There are two types of bread in this world. There is the sort that gets stale. And then there’s the sort that goes mouldy.
You can do a lot of things with stale bread. In fact it’s something to be desired, as any devotee of bread and butter pudding will tell you. Or you can make croutons, bread sauce, a garlicky skordalia to have with vegie sticks or crackers and that’s all before you make breadcrumbs. Continue reading Day 11 – Savoury Bread Pudding
You’ve got to admit, it’s pretty special when a product celebrates a centenary. As with anyone celebrating a 100th birthday, it’s natural to ask the secret to their longevity.
So while someone might attribute it to excellent genes and not being a smoker, for a product we look at something else.
Pyrex is celebrating 100 years in 2015 and it’s easy to see why it’s lasted so well and so long. Pyrex estimates that in that time more than 75 million measuring jugs have sold worldwide! (Which makes me think that a lot of YOU might have one, yes?) But of course there’s far more to the range of trusty oven-to-table kitchenware we all know and love. Continue reading Old Favourites, With a Twist (Sponsored Post)
I would love to be able to thank the Fairfax journalist who waxed lyrical about making your own bread but I can’t. I can’t remember her name or when I read the article, though it was a few years ago, I’m sure of that. After all it is just one of dozens of articles written about bread making over the years. However I can recall her final recommendation which was, “If you don’t believe that homemade bread can be better than anything you can buy, try this: to your favourite bread recipe add rosemary, grapes and walnuts.”
As regular readers well know, I have an awesome everyday recipe for bread, but I was intrigued. Just what sort of dough would be best suited to these additions? A sweet fluffy bread, similar to a brioche, would be too sugary for me. A bread with a rough texture like a pane di casa or ciabatta would not really suit the silkiness of the cheese being offered with it. What about a focaccia?
So I started experimenting and I failed, time and time again. Too soggy. Too dry. Way too much sugar. On one occasion, the bread failed to rise completely. On another, I miscued the temperature and burnt the topping while the middle of the bread was decidedly undercooked.
Continue reading Breads and Pastries – Grape and Walnut Bread
Without getting all profound this early in the morning, there is much to be said for the connectedness I feel to my God whenever I make bread. Wherever you are and whatever your beliefs, it would be hard to find someone who does not appreciate the meditative effect of the simple act of turning such basic ingredients as flour and yeast into such a well-loved staple food.
I get quite zen when kneading dough. I get into the rhythm of kneading and often give thanks that this simple act gives such sustenance and life to my loved ones. Agnostic, atheist or devout, no-one can deny the way good food tastes when it is prepared with integrity, has love added into the mixture and is served to people you love.
Continue reading Breads and Pastries – Challah
In the Leftover Lottery of life, it is possible – just possible – that you may have some hot cross buns that need using up. Perhaps they have been relegated to the freezer for another time. Perhaps there are one or two left on the bench top or in the bread bin, looking rather forlorn, rapidly reaching the point where you will have to throw them out.
You might even have some leftover easter chocolate and be desperate to use some up. Did someone say Nice Problem To have?
Continue reading Desserts – Hot Cross Bun Bread and Butter Pudding
From a basic and much-loved recipe comes a thousand interpretations.
In this case, new season Valencia oranges, some dried apricots and maple syrup in place of sugar add a full-bodied flavour without cloying sweetness to stale day-old bread. It’s thrifty cooking at it’s finest.
Continue reading Dessert – Orange and Maple Syrup Bread and Butter Pudding
In my years of providing nutritious meals to my family, the single most fraught event of any given day must surely be the ritual of Making School Lunches.
If ever my children have a finicky food preference, it will be outed the moment it is placed between two slices of bread. It is a morning – or evening, depending on how busy the day is – endurance test in many households and is often enough to defeat most parents.
No wonder we resort to the constant default position of Vegemite, or peanut butter, or Just Tomato Please, stuffed between white bread, crusts removed. We send our children off to school, ever hopeful that this, today, will be the day they eat it all up.
Continue reading Lunchbox Treats – Twenty Ideas for Sandwich Fillings
Bread sauce is the traditional British accompaniment to roast turkey and all strong-tasting game birds such as pheasant and it’s a marvellous sauce to add to your repertoire. It can be made with any white bread you have to hand, is often better when using up day-old bread and its gentle flavour is a nice balance to the strong-tasting foods on your plate.
The really great thing about this sauce is that you don’t have to fuss with making a roux, as you would a cheese sauce. It means you can set your eldest child or willing helper to the task. Provided they stir the sauce to stop it sticking (it can be a messy washing up exercise if you’re not careful), the rest will pretty much take care of itself.
Makes 3 cups (enough for 8-10 people as a side dish)
Continue reading Christmas Menu #2 – Nice Bread Sauce
This is a fabulous accompaniment to grilled or barbecued meats, especially lamb or a hearty beef fillet or some of the shredded pork from yesterday’s meal. (I’ve photographed it with some greek-style lamb and beetroot relish)
Made with mashed potato and some spring onions (shallots), you can also make this with wholemeal flour and create a brown bread version. Just make sure you eat it as soon as it’s cooked. While it’s nice warm or at room temperature but it really isn’t suitable to eat the day after it’s made.
Continue reading Breads and Pastries – Potato and Shallot Flatbread
Splits are small white bread rolls, slightly sweet and very soft and fluffy. Ask for a ‘cream tea’ anywhere in Cornwall and you will get a pot of tea and a plate of these delicious rolls with some strawberry jam and clotted cream* on the side.
If you have a sudden urge to get out into the emerging spring sunshine this weekend you could do a lot worse than enjoy some afternoon tea with friends with these rolls on the table. Continue reading Breads and Pastries – Cornish Splits