Mediterranean Stuffed Loaf

stuffedloaf1I have been a bit rubbish at posting recently because, although I have still been cooking like crazy, having a full time job hasn’t given me much time to sit down and write. This weekend though I found myself with a bit of time on my hands and I thought I would make a proper lazy Sunday recipe and tell you all about it.

stuffedloaf3Bread is one of those things that most people don’t even attempt to make at home. People think it is too specialist, takes too long and involves too many annoying little stages.  Well bread does take a very long time to make but it is not really specialist or fiddly. In fact, if you stick to a basic recipe it is pretty difficult to go wrong.

stuffedloaf2This recipe is a bit of a twist on a classic loaf. Stuffing a loaf like this means that it can become an entire meal rather than just a side dish. This bread is perfect thing for taking on a picnic or serving as a centre piece at a buffet or BBQ. This recipe is for quite a small loaf so double up the quantities if you are feeding more people. For the filling you can use pretty much anything, I chose these flavours to bring a bit of mediterranean sunshine to these gloomy November days but anything you have got in the fridge will probably work. Just avoid things that are quite wet because they will stop the dough from cooking.

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My Breadtacular White Cob

Cob2Since my highly successful croissant experiment I have begun to consider myself the Queen of Baking, the Baroness of Bread if you will. So I have decided to share my newfound expertise with all you lovely people. The important counterpoint being that I am actually not that good at baking/ know very little about it so have made the easiest possible recipe.

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My Bubbly Risen Dough

The key with bread I have realised is patience. It takes a long tome to make and a huge amount of sitting around is involved but, if you have the time, the result is definitely worth it, so much cheaper than a supermarket loaf and so much more delicious.

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Home Made Croissants

croissants2Most people see Paul Hollywood waxing lyrical about how easy baking is at home and how ‘you should really give this a go’ and think are you fucking serious I don’t have 12 hours to waste on my only day off this week thank you very much. I was the same. I had always considered baking anything other than a lopsided Victoria sponge very much a spectator sport. Like the skeleton bob at the winter Olympics watching is a thrill but partaking in it is mad, dangerous and potentially fatal.

croissants1Since starting this blog though I have realised that I am going to have to foray into the world of baking a little more than I am comfortable with. Rather than going in slowly and starting with a gentle hill and a tea tray I have thrown caution to the wind and jumped headfirst into the icy abyss. It was my belief that pastry came from the shop but after I saw the aforementioned silverback attempting it on the box I thought that I should attempt to make some, in the interests of investigative journalism (and eating nearly a pound of butter).

croissant3Croissants are the easiest of the French pastries because although the dough is fiddly to master they don’t require any filling and they don’t need to look perfect. I will be honest this requires an unbelievable amount of time however most this time is spent chilling or rising. I would suggest making them on a saturday afternoon and leaving them to chill over night, then they will be ready for Sunday breakfast. I would definitely advocate giving these a go because they are actually not that difficult, they taste amazing and they cost nothing compared to really nice ones from the bakery. The basic recipe here is one I stole from Paul Hollywood’s website but with a few of my tips added in. Continue reading

Lemon and Orange Polenta Cake

Polenta2For most of us, exams are finally over. It is such a relief, not just because I can throw out the ridiculous amount of useless dates, facts and quotes I had attempted to cram into my brain for a week but mainly because I had completely run out of clean clothes. The end of exam season means a return to sanity (to some extent). I no longer have to spend every waking moment, and a disturbing number of sleeping moments, reading or noting or listing everything I have ever leant over and over in my head until I go insane. I can wash my clothes, my bathroom no longer looks like a scene out of a horror film and best of all I have time to cook!

Polenta1When you are attempting to procrastinate, as all good third year students with dissertations currently are, the best thing to do is bake a cake. It takes a good long time, requires minimum concentration and allows for the spontaneous appearance of delicious baked goods. Unfortunately I am pretty rubbish at baking cakes but this recipe below is fool proof and the end result is delicious. Proof of this is in the lack of photographs of the whole cake; I couldn’t wait long enough to take a photo before I had some. It is a bit pricey with the polenta and ground almonds so I would only suggest making it if you already have one or both of these items or you are feeling particularly flush! Continue reading

Quiches Lorraine

This post is dedicated to my boyfriend, the least culinary person I know, who was forced, by me, to try quiche lorraine a few months ago and who now, unsurprisingly, loves it!

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I’m back at home, Hooray! I now have access to a clean kitchen with surfaces used for cooking rather than storing the last month’s dirty washing up. I decided to celebrate my return to culinary bliss by cooking something proper, something that cannot be made in a kitchen the size of a postage stamp with two pans and a baking tray.

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This quiche is super simple and very cost effective, you can get around 8 portions from it meaning its perfect for a weekend lunch with family or friends and will still probably leave you with leftovers for lunch during the week.

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