#JanuaryJoy – Your Daily Bread


Of all the possible things you could bake, bread has to be the one that gives the greatest sense of wellbeing, hence its inclusion on this #JanuaryJoy list. Deemed by many to be tricky, or hard work, this is the easiest wholemeal bread recipe I could find and as it doesn’t require knocking back or kneading, it’s also the quickest, needing only one rise before baking. Bread does require a little planning in that sense, but if you wanted fresh bread in the morning, this could always be left overnight to rise, then baked. Personally, I think it’s best saved for a weekend lunch or brunch and is a surefire way to impress even those you usually find hardest to please. 😉

Quick, Easy, Wholemeal loaf – Delia Smith
Fills 2 x 1lb loaf tins or makes a large round loaf.
570g Wholewheat flour
2 Teaspoons of Salt
1 Teaspoon of soft light brown sugar
2 teaspoons easy blend dried yeast (usually 1 sachet)
400ml hand-hot water.

  • Warm the flour on a low temperature in your oven.
  • Thoroughly mix in the yeast, sugar and salt.
  • Make a well and add the water then mix to form a dough. You may need extra water as you should end up with a clean (or almost) clean bowl. Use more water as required.
  • Form a round and leave in a warm place for an hour to rise.

  • Press some oats into the top for decor and cut a 1-2cm deep cross in the top of the dough.
  • Bake for 40 minutes (until hollow sounding when the base is knocked,) at 200 degrees centigrade.

Enjoy!

I enjoyed making bread again so much that I might make this a monthly feature, with a different bread recipe each time… what do you think?

Do you or have you made bread? If not, will you be trying this one as an easy introduction?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Florence’s Food: Autumn Crumble

The first thing I think of when to comes to Autumn cooking is a delicious fruit crumble and I always turn to Delia for the best result. You can combine this recipe with traditional apples, rhubarb, or many other fruit combinations, just chop them and soften on a gentle heat with a little sugar to prevent the flavour being too sharp. Don’t soften too much as they will cook further in the oven and you don’t want to end up with mush!

For the crumble topping you need:
75g of chilled butter, diced.
175g self-raising flour
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
110g Demerara or granulated golden sugar

  • Whiz all the ingredients together in a food processor until it resembles crumbs, or if you like to get your hands dirty, rub the dry ingredients into the butter cubes with your finger tips until you get the same crumb.
  • Pack the crumb mix tightly down onto your fruit layer for a crunchy finish and bake at 200 degrees Celsius for around 30-40 minutes or until golden brown on top. Serve with cream, custard or ice cream. Lovely!

*Recipe adapted from Delia Smith, ‘How to Cook’ Book Two.

What’s your favourite crumble flavour?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

January Food: Delia’s Slow-cooked Root Veg Soup

So why has a bog standard root vegetable soup made it into the best healthy recipes I have to offer you to start 2012? Firstly, because it is fat free. Completely fat free. However, if you think it’s boring you’ve got another thing coming. It’s super tasty and it’s filling, what more can you ask for?


Image Credit: latartinegourmande.com

Serves 6
225g peeled carrots, chopped into chunks.
225g peeled celeriac in 2 inch pieces.
225g trimmed washed leeks, halved and cut into chunks.
225g peeled swedes, cubed.
1 small chopped onion.
2.5 pts of Swiss Bouillon stock
3 bay leaves

  • There’s no science to this recipe. After chopping all the veg, throw them in a an oven proof pot with the stock and bring it up to a simmer.
  • Put the pot into the oven at 140 degrees and leave for 3 hours.
  • When you take it out, the veg will be soft and all the flavours intensified.
  • Take the bay leaves out and liquidise the veges to a soup, then reheat to serve as required.
  • The soup can also be served with a swirl of fat free Greek yogurt, or a blob of creme fraiche if you’re feeling less virtuous.

    It’s a perfect Sunday afternoon make, can be left in the oven while you get on with your day, and sets you up with healthy lunches for the rest of the week.

    Enjoy!

    Love,
    Rebecca
    xo

Florence’s Favourite… Cookery Books

This afternoon, I thought I’d try something new, another round up, but with some serious audience participation.

A little while a go I wrote about the Great British Bake-Off Cook book and a few readers mentioned that they would like to hear about peoples’ highest rated cook books. It made me think, a ‘favourites’ feature would be great… I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours 😉

So these are Florence’s Favourite (and recommended) top recipe books, please pitch in with your tried and tested favourites in the comments box. (I’m thinking they would also make great Christmas presents…)

Jokes about how to boil an egg aside, Delia’s how-to books are like a kitchen bible for me. Whenever I need to figure out a basic technique, am unsure of cooking times for a roast joint, or need a basic recipe, for meringue for example, this is the book(s) that I come back to time after time. I jest not when I say Delia even taught me to bake bread.

My favourite recipes are often sharing dishes. We regularly have friends over for casual meals in the week, nothing fancy, just one-pot-wonders that feed more than 2 of us anyway and make for a relaxed catch up. Rachel’s Favourite Food for Friends by Rachel Allen, (I’d recommend Rachel’s Favourite Food equally) is full of them, along with occasion foods and menus for impressing your husband’s boss, light bites with girlfriends and Christmas foods. I’ll take her kitchen too.

No list of cookery books is complete without Jamie Oliver and Jamie’s Dinners is another of those well worn books in my cupboard that I turn to time and time again for recipes like Jools’ favourite Stew, Jamie’s Lasagne and Aubergine and Mozarella Pasta. Jamie’s Italy is also a favourite, mainly due to my obsession with Italian food.

Everyone has got it, but you can’t beat the Hummingbird Bakery book for baking. My sister thinks the recipes are a bit hit and miss, but every one I try comes out a cracker and it’s a go-to for desserts when we’re entertaining, as well as Sunday afternoon baking adventures.

These are not just the books I own, or have been given (I have tons more) but the ones I turn to day in day out and find reliable too. They come with Florence’s official seal of approval!

Do share your favourites and feel free to agree or disagree with my choices. I’ll look forward to finding some new favourites!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

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