Numerous articles and resources have warned us about excessive consumption of sugar. Taking too much sugar can increase your chances of developing a wide range of health issues – from diabetes, high blood sugar, increased triglyceride levels, and heart disease, to name just a few. We need to decrease our consumption of sugar to help decrease our chances of getting sick. [Read more…]
Nothing says home grown cooking than bread pudding! I must say no matter where you are and how long the years have passed, we all are just softies for home baked bread pudding. I could never say no! Sometimes, I make it a point to have left over bread just so I have a good excuse to make some … even just for a nice sweet afternoon spent absolutely doing nothing!
You all know the basics of bread pudding, right? It’s just day old bread, milk, eggs and sugar mixed together and poured into a pan and baked. Anything else you want to add to it is all up to your creativity and what’s in your pantry. You can add raisins, nuts and other fruit of your choice.
Although it is typically a dessert, why limit yourself to that? Have it for breakfast! You may choose to serve bread pudding with rum sauce, whiskey sauce and caramel. It is just as heavenly with custard sauce or vanilla cream, and even chocolate. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or slather on some luscious whipped topping and you’ve got yourself a pretty fancy dessert without the real fuss.
Essentially, it’s going to back to basics … back to where it all matters …it’s what hits home and it always feels just as good as you always remember it. So just play around with this home grown recipe and use your favourite things to eat. You might just come up with a seriously genius creation. Here’s something for you to whip up this coming weekend maybe?
Apple Breakfast Bread Pudding
12 slices day old bread
4 tbsp butter, melted
½ c raisins (optional)
1 apple, peeled, chopped
2 tbsp brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon powder
4 eggs beaten
3 cups milk
¾ cup white sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Mix chopped apples with brown sugar and set aside
- Break 6 slices of bread into small pieces into an 8 inch square baking pan. Drizzle 2 tbsps melted butter or margarine over bread.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Beat until well mixed. Pour half of mixture over bread, and lightly push down with a fork until bread is covered and soaking up the egg mixture.
- Spread over the apple and sugar mixture onto the bread layer and sprinkle with raisin if desired.
- Break the remaining 6 slices of bread over the layer of apples and sugar, drizzle with the 2 tbsps of melted butter and pour the remaining half of the milk mixture. Press down with fork making sure the bread pieces get soaked in the milk.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly tapped.
- Serve warm with custard sauce or go all out with vanilla ice cream.
Photo Credit: missmeng
Photo Credit: montage_ man
Photo Credit: jennycu
It’s nearly Easter – and that means eating a lot of Chocolate Eggs, and Hot Cross Buns with a cup of Tea in the afternoon. But why stop with just a single Bun?
This recipe will show you how to make an entire loaf of the bread, which you can easily split into twelve portions if you’d prefer the traditional Buns. Cook for fifteen to eighteen minutes, at 220C for the Buns.
To Serve 16
50g Butter, chilled
500g White Bread Mix
1 tsp Mixed spice
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
50g Mixed Peel
75g Caster Sugar
1 Large Egg
340ml Milk, plus 4tbsp for brushing
50g Plain Flour
1tsp Sunflower Oil
15g Icing Sugar
40g Granulated Sugar
1. Grease two Bread Loaf tins. Run the Chilled Butter into the Bread Mixture until it begins to resemble breadcrumbs. Stir in the Spices, Currents, Mixed Peel and Caster Sugar.
2. Break the Egg into a jug with enough Milk to bring it up to 350ml. Beat lightly and add to the Bread Mixture.
3. Knead onto a floured surface, then share into the two Loaf Tins, then cover with lightly oiled Clingfilm, placing somewhere warm until doubled in size.
4. Heat the Oven to 220C, then mix the Plain Flour with the Oil, Icing Sugar and three tablespoons of Water. Put into a plastic bag, shake well, then snip off a corner from the bag and pipe into the Cross Shape on top.
5. Bake for twenty minutes in the oven, then reduce the heat to 190C and cook for another fifteen to twenty minutes.
6. Heat the Granulated Sugar with the four tablespoons of Milk, simmer for two or three minutes then brush on the loaves. Remove from the tins and leave to cool.
Photo Courtesy of: Avlxyz
Sweet, sticky, but not sickly, this dish is very popular at a whole host of events – ranging from Saturday and Sunday morning lie-ins, through to Family Parties and Events.
This dish makes enough for ten slices, and it’ll keep for around two or three weeks if stored in an air-tight container, but not too well if kept out of a container.
To Serve 10
175g Self Raising Flour
1tsp Baking Powder
290g Caster Sugar
3 Medium Eggs
2tbsp Semi Skimmed Milk
Rind of 2 Lemons, finely grated
Juice of 2 Lemons, strained
1. Sift the Flour and the Baking Powder into a large mixing bowl, before adding the Butter, 175g of the Caster Sugar, the Eggs, Milk, Lemon Rind and Lemon Juice.
