Bread

Warm bread, fresh from the oven, cool butter and for my personal bit of heaven a smear of Bovril.  A simple childhood treat from my Granny’s kitchen which I still love today.  Most  days I keep carbs to a minimum but occasionally I crack out the loaf pans and revel in the real thing

Bread
Makes 2 loaves

1kilo Wholegrain Spelt Flour
4tsp Dried active yeast
1tsp salt
700 ml warm water
30ml maple syrup

In a large bowl weigh out the flour
Add the yeast to one side and the salt to the other
In a jug weigh out the water (1 part hot : 2 parts cold) and the maple syrup
Using a hand mixer with dough hooks, mix for 4 mins
Or if your feeling traditional, knead for 10 mins until smooth and pliable.
Cover and leave to rise until doubled in size
Knock back, divide into two then shape into loaves
Pop into the loaf pans and allow a second rise (I do this on top of the oven as it comes up to temperature)
Preheat the oven to 230°
Reduce heat to 200°
Bake for 35 mins
Loaves will sound hollow when tapped on the underside

Marmalade Cake

RECIPE: Marmalade Cake

Goes well as elevensies or afternoon tea. Will give 10 – 12 slices depending on generosity


Ingredients

Dry:
1 cup Wholegrain Spelt Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
¼ teaspoon Ground Allspice
½ cup Ground Almonds
Wet:
65g Melted Butter
60g Natural Greek Yogurt
125g Marmalade
1 Large Egg


Method

  • Set oven to preheat at 180c
  • In bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together until evenly distributed throughout
  • In a 2nd bowl, beat together all the wet ingredients
  • Fold together wet and dry ingredients
  • Pour into a loaf pan and smooth out
  • Bake for 40 minutes or until golden, pulling away from the edges and when inserted a skewer comes out clean
  • Cool in the pan before turning out

Notes

  • I use spelt for the additional nutrition but ordinary Self Raising flour would be fine, the baking powder can then be omitted.
  • Ground Almonds could be replaced with finely chopped pecans.
  • I use a rich dark marmalade like Dundee or Seville.
  • I use a silicon loaf pan as it doesn’t need greasing or lining.
  • Could be enhanced with ¼ cup of mixed peel for extra zestiness.

Hard Baked Eggs

When the Hairy Darling expressed a liking for pickled eggs I realized that hard boiling eggs was something I’d never done.

Living with CFS means standing over a boiling pan waiting for just the right moment isn’t an option and counting on a timer to wake me up if I doze off seems like a burnt pan waiting to happen so I poked the Internet to see what would fall out on the subject and found a recipe where whole eggs were baked in the oven by resting them in a muffin tin.

Why make extra work thought I and after a bit if trial and error here we are.


Recipe: Hard Baked Eggs


Ingredients:

Eggs – I use free range mixed weight ones


Method:

  • Place your eggs directly on to the rack in your halogen oven
  • Bake at 150° for 10 minutes

If eating immediately, I find them easiest to peal while still warm

If cooking for later use, transfer to a bowl of iced water to rapid cool, reducing the risk of bacterial growth and refrigerate within 2 hours.

Store unpeeled, in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week

Crumble

Is there anyone who doesn’t love crumble? Apple, plum, blueberry, blackberry, strawberry, grape (yes, I said grape) and, of course, the legendary rhubarb, crumble is a delight and a comfort as well of a useful tool to get fruit fruit into people where it wouldn’t be their first choice.

This crumble comes out well balanced in the stodgy v crunchy equation and also doubles up as a fantastic base for cheesecake.

The last question: Cream, custard or ice cream?


RECIPE: Crumble

Makes 4 piggy portions or 6 moderate


Ingredients:

150g Spelt Flour

100g Oats or chopped pecan nuts (or both if you want to bulk your crumble up)

100g Demerara Sugar

100g Unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon ground spice


Method:

  • Weigh all the ingredients into a bowl
  • Cut the butter into cubes about 1/2 inch or so
  • Rub together
  • Chill for 20 mins or until required
  • Preheat oven to 200c
  • Pile on top of the fruit of your choice
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until golden on top and bubbly around the edges

Variations:

I use spelt but if you don’t have it, use what you have.  A mix of white & wholemeal will work and substituting some rye also gives a nice effect.

Pecans are a favourite in my family but slivered almonds or any chopped nuts are also a good fit.

I haven’t specified the spice because I tend to change it depending on what fruit I’m using: cinnamon, allspice, ginger, cardamom or good old mixed if you’re not sure.

Pecan Pie

RECIPE:  Pecan Pie

This is not healthy, but it is nice and as a celebration or festival treat, who cares.  At least by making it yourself you know what’s in it.


Ingredients

1 unbaked pastry pie crust
2 cups pecan nuts, chopped
1/4 pack unsalted butter (approx 63g)
1 cup demerara sugar
3 eggs
2/3 cup maple syrup


Method

  • Set oven to preheat at 175c
  • Line your pie tin with pastry and back in fridge to stay chilled
  • Chop 2 cups of pecan nuts
  • In a bowl. cream together the butter and some of the sugar as you would for a cake
  • Beat in the eggs
  • Add the balance of sugar and maple syrup and mix well
  • Put all the chopped pecans into crust and level out
  • Pour over butter/sugar/syrup mix
  • Cover with a foil hat and into the oven about half an hour
  • Depending on your oven, another 20 minutes or so without the foil

You can tell it is done when there is just a slight wobble in the middle.
If it takes longer than the 20 minutes you may need to pop the foil back on to prevent burning


Inspired by http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/best-ever-pecan-pie-834
and http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/10/the-pie-thatll-make-you-cry/

Spelt Pastry

RECIPE: Spelt Pastry

Makes 3 crusts. Good for quiches, tarts and pies, sweet or savoury.


Ingredients

250g unsalted butter, frozen then grated
3 cups Spelt flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
10-12 tablespoons cold water


Method

  • In bowl, mix flour, salt and frozen butter, rub together until it starts to look crummy
  • Add just enough water for it to start to come together
  • Knead it just enough to form a smooth ball.  It will probably look a little blotchy where some of the butter bits are less mixed in
  • Divide up and freeze or use as required

Inspired by http://scandinavianfood.about.com/od/pastryrecipes/r/Basic-Spelt-Pie-Crust.htm

Pop but not as you know it

RECIPE: Vanilla Fizz

In an effort to be a healthier me I am minimising my sugar consumption and avoiding synthetic sweeteners if for no other reason than to my taste buds they are ghastly.  I find myself yearning for fizz, maybe lemonade or cream soda.  Homemade lemonade, where I can control the sugar, takes a while but vanilla I have.


Ingredients

2 litres Sparkling Spring Water

3 or 4 Drops Vanilla Extract


Method

Remove cap

Carefully add vanilla, too much and it will taste like cheap custard

Replace cap

Turn the bottle to allow the essence to distribute through the bottle

Allow time to settle and be careful when you open it.