Recipe: Raspberry, Lemon Yoghurt loaf (dairy/gluten free)

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So I made a batch of these loaf cakes as they can be easily made into gluten or dairy free *(or both!) in a stressfree way.

Ingredients:

250g plain flour (gluten free mix if wanted)

2 tsp baking powder (gluten free if wanted)

230g caster sugar

30g ground almonds

2 eggs

120g butter/margarine melted (dairy free if wanted)

120g Soya plain yoghurt (dairy free)

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

200g raspberries

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Method:

-Preheat oven to 180’C.

-Mix all ingredients apart from raspberries in a large mixing bowl.

-Line and grease a loaf tin ready for mixture.

-Add raspberries to cake mix – gently fold into the mixture.

-Empty mixture into tin ad place in middle shelf of oven.

-Bake for approx. 50 minutes. Insert a knife to centre to see if cooked through – if sticky mixture on it when taken out give it another 10 minutes and recheck.

-Leave to cool, cut into thick slices. Best served with crème fraiche or custard!

Katy, The Good Life In Practice xx

 

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Christmas Creations

My home made Christmas Pudding was a success and my sister Tabitha designed and decorated a fantastic Christmas cake.

I do hope you all had a lovely and heart-warming festive time and I wish you a very happy and joyous New Year!

Sweet treats

We watched the Tennis Mens Final a few days ago and made it a nice little event with chocolate cake (very quickly made the eve before!) with chocolate butter cream and lots of edible sprinkles in the Union Jack colours! I had been wanting an excuse to use these for ages! The cake was not eye friendly but was taste-bud friendly! We also had some special edition Pimms (Blackberry and Elderflower) which a UK friend had brought back with him from a visit home, which added to the fun! Overall we had a great time and I finally managed to figure out the Tennis scoring system by the end!

Also, yesterday I was busy trying a new recipe of Carrot Cake. I have never made it before so was a new experience. Also being in the mountains of Switzerland we have to alter our baking as we are at altitude so have to alter the amount of baking powder we have to put in so it does not get greasy or brittle. Additionally, they do not have self raising flour here so we have to roughly measure all the plain flour and baking powder. Last thing is I have no measuring scales for baking with in our little flat so cook everything by eye and rough measurements. This is quite frustrating but equipment is very expensive here and whatever we accumulate here we will at some point have to manoeuvre back to the UK by air! This being said makes for very experimental baking and creates a challenge! Therefore I was quite pleased that my carrot cake with cream cheese and butter icing with cinnamon came out really well : )

Overall, it had been quite a successful baking week and although none will win prizes for best looking they tasted yummy! : )

Katy, The Good Life In Practice x

 

Cakes Cakes Cakes!

Last week I got some lovely goodies in the post from The Craft Company! I got very excited when I found the lovely goodies inside! I got a loaf cake tin and a 6 muffin/bun silicone tray.

On first glance they are pleasing with the loaf tin being of classic design and shape, whilst the bright pink silicone tray is bendy and a great stand out colour – will look good in the kitchen!

I decided to make a simple banana bread with chocolate chips in the loaf tin. It came out well, did not stick to the tin and was easy to wash afterwards too. To me this is a nice simple basic for my kitchen. Also I will use it for savoury breads like cheese and chive bread!

Loaf tin

I used the pink silicone bun tray for making a batch of 6 vanilla and lemon buns. They all came out very well and the tray was easy to use and non stick with the mixture. Again, washing up afterwards was nice and easy and the pink tray dried fast so i could store it away.

cupcake tin

Here is my recipe for quick easy Vanilla and Lemon buns:

Ingredients: 

  • 2 eggs
  • white flour
  • butter
  • sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla essence
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 lemons worth of lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder

Method: 

  1. Preheat oven to 180’c.
  2. Weigh Eggs. Add them to your mixing bowl.
  3. Weigh the same as the eggs and add for the flour, sugar and butter. Mix well.
  4. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla and baking powder. Combine well together.
  5. Put the mixture in the bun tray – evenly.
  6. Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Put knife in one and if it comes out clear it is done.

Overall, I loved my baking goodies from The Craft Company and also liked their grand selection of preserving goods from jars to labels! Take a look for baking and preserving inspiration and new ideas.

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Guest Blog: Emma Hill ‘Proper Bread and Recipe’

So another great guest blog here from my good friend Emmal Hill. She is a Pastry Chef and today she writes about her passion for hand made proper bread and includes a great recipe to get you started!