2. Mix well with a wooden spoon, and beat until smooth.
3. Line a two pound loaf tin with baking parchment or with some extra Butter, then spoon the mixture into the tin, and level off at the top.
4. Bake in an oven heated to 180C, for an hour, or until a knife inserted comes out clean, with no mixture sticking to it.
5. Turn out onto a Wire Tray to leave to cool for a bit.
6. Put the Lemon Juice and the rest of the Caster Sugar into a Saucepan, and heat gently until the Sugar has dissolved, stirring frequently. Whilst the Cake is warm, pour the mixture over the top so that it will soak into the cake.
Try using different shape loaf tins to make a different cake, and decorate with some pared Lemon Rind.
Photo Courtesy of: styro
Gingerbread is just for kids? Says who!! These are so easy to make, and go with so many drinks and dinners that they’re just too good to pass up on!
Top them with some Candied Orange Peel if you’d like to really make them Extra-Special!
To Make 10 Cupcakes
175g Butter, softened
175g Caster Sugar
350g Plain Flour
2tsp Baking Powder
1/2tsp Ground Ginger
1/2tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2tsp Ground Nutmeg
Zest of 1 Orange
1 Drop Vanilla Extract
For the topping you’ll need
150g Butter, softened
100g Icing Sugar
Zest of 1 Orange
Pinch of Ground Ginger
Candied Orange Peel (optional)
1. Preheat an Oven to 160C
2. Cream together the Butter and Sugar. When it’s light and fluffy, start to add the Eggs, one at a time – make sure that you keep the mixture moving whilst adding the Eggs in. The mixture will look like it has split into different layers, but that’s normal, so don’t worry!
3. Sift all the dry ingredients into the mixture, before adding in the Milk, Orange Zest and Vanilla, then stir well and fold the Flour in gently.
4. When everything is combined, spoon a tablespoon of the mixture into individual cupcake cases, which are best sat in cupcake trays or Yorkshire pudding tins. Bake for twelve to fifteen minutes.
5. Remove from the Oven, and leave to cool whilst you make the Butter Icing.
6. Cream the Butter with the Icing Sugar for the Topping with a Wooden Spoon until smooth. Add the Orange Zest, stir in then spread over the top of the cooled cakes. Top each with a pinch of Ground Ginger and some Candied Orange Peel if you wish.
Photo Courtesy of: shimelle
Light, fluffy and full of flavour and colours, this is a great bread to have with so many meats and vegetables – it’s great to dip into Soups, and even better to have on it’s own, allowing your senses to absorb as much as possible.
Try experimenting with a range of different ingredients – Caramelised Red Onion, Mushroom, and others all work well with this dish.
To make 1 Loaf
500g Strong White Flour
1 1/2tsp Salt
1 1/2tsp Easy-Blend Dried Yeast
2tbsp Chopped Fresh Rosemary, plus extra to garnish
6tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus extra for brushing
300ml Lukewarm Water
6 Oven Dried or Sun-blush Tomato Halves
1tsp Coarse Sea Salt
1. Sift the Flour and Salt together in a bowl, the stir in the Yeast and Rosemary. Make a well in the centre of the bowl, add four tablespoons of the Olive Oil, and mix quickly with a wooden spoon. Gradually stir in the Lukewarm Water, making sure you do not over-mix
2. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface, then knead for two minutes – don’t worry if the dough is wet, it’s meant to be!
3. Brush a bowl with some of the Oil. Shape the Dough into a bowl, then place it into the bowl, handling it as little as possible. Cover with a damp tea towel (making sure it’s a clean one!), then leave to rise in a warm place for two hours or until the dough has doubled in size and volume
4. Brush a baking tray with some Olive Oil then turn the dough out onto a clean, lightly floured work surface. Knock it back with your fist, making sure there are no large bubbles left in it, before kneading for a minute. Place the dough onto the baking tray, and shape into an even layer, in a circular shape. Cover the baking tray with a damp tea towel, then leave to rise in a warm place for an hour.
5. Heat the Oven to 240C, and cut the Tomato Halves into half again, then whisk two tablespoons of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil with a little water in a bowl. Dip your fingers into the mixture then press into the dough to make little dimples all over it.
6. Sprinkle with Sea Salt, pressing the Tomato into the dimples. Drizzle with the remaining Oil and the Rosemary Sprigs
7. Reduce the Oven heat to 220C, and bake for twenty minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack, then serve whilst still warm.
Photo Courtesy of: norwichnuts
A great traditional accompaniment for many Curry and Asia dishes, this bread is relatively heavy, but still works very well as a side dish.
Serve it still warm, along with a freshly cooked Curry – something like the Creamy Curried Beef or Cauliflower in a Curry Sauce for a truly great dinner!
