Long-time, no cake. Writing to you about cake, that is. Not saying anything about my consumption of cake. I eat a lot of the stuff.
I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed by life of late. Lol, what a start.
There’s something about the beginnings of spring that has this effect I’ve noticed. The moment that cold sun comes out to play and everyone suddenly carries tote bags instead of rucksacks. Makes people feel carefree I think – Just gives me a sore shoulder.
My kitchen window looks over the carpark of a big car sales warehouse. It’s where the people that work at the warehouse like to go, to feel like they aren’t at work. A couple weeks back, when it was cold and snowing, I saw a man, I’d say late 40’s, in his car sales uniform, stretch out his arms and run in figures of 8 around the carpark, pretending to be an aeroplane. That same week, I saw two guys, younger this time, in their uniforms, play a game of one a side football – haha not a thing – with a snowball for a football. It was brilliant.
It was brilliant because they were playing, despite the snow, the cold and the dark. In sun, everyone is out, everyone plays all the time. In sun, the world is oversaturated with moments like the man pretending to be an aeroplane. I find it sets me a bit adrift. It’s like there are too many special moments for me to catch. Like I can’t keep up.
Maybe this makes me sound bloody miserable. I hope not. As it goes, I don’t think I have a lot of misery in me. I really love life, I find a lot of joy in it. But when big change is happening, at first, I feel a bit disconnected from the world. A bit overwhelmed by it. Honestly, a bit frightened of it. Frightened of its oversaturated new-ness. I think maybe you feel this sometimes too?
When this happens, I turn to what I know I can make good – butter, flour, sugar and eggs. I start with a thing I want to make. Next, I decide on the texture I want the thing to have. Then I look at every book I can get my hands on with a recipe for the thing. I compare the recipes, work out what each ingredient does. After that, I bake. And bake again, and then again. Until I have what I’m after. Some people would call this an obsession. Lol that’s exactly what it is, but when I’ve cracked it, when I’ve worked it out, it’s a feeling like none other. I don’t feel quite so overwhelmed by life, because I’ve cracked my perfect muffin and I can give it to people I love.
I believe, Joe, that you’d call this process a version of ‘retaining my soul’. That’s exactly what it is.
I wanted a not too sweet, buttery muffin with a structural integrity that borders on denseness but doesn’t feel like you’re eating a brick. Back up with them dry, dense muffins that would struggle to bounce if you dropped it on a trampoline. Haha. There’s a large quantity of blueberries too, and for a bit of sweet somethin, a thick and crumbly shortbread topping.
Bake these muffins and retain your soul, Joe. You have my fave soul, a soul in a millimuffin.
This will either make 8 large muffins or 14 regular sized muffins. If you only have one 6 or 12-hole muffin tray, like me, you can reserve the leftover batter in the fridge and bake them once your first batch is out.
For the Shortbread Crumble Topping
40g butter – cubed and a little cold
60g plain flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the Muffin Batter
340g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
130g caster sugar
2 medium eggs – 100g, if you want to weigh it
250g sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 scant tablespoons milk
Pre-heat the oven to 180 / 160 fan. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases, or with butter and strips of greaseproof paper.
Make the shortbread topping by rubbing all the ingredients together between your fingertips. The mixture will come together in clumps. Once done put in the fridge or freezer while you make the muffin batter.
Melt the butter in the microwave and set aside to cool.
Squash about a third of the blueberries with the back of a folk, you don’t want to turn them into a pulp, just burst them a bit. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and sugar.
In another bowl, combine the eggs, sour cream, vanilla extract, milk and melted butter.
Add the wet mix to the dry, followed the by the squashed and not squashed blueberries. Fold to combine, careful not to overmix – about 15 folds of a spatula will do it. There might be a few small dry patches of flour, that’s ok! Better that than an overworked batter.
Distribute the batter between the muffin tins and top each with shortbread crumble until all used up. Bake for 24 mins (or 29 mins if making 8 large muffins), or until very lightly golden and a knife inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out with a few moist crumbs.
I’m sat in a cafe right now and they love Mamma Mia! They’ve been playing the film soundtrack for 3 hours.
It’s an unassuming cafe; the tables are brown, the walls are grey, and they sell the same caramel crunch slices you get in every Costa Coffee between Glasgow and Oxford, and propbably beyond. I love it.
Blackberry Buns!! I’ve been trying to find a way of getting fresh fruit into cinnamon roll form without them baking into soggy fruit bum rolls for quite a while now – and i’ve cracked it. They are pillowy soft with a slight kick of sharpness from the blackberries, mellowed the second it hits the tounge by the sweet milk glaze.
