Showing posts with label bread. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bread. Show all posts

Friday, April 3, 2015

Easter Treats - Spiced Honey Buttermilk Buns

Easter Treats - Spiced Honey Buttermilk Buns
Easter Treats - Spiced Honey Buttermilk Buns

We have a few very strong holiday food traditions in my family. Firstly, we have Christmas Biscuits. These are a traditional Estonian biscuit, sort of like gingerbread but soooo much better! They are a heavily guarded family secret recipe. And you are only allowed to make and eat them at Christmas (much to my husband’s dismay!)

And for Easter, we have Pasha. Pasha is a sweet lemon and vanilla cream cheese, designed to go on sweet yeast breads, such as Hot Cross Buns. It is a smooth and airy cream cheese, made by whipping a few types of cream cheese together, and adding the flavouring ingredients. The lemon makes it feel light and moreish, but it is so creamy and decadent still.

These buns here are the perfect base for Pasha, if you don’t want to go the Hot Cross Bun route. They are lightly spiced, soft and slightly sweet. They go equally well slathered in butter and jam. Or jam and cream. Or honey and ricotta. Or my Chocolate Halva Spread. You know, if you don’t have a secret family recipe for Pasha. Eat them warm, straight from the oven (after allowing to cool enough to handle!), or halve and toast them like you would a hot cross bun.

These buns are barely adapted from the Honey Buttermilk bread on Local Milk. I’ve merely added spices to make them more festive, and swapped out some of the flour for Rye Flour. I love rye bread, and I love the extra nutty/sweet flavour dimension it gives these buns. I also lazily use my KitchenAid to do all the kneading.

I find this dough is also good to leave the second rise overnight, and you can bake them fresh for the morning. Simple form the buns, then loosely cover with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge overnight. In the morning, remove the plastic wrap, brush with egg and place in the oven while it’s heating up. They will still take around 40 minutes from when your oven reaches temperature, but if they start to get too brown before they’re ready, cover the tray with foil for the last 10 minutes or so.

Enjoy! Happy Easter!
Easter Treats - Spiced Honey Buttermilk Buns
Easter Treats - Spiced Honey Buttermilk Buns
Easter Treats - Spiced Honey Buttermilk Buns
Easter Treats - Spiced Honey Buttermilk Buns

Spiced Honey Buttermilk Buns

(adapted from Local Milk)
(makes 12 small buns)
¼ cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
2 ¼ tsp yeast
1 ½ cups buttermilk
1/3 cup honey
3 tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
1 ½ cups rye flour
3 cups plain flour
1 ½ tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp cloves
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 egg, lightly beaten for brushing

Mix the warm water with the sugar and add the yeast. Set aside to get frothy for 10 minutes.
In the bowl of your standmixer, mix together the two flours, spices and salt.

In a saucepan over a low heat, melt the butter, then add the honey and buttermilk. Keep over the heat until the buttermilk is warm. Not hot, else the buttermilk will separate, just warm. Take off the heat and stir through the yeast mixture.

Pour the buttermilk mix into the flour and, with the dough hook attached, start kneading into a dough. Leave it kneading for 5-10 minutes, adding extra plain flour 1 tbsp at a time if the dough is sticky. It’s ready when it forms a firm ball.

Grease a large bowl lightly, and place the dough in. Turn to coat the other side with oil too, then drape a clean tea towel over it and leave it in a warm place to rise for 1 ½ - 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

Grease a lamington tray. When the dough has doubled, punch down to remove the air. Divide into two equal balls. Re-cover half of the dough, and divide the other half into 6 equal balls. Roll into neat balls between your palms and place in the tray, spacing them a little. Do the same with the second half of dough.

Set aside to rise again, this time for 40 minutes or so, until doubled. They’ll probably all be touching now. That’s good. Brush with egg.

Heat the oven to 170C and bake for 40 minutes, or until toasty and golden on top, and hollow sounding when you tap the bottom. Allow to cool for a few minutes before slathering with butter, or pasha!

Easter Treats - Spiced Honey Buttermilk Buns
Easter Treats - Spiced Honey Buttermilk Buns
Easter Treats - Spiced Honey Buttermilk Buns
Easter Treats - Spiced Honey Buttermilk Buns
Easter Treats - Spiced Honey Buttermilk Buns

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Easy Entertaining - Bone Marrow Pesto Spread

One of the recipes I was given to test for the Recipes and Ramblings Cookbook was called “Lovely Bones”. It’s a dish of roasted bone marrow with a radish salad, served with some warm sourdough bread. And it was pretty remarkable. The flavours and textures all worked really well together. Lance and I devoured the dish eagerly! However, on the recommendation of a butcher, I bought whole bone marrow shaft pieces instead of cut in half lengthwise to make flat, open pieces. And it was really, really messy to eat. And I’m a grub to start with. It wasn’t really the type of meal you could eat in polite company, but it was designed to be a shared entrĂ©e. It's so dramatic being served marrow in the bone like that! So, I recommend trying that recipe by getting the cookbook. (It's available at Fresh Provisions, Beaufort St Books and Planet Books)