Hello Katy’s followers! I’ve not done any guest blog posts before so it’s a real pleasure to be writing here and especially about one of my passions…

I’m Emma, and I’ve been working with Katy in Switzerland over the past few months. Before leaving for the sometimes snowy, sometimes sunny, sometimes rainy mountains of Switzerland, I worked in a bakery. And before that, I trained as a pastry chef. I do plenty of baking in my spare time at home and I particularly enjoy exploring bread recipes. Sourdoughs, enriched doughs, simple doughs with a little embellishment… but all proper breads. Because there’s a difference between the bread you find in the supermarket and the bread you bake at home or find at an artisan bakery. As people interested in smallholding, you’ll appreciate that the processes that our industrially-produced foods are subject to tend towards the unnatural. Bread is no exception. For those who’ve never tried making a loaf at home, there are 4 basic ingredients; flour, water, yeast and salt. If you’re on a health kick, you can leave the salt out. And if you’re being really traditional, you can use a sourdough starter, a mix of flour and water nurtured to develop bacteria that can leaven bread, instead of cultivated yeast. Proper bread needs plenty of time to develop and rise (prove), normally at least 3 hours, but sourdough breads and others that use small amounts of yeast can take around 18 hours or even longer before being ready to bake.

4 ingredients and plenty of time; and that’s it!

In comparison, the processed loaves that you find in the supermarket are some sort of mutant relation to the humble 4-ingredient loaf. Look at the ingredients label (if there is one; loaves baked on site don’t always carry them) and I’m betting you’ll see more than 4 ingredients. The additives included in these breads are there to make the mixing and proving processes faster, to make the loaf seem fresher for longer and to give a lighter, fluffier loaf than is really natural. E numbers abound in the forms of preservatives, emulsifiers, stabilisers, thickeners, antioxidants, improvers, bleaching agents and colourings. And although the loaf stays usable for days on end, the texture and flavour aren’t a patch on that of a proper loaf. Once you start making your own bread at home or buying from a proper bakery using artisan methods, you’ll begin to notice the difference. Bread that has been allowed to develop and ferment for a long period, rather than being forced to rise quickly, has a much less cotton-wool-like texture and an enhanced flavour. And it’s better for you. Not only does it not contain all the peculiar-sounding additives, but its firmer texture and crust, with a little more chewing, mean that the bread gets broken down more in your mouth than in your stomach, which makes it easier to digest. I could waffle on for a long time about proper bread to try to convert you, but the real test is to try some for yourself. Seek out a local artisan baker (it may take a little detective work in some areas but they’re on the rise again… no pun intended) or try the recipe below for a basic white loaf. This is a simple recipe but, I have to admit, my instructions are a bit meaty. Please don’t be intimidated by this; the instructions are long because I’ve tried to include as many useful tips as possible. My attempts at bread making before I went to catering college were pretty poor because I didn’t know all the little technical bits behind a great loaf that I do now and I’m a full believer that, if you know the reasons behind why you’re doing things, you’ll understand the entire baking process better. Hopefully, passing on my knowledge to you will ensure you make a great loaf every time.”

Basic white bread recipe

Ingredients (Makes 1 large loaf)