These buns come with thanks to the lovely Rosa, baker and owner of too many forks, who agreed to test this recipe for me last week. Thank you Rosa!
Note on Dough – For this recipe, I use the same dough as in my cinnamon rolls.It can be made on the day or the night before you want to bake these buns. If you choose the night before, allow the dough to have the first prove in the fridge overnight. The next morning you can fill, shape, prove then bake. This dough tends to rise quite fast though so you can easily do it all in one day.I’ve given you instructions as if making this dough by hand but if you’d prefer to use an electric mixer allow a dough hook to do the kneading for you – I’ve done it both ways and I can’t tell a difference.
Noteon Filling – The filling needs to be cooled completely before using. It can be made a few days in advance.
For the Blackberry Filling
150g fresh blackberries
Squeeze of lemon
1 tbs water
For the Dough
250g strong white bread flour
25g caster sugar
7g active dry yeast
20g unsalted butter, softened
1 medium egg
For the Sweet Milk Glaze
70g icing sugar
30g cream cheese
1/4 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
2 tsp milk
Making the blackberry filling. Add the sugar, blackberries, and lemon juice to a small heavy bottom saucepan. Mixing occasionally, simmer on a medium heat for 5/6 mins until the fruit has broken down and the mixture has reduced.
Whilst the fruit cooks, combine the water and corn flour to form a loose paste. When the fruit has had 5/6 mins, lower the heat, and add the corn flour paste. Whisk briskly. Keep whisking the mixture for about 1 minute, until it has thickened. Remove from the heat and pour into a clean bowl. Allow to cool completely before using.
To make the dough. In a large bowl add all ingredients for the dough apart from the 60ml of water. Mix everything together with one hand, or a metal spoon, squeezing the dough to incorporate the milk. Add the water and give it another mix and squeeze to form a shaggy mass.
Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface. It is a sticky dough and will still want to stick to the work surface a little even once it has had enough kneading – don’t be tempted to keep on adding flour to your worksurface. Knead for about 10mins until smooth, elastic, and tacky. If using a mixer, stop when the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball around the dough hook.
Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Allow to rise until doubled in size, about an hour. If making this the day before, allow to rise in a warm place for 15mins before transferring to the fridge for the night.
The last step is to fill, shape, prove and bake the buns. Grease and line a small rectangle baking dish, I use a 25cm X 18cm one. Set aside.
Tip the risen dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Press into a rectangle shape with the long edge closest to you. Roll the dough out to roughly 9 X 13inch. It can be a little wider, for example 10 X 13inch, if you want a swirlyer swirl. You don’t have to worry too much about the exact measurements of the rectangle, so long as it is a rectangle shape and about half an inch thick, you’ll be grand. As you roll, gently pull the corners of the dough to keep as best a rectangle shape as you can, it will make the rolling and cutting easier.
With the 13inch side closest to you, spread the blackberry filling evenly over the dough, going right to the edges.
Roll up the dough tightly so you end with a sausage of dough 13inches long, seam side down on your work surface. Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into 2inch pieces. You should get 6. If you are very good at maths you will see I’ve given you an extra inch to play with in case something goes wrong, you are welcome! Put these buns, swirl side up, evenly spaced in the lined baking dish.
Cover with a tea towel or cling film and allow to prove until doubled in size. The rising time will depend on the temperature of your home, usually they need about an hour and a half. You can tell they are ready for the oven like this: very lightly press a fingertip into the dough, your fingerprint should fade away as the dough puffs itself back, fixing the dent you made and returning to its original position. How poetic.
While the buns prove, pre heat the oven to 180 / 160 fan.
Bake the buns for 25 – 30 mins until golden brown on top.
Finish with the icing. Mix the icing sugar, cream cheese, vanilla, and salt. Stir in a tsp of milk. If you want a looser icing add in the other tsp. Let the buns sit out of the oven for 10mins before pouring over the icing. It’s best to let these cool for a futher 10/15 mins to let the structure set before eating…hey look, this bun needs the respect it deserves.
I attach a lot of my identity to the shoes I choose to buy and wear. I think you do to. It feels like something we quietly pride ourselves on. You helped me choose my first pair of Nike air max 90s. They were black and I accidently left them on a train home from Glasgow. I felt shy at school when all the other girls were wearing pretty boots, converse or vans while I was wearing my pink and white Puma Fast Riders. I remember looking down at my feet and feeling silly. Shame, If only I knew then that people would think I was really cool if I cut about in them at the age of 22.
