again. The original recipe was created by Sarah James on her blog Tales From The Kitchen Shed. I was initially drawn to make these rolls by the lovely photos people were posting of them, but it was after reading her blog post that I knew I had to make these. These aren’t just a great recipe, there is a lovely story behind how she adapted the recipe over time to create a soft fluffy roll that her ill father-in-law, Ted, could eat. Please visit her blog to read the full story –  http://www.talesfromthekitchenshed.com/2014/04/everyday-bread-rolls-teds-rolls/.

Another reason I think you should check out this recipe on Tales From the Kitchen Shed is that Sarah has written the recipe so clearly and has some great tips. As you can see from my blog posts, I like to include photos of the whole process and not just the end result. I really like that Sarah does this on her blog too because it isn’t something you see as often as I would like!

I’d made bread rolls before, and even have a blog post with a lovely recipe but they are for crispy rolls. I do love a crispy roll, but they’re not necessarily the type of roll I would like to eat everyday. For an everyday roll, I prefer soft and fluffy rolls which is exactly what these Ted’s rolls are.

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I made a batch of these rolls (16 – 18 rolls) which we ate over the course of the weekend, we made lovely rolls to take on a picnic and also gave a couple away to my brother-in-law’s family. I was chuffed that the bread expert (Rien) liked them and I got some lovely comments from Dom’s family.

1 kg strong white bread flour
3 tsp sea salt
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp instant yeast
8 tbsp rapeseed oil
Approximately 600ml lukewarm water
Spray oil

  1. Attach the dough hook to your mixer. Add the flour, salt, sugar and yeast to the bowl making a well in the middle. Add the oil and half of the water into the well
  2. Mix on the lowest speed for a couple of minutes
  3. Add the rest of the water and mix on the second speed for 8 – 10 minutes
  4. Check your dough is ready by pinching a small piece of dough off and stretching it between your fingers. Sarah calls this the window pane test as the dough is ready when it is translucent when you hold it up to the light
  5. Put the dough in a greased bowl and cover with cling film – make sure you spray with cling film with oil too. Leave the dough to prove for at least one and a half hours or until the dough has doubled in size

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  1. Lightly flour your work surface and tun the dough out onto it. Divide the dough into 90g portions which will be 16-18 balls. You can do it by eye but by weighing it you can get rolls all the same time which I think makes these rolls even more appealing

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  1. Shape each portion into balls and then place them on a greased baking tray. You must make sure that you don’t leave more than 2 ½cm between the rolls otherwise they won’t touch when baking and this is crucial for producing soft fluffy rolls. Gently press the rolls when once you’ve placed them on the tray to flatten them slightly

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  1. Cover the rolls with greased cling film and leave to prove in a warm place for 30 – 45 minutes. When the rolls are proving, preheat the oven to 200ºC
  2. Put the rolls in the oven for 25 minutes – check half way through to see if the tray needs turning if one side is browning quicker than the other
  3. To test the rolls are ready, tap the underneath and if its hollow they’re ready. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes on the tray before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely

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Visit Tales From The Kitchen Shed for how to make the rolls without using a mixer – its just as easy!

Rosemary & Salt Fougasse

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Freshly baked bread that doesn’t only taste amazing, but looks impressive too!

I wanted to  bake some bread but to Rien’s disgust, I didn’t want to make a normal loaf or rolls (He pouted and moaned throughout the whole process because he wouldn’t be able to make a sandwich with it). I remembered a type of bread I had seen on one of Lorraine Pascale’s programmes called fougasse and thought it had looked great so decided that would be perfect.

I have only made quite basic loaves or rolls before so I was keen to expand my skills and make a shaped loaf. Although this type of bread doesn’t require a great deal of skill, it does look impressive once baked.

Rien managed to get over the fact it wasn’t a loaf by the time the fougasse came out of the oven and couldn’t wait to try some. We let it cool slightly and then tucked in – it was delicious! The crust was only slightly crisp with the great flavour of rosemary and sea salt. The bread went perfectly with some meat and cheese which I think is a lovely weekend lunch. Its safe to say Rien wasn’t disappointed and said he would look forward to me making it again.

