Archive for June, 2015

Reunited with Nancy

Posted on: June 10th, 2015 by Harriet Low No Comments

Last week I was reunited with the fabulous Nancy Birtwhistle, Bake Off Champion of 2014. We were both speaking about baking at an event and it was so great to see how far Nancy’s come since the tent last summer. We are filming the new series at the moment and it’s so funny to look around the tent and wonder who is going to be this year’s ‘Nancy’! I can’t say much about the show as I don’t want to spoil the special magic of the show by giving away any tips. I can however say this; it’s going to be a good year, in fact it’s going to be better than ever. We have an interesting group this year and the bakes are a mixture of easy and REALLY difficult. Lots of people have been asking me when Bake Off will be back on. I am afraid I can’t answer that as the BBC only release dates a few weeks before the show starts. However, the show normally starts in August, so keep an eye on my Facebook page and Twitter and as soon as I know I will let you guys know.

Apart from Bake Off I have been travelling around a bit over the last couple of weeks. I visited the Highlands for the first time and was really knocked out by how stunning it is up there. I also managed a trip to the seaside for an ice cream with my son as the sun came out this weekend.

Happy Baking!

Corn Tortillas

Posted on: June 9th, 2015 by Harriet Low No Comments

1. Mix the masa harina and salt in a bowl. Add the water and olive oil, and mix with one hand until you get a smooth dough. This is tighter than a yeast dough and it feels quite crumbly; if it’s too dry, add a few extra drops of water. This dough is for rollling, rather than stretching.

2. Divide the dough into 18 equal pieces and shape into small balls. Cover loosely with cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

3. To shape, place a ball of dough between 2 layers of cling film and roll to flatten, give it a quarter-turn, then roll and turn again, to keep a round shape. Continue rolling and turning until you have a small 3-5mm thin round. Repeat with the rest of the dough. This is the easiest way to shape tortillas, but sometimes I simply bash them on a work surface with my hand to flatten them.

4. To cook the tortillas, lightly oil a heavy-based frying pan or flat griddle and place on a high heat. Cook the tortillas, a few at a time (depending on the size of your pan), for 1 minute or so on each side, keeping a close eye on them; you don’t want them to get too brown. Use a palette knife to push down any small bubbles that appear on the surface.

5. Once cooked, remove the tortillas from the pan and wrap in a clean tea towel to keep them soft and warm. Stack them as they are cooked and eat as soon as possible.

 

Mince Pies

Posted on: June 2nd, 2015 by Harriet Low No Comments

1. Put the mincemeat in a large bowl. Add the mandarin or satsuma segments, chopped apple and lemon zest. Stir well, cover and leave to macerate for several hours or overnight.

2. Heat your oven to 200°C. Lightly butter a 12-hole muffin tin.

3. Roll out your sweet pastry thinly on a lightly floured surface, to a 2-3mm thickness. Don’t worry if the pastry breaks or sticks, just press it together and re-roll. With a 10cm pastry cutter, cut 12 discs and use these to line the muffin tins. Use a 7.5-8cm cutter to cut 12 smaller discs for the pie lids. Re-roll your pastry as necessary to cut enough discs.

4. Put about 2 tsp of the mincemeat into each pastry case. Brush the edges of the smaller discs with eggwash and place over the mincemeat. Press the pastry edges together with your fingertips to seal. Brush the mince pies with a little more eggwash and sprinkle with a little caster sugar. Make a hole in the top of each pie with a small, sharp knife or the tip of a skewer.

5. Bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown and bubbling. Carefully remove the mince pies from the tins and leave on a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or cold, dusted with a little more caster sugar or icing sugar.

 

Paul’s brand new book, Paul Hollywood’s British Baking, is available now.