Just have a think about wellies for a second – big old tubes of plastic. Lace up boots – long thin ankle holders attached to elongated rubber pancakes. The toe end of Reebok Classic Leather trainers are modelled on the Grinch’s curly toe feet and Sue’s slippers could be mistaken for 2 un-sliced Warburtons loafs.
I like the idea of a shoe in the shape of a doughnut. French people call their apple turnovers ‘apple slippers’, chausson aux pommes. This makes a lot of sense to me. I’d love to have apple turnovers on my feet. These doughnuts are a bit like slippers too. They are soft on the inside with plenty of airy pockets to slip your feet into. The crispy exterior would protect your toes from hard things and the sharp cherry jam glaze gives you a bit of fashion jazz. I don’t fill these doughnuts with feet though, as comfy as it would be, I fill them with a beautifully light cherry custard cream. I called the filling a ‘crémeux’ when I presented them to the girls in the flat because I used the word once and they got a bit obsessed with it. It means ‘creamy’ in French and describes this filling well. The base of the filling is a crème pâtissière, thick vanilla custard, which is folded through cream whipped to soft peaks. It feels rich and almost buttery but it’s light as a feather. I fold a bit of cherry jam through the custard cream which leaves a perfect sweet cherry taste after the creaminess has melted away.
Honestly, I’d be surprised if anyone actually follows this recipe, not that I wouldn’t love it if someone wants to – work away and power to you!! – but this is more for me to remember what I did and maybe for others to get a bit of inspiration. I’m sure the measurements are not perfect, they could be refined and tested many more times, but it’s as close to perfect as it is right now. The cream is also too special not to write down, you could chuck in any fruit jam which I find pretty exciting.
Jam Note – Make this the day before you want doughnuts, there is enough going on with dough frying to be making jam as well. I’ve included a quick recipe here for cherry jam which makes the exact amount you need for the recipe. This is a spenny use of jam, the amount of fruit you use will cost about £2.50. If you are tight on money or time, find the cheapest jam you can get at the supermarket.
Crème Patissiere Note – You make this thickened custard the day before you want doughnuts, so it has time to set. When ready to fill the doughnuts, you fold in the cream and jam.
Dough Note – The recipe for this doughnut dough is by Tessa from Now-Forager.com. I’ve made doughnuts quite a few times now and this is the best recipe I have used by far. It is also the fastest to put together. This is a soft dough; you will need a stand mixer to knead it.
Makes 7 Doughnuts. The ingredients list makes this recipe look much more complicated than it is. There are a few steps but individually each one isn’t complicated.
For the Quick Cherry Jam
250g cherries – cut into halves, pitted and with stalks removed
For the Crème Pâtissière – makes 400g
250ml milk – whole or semi skimmed
1 vanilla bean or 3/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste – 1 teaspoon vanilla extractwill do perfect too
50g egg – about 1 egg
12g plain flour
25g butter – at room temperature
For the Doughnut Dough
170g milk – whole or semi skimmed
1 medium egg
50g plain flour
215g strong white bread flour
6g fast action dried yeast
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
42g butter – softened at room temperature
About 1L bottle of vegetable or sunflower oil for frying
For the Cherry Cream Filling
400g crème pâtissière
150g double cream
2 heaped tablespoons cherry jam
For the Cherry Glaze
2 tablespoons cherry jam – you can blend smooth with a blender, like I did, for a less bitty glaze.
250g icing sugar
juice of one lime or lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange blossom extract – optional
1/4 teaspoon salt
Water to get the desired consistency
The day before making the doughnuts prep the cherry jam. Mix the cherries and sugar in a heavy bottom saucepan. Put the pan over a medium/low heat and mash the cherries slightly with a fork to help them release some juice. Let the mixture bubble for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently. When the jam is ready it should be glossy and thick enough coat the back of a spoon. Transfer the jam to a clean jar or bowl and allow to cool. Cover and keep in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
Next make the crème pâtissière. It needs time to set so get this going the same day you make the jam. In a small saucepan, add the milk, vanilla and half the sugar. Mix and set aside. Measure out the egg into a mixing bowl, place the bowl on top of a tea towel on your worksurface. Now heat the milk mixture over a low/medium heat. While the milk heats add the rest of the sugar, the corn flour and plain flour to the bowl of egg. Whisk the egg mixture to combine.
