Bread and Better

Bread and Better

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Double Chocolate Rocky Road

One of the easiest treats I have ever made but one that certainly won't fail to impress. Great to hand out to trick-or-treaters, or to scoff all to yourself.

For the rocky road:

200g milk chocolate
200g white chocolate
100g mini marshmallows
1 standard packet of 'Oreo' cookies
2 teaspoons of icing sugar (for dusting)

Line a rectangle baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Roughly break up the Oreos.
Melt the white chocolate and then mix in half the Oreos and half the marshmallows. Spread over the bottom of the prepared tin.
Melt the milk chocolate and add the remainder of the Oreos and marshmallows. Spread over the white chocolate mixture.
Leave to set in the fridge for at least an hour.
When ready to serve, dust with the icing sugar and cut into small squares.
Keeps really well for a week (if it lasts that long) in an airtight container.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Lemony Iced Fingers

Makes around 16 delicious buns.

For the fingers:

500g strong white flour
70g caster sugar
7g dried yeast
1/2 pint of water
1 egg
70g butter
1 teaspoon of salt
Zest of 1 lemon

For the icing:

500g icing sugar
Lemon juice

Filling (optional):

Lemon curd

Rub the butter into the flour and then rub in the yeast. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring together to form a soft dough. Knead for 10 minutes, cover and leave to rise for about an hour and a half.
  When the dough has doubled in size, divide it into around 16 equal pieces. Form each piece of dough into a sausage shape and place onto lined baking trays, with a good distance between each bun. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise again, for around an hour (check after half an hour). Pre- heat the oven to 180 degrees C.
   When the buns have risen slightly and feel soft and plump, bake them for 20 minutes, or until they turn a warm golden colour. Place on a cooling rack.
   When the fingers are completely cool make the icing. Add enough lemon juice to the icing sugar to create a slightly runny constancy (at this point you could slice the buns in half and spread on a thin layer of lemon curd). Place a spoon- full of the lemon icing on each finger, smoothing it along the length of the bun as you go. Leave the icing to set slightly before scoffing.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Bread 'Shots'

These little flavour bombs are great as a canope at a party or simply just to accompany some soup. 

For the bread:

100g wholemeal spelt flour
100g strong white flour
7g dried yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
100ml water

For the toppings:

50g very soft butter
1 clove of garlic
1 sprig of rosemary
Olives, pitted

Rub the yeast into the flours and then add the salt and water. Bring together to form a smooth dough and then knead for around 10 minutes. Place the dough into an oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel.
Leave to rise for about an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
 Meanwhile prepare the garlic butter for the fillings. Simply crush the garlic clove into the soft butter and mix well. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  When the dough has risen, place onto an oiled surface and roll into small balls. Using your thumb, make a dent into each ball and then place a small spoonful of garlic butter in each one. Add an olive or a few bits of rosemary (or both) to the balls and then place onto a couple of lined baking trays. Cover and leave to rise a little, this should only take around 15 minutes as the balls are quite small.
  Bake the 'shots' for 15 minutes and then leave to cool slightly before serving.

You can freeze these too! Simply leave to cool completely before placing in a freezer bag. When you are ready for your 'shots', bake from frozen at 180 degrees C for around 10 minutes.

Lemon and Thyme Focaccia

I made two small loaves with this recipe but you could just as easily convert it into one big one. Tastes great dipped into some lemon olive oil and balsamic vinegar .

For the loaves:

500g strong white flour
1 teaspoon salt
7g dried yeast
300ml water
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil

For the topping:
2 tablespoons sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
Zest of one lemon
A large sprig of thyme (you could even use lemon thyme for even more of a citrus hit)

Rub the yeast into the flour and then add the salt, lemon zest and oil. Add the water and bring it together to form a soft dough (if it feels a little dry, add more water). Knead for around 10 minutes. Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover and then leave to rise for about an hour.
 Oil two 20 inch round cake tins and pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C. When the dough has doubled in size, divide it in two and place into the cake tins. Spread the dough out, cover with a tea towel and leave for around 20 minutes.
  When the dough is ready it should have risen a little and feel spongy to touch. Use you knuckles to create dents in the dough and then add equal amounts of lemon zest, thyme and salt to each loaf. Drizzle the focaccias with olive oil and then bake for 20 minutes. When they are golden on top take them out and drizzle with a little more olive oil. Leave to cool out of the tins.

These loaves freeze really well, simply place in a freezer bag when completely cool and freeze for up to one month. When you are ready to eat your loaf just bake at 200 degrees C, straight from frozen, for about 10 minutes.