Archive for the 'bread' Category

Chilli cornbread

chilli cornbread

chilli cornbread

As promised here’s another delicious recipe from my new Mildreds cookbook. I didn’t hang about, did I? Had some friends over for dinner last night and amongst the other many things I cooked I baked this bread. Really lovely! By the way, my eldest son Mike wasn’t best amused when he read on my blog that I accused him of basically doing b****r all when he returned home for his Christmas holiday. I was of course exaggerating (writer’s licence, see?). He did help tidying up, to be fair. Plus, in truth, I like spoiling him and his brother so I don’t mind cooking non stop when they come for a visit. That’s the honest truth! 😉 So there: I’ve set the record straight. Now do this bread for your lovely girlfriend, Mike! Continue reading ‘Chilli cornbread’

Focaccia simil-ligure: tentativo numero uno

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Ecco qui. Finalmente ci ho provato. E senza il minimo diritto.  Neanche una goccia di sangue ligure, solo tanto affetto per posti pieni di ricordi: gli esami di maturità alla luce di una lampada a gas, i giochi in spiaggia dei bambini, gli amici e i cugini, la prima traduzione importante…

E la focaccia c’era sempre. Alla mattina prima di colazione, a mezzogiorno in spiaggia o comprata di corsa correndo al treno per fare gli esami a Milano.

Te la portavano anche i parenti di ritorno, se tu eri rimasta a casa. Ma perché non ha mai lo stesso sapore mangiata altrove?

Qual è il segreto? In Internet c’è un’abbondante letteratura. Dalle mitiche sorelle Simili (a cui devo tanto, ma non la semieretica presenza dello strutto) ai mille blog che ne parlano. Scomuniche, guru, trucchi e consigli. C’è da perderci testa e pazienza.  E allora questo è il mio sunto, la mia semplificazione, la mia personale riduzione facilmente accessibile di cotanta scienza. Migliorabile certo, ma per la mia famiglia un buon punto di partenza.

Continue reading ‘Focaccia simil-ligure: tentativo numero uno’

Sicilian lemon and orange sweet bread

Sicilian lemon and orange sweet bread

Sicilian lemon and orange sweet bread

Christmas is approaching and what better than this lovely enriched bread which resembles panettone? The good thing about it is that it is not as difficult! I have already made it twice and both times it was a success. If you like experimenting with bread, try it! You won’t be disappointed. Lovely with a glass of spumante, I reckon. It is from Paul Hollywood’s Bread book. Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients. It is actually straightforward. Have a Merry Christmas everyone! Continue reading ‘Sicilian lemon and orange sweet bread’

Cinnamon and cardamom buns

cinnamon and cardamom buns

cinnamon and cardamom buns

These are a version of what Candi has already blogged here . The recipe is slightly different, however, plus you end up with a big bun that you then divide into the various rolls, rather than with individual buns. The inspiration was my hit and run mini trip to Stockholm (lovely city!) where  cinnamon buns are sold in every café. And lovely they are too!  The recipe is by Felicity Cloake and comes from The Guardian. By the way I confess that they nearly turned into a misdemeanour when I failed to strain the cardamom pods and chucked them all in with the dough. ARGH! I had to pick them all out (well…nearly all!) individually by hand before proceeding any further or they would have been rather overpowering (there are 25 in this recipe!). It took me forever more! So please read the recipe carefully and don’t make the same mistake ! 😉 Continue reading ‘Cinnamon and cardamom buns’

Poppy and sesame seed crackers

poppy and sesame seed crackers

poppy and sesame seed crackers

Hello everyone, just back from my holidays in Slovenia and Italy so I am not quite in the swing of cooking just yet. I am still in a state of thermal shock after diving from 35 plus degrees to 15! Yeek! But that’s England for you. Mind you: I must say it was far too hot on the continent, even for the likes of me! Anyway, yesterday, out of the blue, I decided that the moment had come to try to make some crackers. Eh? Why yesterday and why crackers….? I have never made them in my life. God knows! Still…why not, eh? I like crackers and , let’s be honest, they are better than biscuits, from the point of view of excessive calories. I need to shed some pounds after the strudel excesses I submitted my poor body to in the past few weeks. So no more sweets for a while, and bring in the healthy crackers. I scoured the internet and ended up with a recipe which is a mixture of many. The results were quite promising:  a nice , crunchy texture with loads of omega 3 seeds on the top.  Ideal to have with hummus or cheese. I will try some other recipes in the future, of course. I will keep you paged. Continue reading ‘Poppy and sesame seed crackers’