Once the milk has come to a simmer keep a close eye on it, you want to catch it just before it reaches a full boil. It will simmer a little and then swell up a centimetre, now take the pan off the heat and slowly pour the heated milk into the egg mixture, pouring with one hand and whisking with the other. When all the milk has been poured into the egg, the custard will be very liquid. Pour the whole thing (egg and milk mixture) back into the saucepan over a medium heat. Whisk continuously until the custard has thickened to a consistency just thicker than mayonnaise, this will happen quickly. Remove from the heat and allow to cool in the pan for a few mins before whisking in the butter a teaspoon at a time. The crème pâtissière should now be thick and glossy. Transfer to a clean bowl and press cling film directly over the surface of the crème pâtissière, this will prevent a skin forming over the custard as it cools. Store in the fridge until ready to use (no longer than 3 days).
The next day make the doughnut dough. Put all ingredients for the dough into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix the ingredients on low speed to combine, then increase the speed to medium and mix for 7 mins or until the dough is smooth, glossy and has come away from the sides of the bowl. This is a wet dough and will feel tacky. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with cling film and let it rise until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
When the dough is almost doubled, fill a large heavy bottom saucepan halfway full with vegetable or sunflower oil. You need at least a 2-inch depth of oil for frying. Attach a sugar or deep fry thermometer to the side of the saucepan and heat the oil to 177C.
As the oil heats, prep for frying. Line one baking tray with greaseproof paper, you will use this to put the doughnuts on before frying, and another tray with kitchen towels or toilet paper (lol), you will put the doughnuts on this tray after they have been fried. Set both trays aside.
Tip out the doughnut dough onto a well-floured worksurface. Sprinkle some flour over the dough and your rolling pin before rolling the dough to 1/2 inch thick. Use a 3-inch round cutter to cut out 7 doughnuts. Place them on the greaseproof lined baking tray. Cover the tray loosely with cling film.
When the oil reaches 177C, use a slotted metal spoon to gently lower 2 doughnuts into the oil. Fry the doughnuts for 2 mins on each side until deep golden-brown. Remove from the oil with the slotted spoon and place on the kitchen towel lined tray. Allow the oil to come back to 177C and repeat the process until all doughnuts are fried. Allow the doughnuts to cool completely before filling (about 1 hour).
Make the cherry cream filling. Whisk the cream to soft peaks and set aside. Use a spoon to work the crème pâtissière back and forth to loosen it up a bit. Heat 2 tablespoons of cherry jam on the hob or in the microwave to loosen it. Gently fold the loosened crème pâtissière and cherry jam into the whipped cream. You can strain the cherry jam through a sieve if you do not want bits of cherry in the cream.
Pierce the side of each doughnut with a knife and wiggle it about to create a hollow space for the cream. Have a deep side baking tray ready for the filled doughnuts (they need to be kept upright so the cream doesn’t escape). Fill a piping bag or sandwich bag with the cherry cream and cut a small hole in the tip of the piping bag (or sandwich bag). This is a loose filling, don’t expect this piping to be a clean process, the only way to be here is a bit messy. Hold a doughnut like you would a glass, wedge the tip of the piping bag into the hole and slowly squeeze, pulling the bag out the hole as you feel it balloon with filling. Sit the filled doughnut hole-side-up until you are ready to glaze it. Repeat until all doughnuts are filled.
Make the cherry glaze. Put all ingredients for the glaze in a bowl, add a teaspoon of water and mix. Add a drop of water at a time until you reach the consistency you like. For icing like mine, you want a thick ribbon of glaze to fall slowly from a spoon pulled out of the glaze.
Dollop a spoon of the glaze on each doughnut, you can guide the glaze gently over the doughnut, so it drips down the sides. Place on a tray before eating lots of them, very quickly. Mmmmmm doughnuts.
this is a bit of a long one, hahahah pretty much a dissertation, not the recipe, the post. Maybe whack on some Pokémon vids in the background?
It’s the last of our Breaduary adventure! A pretty momentous moment and so I’m ending with a pretty momentous bread. Really, this is the only fruit loaf you’ll ever need. The sweet cinnamon, creamy cashews and sharp cranberries come together in a symphony of peng. Yep, this bread is peng. This recipe came about from my attempt to recreate mums bread love, the Tesco cashew cranberry bloomer.
Dunno why, but you keep calling this bread a Stollen. It’s not a Stollen joe. But I see where your coming from, it does have some Christmassy vibes. Seeing we’re at the end of February, I think of this bread as a hint towards the Hot Cross Buns that come in Easter time (find my Hot Cross Bun recipe here). This bread takes a bit of time, but there is only about 20 mins where you are hands on doing things to the bread, it actually does most of the work itself. Great! I’m selling this well. Just make this bread, it won’t last a day, it’s that good.