I love the flavours of rosemary and salt, especially with bread. The recipe I used had tomatoes and onions but I decided to go with rosemary and salt as I tend to have these most of the time, but feel free to add any toppings you like. For example I’ve seen fougasse recipes with chorizo which sounds delicious and I will be trying that soon! I got the recipe for the dough from Good Food http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/335608/red-onion-cherry-tomato-and-rosemary-fougasse. I look forward to adding new flavours to the dough now I know how easy it is! Feel free to try your own flavours, I’d love to hear how you get on.

For the dough
500g strong white bread flour
7g sachet yeast
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
350ml hand-hot water
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp chopped rosemary

  1. Mix the flour, yeast, salt, sugar and chopped rosemary together. Add the water and oil and mix to form a soft dough

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  1. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. I tend to start it in my mixer with a dough hook and then finish it by kneading my hand. When pressed, the dough should spring back when it has been kneaded enough

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  1. Put back in the bowl and cover with a clean tea towel or cling film sprayed with oil. Leave to rise for 1 hour
  2. Heat the oven to 240°C (220°C fan). Divide the dough into two and shape into long rectangles approximately 25cm long
  3. Place on a floured baking sheet and brush lightly with water. Cut one diagonal slash through the dough and then three slashes either side to give the dough leaf like markings. Open out the slashes slightly

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For the topping
1 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp rosemary leaves
1 tsp sea salt

  1. Scatter the salt over the bread. Dip the rosemary leaves in the oil to help the stick to the bread but also to stop them burning

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  1. Leave to rise for 15 mins, then bake for 15-20 mins until risen and golden brown

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Gluten-Free Sundried Tomato Bread

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I made this recipe when my friends from uni came to stay for the weekend as my friend Zoe has Coeliac disease. I usually buy her a little loaf from the shop but decided I wanted to have a go and see how it turned out!

She recommended a Good Food recipe to me because he had tried it before and she knew it was nice. The recipe was incredibly easy, far easier than bread using flour with gluten as it doesn’t require any kneading.

The bread doesn’t rise a lot so don’t be alarmed if it looks quite flat. I haven’t tried any gluten-free bread before so was intrigued to see what it would be like. It was very different to bread I am familiar with as it seemed to have a softer texture more like cake than bread. Zoe said it was very tasty and she recommends toasting it to give it a bit of a crisper crust.

200g gluten-free white flour
1 tsp salt
3 tsp gluten-free baking powder (most types are gluten free but check)
284ml buttermilk 
3 eggs
2 tbsp olive oil
50g sundried tomatoes in oil (approximately 6-8) coarsely chopped
25g parmesan
1 tbsp tomato puree

  1. Heat the oven to 180ºC or 160ºC in a fan oven. Grease a 2lb loaf tin with a small amount of olive oil. Grate the parmesan and chop the sundried tomatoes

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  1. Mix the flour, salt and baking powder together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, tomato purée and oil

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  1. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry and then add the sundried tomatoes and half of the parmesan
  2. Pour the mixture into the tin and smooth the top. Sprinkle the remaining parmesan on top and bake in the oven for 50-60 mins until a skewer comes out clean. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool

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The sundried tomatoes I bought were in a lovely olive oil with herbs so instead of using ordinary olive oil, I used the oil from the jar to give extra flavour. It isn’t the sort of bread that you would use to make a sandwich really because it does make quite small slices, but cut into slices with some meat and cheese makes a lovely lunch.

Zoe has said that in general, gluten free bread isn’t that great and can be a bit boring. The sundried tomatoes and parmesan give this bread a lovely flavour which makes it one of the best recipes she has tried.

The original recipe can be found at http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2070/glutenfree-sundried-tomato-bread

Banana Bread

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Rien has been wanting me to bake something with bananas for ages, so I finally have! I have never been a fan of banana bread in the past because it can sometimes be a little dry with a very strong banana taste. I know some people would be happy with this but I prefer a more subtle flavour when it comes to banana!

This recipe is from The Great British Bake Off’s Big Book of Baking which has loads of lovely sounding recipes. It is a lovely moist bread which I think is more of a cake than bread. You can have it with butter but I don’t think you need to at all because of how moist it is already.

