Archive for September, 2015

Spinach, Feta & Pine Nut Parcels

Posted on: September 25th, 2015 by Harriet Low No Comments

1. To make the dough, put the flour into a large bowl and add the salt to one side and the yeast to the other. Add the olive oil and pour in 125ml of the water. Start to mix with the fingers of one hand, adding a little more water as you go, gradually incorporating all teh flour from one side of the bowl until you have a rough dough. It should be soft and slightly sticky. You may not need to add all the water or you may need a bit more (depending on the absorbency of the flour).

2. Trickle a little olive oil onto your work surface and knead the dough on it for a good 5 minutes until it becomes smooth and is no longer sticky. Return to the bowl and cover with cling film. Leave it in a warm place for about an hour until doubled in size and puffy.

3. Meanwhile, make the filling. Heat the olive oil in a wide frying pan over a low heat, add the garlic and cook gently for a minute or until just starting to colour. Transfer to a large bowl. Now add the frozen spinach to the pan and turn the heat up high. Cook, stirring often, until the spinach is soft and all the liquid released has evaporated. Add to the bowl with the garlic and season with pepper and a pinch of salt (remember that the cheese will be very salty). Leave to cool, then add the cheese, pine nuts and mint. Mix thoroughly.

4. When you are ready to assemble the parcels, heat your oven to 220°C/gas 7 and line a baking tray with baking parchment.

5. Transfer the risen dough to a lightly floured surface and deflate it gently, then roll it out to a 5mm thickeness. Using a plate as a guide, cut out 4 circles, 18cm in diameter.

6. Divide the filling between the circles, forming it into a pyramid shape in the centre. Dampen the pastry margin with water. Bring the dough up over each side of the triangle of filling, forming a pyramid shape. Pinch the edges of the dough together with your fingers to seal. Trim off any excess and press together again.

7. Put the spinach parcels on the prepared baking tray and bake for 12-15 minutes until golden. Eat hot, warm or cold.

Taken from Paul Hollywood’s Pies & Puds, published by Bloomsbury

Photograph © Peter Cassidy

 

Summer is over . . .

Posted on: September 5th, 2015 by Harriet Low No Comments

Well it’s now September and I think we can all agree that summer is officially over pretty quickly this year. Isn’t the weather rubbish! I have had a jammed packed August, with a fabulously sunny trip to Cyprus with my family and then I rushed back for Carfest South & The BBC Good Food Festival at Hampton Court. My trip to Cyprus meant I could treat myself to some of my favourite local bakes. Having previously worked in Cyprus I am very familiar with most of the local delicacies and if you keep an eye on Bake Off you will see one of my favourites popping up in the technical challenge soon!

Carfest was brilliant fun as usual and I was lucky enough to not only check out some awesome cars, but also hang out with the fabulous Sharleen Spitari and Jools Holland. The weather wasn’t exactly brilliant for The BBC Good Food Festival on Bank Holiday Monday; however, I was under cover on the Summer Kitchen Theatre baking up some goodies for the fabulous audience so managed to stay dry.

As we approach the half way point of #GBBO the bakes are getting seriously good. I have to say I LOVED last week’s dessert episode as I love any opportunity to indulge in a bit of cheesecake, however, obviously Bread week was a standout episode for me. What did you think of Paul’s Lion!? I thought it was absolute genius and definitely a highlight of series 6 for me. This week we had a first for Bake Off as we get the bakers to try some free-from recipes. I get so many requests from people for recipes that are gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free so I am sure that this episode will be one of the most popular.

Happy Baking!