Tag Archives: cookbook

who you calling honey!!

So after an evening of rising away, this morning was the bake-off of my gorgeous lavender honey and toasted almond sourdough!
This is not a bread that you suddenly think… ‘I think I’ll whip up a loaf of sourdough bread’, since this is a plan-ahead idea! Actually at least a week since you have to prep up a starter for the sourdough. I have a starter that I made months ago slumbering away in the fridge, however that is made using wholemeal flour, while for this loaf, I made a new starter of white bread flour.
Once my newest starter was fragrant and active, it was time to get baking! The recipe I used was that of Paul Hollywood and like most of his recipes, this one did not disappoint!!
It started with strong bread flour mixed with my starter and salt, along with some tepid water to bring everything all together. Once combined, a good kneading was necessary to activate this bad boy and give it that rise it so desperately needs. After its first rise [five hours], the dough is formed out into a square, spread with lavender honey [see my earlier post on this] and scattered with toasted sliced almonds. The square dough is rolled into a cylindrical form and rolled into a ‘crust’ of more toasted sliced almonds… After the loaves are covered with the almonds, they are off to rest for an additional nine hours [this was the overnight part] to rise again!
Once morning arrived, it was off to bake in a 375 degree oven for thirty-five minutes until golden and when tapped… hollow!
A slight cool down, a beautiful tear and it was time to devour with a luxurious cup of lady grey tea…

**if you are interested in the recipe, you can find it in the Paul Hollywood cookbook, ‘How to Bake’. I highly recommend the book**

at a low simmer…
-R

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A rainy day masterpiece…

So on this yet again, rainy day… I decided to pull another interesting dish from my new cookbook! This recipe had quite a few steps involved so the prep work began in the early AM hours.
The entire bang started by marinating a boneless leg of lamb with rosemary, garlic, lemon zest, extra virgin, salt and crushed peppercorns for roughly eight hours.
While my meat was marinating, I began mixing rye, white and wholemeal flours, along with salt and then yeast in my mixer. To pull everything together, in went some water. Everything was kneaded and then it went into an oiled mixing bowl and set off to rise. As soon as the dough rose, I stretched it out into a rectangle, made some imprints with my fingertips and then pricked the dough with a fork. Again it was time for another rise and then a bake! The baking time was only thirty minutes and then off to cool.
While my bread cooled, the lamb was grilled until perfectly cooked… Then it was onto the fun part, to serve this gorgeous dinner up! The freshly baked bread [trencher as the recipe is called] is decorated watercress, haricot vert, scallions and radishes. On top of this vibrancy, were slices of the succulent lamb, along with its sexy juices…
As the finishing touch, a dressing of crème fraiche, lemon juice, salt and english mustard.
The flavors were incredible… earthy from the rosemary, citrusy from the lemon zest, cool yet spicy from the dressing, while the ‘trencher’ tasted nutty and light, while soaking up all the goodness…

at a low simmer…
-R

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A rainy day masterpiece…

So on this yet again, rainy day… I decided to pull another interesting dish from my new cookbook! This recipe had quite a few steps involved so the prep work began in the early AM hours.
The entire bang started by marinating a boneless leg of lamb with rosemary, garlic, lemon zest, extra virgin, salt and crushed peppercorns for roughly eight hours.
While my meat was marinating, I began mixing rye, white and wholemeal flours, along with salt and then yeast in my mixer. To pull everything together, in went some water. Everything was kneaded and then it went into an oiled mixing bowl and set off to rise. As soon as the dough rose, I stretched it out into a rectangle, made some imprints with my fingertips and then pricked the dough with a fork. Again it was time for another rise and then a bake! The baking time was only thirty minutes and then off to cool.
While my bread cooled, the lamb was grilled until perfectly cooked… Then it was onto the fun part, to serve this gorgeous dinner up! The freshly baked bread [trencher as the recipe is called] is decorated watercress, haricot vert, scallions and radishes. On top of this vibrancy, were slices of the succulent lamb, along with its sexy juices…
As the finishing touch, a dressing of crème fraiche, lemon juice, salt and english mustard.
The flavors were incredible… earthy from the rosemary, citrusy from the lemon zest, cool yet spicy from the dressing, while the ‘trencher’ tasted nutty and light, while soaking up all the goodness…