What is a Half-Sponge Method? (Caitlin’s dissertation)
My recipe is adapted from Dan Leopards Farmhouse tin loaf, which uses the ‘half-sponge method’ to give the loaf it’s flavour. All the water is mixed with the yeast and half the flour the night before baking the bread. This allows the bread to develop it’s flavour and texture over night.
This method was used before we started to put lots of additives in breads, before bread making became a fast industrialised practice. Using the sponge method gives the dough time to develop naturally occurring enzymes (proteins) in your bread flour, that give the dough strength to rise. In modern day bread making these enzymes don’t occur naturally, and so have to be added in (in very small amounts). Wow, isn’t wikipedia a wealth of information!
Maybe I’ve lots you a bit… tbh I’m also a lost lol, I don’t know all the science behind it. But, you can taste the difference when using the sponge method. And even if you can’t taste the difference, there is something important, I think, in letting the chemicals in the bread do what they need to do, in the time that they need to do it. Sort of like a philosophy for life (hahaha), or very little, personal protest against our fast modern life.
Cool. So now I’ve written my dissertation on the half-sponge method, I’ll give you the recipe.
Note On Shape, There Are Endless Possibilities.You do not need to use a loaf tin for this bread.I’ve written this recipe to bake in a loaf tin because it’s the easiest way to shape bread. My preferred way to bake this bread, is a free form round shape that you stick on a baking tray. You can do this too by forming the dough into a ball shape after it’s first rest and continuing as the recipe instructs. Alternatively, you can make an elongated free form loaf without a tin by rolling the bread into a sausage, tucking in the ends and placing seam-side down on a lightly floured baking tray.
For the Sponge, the night before
230ml warm water
1 teaspoon (a little less than a 7g sachet) dried instant yeast
175g strong white bread flour
130g dried cranberries
70g roughly chopped cashew nuts
For the Dough, the next morning
175g strong white bread flour
20g unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
15g soft light brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Just before bed, the night before you want bread, add the water and yeast to a mixing bowl, mix together. Add in the flour, cranberries and cashews and mix thoroughly. Scrape the sides of the bowl clean with a spatula. Cover the bowl with a tea towel or clingfilm and leave overnight.
The next morning, add the flour, and cubed butter to a bowl. Rub the butter through the flour with your fingertips until it vanishes into the flour. Add in the salt, sugar and cinnamon. Mix together. Add the flour to the yeast sponge you made the night before and mix everything together into a shaggy dough with a spoon. Scrape any bits off the spoon and cover the bowl with a tea towel, leave for 10 mins.
Give the dough three quick kneads over the next 30 mins (ish). By a quick knead I mean about 15 seconds of kneading (Roll. Squash. Fold. Repeat) on a very lightly oiled work surface before putting it back in your bowl and covering with a cloth. After the third and final knead, leave the dough on your worksurface while you wash the bowl. Dry it, lightly oil it, then place the dough back in the bowl to rise in a warm place (next to a radiator, maybe) for a further 30mins.
While the dough rises, butter and lightly dust with flour a 2lb loaf tin (about 21cm long and 11cm wide). When the dough is ready, tip it onto a lightly floured work surface. Flatten into a rectangle that measures, from left to right, slightly less than the length of your loaf tin. Roll the dough up tightly and put it, seam-side down, into the tin. Cover the tin with a tea towel and leave in your warm place until it has doubled in size, about an hour and a half. Don’t worry about the time this takes, when you think it has doubled it will be ready.
Heat the oven to 220 / 200 fan oven. lightly Dust the top of the loaf with flour and, if you want to, use a sharp knife to slash the loaf diagonally a couple of times. Bake for 25 mins. With out opening the oven door, reduce the heat to 200 / 180 fan oven and bake for a further 20 mins, until dark golden brown. Take the bread out the tin and allow to cool for 30 mins before slicing.
I’ve been feeling a bit rough the last couple weeks. Breaduary, though, has been a bit of a saviour. So here comes the 3rd addition of this bready adventure. Pictured in this post is a Walnut, Cheddar and Stilton loaf, but really, this recipe comes alive when you add in whatever combination of nuts and cheese you have at home.
You know Breaduary is actually takin off a bit on Instagram, there are some really cool bakers that have been doing it along with me, and there’s a handful of other bakers that saw our invitation to get involved…and they did! Been posting their contributions with #breaduary.
