Hot cross buns

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I am sorry there is no crumb shot.  We haven’t eaten the buns yet, they are for tomorrow.  I am a stickler for tradition.  Hot cross buns can only be eaten on Good Friday.  This is not on religious grounds (those who know me know I missed out on the religious gene) but as a protest against supermarkets putting hot cross buns on their shelves just after Christmas. Continue reading

Struan bread

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Anyone who is into bread baking will have heard of Peter Reinhart.  He is the author of seven very popular bread baking books.  His first, Brother Juniper’s Bread Book, was published in 1991.

When the first edition of Brother Juniper’s Bread Book was published, Peter Reinhart was living in a semi-monastic community of Eastern Orthodox Christians running a restaurant and bakery called Brother Juniper’s Cafe.  The most popular item at the café was this Struan bread. Continue reading

Cheesy pull-apart bread

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This is another post from The Cookbook Guru’s  feature cookbook for this month, Saha, by Greg and Lucy Malouf.  Before this month, I had made several recipes from Saha and have now tried seven more.  I love trying recipes from my cookbooks and I love the fact that The Cookbook Guru  encourages me to do so.

One recipe from Saha I haven’t had time to make this month but is one of my favourites is Hummus with spiced marinated lamb and pine nuts.  It is to die for.  If you have Saha, I highly recommend that recipe to you. Continue reading

Man’oushé with za’atar and with spinach and cheese

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Pizzas or man’oushé (in Lebanon) and me have had a convoluted history.  To me, a good pizza is all about the base.  For years, I have been trying to make the perfect pizza base:  it needs to have bite, be thin and crisp and, ideally, a little charred in places.  A big call for a domestic oven. Continue reading

Pumpkin Bread

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Who can resist instructions like these in a cook book?

Slice a pompion, and boil it in fair water, till the water grows clammy, or somewhat thick; then strain it through a fine cloth, or sieve, and with this make your Bread, well kneading the dough; and it will not only increase the quantity of it, but make it keep moist and sweet a month longer than Bread wetted with fair water only.

The instructions were featured in The Family Magazine, London, 1741 and reproduced by Elizabeth David in English Bread and Yeast Cookery, this month’s feature cookbook from The Cook Book Guru . Continue reading

Dampfnudeln

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Today’s recipe is another from this month’s feature cookbook by The Cookbook Guru, The Book of Household Management, by Mrs Isabella Beeton.  I think I deserve a medal for attempting this recipe.  Mrs Beeton is not particularly forthcoming with quantities and instructions and I had never made a rich, sweet bread before so I really didn’t know how the dough should look.  All this made the task challenging, to say the least.  All worked out well and we ended up with ten perfect dampfnudeln.  Kids (and men) would love these. I can imagine feeding a room full of teenagers and it wouldn’t cost much more than the price of a dozen eggs. Continue reading