Saturday, March 10, 2012

Baked Bread / Baking

'Home Baked Bread'

Have everything measured and ready to go

 Make a well in centre of flour and add sugar, salt, yeast.

 Add half of the tepid water and mix gently with a fork bringing flour from side into the centre. Once your mixture resembles porridge consistency then you are able to use your hands (dust them in flour first this will help your hands to be less sticky) and add rest of water gradually as you mix. Expect your hands to get a little sticky though! Your flour may need more or less water, so adjust where necessary. Pat and push the together with remaining flour.

Remove dough from bowl onto clean work bench and 'push, fold, slap and roll the dough around time and time again for about 5 mins (I can't begin to tell you how therapeutic this is!) - until your dough is soft, silky and elastic as above. Dust flour over top.

Place dough into large bowl and cover with two tea towels or cling wrap and tea towel and place in a dry warm area to rest for 1 1/2 hours. Dough will double in size.

After 1 1/2 hours dough will be elastic as above -remove from bowl, and knock the air out of it for 30 seconds by punching, bashing and squashing (great therapy). Place on floured baking tray and shape dough. Cover with tea towel and leave to rest for another 30 mins.

After 30 mins. remove tea towel to see dough. Dough should again, have doubled in size. Feel free to add some scoring to the dough creating your own patterns with a sharp knife. Place into preheated oven - 200 degrees. Place on top shelf and place a stainless steel bowl of water on the bottom of oven to create moisture while the bread bakes. Bake for ten minutes and then turn temperature down to 180 degrees and bake for a further 30-45 mins (depends on the oven you are using). To test if bread is ready, tap the bottom of the bread - it will sound hollow and the bread will be lovely and golden.

Take bread out of oven, admire, smell and allow bread to cool before cutting.

Homemade bread cooked with love is so much better! Give it a go X.


1 kg strong premium bakers flour
2 tbsp of caster sugar
1 level tbsp sea salt
625 mls tepid water 
(2 parts cold to 1 part boiled)
21g dried yeast
extra flour for dusting


Friday, March 9, 2012

Pita with Buffalo / Quick Snacks

This is a great after work or weekend snack for when friends call in unexpectedly! A visually appealing dish, with wonderful textures and flavours. A great accompaniment to your favourite movie, or a round the table chat with friends or loved ones. 

Noshy Pita with buffalo


1-2 large wholemeal Pita bread
*if using 2 then double the amount of ingredients
2 cloves roughly chopped garlic
1 tbsp dried oregano 
1 tbsp dried ground sweet paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried ground chilli (mild)
1 tbsp dried ground sun-dried tomato
1 tbsp fresh parsley
2 mozzarella balls
 sliced and placed sporadically
1/2 lemon
drizzle olive oil

Preheat oven 200 degrees
Line a large flat baking tray with pita bread/s
drizzle olive oil olive oil over pita bread
add your spices over pita bread
add chopped garlic cloves
add fresh mozzarella slices sporadically over bread
sprinkle with fresh parsley
drizzle with lemon juice
drizzle with another splash of olive oil

Place into oven for 10 minutes - or when cheese has melted and pita has browned with a crunch!


Sweet Potato chips / Quick snacks

Quick snack? Try our sweet potato chips. Using a potato slicer very thinly slice sweet potato slices, lay out evenly in baking tray (making sure to not overlap), drizzle with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, season with good quality salt and fresh rosemary! Bake until sides start to curl and crispy. YUM

Sweet potato chips


Sage and Anchovy Fritters / Quick snacks

A favourite snack for the Italians and for us! These little darlings are so flavoursome and simply - divine. Great to serve at a dinner party or as we did - with each other. Left over batter can be used to coat other vegetables, zucchini flowers, or fish.

Sage and Anchovy Fritters

Beer Batter


100g Flour
190 ml Beer
1 pinch salt
1 tsp baking powder

Sieve flour, baking powder and salt into bowl
Add beer and whisk until smooth
Cover with glad wrap and rest for 30 mins in refrigerator

Sage and Anchovy Fritters


anchovy fillets halved lengthways
sage leaves 
(double the amount of halved anchovy fillets)
vegetable oil for deep frying
sea salt
lemon wedges to squeeze over and serve

Take an anchovy piece and sandwich between two sage leaves, pressing gently together.
Repeat this process until complete.

Place oil into hot fryer, deep frying pan or wok. Depth of oil should be at least 2 inches in the centre. Heat on high heat until hot - a drop of stale bread should turn golden in a few seconds, and this is the temp you want. 

Dip sage leaves into batter, let the excess batter drain off, and remember to keep some of the sage stalk free of batter so you can easily lift in and out of oil. Place fritters into hot oil and turn  once to ensure both sides are golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
Drizzle fritters with lemon and serve on a hot plate with lemon wedge

*If cooking larger amounts for dinner party don't forget to heat up baking tray for serving fritters

Julie & Julia / Featured Weekend Movie

We are huge lovers of Julia Child and her incredible french cook books! We have all of them in our home to take out occasionally...totally spoiling ourselves silly, with her wonderful rich flavours. Julia Child's recipes make our hearts sing! If you love France, french cooking and the blogging world, then hire this movie over the weekend. A favourite movie of ours X.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Fig Filo Tart / Sweet Mondays 'Stressed is desserts spelled backwards'

We love Autumn and creating any dish that includes figs for their rustic colour and wonderful texture.
This Fresh fig tart is incredibly easy to make, and every mouthful enjoyable with the crunch of the filo and pistachio, creaminess of the custard and cream and luxurious sweetness of the fig and honey.
Mondays are much more enjoyable, when you have this to look forward to! Don't you think so?

'Autumn Fig Filo Tart'
serves 8-10


6 sheets filo pastry (thawed if frozen)
50g butter melted to brush each filo sheet
and to grease your tin
10 figs cut into wedges
75g plain flour
85g caster sugar
4 eggs
450 ml creamy milk
2 tsp almond extract (or essence)
icing sugar for dusting
honey to drizzle over figs
pistachio nuts and double cream to serve

Preheat oven to 190 degrees
Grease your tin with butter
Brush each filo sheet with melted butter (do this quickly so pastry doesn't crack)
Line your tin with your filo sheets one at a time
Trim excess with scissors, leaving some filo overhanging the edge
Place fig wedges in tin skin down on filo
Sift flour into bowl and add caster sugar
Add the eggs and gradually add milk whisking until smooth (you may not need all of your milk)
Add almond extract or essence to mixture and stir
Pour mixture evenly over figs
Place into oven for approx 1 hour. You want the batter to set and the pastry to be golden
Remove your tart from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes
Drizzle with honey and dust with generous amount icing sugar
Serve with double cream and crushed pistachios