Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Rye Bread

Gluten-free people, look away now..

I really enjoy baking bread. That feeling you get when you uncover the bowl and the dough has risen and looks picture-perfect just cannot be beat. Now, I have tended toward baking white breads, which are fairly easy to work with, but I love the taste of denser, darker breads.

Rye flour is notoriously harder to work with. You don’t get a soft, pliable dough like you do with normal bread flour, but it is by no means impossible to bake a rye loaf, especially if you use half regular white bread flour and half rye. And the flour itself is easy to find, my local supermarket had their “own brand” version, even!

One issue I had with mine was that it actually rose quite a lot quicker than I was expecting, but I continued to leave it to prove, according to the recipe I had used. I think that made for a slightly too malty loaf for my tastes. This loaf doesn’t really need to rise overnight, 4-6 hours in a warm place is plenty.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Loukoumades (Greek Donuts)

So, I'm taking you on a whirlwind tour around Europe this spring on the blog! I love to know how other countries handle their food/desserts. It is a big factor in my travelling decisions. I was extremely pleased to stumble upon these little tasty morsels when engaging upon my favourite activity (browsing for recipes). I don't normally cook with honey, and I love finding new ways to use little used ingredients.

They are small, light, sweet and zesty. I really liked the addition of the syrup which was incredibly simple to make and had a great pay-off in flavour. The only tricky issue is the dough, it needs to be formed into balls and it is really sticky. Working it with wet hands is the only way to easily form something resembling a dough ball. Mine are not exactly spherical, but they do the job!

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Thai Green Curry

Okay, okay. I know it is a total clich̩ to say that jarred sauce/paste/spice mixes cannot hold a candle to what you make yourself with fresh ingredients, but in this case, it is totally true. Making this paste is barely more effort than opening a jar Рin fact the trickiest part was sourcing the ingredients. I managed to get most of mine in the supermarket, and the tricky bits (fresh lemongrass, lime leaves) in the local Asian grocery shop.

Now, you may balk at the number of chillies in the recipe, but removing the majority of the seeds and the nature of the cooking means that the end product really isn’t spicy at all. In fact, if you wanted it to be spicier you could either leave more seeds in, or add another chilli.

This recipe is simple, quick and absolutely bursting with flavour. It has become a firm favourite in my household. You could easily double the quantities of paste ingredients and store the extra paste in the fridge for a week or so, making the next curry even easier to make!

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Nutella Porridge

Om nom nom.  I want to eat this all over again

I am first off going to apologise for my hiatus. It was a bit of an accident, I had a terrible chest infection and then jetted off to Italy! Oh my god, the food. The blog will have a distinctly Italian flair soon enough as I recreate some of my favourites.

In the meantime, I’m going through a bit of a porridge phase, and it was a quick leap between making regular porridge and adding a dash of Nutella to it. Also, because of my travels, Nutella has been a large part of my diet recently. In the hotel breakfasts in both Milan and Venice, mini packs of Nutella sat nestled alongside the jam and butter. That is how fundamental it is there. What a world.

There isn’t really anything which Nutella cannot improve. It is the mainstay of the perfect breakfast food: Nutella and pancakes, Nutella and waffles, Nutella straight from the jar with a spoon..

And now, stir it though some porridge while it is cooking, and turn it from a dull oat-a-thon into a bowl of nutty, chocolately, creamy delights. This is one of my absolute favourite breakfasts, so warming and filling and nourishing, it really can’t be beat.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Lemon and Poppyseed Loaf

Happy Easter! If you're full of chocolate eggs and hankering for something else sweet but not egg shaped, then look no further! I love this recipe.

My mum is a really great cook, and her culinary accomplishments are made even better by their rarity. She doesn’t whip up a storm in the kitchen often, but when she does it is EPIC and I love it. Her shortbread is better than anything I’ve ever done, and I am openly jealous of this.

And this little knockout is a firm family favourite. Now, full disclosure, I am not using her exact recipe for the loaf, because I don’t know what it is (seeecret!), but I’m using her techniques and topping. This makes a very light yet moist cake that isn’t the most robust, so you need a decently thick slice.

Lemon and poppyseed makes the prettiest batter, and a damn tasty cake

This is so nice that I made it one evening and was planning to save a little aside for photographing the next day in daylight, but I took some to work and ATE THE REST BEFORE SUNRISE. It’s that good. So I had to make a second for daytime photographs. It's a tough life.