Category Archives: Lunch

Red Onion & Rosemary Bread

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I couldn’t decide what kind of bread to make so just made up a basic bread dough while I mulled it over in my mind palace and came up with this bread bad boy. Boom.

Ingredients

400g strong white bread flour
7g instant yeast
7g salt
250ml lukewarm water
1 large red onion
1 garlic clove
small handful of rosemary sprigs
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp soft brown sugar

Method

Begin by making the simple bread dough. In a large bowl, weigh out the flour, salt and yeast – remembering to keep the salt and yeast on opposite sides. Mix in half the water with your hands, add the rest in smaller amounts until you get a soft, workable consistency.

Tip out onto a lightly oiled surface and knead for 5-10 minutes until elastic and smooth. Place in a large oiled bowl then place the bowl inside a plastic bag and leave to rise in a warm place for 1-3 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.

Meanwhile, slice the red onion into your preferred shape (I went for small, thin slices) and gently fry in 1 tbsp olive oil, with a crushed garlic clove and finely chopped rosemary for about 5 minutes, until softened. Throw in the balsamic vinegar and sugar and fry for a further minute.

When the bread has proved, tip out onto a lightly oiled surface and gently knead in the onion mixture. You might need a little more bread flour to offset the extra moisture. When the onion is evenly distributed, roughly shape into a rectangle and place in a deep, rectangular tray. Place the tray in a plastic bag and leave to prove once again in a warm place for around an hour.

Brush with about 1 tbsp olive oil before baking at 180-200°C/360-390°F/gas mark 4-6 for around 20-25 minutes until brown and hollow-sounding when tapped.

Enjoy with cheese, chutney or dipped in oil and balsamic vinegar. Scoffscoffscoff.

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Carrot & Chickpea Burgers

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I don’t know about you but when faced with a bag full of carrots and not much else I struggle to think of anything other than ‘soup’. However a quick browse on the BBC Good Food website unearthed these burgers. They’re a little more faffy than standard chickpea burgers but they stuck together better than any I’ve previously made so I thought I’d share the method.

Makes 6-8 burgers

Ingredients

350-400g carrots, grated
400g tin chickpeas, drained/rinsed
1 onion, grated
1 clove of garlic, grated
1 tbsp tahini or hummus or maybe even…smooth peanut butter?
1 egg
80-100g breadcrumbs (1 thick slice of bread, grated)
1 tsp ground cumin1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground coriander
salt and pepper to taste
flour

Method

If you have a food processor (which I don’t!) add 1/3 of the carrot, the chickpeas, onions, garlic, spices, hummus/tahini/peanut butter and egg and blitz to a paste. If you don’t have a food processor stick them in a large bowl and use a stick blender to blitz. If you don’t have a stick blender then maybe this recipe is not for you…!

Add a little oil to a frying pan and fry the remaining 2/3 of the carrot for approx. 10 minutes. Add to the paste in the bowl  along with the breadcrumbs and stir together. Get a large plate and cover with a layer of flour. Use your hands to form the carrot mix into patties (eurghk, I hate that word) and place on the flour. Handling gently, flip over and coat the other side in flour.

Using the same frying pan, to save on washing up obviously, fry up the burgers for a few minutes on each side, until golden and crispy. Serve with salad, chutney, flatbreads, mayo, whatever!

No picture ’cause we too greedy. Sozz.

 

J

Feta and Roasted Vegetable Bulghar-Wheat Salad

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This tasty salad makes a nice change from the old ham sandwiches. It’s really easy to make and lasts all week so I tend to make a huge tub of it on a Sunday and it will keep until Friday – not that it ever really lasts that long. It looks really posh too.

Serves: 6-8

Ingredients

1/2 butternut squash, diced into 1-2 cm cubes
1/2 courgette, diced into 1-2 cm cubes
1 medium sweet potato, diced into 1-2 cm cubes
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 cup of bulghar wheat
1 vegetable stock cube
handful spinach, chopped
100g feta
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp dried oregano
4 tomatoes, chopped
salt and pepper

Method

Heat the oven to 160*C whilst you prepare the vegetables. Throw them into a bowl and coat well in the sunflower oil. Add a teaspoon of each of the herbs and put on a baking tray in the oven to roast for 40-50 minutes until soft. Leave to cool.

Meanwhile, add the bulghar wheat to the a bowl and cover with two cups of boiling water. Add the stock cube and stir well. Cover with clingfilm and leave to soak for 10-15 minutes, stirring a couple of times.