To Make 3
280g Strong White Flour, plus extra for dusting
1tbsp Ground Coriander
1 Garlic Clove, peeled and very finely chopped
1tsp Easy-blend Dried Yeast
2tsp Clear Honey
100ml Lukewarm Water
4tbsp Natural Yogurt
1tbsp Vegetable Oil, plus extra for brushing
1tsp Black Onion Seeds
1tbsp Chopped Fresh Coriander
1. Sift the Flour, Salt and Ground Coriander together into a large bowl, before stirring in the Garlic and Yeast.
2. Make a well in the centre, then add the Honey, Water, Yogurt and Oil. Mix well with a wooden spoon until the dough begins to come together, then knead in the bowl until it leaves the sides of the bowl.
3. Turn out onto a floured surface, and knead well for around ten minutes, until smooth and elastic.
4. Brush a bowl with some more Oil. Shape the Dough into a ball, then leave in the bowl, covered with a damp tea towel for around one or two hours, leaving it to rise in a warm place. The dough should have doubled in size after the time
5. Once the Dough has finished rising, place three baking trays in the oven and pre-heat to 240C, and heat the grill too.
6. Turn the Dough out onto a floured surface, then knock back with your fist. Divide into three pieces, shaping each of them into a teardrop shape, about a centimetre thick, and place on one of the heated baking trays. Brush the Bread lightly with Oil, and sprinkle with the Onion Seeds and Chopped Coriander.
7. Bake in the oven for five minutes until puffed up. Transfer the Naan Bread to the Grill pan, and grill for two or three minutes.
Photo Courtesy of: stu_spivack
This posh treat is a treat for the eyes and nose, and is also a delight to eat. The textures that you get will make you want to keep eating more and more of it, and it’s very easy and fast to cook – taking just twenty five minutes to prepare and cook this meal for four people.
To Serve 4
4 Slices of Garlic Bread
400g Dried Linguine Pasta
6tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Large Garlic Cloves, Thinly Sliced
½ Large Red Chilli, Deseeded and Finely Chopped
4tbsp Flat-leafed Parsley, Chopped
170g White Crab Meat
Juice of 1 Lemon
1. Toast the Garlic Bread until both sides are golden, and then process in a food blender until rough breadcrumbs
2. Cook the Linguine Pasta in large pan of Salted water – make sure that the water isn’t too salty! Follow the instructions on the packet, making sure that it’s cooked through.
3. Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a large pan, and then fry the Garlic and Chilli over a high heat for one or two minutes, until the Garlic is golden brown. Mix half of the Parsley and all of the Crab Meat into the hot oil, and then cook over a medium heat for one or two minutes until hot through, and then add the lemon juice – making sure you don’t drop any seeds in!
4. Drain the pasta, and toss with the Crab Meat mixture. Add the remaining Olive Oil, Parsley and the Breadcrumbs. Season the mix to taste, and serve.
Photo Courtesy of: Ozchin
Fail-safe, no-fuss, and very sticky and gooey. Even better, as it only takes one bowl, and a fork…well, and a baking tray. But it’s very low mess, considering how sticky it should be.
This recipe is a great use for over-ripe bananas, and the riper they are the better. I’ve tried Cyprus Bananas in the past, and found these to be very sweet, compared to regular Bananas – so have a look at the different varieties that are on offer. You might be able to change the taste slightly by using a different banana.
To serve 8
2 browning medium Bananas,
1 large free range Eggs
130g Self Raising Flour
1tsp Baking Powder
100g Caster Sugar
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/ Gas Mark 4.
2. Mash the Bananas together, and soften the butter.
3. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl, combining with a fork. If the bananas are not ripe and mushy enough, you may need to add a drop of milk to get to the right consistency – one which is quite loose and dropping.
4. Pour the mix into the loaf tin, and bake for thirty five to forty minutes (or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean). Leave to cool in the tray before turning out onto a wire rack to cool further.
5. Serve sliced with Warm Custard, or sliced as a snack during the day.
Photo courtesy of: GoodnCrazy
A beautiful change to ordinary bread or rolls, filling, and goes with a whole host of Mediterranean dishes. It’s also great as an accompaniment for dips – even as part of a picnic or used as an alternative for pizza bases.
Makes 3 loaves
400ml lukewarm water
4 tbsp lukewarm milk
675g strong white flour
1 sachet of easy-blend dried yeast
2 tsp salt
3 tbsp Olive Oil
450g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
1 ¼ tsp easy-blend dried yeast
125ml lukewarm water
1. Make the bigger – sift the flour into a bowl, and mix in the yeast. Make a well in the centre, and pour the water and stir until the dough comes together.
2. Turn out onto a lightly floured worksurface, and knead for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Shape into a bowl, and put into a bowl, covered with a damp tea towel. Leave to rise for 12 hours, until just beginning to collapse
3. Gradually mix the water and milk into the biga, beating with a wooden spoon. Gradually mix in the flour and yeast with your hands, adding them a little at a time.