Milk bread rolls

milk bread rolls

milk bread rolls

Although I continue baking my own bread I haven’t blogged a new bread recipe for a while now. In fact I haven’t blogged ANY recipes lately, the reason being I went away during the Easter period (Amsterdam then Italy) and, as you know, it’s really hard to get back into the swing of cooking after you have had a break. I tend to go for the tried and tested after a period of inactivity (read: holiday). It takes me a little while to get back  into “experiment” mood again. Anyway, I made these rolls today which I had never made before and they were really nice. They are out of the Brilliant Bread book by James Morton (he won one of  the Bake Off competitions a few years back). By the way, speaking of bread. My sourdough is now TWO years old. And going strong….:-) Continue reading ‘Milk bread rolls’

Chilli cheese cornbread

chilli cheese cornbread

chilli cheese cornbread

I recently tried this cornbread recipe, from the mighty Jamie Oliver. And very interesting and unusual it was too, both in terms of taste and texture! I gather this is an American dish from the Southern States. I am not sure how/when the Americans eat it but I must say I really liked it. I reckon it would go very well with a soup or a bean stew, or indeed a salad. Mind you: if you don’t like polenta don’t even attempt it as the best way to describe it is a savoury, cheesy polenta bread. I found it  even nicer the following day, sliced and toasted, with melted cheese on the top. You would definitely not need much else to eat as it’s rather filling! Continue reading ‘Chilli cheese cornbread’

Milk bread loaf

milk loaf2

Hello everyone, I am finally back after my Greek holiday and rearing to cook again (and share my recipes with you). I confess it is a bit depressing to come back to Autumn after some lazy sunny days spent on the island of Paxos. On the other hand it is nice to be able to throw toilet paper down the loo again (which is forbidden in Greece, in case people don’t know…). Anyway, moving on swiftly, let me share with you the recipe of this milk loaf bread (courtesy of Dan Leppard) which I made for the traditional book group ladies tea party  which takes place every year in August. The idea is to use the best china and produce a top notch afternoon tea. Everyone has to contribute. All the ladies belonging to the group are excellent cooks so it is always delicious and worth the extra calories. This year the host was my good friend (and lover of all things Italian), Jill. She made a lovely job of setting it up (as you can see from pics below). I would have paid top dollars to partake of what turned out to be a most delicious afternoon tea, which would have made  Jane Austen proud. My brief was to make dinky sandwiches so I couldn’t possibly buy a ready made Warburton loaf, could I? I had to make my own. This one was really lovely: soft and delicate. A bit of a cross between a brioche and bread.  I’d recommend you try it! Obviously you have to cut the crusty bits off but they are so nice I scoffed the lot. 😉 Continue reading ‘Milk bread loaf’

The fabulous grissini torinesi

grissini torinesi

I couldn’t believe how easy these grissini were to make! For the English audience not familiar with the Italian terminology grissini are none other than bread sticks (well…you can see from the picture). I have always loved grissini, particularly the hand made variety from Turin. This is partly because they are objectively gorgeous and partly because they bring back memories of my childhood. My grandparents were Torinesi born and bred and and lived in Turin all their lives. There were always these really long and knobbly grissini on their table. What a treat!  I used to scoff them by the handful. The truth is that once you start eating them there is no stopping you. They are utterly addictive.  Great to have with dips. I followed the recipe from the Sorelle Simili’s book Pane e roba dolce. They vanished in a flash, proof they were indeed truly yummy. Once again I enlisted the help of my 10 years old nephew Ale. While he was here visiting he took a real liking to messing about in the kitchen with me. Every day his first question would be ” And what are we going to bake TODAY, auntie?” Bless him!!! By the way: I am going to disappear for a while. It’s holiday time! Back to the Dolomites. Yes!! Continue reading ‘The fabulous grissini torinesi’

An experiment with bread: the iron pot!

bread in the iron pot

Hello everyone! Let me share with you this novel way of cooking bread: using an iron cast pot. I never knew about this method until I accidentally stumbled upon a recipe last week. Well, I never! Cooking bread in a pot? With a lid on? I was intrigued…. As it happens I do possess an iron cast pot by Le Creuset (which hardly ever sees the light of day) so what better way of putting it to good use? As you know I LOVE bread and I have been baking my own for months now. I am getting rather good at it, modestly speaking, but I’m still looking for new ideas all the time. This particular method is truly great as you end up with a lovely crusty loaf which is crispy on the outside and lovely and soft on the inside. I’ve never quite achieved this level of perfection before. Before I made this loaf I was worried it would stick to the pot but no: it just lifted out leaving the pot absolutely clean. I followed James Morton’s technique (the Scottish young guy who was in the Big Bake off programme). Apparently he loves cooking bread using iron pots. And if it’s good for James it’s good for me! Continue reading ‘An experiment with bread: the iron pot!’