When the bulghar wheat has soaked up the water, add the vegetables to it. Leave to cool before crumbling over the feta, adding the herbs and adding the chopped spinach. Chop the tomatoes and add to the salad. Season well and store in the fridge.

Cheese, Onion and Mustard Swirls

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We love swirls. Sweet or savoury, they are an easy way to make eye-catching office munchies or a traybake to share at a party. These swirls are a take on a recipe from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook, which we handily ‘borrowed’ from G’s sister on an extended (never-ending) loan. Oh well. More time to bake all of the deliciousness.

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Makes 24 perfect for sharing or 12 as more of a substantial lunch.

Ingredients

375g plain flour
1 tsp salt
black pepper
1 tbsp sugar
7g dried fast-action yeast
150 ml milk
80 ml water
55g butter, melted, plus a bit extra
1 medium onion
170g cheddar
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
salt and pepper
1 tbsp onion chutney

Method

Begin by making up the dough. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl, add the salt to one side of the bowl and yeast to the other. Throw in the sugar and pepper wherever you fancy. Pour in the melted butter, add the milk and mix well, then continue to add the water more slowly until you reach a slightly sticky-consistency dough. Throw out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for around ten minutes.

Leave to prove in an oiled bowl until doubled. Meanwhile if you fancy, you can begin grating the cheese and the onion into a bowl.

When the dough has proved, tip out onto a well-floured surface and roll out to approximately 48 cm x 30 cm if you want many to share, or 36 cm x 30 cm if you want them more for a substantial snack. Brush on a little melted butter to help everything stick before spreading on the mustard. Season well. Sprinkle on the cheese and onion evenly before rolling towards you, along the 48 cm or 36 cm edge, to make a tight roll.

Cut the roll into 24 x 2 cm slices if making them to share or 12 x 2.5 cm swirls if making them for lunch. Line one or two deep baking trays with baking paper (depending on how many you’re making). Fit 12 swirls snugly into the tray – obviously if making 24 smaller swirls, you will need two trays. Leave to prove for around an hour in a warm place until the swirls are merging into each other.

Bake for 20-25 minutes at 170*C until golden brown. Whilst they are still hot, mix the chutney with the water in a small glass or bowl. Brush the tops of the swirls with the glaze to give a wonderful sticky shine that makes them look irresistible.

Yum.

Fougasse

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Ahh, Paul Hollywood, you make everything look so easy. I have to say I’m definitely becoming a better baker because of you. How To Bake is a genuinely brilliant book and I’ve probably peddled it before but I shall do so again – everything in it is begging to be made! Go buy it with your hard-earned pennies and get baking!

I’ve modified this recipe ever so slightly but only in the peripheral aspects not the major components. If you like focaccia, you’ll like this guaranteed.

Ingredients

250g strong white bread flour
190ml cold water
5g salt
5g fast-action yeast
1 tbsp oil*
3 tsp mixed herbs
handful fresh oregano, ripped up
handful fresh basil, ripped up

*I replaced PH’s suggestion of olive oil with the oil in which sundried tomatoes are preserved. I also chopped up the capers that came in my standard supermarket tomatoes and threw them over the bread with the other herbs. I must admit I must have used a fair bit more than 1 tbsp of oil too

Method

Sift the flour into a large bowl, add the salt to one side, yeast to the other, oil anywhere you like and three quarters of the water. PH says to use a mixer but a. I don’t have one and b. the exercise means you can eat twice as much bread! So shape your hand, dough-mixer-stylee and start mixing together in a circular motion.

Once everything is incorporated add the remaining water a little at a time, continuing to mix as vigorously as you can. Feel free to take a break every now and again! In the end I took mine out of the bowl, put plenty of oil on the work surface and kneaded it for 5 minutes before oiling the bowl and returning the dough to it. Cover with clingfilm and leave for at least an hour – my dough probably quadrupled in size.

Line a baking tray with baking parchment, dust a work surface with flour and semolina/polenta and tip the dough out on to it – save the clingfilm to use again later. Gently push out into a round and lift onto the baking tray before squishing out further. Make slits with a pizza cutter in a “leaf pattern” and gently pull the dough apart to emphasize the holes. Dust with flour and semolina/polenta, mixed herbs, basil, oregano and capers if you have any.