I had 6 pieces of marrow bone leftover after making that dish and knowing that Lance probably didn’t want to be up to his elbows in marrow juices again, I thought I would change things up a bit. I’ve still kept some of the original flavours of lemon, parsley, smoked paprika and garlic, but I’ve changed it into a pesto-style spread. Much more polite to eat in mixed company and so delicious. The rich oiliness of the bone marrow means you don’t need to add the traditional olive oil or nuts to the pesto. And you can remove the marrow much more cleanly in your kitchen than at a dinner table. I used a fondue fork to poke in and around the hole to remove the marrow as I don’t have a marrow spoon (and, in fact, didn’t know that such a thing even existed until very recently!)

It only takes about 30 minutes to make, and is quite the fancypants dinner party appetiser!

Bone Marrow Pesto Spread
(adapted from Lovely Bones in Recipes and Ramblings Volume 3)
6x 5cm marrow bone shafts
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp smoked paprika
Sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste ( a good pinch of each)
2 bunches parsley, with the big part of the stalk removed
Juice of one lemon
¼ tsp hot English mustard
½ tbsp. capers
Sourdough to serve

Preheat the oven to 200C

In a small casserole dish, place the bone marrow shafts with the holes facing up. Mix the minced garlic, smoked paprika, a good pinch of salt and pepper in a small bowl and sprinkle over the top of the bone pieces. Pop in the oven.

In a food processor, blitz the parsley, lemon juice, mustard and capers until quite finely chopped but still some texture to it. You might need to scrape down the sides of your processor a few times.

When the bone marrow starts to pull away from the sides of the bone, after around 20 minutes, remove from the oven and place the sourdough loaf in to warm up.

Using a fondue fork or other long thing implement, poke out all of the marrow into the casserole dish, getting all of the flavoured garlic too. Discard the bones.

Add all of the parsley mixture into the casserole dish with the marrow, and mix well with a fork, breaking the marrow up. This should be enough to warm through the whole spread. 

Check for seasoning.

Cut the sourdough into slices, put the marrow pesto spread into a nice serving bowl and serve!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Cornbread Crackers

Cornbread Crackers
Cornbread Crackers

So far, my ‘eat more cornbread’ new year’s resolution is going extremely well. With normal cornbread and cornbread waffles coming into a rotation, I’m averaging about once a month. I was recently laid up with the flu and I made a huge pot of ‘All the Veges’ Soup to help me get better. And given that I was laid up with the flu and didn’t want to do anything, I was happier than I normally am to have a frozen mini-loaf still in the freezer ready to slice and make the most amazing crackers to go with the soup. Variations of Alejandra’s Fruit andNut Crisps and the Choc Hazelnut Crackers from Always Order Dessert are a staple for me now, I make up the loaves based on what I have at the time and freeze them, so if people pop in I just toast them in the oven and in 15 minutes I have an amazing homemade snack.

Making the crackers while I was sick, I had a brainwave…they are essentially just a mini loaf of bread (sometimes I eat one loaf as fresh bread), so I should make a version with cornbread. Cornbread crackers was a thought that stuck in my head like a song that I could ‘taste’ and I knew as soon as I felt up to cooking again, I would be making.

For the cracker flavours, I wanted something smokey and spicy, something to pair with the sweetness of cornbread. I added pickled jalapenos, but not having as many as I’d like, I decided to add capers as well for the extra briney kick. Great decision. For me capers are one of those things that I get obsessive about, go through a few jars in a few weeks and then don’t buy them again for a while. I needed them for the Cuban Chicken and Corn Pie, and haven’t looked back. Add some sunflowers for a textural interest and some semi-dried tomatoes for some not-too-sweet sweetness and you have an amazing cornbread.

Freeze the loaves until completely solid (very important!!), slice as thinly and evenly as possible and re-bake and you have the most amazing crackers. Seriously.

Cornbread Crackers
Cornbread Crackers
Cornbread Crackers
Cornbread Crackers
Cornbread Crackers
Cornbread Crackers
Cornbread Crackers

Cornbread Crackers

2 teaspoon cajun spice mix
1 tsp dried oregano
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ cups buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten

½ cup grated parmesan
1 tbsp capers
5 sundried tomatoes (not in oil), finely diced
1 tbsp finely diced pickled jalapenos
¼ cup sunflower seeds

Preheat oven to 200C. Grease 3 mini loaf tins

Mix cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, oregano, spice mix and sugar in a bowl.

Combine buttermilk and egg. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in buttermilk mixture. Stir gently to combine, then stir through the cheese, sundried tomatoes, capers and jalapenos, trying to evenly distribute all the add-ins.

Pour into prepared pans and bake for 20- 25 minutes until golden and spring back when touched. Take out of oven and cool in tins for 5 minutes, then cool on a rack until completely cold.