I feel like we should introduce ourselves again for newcomers to Cake On My Face. My name’s Caitlin, I’m a student in Glasgow. Joe, the one I’m chatting to in this post, is my brother. He’s a published poet currently working in London. Have a lil look at my About page for a bit more info on Joe’s poetry.
Ok. Bread! Really, this loaf is for Dad. He kept asking me for a walnut loaf and he always seems to have 4 Tesco three cheese bloomers on the go at once so I thought I combine the two. This recipe is adapted from Paul Hollywood’s cheese loaf and Dan Leopards Walnut Loaf. I’ve designed it to be able to incorporate any combination of nuts and cheese, so go wild. Red Leicester, Jarlsberg, Cheddar, Stilton all work really well. Maybe leave out the cottage cheese? Really, any nuts work in this. For those that are allergic to nuts whack in some (very very expensive) pine nuts. Pine nuts are Kernels NOT nuts. Give it a google.
500g strong white bread flour
7g (1 sachet) dried yeast
25g unsalted butter, softened
320ml warm water (you may not need all of this)
100g walnuts, chopped roughly into decent sized chunks (you can use any nuts here. Hazelnuts, cashews and pine nuts work well)
80g, cheddar cheese, crumbled
50g blue cheese, like stilton, crumbled (substitute the cheddar and/or stilton with any cheese you like. For this bread you want 130g cheese in total)
Oil, any kind, to knead
Combine the flour and yeast in a bowl. Add in the salt, butter and mix again. Pour in 300ml of the water. Give everything a mix with a spoon, forming a shaggy ball of dough. If there is still some dry flour in the bowl, gradually add more water from the remaining 20ml until all flour is hydrated. This dough drinks up water with a passion, so don’t don’t be afraid to add water until it’s a little on the sticky side. The water will incorporate as you knead and you’ll end with a lovely soft bread.
Tip the dough onto a lightly oiled work surface. Knead for about 10 mins until the dough is smooth, elastic and tacky (so, not very sticky). Knead any way you like: roll, fold, pummel, squash. Just really get it moving. When the dough is kneaded whack it in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel or cling film and set it in a warm place to prove (rise) until it’s doubled in size. This will take about an hour.
When the dough has risen, tip out into a worksurface, flatten out and tip over half of the nuts and cheese. Fold the dough around the nuts and cheese, so you have a little parcel. Flatten this again and tip the other half of the nuts and cheese over the flattened parcel. Press the inclusions into the dough with your palms and then give the dough a short knead for as long as it takes for the nuts and cheese to be incorporated into the dough. It will feel like there is too much nuts and cheese, but it will eventually incorporate together. Some little bits may just not want to stay in the dough, let them stay out.
Flatten out the nutty cheesy dough into a wide rectangle, and roll it up tightly into a sausage. With the seam of the dough sausage on the work surface, tuck in the ends gently to seal them together. Roll the dough a couple of times with your hands on the ends of the susage to tapper the ends slightly, light an elongated lemon. This is only to make the dough into a pleasing shape, you don’t have to do it if your happy with the sausage shape.
Put the shaped loaf, seam side down, on a lightly flour baking tray. Cover with a tea towel or cling film and leave in the warm spot until doubled in size again (about 45 mins). Pre heat the oven to 220 / 200 (fan oven).
Dust the dough with flour and scour it with a very sharp knife, making criss-cross cuts across the top of the loaf. Bake for 35 – 40 mins until it is the colour you like. Allow the bread to cool down a bit before cutting into it.
Have a good bread! The last bread of Breaduary is out next week, and she is a fruity one, yummmm. Speak then xx
Breaduary number 2 boiiiiiiiii. If you’re not joe an haven’t a clue what Breaduary is, click here. This is my everyday white loaf. I’ve messed around with this recipe quite a bit and what I’ve ended with is just right. It’s a really soft bread with a crust that holds its own but isn’t too chewy. There’s no fat in this bread, I wanted it to be the most simple ingredients list I could make without compromising the texture and taste of the bread (lol it’s food critic Caitlin). Because there’s no butter, the crust needs some help to keep from becoming chewy and tough. The help is a tea towel. Wrapped around the bread as soon as it comes out the oven, it keeps in the steam given off by the bread as it cools and softens the crust. The only addition to flour, water, yeast and salt is 10g of sugar, you can leave it out but it gives it a beautiful slightly sweet taste and helps the bread last longer.