This recipe is really easy to make and although it takes an hour to bake, you can just put it in the oven while you get on with other things. It is also great for using up bananas that have got a little too ripe for you to want to eat. When they are turning black is when they are perfect for this recipe! The original recipe includes walnuts but we’re not keen on them in this house so I have left them out.

125g unsalted butter, softened
150g light soft brown sugar 
2 eggs
250g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
250g peeled, ripe bananas mashed
2 tbsp soured cream (alternatively you can use crème fraîche)

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC and line a loaf tin
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs and mix again
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Gently stir into the butter until the flour is nearly combined, but not quite

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  1. Mash the bananas on a plate with a fork, don’t go too crazy you want a lumpy texture rather than a smooth puree. Add to the rest of the mix along with the soured cream and mix until combined

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  1. Tip into the lined loaf tin and smooth the top. Bake in the oven for 1 hour until the top is golden brown and a cocktail stick comes out clean

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  1. Leave to cool in the tin for around 15 mins before turning out onto a rack to cool. Once cool, wrap in foil and keep for up to 3 days (it won’t last that long though!)

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This bread makes a delicious afternoon treat so make yourself a drink, out your feet up and enjoy!

Soft pretzel bites

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Week 3 of The Great British Bake Off was Bread. Initially I was going to make a hot cross bun loaf but when I came to baking one evening I decided against it because the recipe required a couple of hours to prove. I wanted to get to bed that evening so instead I decided to make a bread recipe that was a little different. I’d seen the recipe for soft pretzel bites on Sally’s Baking Addition and knew I wanted to try it so decided to bake them for week three of #GreatBloggersBakeOff2014. I love pretzels, especially soft salted pretzels. I haven’t made them before so I thought these bites would be a good place to start without having to worry about shaping them into the usual pretzel shape.

For the pretzels
1 ½ cup lukewarm water
1 packet of instant yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3 ¾ – 4 ¼ plain flour
Spray oil

2/3 cup bicarbonate of soda
1 large egg, beaten
Coarse sea salt 

  1. Stir the yeast in the warm water so it starts to dissolve. Add the salt, sugar, melted butter and stir. Add the flour 1 cup at a time in a bowl or in a mixer with a dough hook until it makes a thick, sticky dough. Add ¾ cup more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. If it is still sticky, add up to ¼ cup more
  2. Lightly flour your surface and turn the dough out onto it. Knead the dough for approximately 3 minutes and then roll it into a ball. Put the dough in a large bowl sprayed with oil and cover with cling film. Let the dough prove in a warm area for 20 minutes

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  1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC. Line two large baking trays with baking parchment and set aside
  2. Cut the ball of dough into 6 sections. Roll each section into 20 inch long ropes

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  1. Cut the ropes into approximately 1.5 inch pieces to make bites

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  1. Boil 9 cups of water and add the bicarbonate of soda. Drop 8-10 pretzel bites into the water and leave for 20 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on the baking trays. Make sure they don’t touch
  2. Brush each pretzel bite with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sea salt. Repeat this for all of the dough

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  1. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes or until golden brown

These pretzel bites are best eaten on the day you make them. They can be kept in an airtight container for up to 3 days but they become softer. You can also freeze them – defrost them and heat them through in a 150ºc.

I was very pleased with how these pretzel bites turned out, they tasted exactly as a bought soft pretzel would. They are quite simple so if you haven’t made much or any bread before, these would be a great place to start.

Original recipe – http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/07/20/soft-pretzel-bites/

GBBO

 

Check out www.mummymishaps.co.uk for the rest of the entries.

Monkey Bread

Monkey Bread 2

(photo by Greedy Betty)

This is the first of three posts that will include photographs from my photography lesson with Betty. I started talking to her on Twitter and was blown away by her fantastic photography on her website www.greedybetty.com. When we realised we both lived in the same town, she very kindly invited me over so I could get some photography tips. Photographing food is something I would really like to improve on.

