A Cornish girl's food adventures

Tag: bread

Cardamom buns

Cardamom buns

I’m almost certain that homemade bread is good for the soul. The process of making the dough, the smell as it bakes and that first taste when it’s fresh from oven – it really does make me feel good. I love making a batch of […]

Garlic and herb flatbreads

Garlic and herb flatbreads

When other women go to New York they head to 5th Avenue to buy designer shoes and handbags. Not me. I head to The Bowery and trawl through the restaurant supply stores. When we went recently Mr Colonial Cravings treated me to a tortilla press […]

Cheddar and leek soda bread

Cheddar and leek soda bread

I know that for the last couple of years (whilst I was living in the USA) I’ve offered you recipes for sweet treats to celebrate St Patrick’s day, but this year I thought that I might go down a more traditional route.
I’ve only made soda bread once before, a long time ago, and if I’m honest, I wasn’t a massive fan of it. It was a plain recipe and with no other flavourings I found the taste of the baking soda to be a bit overpowering. Thankfully though that’s not the case with this one! The buttery leeks and rich, tangy cheddar make this a delicious loaf. It’s wonderful for mopping up soups and stews and all manner of hearty meals.

Ingredients
makes 1 loaf
1 medium leek
35g butter
150g spelt flour
150g whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
200ml buttermilk
100g grated cheddar
mixed seeds (optional)

Pre-heat your oven to 220°c and if you have a baking stone then put that in the oven to pre-heat.
Melt the butter in a frying pan and then set aside two-thirds of it. Thinly slice the leek and gently fry it in the remaining butter until it is just starting to become golden. Set aside.
Whisk together the flours and raising agents in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the leeks and grated cheese (keep a little cheese back to top the loaf).
Combine the melted butter that you put aside earlier with the buttermilk and then use this to bring everything together to form a soft ball of dough. Give this a very brief knead on a floured surface before shaping it into a neat ball. Cut a cross in the top of the loaf and then sprinkle on the reserved cheese and the seeds if you’re using them.
Transfer the loaf to either the hot baking stone or a lightly greased tray and bake it for about 40 minutes, by which time it should be crusty and golden brown.

Maple tofu bao buns

Maple tofu bao buns

I love these sweet, soft, fluffy pillows of dough but it’s not always easy to find non-meat versions. The last time we were in NYC we did a food crawl (what we do when there are just too many great places to eat and not […]

Mincemeat and saffron kugelhopf

Mincemeat and saffron kugelhopf

I’ve said it many times but I’ll say it again…Christmas cake is not for me. Icing belongs in my food hell. I just can’t bear it. And the cake is just too rich for me, I’ll have a token slice every year but really and […]

Malted teacakes

Malted teacakes

malted teacakes

Can anyone resist a warm toasted teacake dripping with melted butter? I know I can’t. Home made teacakes (like most things) are far superior to their shop-bought cousins. The fruit is more juicy, the spices are brighter and the texture is less spongy. All in all they make a pretty delicious treat.
I use malt extract in my recipe in place of sugar and really like the extra depth of flavour that it adds. These don’t have the full on sticky richness of something like malt loaf (although that is one of my favourites), there’s just a nice little bit of extra sweetness from the malt.
These are delicious for breakfast or as an afternoon pick-me-up.

malted teacakes

Ingredients
makes 9
350g strong white bread flour
1 sachet fast acting yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp allspice
200ml milk
50g butter
30g malt extract
150g dried fruit (I used sultanas and apricots)
a little flavourless oil

malted teacakes

Sift the flour and spices together into a large mixing bowl and then mix through the salt, sugar and yeast with a fork.
Combine the butter, milk and malt extract in a pan and gently warm them a little so that the butter melts (or just do it in the microwave) but don’t let it get too hot.
Add the warm liquid to the dry ingredients, a little at a time, bearing in mind that you may not need all of the liquid, until you have a soft but not sticky ball of dough.
Lightly oil your hands and the work surface and then knead the dough for 5 minutes or so until it becomes smooth and springy.
Wash and dry the mixing bowl (to warm it) and then lightly oil it and a piece of cling film. Place the dough in the bowl, cover it with the cling film and then put it in a warm place for about an hour or until it has doubled in size.