I make this bread in a 2lb / 9 x 5 x 2.5 inch loaf tin because I like the shape. You don’t need to use a loaf tin for this recipe, put the shaped dough onto a flour dusted baking tray and bake as stated in the recipe.
450g white bread flour
7g (1 sachet) instant dried yeast
10g brown sugar, any kind
310ml warm water
A little oil, any kind
Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the yeast and sugar and mix again. Pour in the water and mix together with a metal spoon to form a shaggy ball of dough with no dry flour at the bottom of the bowl.
Smear about half a teaspoon of oil onto your worksurface. Clearing the sides of the bowl, tip/scrape the dough out onto the lightly oiled surface. The dough will be lumpy and sticky, but hold off from adding any more flour.
Knead the dough for at least 10 mins until it is smooth, elastic and tacky (not sticky). Because the dough is quite a wet one you want to keep any contact you have with it firm and quick to avoid getting dough spread all over the counter and your hands. The best way to knead this dough is by picking it up and flipping it over so it lands with hard slap on the counter, folding it over itself (in half roughly) then turning it 90 degrees. Repeat this motion quickly. No need to be too precious about the exact movement, all you want to do is get the dough moving. Alternate this with whatever kind of kneading you like, but when the dough gets too sticky, go back to the slapping/folding motion and you’ll find the dough will become much easier to work with.
Very lightly oil the bowl used earlier. Put the kneaded dough in it. Cover the bowl with a tea towel or cling film. Place in a warm place for about an hour, until the dough has doubled in size.
Grease your loaf tin or flour your baking tray and set aside. Tip the risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface and flatten into a rectangle about the length of your loaf tin, (if your not using a loaf tin, make it any size you like). Roll up the dough tightly, tuck the ends slightly and place on the tray or in the tin. Cover with cling film or a tea towel and place back in the warm place until doubled in size again, about 45 mins. Pre heat the oven to 180 (fan oven) / 200 (non fan oven).
When the bread is doubled in size dust it with a little flour and bake for 35 – 40 mins, until the crust is a light golden brown.
When the bread comes out the oven take it out the tin/off the baking tray straight away and wrap it up in a tea towel (maybe use a clean one…?). Let it cool a little for 30 mins before cutting your slice. As I said this bread (and any bread) keeps much better wrapped in its tea towel.
Thanks Sue, Jess and Tiger for eating all of my experiment breads xoxoxo Caitlin x
Its pretty funny that you’ve given up bread this month. Thought I’d use it as an opportunity to launch Breaduary! I’m posting one new bread for each week of Feb. These breads, with a bit of adapting deepening on what’s in your cupboard or fridge, are the only breads you’ll ever need. Baking with yeast is addictive – really – it’s magic and has been made to sound a lot harder than it is. All bread follows the same basic steps; mix, kneed, prove (rest), shape, prove, bake. Even if it burns, bulges, or deflates, it’ll still taste like bread. You don’t need a bread machine, stand mixer or 00 triple artisan Italian flour.
Bread number one, The Every Day One. It’s a light wholemeal loaf, sweet and nutty. It’s so soft and got the crustiest crust on it. If I had to pick one bread to have everyday it would be this. Because this doesn’t have much water in it, it’s a really easy one to knead and shape.
You can easily turn this into a white bloomer loaf by replacing the wholemeal flour with the same weight of strong white bread flour, leaving out the Vitamin C and halving the weight of sugar.
250g Strong white bread flour
250g Wholemeal bread flour
20g brown sugar, any kind
½ 500mg Vitamin C tablet, crushed into a powder (Yes, really! Google ‘why put vitamin c in bread’. Mine are orange flavour because that’s all they had in the shop. You can’t taste the orange so get whatever they have.)
7g (1 sachet) dried yeast
1 teaspoon salt
30g butter, very softened
320ml warm water, you might need a drop more
Put the flours, sugar, and vitamin c in a bowl, add the yeast on one side and salt on the other side (salt can kill yeast if in direct contact. Lol how dramatic). Mix together. Add the very soft butter, rub this into the flour until it disappears. Pour in the water and mix with a spoon until a shaggy mass of dough forms cleaning the side of the bowl. If there is still some dry flour in the bowl, add a drop (just a drop!) more water.
Pour about half a teaspoon olive oil onto your work surface and smear it out. Tip the dough onto it and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic (10mins ish). Kneading is easy to do but hard to write. Use your hands to stretch, fold and roll the dough back on itself, if you do it quickly, you are kneading.
Put the dough into a very lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Set it in a warm place – on a chair next to the radiator is great – until doubled in size (1 hour ish).