It was fantastic to learn about lighting, how to create a scene for a photograph and tips on how to use my camera on the manual setting which had always scared me! It was great to meet up with someone who was as passionate about food as I am. It was a fantastic opportunity to learn, and also meet such a lovely person. I hope in future posts you will be able to see small differences as my photographs improve (go easy on me though!). Photoshop is top of the list followed very closely by a light box!

This recipe is the first I decided to make for the photography session. I saw it on one of my favourite blogs – Sally’s Baking Addiction (http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/). She has so many delicious sounding recipes, but when I saw her recipe for Monkey Bread I knew it would be the first recipe I tried. The recipe is little cinnamon balls baked in a bundt tin with the idea of picking the individual balls off, like monkeys do when they groom each other. Bundt cakes seem to be very popular at the moment, and this recipe is another way of using your bundt tin but for something a little different.

I know I say you should make a lot of the recipes I feature on here, but if you love cinnamon rolls, this is the recipe for you. It is absolutely delicious! Personally, I think American recipes are great for cinnamon based food because American’s seem to love their cinnamon and know how to use it. It makes a big old portion which makes it perfect for a party or a family occasion.

This recipe needs to be left overnight. Please read the whole recipe before starting.

For the dough
1 package of yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 & 1/4 cups warm milk (semi skimmed or higher)
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp  salt
5 cups plain flour
Spray oil

  1. Put the yeast in a bowl and add the warm water. Stir it around a let it sit for a couple of minutes. Add the milk, melted butter, sugar, eggs, salt and 3 cups of flour. Beat using a dough hook for 3 minutes (or mix by hand)
  2. Add enough flour to form a firm dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Keep adding enough flour until it forms a firm dough, this will be about 5 cups in total. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, this should take about 5 minutes. Don’t over knead or else you will have a tough chewy dough. Form the dough into a smooth bowl and put it into a large greased bowl and cover with cling film. Put it in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight to allow the dough to prove

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For the coating
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 & 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon

  1. Melt the butter in a small bowl. In another bowl mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon together
  2. Spray a 10-12 cup bundt tin with spray oil and set aside. Punch down the dough and then pull small pieces of dough off and roll them into balls approximately 2.5cm in width. You need approximately 40-45 balls in total so don’t roll them too big or too small!
  3. Dip each dough ball into the melted butter and then roll in the sugar and cinnamon until generously coated. Do this with each ball and arrange them neatly into the bundt tin. Depending on how generous you are with the sugar and cinnamon mix, you may need a little more sugar

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  1. Once all of the balls are assembled, cover with cling film and leave for 45 mins for the dough to prove

For the drizzle
1/4 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup light or dark brown sugar (I used 1/3 cup of each)
1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Melt the butter and whisk in the brown sugar and vanilla extract. Pour this over the dough balls in the bundt tin

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  1. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. If the top looks like it is browning too quickly, cover loosely with foil
  2. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then turn out

For the glaze
1 cup icing sugar
3 tbsp cream or whole milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Whisk all of the ingredients together and pour over the bread. You may need to add a little bit more cream/milk to get to a nice pouring consistency

This recipe is so tasty you won’t be able to stop yourself going back for another gooey, sticky cinnamon ball! You have been warned!

Cat Minkey Bread

 (photo by me!)

Please visit www.greedybetty.com for more of Betty’s amazing work.

Hot Cross Buns

I love Easter because to me it is the baking holiday! There are so many different things to bake that really lend themselves to being Easter themed even if that is sticking a mini egg on a cupcake. I’m glad we have four days off work because I am going to need it for the amount of baking I have planned.

Hot cross buns are an essential at Easter in my opinion. There are lots of different recipes out there with slight variations but I decided to go with this one by Paul Hollywood because I liked the idea of putting apple in them. The original recipe can be found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/hot_cross_buns_74750.

My Mum searches the shops for hot cross buns that don’t have peel in them because she hates it; every year Dad ends up buying them some with peel in saying “he forgot”. I am slightly risking it by trying to convert her with this recipe. I bought a big bag of mixed fried fruit which has a selection of raisins, sultanas and a small amount of peel. I’m going to not mention the peel and see if she notices because there really is such a small amount, but if notices I’ll try and see if Dad’s excuse works! Fingers crossed!

