Archive for April, 2017

Teacakes

Posted on: April 24th, 2017 by Harriet Low No Comments

1. Tip the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the salt, sugar and cinnamon to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other. Add the butter and three-quarters of the water, and turn the mixture round with your fingers. Continue to add the water, a little at a time, until you’ve picked up all the flour from the sides of the bowl. You may not need to add all the water, or you may need to add a little more – you want dough that is soft, but not soggy. Use the mixture to clean the inside of the bowl and keep going until the mixture forms a rough dough.

2. Coat the work surface with a little vegetable oil, then tip the dough onto it and begin to knead. Keep kneading for 5-10 minutes. Work through the initial wet stage until the dough starts to form a soft, smooth skin.

3. When your dough feels smooth and silky, put it into a large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise until at least doubled in size – at least 1 hour, but it’s fine to leave it for 2 or even 3 hours.

4. Line 2 baking trays with baking parchment or silicone paper.

5. Tip the sultanas and mixed peel on top of the risen dough in the bowl and start working them into it. After a minute or two, tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the fruit is thoroughly mixed in.

6. Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Shape each into a ball, then use a rolling pin to flatten each out to a round bun, about 1cm thick. Brush the teacakes with the beaten egg. Transfer to the prepared baking trays, spacing them apart.

Put each tray inside a clean plastic bag and leave to rise for about an hour until the teacakes are at least doubled in size. Meanwhile, heat your oven to 200°C.

Bake the teacakes for 10-15 minutes until risen and golden. Cool on a wire rack.

Victoria Sponge

Posted on: April 21st, 2017 by Harriet Low No Comments

1. Heat your oven to 180°C. Line the base of two 20cm cake tins with baking parchment and lightly butter the sides.

2. Put the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, butter and eggs into an electric mixer or large bowl. Mix on a low speed, or whisk slowly using an electric hand-held whisk, until all the ingredients are evenly combined; do not overmix as this will tighten the mixture and result in a rubbery texture.

3. Split the mixture between the cake tins and put in the oven to bake for 25-30 minutes. The sponge is ready when the top is golden and slightly shrunk from the sides of the tin. Leave to cool in the tins for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool.

4. Select the best looking sponge for the top layer and then lay the other one, top side down on your serving dish. Spread the jam over the bottom layer, and then whip the cream to soft peaks and spread over the jam. Place the other layer on top and dust with icing or caster sugar when serving.

Ciabatta

Posted on: April 17th, 2017 by Harriet Low 2 Comments

1.Lightly oil a 2-3 litre square plastic container. (It’s important to use a square tub as it helps shape the dough).

2. Put the flour, salt and yeast into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook (don’t put the salt directly on top of the yeast). Add the olive oil and three-quarters of the water and begin mixing on a slow speed. As the dough starts to come together, slowly add the remaining water. Then mix for a further 5-8 minutes on a medium speed until the dough is smooth and stretchy.

3. Tip the dough into the prepared tub, cover with a tea towel and leave until at least doubled, even trebled in size – 1-2 hours or longer.

4. Heat your oven to 220°C and line 2 baking trays with baking parchment or silicone paper.

5. Dust your work surface heavily with flour – add some semolina too, if you have some. Carefully tip out the dough (it will be very wet) onto the work surface, trying to retain a rough square shape. Rather than knocking it back, handle it gently so you can keep as much air in the dough as possible. Coat the top of the dough with more flour and/or semolina. Cut the dough in half lengthways and divide each half lengthways into 2 strips. You should now have 4 pieces of dough. Stretch each piece of dough lengthways a little and place on prepared baking trays.

6. Leave the ciabatta dough to rest for a further 10 minutes, then bake for 25 minutes, or until the loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the base. Cool on a wire rack.