500g strong white bread flour

10g salt

10g fresh yeast or 1 sachet fast action yeast

350g tepid water

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 220°C (425°F or gas mark 7). Place a baking tray in the oven to preheat and place a tray with a lip in the very bottom of the oven (you’re preheating a baking tray because, when the bread hits it on entering the oven, this extra heat will help it rise. This is called oven spring. The tray in the bottom of the oven is for water or ice, put in right at the start of baking, which helps stop the crust developing too fast, giving a lighter loaf and a better crust)
  2. Cover a baking tray (with no lip, or a tray turned upside-down) with greaseproof paper; you need to be able to slide the paper off the tray easily (your bread will prove on this tray before being slid onto the hot tray in the oven)
  3. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and make sure the salt is well mixed into the flour (large concentrations of salt can inhibit yeast activity so you don’t want to dump your yeast straight onto a great clump of salt)
  4. If you’re using fresh yeast, rub it into the dry mix using your fingertips. If using fast action yeast, add it to the tepid water, whisk it in and leave in a warm place for 10 minutes to turn foamy
  5. Add the liquid to the dry mix and stir everything to bring the dough together, then turn out onto an unfloured worktop (flouring it will only add more flour to the dough and make the end loaf more dense) and knead until smooth and elastic. This can take 10 to 15 minutes, maybe even longer, but it’s important to get the dough to the elastic stage if you want a soft loaf. To know when it’s ready, you should be able to stretch a small piece of dough into a “window pane” (a thin, translucent sheet) without it breaking. Also, once you’re dough stops sticking to your hands and your unfloured worktop, this is a good indication that it’s ready
  6. Once the dough is smooth and elastic, place in a lightly-floured bowl, cover lightly with oiled cling film or a damp cloth and leave in a warm place to double in size (around 1 hour but sometimes longer). Double in size is the important bit, not the time
  7. Lightly flour your worktop and turn the dough out. Use your knuckles to push the air out, then form the dough into a ball by pulling the outer bits of the dough into the centre, then placing it seam-side down on the worktop and rolling to tighten up the ball
  8. Once you have a smooth ball on one side and a seam on the other, place it onto the tray covered with greaseproof paper. Cover it lightly again with greased cling film or a damp cloth and leave in a warm place to double in size again
  9. Get a glass of cold water or some ice cubes ready to hand
  10. Use a sharp knife to slash the top of your loaf in a creative fashion (slashing the loaf ensures that it tears where you want it to rather than ending up with an ugly tear somewhere random). Moving as quickly as you can to keep as much heat in your oven as possible, slide the loaf and greaseproof paper onto the preheated baking tray and throw the water or ice into the tray on the bottom of the oven, then shut the door!
  11. Bake for around 25 to 30 minutes. Your loaf should be golden brown all over and give out a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom
  12. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before slicing and enjoying!

For more information on proper bread and recipe ideas, there are lots of great books, but here are some of my personal favourites:

Dough, Richard Bertinet, Kyle Books, 2005 (5 basic doughs transformed into many different breads. This is a great book for beginners at breadmaking)

Crust, Richard Bertinet, Kyle Books, 2012 (the recipes in this book are a bit more advanced and for more confident bread makers)

The Handmade Loaf, Dan Lepard, Mitchell Beazley, 2004 (this has a mix of basic and advanced recipes, but it’s as much a good source of ideas as anything else)

http://www.sustainweb.org/realbread/ (this is a campaign based in Britain to try and get more proper bread into our breadbins. Have a gander if you’d like to know more of what goes into your average shop-bought loaf)

Emmas Pastry and Bread blog is http://adventuresofapastryapprentice.blogspot.ch/

Wholemeal and Sunflower Bread Rolls Recipe

A Bread recipe I tried this weekend-a sunflower and wholemeal mixed dough to create a batch of 10-12 rolls-we had half to use for the week and put other half in the freezer for back ups for another day! Hope you like it : )

Ingredients:

300g White Flour

300g Wholemeal flour

1 cup of sunflower seeds

2 tsp sugar, 2 tsp salt,

1 egg (beaten together)

100ml warm milk

200ml warm tepid water

1 packet dried yeast or 1 cube fresh yeast

Method:

1. Put all dry ingredients together and mix.

2. Add the egg, oil and milk to the mix and stir.

3. mix the yeast into the warm water and add this bit by bit and stir in until it creates a sticky dough.

4. Flour a clean surface and knead the dough for roughly 10 minutes. Replace in the mixing bowl and cover with cling film and leave to rise till double the size.

5. Come back and shape the dough into roughly 10-12 big roll or petit pain shaped balls on a baking tray. Cover with a tea towel and leave to double in size again.

6. Preheat oven to 180’c and place the tray in the oven for approximately 20 minutes to bake. Take out and rest it or eat hot with a bit of cheese and melted butter!

Chocolate Courgette Cake

A new recipe I tried and finally have uploaded inspired by Andrew Homers recipe over on his blog.

It sounds very odd putting courgette on but honestly it makes its so moist and tasty!

Heres a photo of a few slices of ours-most was eaten very quickly!

001Its from Riverford Organics website-a brillaint source for recipes to use up all sorts of different vegetables and fruit. Also great for getting ideas for feeding veggies and vegans and great ideas for salads and pasta dishes. The chocolate courgette cake can be found at the link below:

http://www.riverford.co.uk/feed/norton/in:recipes/chocolate-courgette-cake/

The differences I did was put 600g of courgette in, used just normal sugar not brown sugar as well.