Lightly flour a baking tray. Tip the dough onto your work surface and flatten it out into a wide rectangle, then roll it up tightly. Rotate it 90 degrees and repeat the first step, flattening to a rectangle, narrower this time, and rolling up, ending with the seam of the roll on the work surface. Tuck each end of the bread under itself slightly and place on the baking tray. Cover with cling film and put back in the warm spot until doubled in size (30mins ish). Pre heat the oven to 220 ready for the bread.
Dust the top of the loaf with flour and slash with diagonal lines using a very sharp knife. You don’t have to do this; it just helps the loaf keep its shape. Bake for 15 mins, then turn down the oven to 200 and bake for a further 25 mins.
Let the bread cool for 15 mins until you cut into it, or you’ll squash your bread! I like mine with lots of butter and jam. Try it. You’ll never look back.
This recipe makes Cinnamon Rolls how I think they should be. Soft and pillowy, swirled with a slightly-salty, sugary cinnamon filling, covered in a not-too-thick vanilla cream cheese icing that gets all over your face when you eat it. Out the oven, these buns are sticky and soft from all angles, with the icing on the top and a buttery caramel that bakes itself into the bottom of the buns as they bake.
Joe, I know sweet buns ain’t really your ting but Sue wanted Cinnamon Rolls a couple months back, so I made her a cakeonmyface version. Since then, I’ve noticed lots of friends and family seem to be LOVING living the Cinnamon Roll life (Shannon, Emma, Shabri, Jess and Jerry, I’m looking at you).
You make this dough the night before you want Cinnamon Rolls. It makes the whole baking process much quicker.
You don’t need a stand mixer to make this dough. I just use hands.
My dough recipe is borrowed from Paul Hollywood’s iced finger buns. Cheers Paul, it works perfect for Cinnamon Rolls.
For 6 Cinnamon Rolls
250g strong white bread flour
25g caster sugar
20g unsalted butter, softened
7g sachet instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
80ml warm milk
90g light brown soft sugar
1 generous teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
40g unsalted butter, very softened
70g icing sugar
30g cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons milk
The night before you want the Cinnamon Rolls. In a bowl add all the ingredients for the dough apart from the 60ml of water. Mix everything together with one hand, squeezing the dough through your fingers to incorporate the milk. Add the 60ml of water and give it another mix and squeeze.
Tip out the dough from the bowl onto a floured surface, you can be generous with the amount of flour you use. Don’t worry if the dough looks shaggy at this stage. Knead the dough for about 10 mins until it feels smooth, elastic and not too sticky. There is no right way to knead just repeatably squash, fold and roll the dough however you like. The quicker you knead the less time you will have to knead for.
Put the dough in a lightly oiled mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with cling film. Leave for about 20 mins before putting it in the fridge over night.
The morning. Grease and line a small rectangle baking dish (I use a 25 cm x 18cm one). In a small bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the filling apart from the butter. Set the sugar filling aside.
Take the dough out the fridge, tip it onto a lightly floured work surface and squash it into a fat rectangle. Roll out the dough to a 9 x 13 inch rectangle. As you roll, gently pull the corners of the dough to keep as best a rectangle shape as you can, it will make the rolling and cutting easier.
To fill and roll the dough position the 13inch edge towards you. Leaving a centimetre around the edge of the dough free from filling, spread the butter evenly over the dough rectangle. Sprinkle over the sugar mixture and pat down.
Roll up the dough tightly so you end with a sausage of dough 13 inches long, seam side down on your work surface. Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into 2 inch pieces. You should get 6. If you like maths you’ll notice I’ve given you an extra inch to play with in case something goes wrong. Put these buns evenly spaced apart in the baking dish. If you want the central swirl of each bun to rise up a little, like mine in the pictures, hold a bun in one hand like you would a glass, gently push your thumb of the other hand up, into the centre swirl of what will be the underside of the bun.
Cover with a tea towel and leave somewhere warm (on a chair next to the radiator) until doubled in size. The temperature of your home will depend on how long this takes, but it will be roughly and hour and a half. You can tell they are ready for the oven by lightly pressing a finger into the dough, if it springs back to its original position, the yeast is happy and it’s ready for the oven.
Pre heat the oven to 180 (170 for a fan oven). Bake the cinnamon rolls for 25-30 mins, until golden brown on top.
Mix together the icing sugar, cream cheese, vanilla and salt. stir in a teaspoon of milk, if you want a looser icing add the other teaspoon. Let the buns sit out of the oven for 10 mins before pouring and spreading over the icing.