at a low simmer…
-R

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the crowning glory…

Like a kid in a candy store, I anxiously awaited for the postman to arrive with that brown boxy item… once the box arrived I tore straight into it and from it emerged my version of the bible… my newest cookbook… ‘bread’ from the master Paul Hollywood!
Thumbing through the glossy, picture laden book was painful, as I wanted to make every single recipe listed, but I was on a mission for one perfect puffy, stuffed and twisted doughy element of perfection… The ‘savoury brioche couronne’.
As soon as I knew what ingredients I was missing, it was off to the market to gather them up and then back home to start off baking… This was such an incredible treat to make, although like most breads… time consuming!
It began with the combining of flour, yeast, salt, milk, eggs and butter… After this all was incorporated, the dough was set aside for it’s first rise. Next the dough was rolled out to a rectangle and topped off with salty, thinly sliced prosciutto, torn mozz and julienned basil! Rolled tightly together into a large cylindrical shape, the dough was then sliced down the center and then twisted together and wrapped into a circle.
As soon as this was done, it was bagged up and off for its second slumber to rise again…
Once the dough was puffy and ready for its tan, it was glazed with an egg wash and some grated pecorino. Into the oven for thirty-five minutes until swollen and golden!
The scent flooded the air as the couronne baked away, but as for the taste… well there are so many words to describe, but I prefer divine…

at a low simmer…
-R

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simple saturday supper…

So with Saturday night upon us, the question always arises… ‘What’s for dinner’. After a pretty exhausting day, and little desire to get dressed up to go out, I decided dinner would be home cooked!
A rich pasta ‘bake’ from one of my fave home cooks, Nigella Lawson… after looking through her newest cookbook, the whole wheat pasta with brussels sprouts, cheese and potato really stood out. I have made a dish like this in the past with some slightly different ingredients, but decided to give it a go…
The process is as simple, as simple can be… in one pot of boiling, super salty water the pasta, brussels sprouts and potato are cooked together. A slight amount of the pasta liquid is reserved before draining.
While the pasta is cooking, I cubed up some gruyere cheese and measured out some fresh ricotta. This lovely, creamy mixture was tossed with the drained pasta, brussels sprouts and potatoes.
After everything was coated, it was into a baking dish, drizzled with some oil, sage and a heavy hand of grated pecorino. Baked for roughly thirty minutes, then a slight resting period and it was time to eat!
The flavors all complimented one another and made me question… how could this possibly serve anymore than two??

at a low simmer…
-R

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we’re all entitled to some decadence…

To start the week off right, it was best to do it on a sweet note!
A whiskey chocolate tart topped off with luxurious, homemade whiskey whipped cream…
The tart was made using a cookbook I received as a Christmas present. I adapted it from one large tart into mini-personal sized ones.
The crust was made using shortbread cookies, sugar, salt and some melted butter. The cookies, sugar and salt are pulsed in a food processor, and then the melted butter stirred in until everything was incorporated. Pressed into the mini tart pans, the crust was cooked till just before browned…
While the crust cooled down, some milk and heavy cream were heated. Once hot, but not boiling, off the heat chopped milk and dark chocolates were whisked into the milky mixture until smooth.
In a separate bowl went some flour, an extra-large egg [plus an additional yolk] and some whiskey! Everything was beat together and then added into the chocolate mixture and whisked until combined.
The silky, chocolatey mixture was eased into the cooled shortbread crusts and popped into the oven and baked until slightly set, but wiggly in the center.
To finish this story, a hefty dollop of the homemade whipped cream and it was time to begin eating! Rich and decadent, full of chocolatey goodness… this was truly a spectacular dessert!

at a low simmer…
-R

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