For the buns:
300ml whole milk

500g strong white flour
75g caster sugar
1 tsp salt
7g sachet fast-action yeast
50g butter
1 egg beaten
230g mixed dried fruit
1 apple, cored and finely chopped
2 oranges, zest only
2 tsp ground cinnamon
oil for greasing the bowl

  1. Bring the milk to the boil and then remove from the heat and leave to cool until it reaches hand temperature. Keep watching it until small bubbles start appearing and then take it off the heat – don’t let it get too hot
  2. Mix the flour, sugar, salt, yeast, butter and egg together in a bowl, then slowly add the warmed milk until it forms a sticky dough

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  1. Add the dried fruit, finely chopped apple, orange zest and cinnamon and mix. It is a little tricky to mix all of the fruit into the dough but don’t worry as you will be able to mix this in more thoroughly when you knead it. Tip out of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface
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  1. Knead the dough for five minutes, or until smooth and elastic
  1. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise for approximately one hour, or until doubled in size. I like to use spray oil for this because it is very low in calorie and its quick and easy to spray the bowl and cling film

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  1. Lightly flour your surface and roll the dough into a long sausage shape and divide it into 12 pieces. Roll each section into a round ball and place them on a lined baking tray. Leave enough room so they have enough space to rise. leave to prove for another hour

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  1. Heat the oven to 200ºC

For the cross:
75g plain flour

  1. Mix the flour with five tablespoons of water, add a spoonful at at a time and mix. You’re looking for a thick paste consistency so don’t add all of the water if you don’t need it
  1. Spoon into a piping bag with a small, circular nozzle. Pipe across each bun and then pipe in the other direction to make a cross. This isn’t like piping butter cream – the flour and water are really elastic and I found the easiest way of finishing your cross was with the help of some scissors to cut off the paste

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  1. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown

For the glaze:
3 tbsp apricot jam

  1. Heat the apricot jam on a low heat in a pan and then sieve to remove the chunks. While the jam is still warm, brush over the top of the buns to give a lovely shine

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Throughout the process of making these, the smell of the fruit and cinnamon is amazing! We did sneak one straight out of the oven before I did the glaze and the butter melted instantly and they really did taste lovely. They do take a bit of time and effort – from start to finish took approximately 3 1/2 hours but it was enjoyable and worth it in my opinion.

White bread rolls

I’ve wanted to have a go at making bread for a while. and rolls seemed to be a good place to start. I have never met anyone that likes bread as much as Rien. He will make everything into a sandwich and I have no doubt that if he had to pick his last meal it would be a sandwich! So I knew he would give me an honest opinion. After a few bites, he was staring at his plate waving his hands around saying “I don’t get it, these are perfect. They’re amazing.” I think I am forgiven for dragging him to Ikea on a Saturday and I have a feeling I will be making a lot more bread from now on!

500g bread flour
7g (one sachet) fast-action yeast
1 1/2 tsp caster sugar
2 tsp salt
300ml luke warm water
3 tbsp olive oil

  1. Mix the flour, yeast, salt and caster sugar together in a bowl
  2. Make a well in the middle and pour in the water and olive oil. Gradually mix in the flour with a knife until it comes together into a dough

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  1. Lightly flour the work top and empty the dough onto it. Knead the dough for ten minutes. I push the dough with the palm of my hand then pull it back and keep repeating and turning the dough

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  1. Put the dough in a large lightly oiled bowl, then cover. It should feel smooth and elastic. Leave to prove for an hour

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  1. After an hour knock back the dough. This is the process of removing the air from the dough. I do this by first punching the dough down in the bowl and then kneading it for another ten minutes
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  1. Roll the dough into a long sausage and divide into eight sections. Roll each section into a bowl and place on a baking tray to prove for an hour making sure you cover it
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  1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC and bake for 10-15 minutes. To test if they are ready, tap the bottom and if they sound hollow they’re done
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You can also make the dough up until the first prove and and put it in the bowl in the fridge over night.

I decided to use the rolls to make my own version of a Nandos burger. I marinated chicken thighs in the medium Nandos marinade and put in the rolls with lettuce and mayonnaise. According to Rien it was even better than Nandos!

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