4. Mix in the salt and oil with your hands.
Important: The dough will be very wet. Do not add extra flour!
5. Re-cover the bowl, and leave to rise in a warm place for a further 2 hours, or doubled in size
6. Dust 3 baking sheets with flour, and divide the dough between the three sheets, without knocking any air out of the loaves.
7. Gently shape each dough ball into a rectangular loaf, and then flatten slightly. Dust the top of the loaves, and leave to rise for 30minutes.
8. Pre-heat the oven to 220 C/ 425 F/ Gas Mark 7.
9. Bake the loaves for 25 to 30 minutes, until the crush is light gold, and the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the base with your knuckles
10. Cool on wire racks
Photo courtesy of girlwparasol
Rich, Strong and goes with virtually all pasta dishes! A classic dish, great as a snack on it’s own, or as part of a main meal!
The smell of fresh garlic bread makes anywhere feel like home – and the glow from the oven will warm any house
For 12 slices:
– 1 French Stick
– 4 cloves of Garlic (finely chopped and crushed)
– 150g butter
1. Pre-heat the oven to 150 C/ 300 F/ Gas Mark 2
2. Soften the butter, and mix in the Garlic mix
3. Slice the french bread into desired thickness
4. Spread the Garlic Butter over the slices, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, turning over every 5 or 10 minutes
As an extra, serve with Balsamic Vinegar, and Grill for a further 5 minutes on a low heat.
Also try with Ciabatta – the soft bread makes the butter soak in much more, and crisp up nicely
The first pudding I ever learnt to cook, and still my favourite by a long shot!
To serve 4 to 6 (or just me!)
– 85g softened butter
– 6 slices of thick bread (either white or whole-wheat – from personal experience, don’t use the ones with seeds in!)
– 55g mixed fruit (sultanas, currants and raisins)
– 25g candied peel
– 3 large eggs
– 300ml milk
– 150ml double cream
– 55g caster sugar
– Whole nutmeg (for grating)
– 1 tbsp Demerara sugar
– Cream (to serve)
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F/ Gas Mark 4
2. Use some of the butter to grease a baking tray and the slices of bread. Cut the bread into slices and arrange with an overlap
3. Mix the eggs, milk, cream and sugar well, adding in the fruit at the end, and pour over the bread. Allow to stand for 15 minutes. Grate the nutmeg over the top, and sprinkle the Demerara Sugar to taste.
4. Cover most of the fruit with the bread to make sure it doesn’t burn. Bake at the top of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until just set and golden brown
5. Remove from the oven, serve warm with a little pouring cream
This is a most fabulous bruschetta, I’m addicted to it. It does work best if you prepared the tomato mixture ahead and chill for a day.
- 12 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons shallots, minced
- 1 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- S & P to taste
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, slivered
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pd Italian bread
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons Romano
Set oven to broil.
In a large bowl- toss together roma tomatoes, minced garlic, shallots, basil, lemon juice, S & P and 1/3 cup olive oil. Chill overnight if possible.
In a small saucepan- add 1/4 cup olive oil and slivered garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Toss garlic in trash, keep olive oil.
Slice Italian bread in small to medium size slices. Brush pieces with garlic-based olive oil. Add roma tomato mix. Sprinkle Parmesan & Romano cheese on top. Place in oven until browned and bubbling, about 2-3 minutes.
I don’t mean your cash (does anyone call it bread anymore, or am I dating myself?) – I mean, of course, your bread. I’ve been doing some experimental bread baking lately- despite being on a “low carb diet”- ha! – and the result is that I’ve had more wholewheat loaves and rolls of brioche than I know what to do with. Which brought me to researching on the best ways to store bread- and I share them with you here:
Rule #1: If at all possible, freeze it.
That’s right, baked bread is best stored in the freezer. You must wrap it properly, in cling wrap then a freezer bag or freezer-friendly container. This way, your bread will retain moisture, be free of mold, and most importantly, retain its flavor for as long as several weeks.
Rule #2: If you can’t freeze it, use a breadbox.
By “breadbox” I mean any clean, dry, ventilated container- you don’t have to run out and busy an expensive container emblazoned with the word “bread” on it- kept away from hot spots or appliances like your refrigerator or radiator. This is your best choice if, say, you want to have that bread you bought today for breakfast and maybe a sandwich snack tomorrow. It should last from a few days to several days this way, but really after 3-4 days you should be thinking about transferring it to the freezer anyway.
Rule #3: Don’t store it in the refrigerator.
Resist the urge to store your bread in the regular food compartments of your fridge. It may prevent mold from forming, but it’s also the quickest way to get your bread stale.
I like to store my sliced bread in the freezer, ready to go directly into the toaster or toaster oven.