Individually wrap loaves tightly in cling-wrap and freeze overnight.

When ready to make crackers, preheat the oven to 150C

Using your best knife (I find a ham knife works best), slice the frozen loaves into thin slices, as evenly as possible and place on a cooling rack inside a baking tray. Bake for 10-15 minutes until crisp and golden, watching them so they don’t burn.

Take out of the oven and leave to cool. Then serve with your favourite dip (tzatziki and guacamole work particularly well with these flavours) or as part of a cheese platter. Or as dippers in Avocado Soup!

Cornbread Crackers
Cornbread Crackers
Cornbread Crackers
Cornbread Crackers
Cornbread Crackers
Cornbread Crackers

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Easy Friday Nights - Cheese, Pickled Beetroot and Avocado Toastie with Creamy Sriracha Dipping Sauce.

Sometimes you get home late and  it's dreary, miserable weather and you can’t be bothered with the cooking, but you want something delicious. What is more delicious than melted cheese? Melted cheese with creamy avocado and tart pickles. I’d put this on the grill and immediately regretted not adding some spice. Which I remedied when I remembered the amazing Pig’s Ass Sandwich Lance and I ate at Casselula in New York, with it’s spicy dipping sauce. This isn’t that sauce - not even close, but I needed something super quick and this more than adequately did the job.

So there I was, melted cheesy deliciousness in crunchy toasted bread, creamy spicy dipping sauce and a sipper of Rye. A perfect meal for sitting on the couch after a long day. And it all comes together in less than 10 minutes.

(makes 2 sandwiches)
½ Avocado
Pickled beetroot and onion
Sliced Cheddar Cheese - sharp is better but it has to melt well
4 slices light rye bread

Dipping sauce
4 heaping tbsp greek yoghurt
1-2 tsp sriracha (to taste)

Heat your sandwich press

Slice the cheese and layer it onto two slices of bread. Smoosh ¼ of an avocado on each one, then drain and place a few tablespoons of the pickled vegetables on top. Top with the other slice of bread to make 2 complete sandwiches.

Put into the sandwich press and push down firmly to squash together.

In a small bowl, mix together the yoghurt and sriracha to your taste.

When the sandwich is toasty and golden with the cheese fully melted, remove and slice into strips.
Eat, dipping into the sauce as you go

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Satisfying Cravings and (Late) New Year's Resolutions - Basic Cornbread

At the end of the first month of 2014 worked out that my new year’s resolution is to eat more cornbread. I love it so much, but it’s one of those things I forget about. It’s not often on menus in Perth, so it tends to go off my radar as eating it usually equals cooking it myself. But I went to Miss Kitty’s Saloon in Inglewood for brunch with my husband and sister-in-law a few weekends back and the stand-out dish from what we ordered was the steak benedict. Ignoring for a second the delicious jerk potatoes that it came with, the steak benedict was perfectly created. It was a thin marinated skirt steak, with a tart pink peppercorn hollandaise sauce on top of sweet and juicy caramelised onions all on top of the most melt-in-your-mouth buttery cornbread I’ve ever tasted.

I have a recipe for cornbread floating around somewhere that includes bacon and Cajun spices. I’ll try dig that out again now that it’s my new year’s resolution. But in the meantime, I wanted just your basic cornbread. Given that I’ve spent the last month drooling over the Treme cook book I got for Christmas, I thought that’d be the perfect resource for finding cornbread. And I wasn’t wrong. I’ve only made two small adjustments to their recipe. I used buttermilk instead of normal milk – because shouldn’t that always be a thing in southern style baking? I halved the salt and replaced it with a Creole spice mix. And I used olive oil instead of canola oil. Just because I like olive oil.

I served this as a base for the wonderful mushroom sauce that Alejandra from Always Order Dessert posted last year. And voila! Dinner. Just me and my baby.

There’s a recipe for jalapeno cornbread that might need to be tried now.

Oh, and they included Cane Syrup Butter in their cookbook as an accompaniment. Personally, I’m all for Maple Butter. Just whip a tablespoon or so of maple syrup into 50g or so of some delicious room temperature salted butter. I served this with my lemon and olive focaccia and it did not take long to be eaten!

Basic Cornbread
adapted from Treme
1 cup cornmeal plus 2 tbsps
1 cup plain flour
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp. raw sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp Creole spice mix
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
2 tbsp. melted butter
1/4 cup olive oil

Preheat the oven to 200C

Grease a skillet or dish that can go in the oven, and place in the oven to warm.

In a large bowl, whisk the 1 cup cornmeal, flour, baking powder, Creole spice mix, salt and sugar. Add the wet ingredients and stir until just well mixed and smooth. Do not overmix.

Remove the hot casserole dish from the oven, sprinkle the extra 2 tbsp. cornmeal over the bottom and cook in the oven for 2 minutes.

Remove from the oven an gently pour the batter over the top of the baked cornmeal. Cook for around 20 minutes until golden on top. Serve immediately.