malted teacakes
Mix together the fruit, chopping any large fruit so that it is all a similar size. Once the dough has risen scatter the fruit over the surface and start to work it into the dough. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead it for a minute or two to ensure that the fruit and air are well distributed through it. Divide the dough into nine even pieces and shape each one into a ball. Place them on a lightly greased baking tray, spaced a little apart and flatten each one slightly. Recover them and put the tray back in a warm place until the buns have doubled in size again. Pre-heat your oven to 200°c.
Brush the teacakes with a little milk and then bake them for 20 minutes, so that they are nice and brown. Leave them to cool on a wire rack and then enjoy them toasted and smothered in butter!

malted teacakes

Belgian buns

Belgian buns

In the UK Belgian buns are always the star of the bakery window. They grab your attention with their shiny white icing and bright red cherries. Incidentally I don’t think that they have anything at all to do with Belgium. But in spite of how […]

Fig focaccia

Fig focaccia

I’m not really sure why I haven’t ever tried to make focaccia before. Maybe because it looks really impressive I’d assumed that it would be quite complicated and beyond my capabilities. But it turns out that it’s not really any more complex than any other […]

Savoury bread pudding

Savoury bread pudding

savoury bread pudding

Do you ever get into that pre-holiday (vacation) situation where you need to empty the fridge before you go away but you seem to have a pretty random collection of ingredients in amounts that seem too small to actually be of any use?
Well that was how this came about, hence the tiny amount of mascarpone and ham listed and the approximate quantities I’ve used. I stood staring at the contents of the fridge, half thinking about what I should be packing for our trip to Cuba, half wondering what on earth I was going to do with the food that was staring back at me.
It acually turned out to be an amazing weekend breakfast, I’ll certainly be making it again. I realise that the words savoury and bread pudding don’t sit entirely comfortably together but if you prefer you can think of it as a bread fittata. Either way it’s pretty delicious!

leek & serrano ham bread pudding

Ingredients
serves two really hungry/greedy people

1 tbsp butter
leeks (about 8″, trimmed and thinly sliced)
small sweet red pepper (sliced)
3 eggs
175ml whole milk or 100ml milk and 75ml cream
salt and pepper
baguette (about 6″)
3 tbsp grated cheese (whatever you’ve got sitting in the fridge)
1 tbsp mascarpone (optional but makes it lovely and creamy)
3 slices of serrano ham or similar (optional)

Savoury bread pudding

Pre-heat your oven to 200°c and slice the bread into rounds, about 1 cm thick.
Melt the butter in a frying pan, brush a little of it around your chosen baking dish and then brush some of it onto the slices of bread (on one side only). Use what’s left to gently sautee the leeks until they start to brown a little. Add the peppers and cook to 2-3 minutes more.
Beat the milk, eggs and seasoning together in a jug or mixing bowl and then beat in the mascarpone if you’re using it. Don’t worry if it isn’t completely blended. Stir the leeks and peppers into this custard and then pour the whole lot into the baking dish.
Arrange the bread and ham (if using) in the dish, pushing them down into the custard so that they soak it up nicely. Sprinkle the cheese over the whole lot and then bake it for 35-40 minutes, until the eggs have set and the top is deliciously golden.

leek, cheese and ham bread pudding

Chocolate chili cinnamon rolls

Chocolate chili cinnamon rolls

These are so insanely good. Mr Colonial Cravings calls these Aztec rolls, which I suppose is a little bit less of a mouthful than ‘chocolate-chili-cinnamon-rolls’. Just as well, because if you make these your mouth will be way to busy scoffing them to do anything […]