Preheat the oven to 220oC/425oF/gas mark 7. Cover the dough with the clingfilm and leave to prove while the oven warms up. Before you put it in the oven, drizzle with oil. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Tap the bread in various places to check it’s cooked through – it’ll have a lovely hollow sound. Cool on a wire rack and eat with an olive oil/balsamic vinegar dip.

J

fougasse

 

Coconut, Coriander, Chilli & Ginger Flatbread

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The perfect, light airy flatbread to soak up a curry. Taken from the Real Food cookbook, with added coconut and spring onions. This makes one pretty enormous flatbread

Ingredients

400g strong white bread flour
320ml water
1½ tsp fast action yeast
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp dessicated coconut
2.5cm piece fresh root ginger
1 medium red chilli, deseeded & finely chopped
handful fresh coriander, ripped into pieces
2 spring onions, cut into thin rounds
olive oil

Method

Place a sheet of baking parchment on a baking tray and lightly flour a surface ready for your dough.

Sift the flour into a large bowl, add the salt to one side and the yeast to the other. Add half the chilli and coriander, 2 tbsp coconut and and most of the water. Use your hand to mix it all together, adding the remaining water a little at a time until you have a well-mixed, slightly wet dough. Tip out the dough and knead for 10 minutes.

Roll into a ball then squash down into a round – make sure to put more flour down to stop it sticking. Pick up and place on the baking parchment and squash out further until approximately 1cm thick. Dimple the surface with your fingers, add the remaining chilli, coriander, ginger, coconut and spring onions and give a healthy drizzle of olive oil. Cover with cling film and stick in a warm place to prove until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 190oC/375oC/gas mark 5. Remove the clingfilm and put the bread on the middle shelf for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Tap to check whether it’s cooked, it will sound hollow if it has, if not stick back in for 5 minutes. Either serve with a soggy curry or drizzle with oil and serve on its own.

J&W

not so flat flatbread

Mary Berry’s Hot Cross Buns

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To celebrate Easter (not that I am a huge fan of Easter) I got my Mary Berry on baking these delicious hot cross buns from the latest edition of the Great British Bake Off Masterclass. Despite having watched the programme twice and having the recipe written down in front of me, I somehow still managed to get them wrong. However they turned out fantastic anyway, proving that even the most haphazard baker doesn’t have an excuse for not making a batch of these.

Ingredients

dough
500g strong white bread flour
50g caster sugar
7g salt
10g fast action yeast
40g butter
2 eggs
150ml whole milk
150ml water

filling
250g dried fruit of your choice (sultanas, raisins, mixed peel, Mary Berry suggests 180g dried fruit, 50g mixed peel)
zest of 1 orange (plus about half the juice)
1 apple, diced into small chunks
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
½ tsp nutmeg

crosses
75g plain flour
75ml approx. cold water

glaze
2 tsp apricot or ginger jam (whatever you have in the cupboard)
2 tsp warm water

Method

Weigh out all of the dry dough ingredients into a large mixing bowl, remembering to keep the salt and the yeast on opposite sides of the bowl. Add the eggs and the milk and mix with your hands to ensure the butter is mixed thoroughly and there are no large chunks. By now you should have a vaguely dough-like substance that needs a bit of water to help it come together. Add the water bit by bit until you reach a slightly sticky dough.

Turn out onto the worktop and knead away for 5-10 minutes, stretching the dough and knocking it back. Throw the dough back into the bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to prove for around an hour.

When the dough has about doubled in size, throw in the fruit and spices. Knead gently to ensure it is evenly distributed throughout the dough. Cut the dough into 12 evenly sized pieces and roughly shape them into balls. Place on a baking tray 3 x 4 with about an inch between each. Leave to prove, covered in cling film, for another hour until the balls are just about touching. Heat your oven to 200 degrees.

Mix the flour with around 50 mls of water to form a thick paste. Add more water slowly to form more of a battery consistency that will be pipe-able. You may not need the whole 75 mls, though you may need a little more. Spoon the batter into a piping bag and pipe over all of the buns on the baking tray – you needn’t do each individually, one long sweep across all 3-4 will give a more professional look.

Bake in the oven for 15-20 mins until dark golden brown. As soon as they come out of the oven, mix up your glaze and brush over the hot buns to give the shiny, sticky finish that make hot cross buns oh so tasty.

Enjoy warm, toasted or cold with lashings of butter or jam.

YUM.

Hot Cross Buns