Monday, 25 March 2013

# 336 Monkey bread

This is a brioche like tear apart bread with cinnamon and also one of the most fun to make. As usual I tweaked it a little leaving out the sauce and using the sweet brioche dough recipe I often make.

You can mix the ingredients and knead the dough by hand but if you have a bread machine it's so much easier. This is a delicious sweet bread appropriate for any time of the day. Slice it and toast it for breakfast spread with butter and a little drizzle of honey or eat it plain with a cup of tea mid morning/afternoon, you can also have it for lunch with a savoury filling, bacon, ham or parma ham go particularly well with this bread.

Monkey bread

1 teaspoon easy bake yeast
250g strong white flour
3 tablespoons caster sugar
75g butter
Pinch of salt
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
A few tablespoons caster sugar + ground cinnamon
Golden syrup (optional)

Put all the above ingredients in the bread pan in the order listed in your bread machine manual. Select the Basic Dough programme (2h 20m on mine).

When the programme finishes mix some caster sugar with ground cinnamon in a small  bowl. Cut small pieces of dough and roll them into balls, drop these into the sugar and cinnamon mixture and shake the bowl to make sure they get well covered in the sugar and cinnamon.

Drop these in a rectangular cake tin greased and lined with baking paper. Allow to prove again in a warm place until doubled in volume. Then bake in a preheated oven to 180ºC for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.

While still warm drizzle with some golden syrup.



Friday, 15 March 2013

# 335 Homemade croissants

I love these croissants with a capital L. They're not at all like the ones from the shops which I find too flaky and too buttery and with very little substance if you see what I mean. I kneaded my first batch in the breadmachine using easy bake yeast and my second in the stand kitchen mixer using fresh yeast. Both worked equally well and were delicious.

They can be eaten plain or with a sweet or savoury filling, my son loves them with bacon.

Homemade croissants

500g strong white flour
1 teaspoon easy bake yeast
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 teaspoon salt
170g butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
65ml milk
95ml water

Place the ingredients above in the bread pan in the order specified by the manufacturer of your bread machine. Set the programme to basic dough (2h 20m on mine).

Tip the dough on to a lightly floured surface and roll out into a circle with approximately 1 cm in height. Cut the dough into triangles and roll them up from the base of the triangle up. Please refer to the images below.

When rolling up the triangles of dough keep the tip of the dough slightly stretched and make sure you tuck it well underneath.

Place the croissants on a baking tray lined with baking paper and prove in a warm place until doubled in size.

Bake in a preheated oven to 180 ºC for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Drizzle a little honey or golden syrup over the croissants while they're still warm.

Using fresh yeast

 Replace the easy bake yeast for 15g of fresh yeast.

In a jug mix the lukewarm milk and water, dissolve the yeast in this mixture.

Place the flour in the bowl of your stand kitchen mixer and add the other dry ingredients, make a well in the centre and add the melted butter, beaten egg and yeast mixture.

Knead with the dough hook for a couple of minutes until it all comes together into a ball of dough. Tip on to a lightly floured surface and knead for 3-4 minutes.

Shape in to a ball, put back in the bowl dusted with a little flour and prove in a warm place until doubled in volume. This should take between 1 and 2 hours. Knock back the dough, remove it from the bowl and knead for a few seconds.

Roll out and cut into triangles and then proceed as explained above.



Note:  The original recipe is from this blog written in Portuguese.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

# 334 It's one of those days

Sunny, a beautiful blue sky and lots of clouds in various shades of white and grey but bitterly cold.

How's your day so far?


Monday, 11 March 2013

# 333 February photo scavenger hunt

I'm afraid I didn't do too well for the February scavenger hunt hosted by Greenthumb from Made with Love. Of the 12 clues I only managed 7 as you see below. I hope to do better for this month's challenge.
This is the tomb of Dickie Pearce, the last court jester in England. It can be found in the churchyard of the Church of St. Mary here in Berkeley, you can find out more about him here and here.
Homemade croissants for breakfast.

The bus service here in Berkeley has been significantly reduced due to budget cuts so I decided to photograph the bus stop instead while waiting for another boiler to go by. As I was changing the battery on the camera a bus went past. Typical!

One of the vehicles used to transport the boilers from the power station, they were all red.

Stained glass window in a church near Hanbury Hal.

Our shadows captured on an evening walk last Summer.

One of the embroidery projects on exhibition at the Bristol Museum and Art gallery.


Thursday, 7 March 2013

# 332 Mini loaves with walnuts and currants

I love bread with currants, I like those little pockets of sweetness in a savoury bread and it occurred to me the other day while making some mini walnut loaves that I still had some currants left in the cupboard.

You can use any basic bread recipe for this and then simply add a handful of chopped walnuts and currants. You can refer to the following recipes I posted previously if you want, the first is for a walnut loaf and the second for a basic fresh yeast bread.

This bread is lovely as it is with cheese or butter or toasted and then spread with butter and just a little drizzle of honey.



Saturday, 2 March 2013

# 331 Chocolate brownies

I wish you could smell my house right now as I've just baked another batch of these lovely chocolate brownies for the weekend.

I baked my first batch last week after coming across the recipe on Greenthumb's blog. They went down a treat and when I was choosing what to bake today my son asked for these again. If you'd like to try them yourself you'll find the recipe here.

I don't know if there's any difference between UK measuring cups and Australian ones, I followed the recipe to the letter using my UK bought cups and it's worked perfectly both times.

Enjoy :-)