Tag Archives: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Savoury Muffins- Carrot & Cumin and Cheddar & Smoked Bacon.

So things have been pretty quiet on the blog front recently, this has been because my life has been an academic blur in the past few months. My fourth and final year of University was spent predominately on the third floor of the library (often in the same seat, I’m a creature of routine) staring out of the window, I mean working very hard on my dissertation and exams. I was so excited to ‘get my life back’ after exams I hadn’t stopped to realise that I wouldn’t be getting my life back but starting a new one- something I am vastly unprepared for. So I’m going to cling on to my little blog as a token of my student life ( think of it as the same way Leonardo Dicaprio’s character in Inception has that spinning top to differentiate between dream world and real world- but much less cool) I have a back-log of recipes and posts to upload so apologies in advance for the plethora of emails the tens and tens of people who follow this blog are about to receive.

These muffin recipes come from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Guardian food page. Firstly, the guardian is an excellent recipe resource, in particular Hugh’s and Dan Lepard’s pages which contain many of the recipes from their books but free (post-student life I am still poor). These savour muffins are a great base for many flavour combinations and freeze so easily. Rather than use pre-made cake cases I just used squares of baking parchment paper (about 14cm square) which work a treat and look pretentiously rustic (a look I constantly strive for).

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Carrot, Spinach and Cumin Muffins (from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall)

(makes six)

Ingredients

40g unsalted butter, melted. Plus  10g extra for frying.

1/2 finely diced onion

1tsp ground cumin

75g finely shredded spinach leaves.

175g plain flour

1tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp bicarbonate of sida

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg

140g natural yoghurt

75g grated carrots

20g toasted pumpkin seeds.

Method

1) Heat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6 and line a muffin tin with the parchment squares or muffin cases.

2) Place 10g of butter in a large frying pan and sauté the onion for about 10 minutes until soft, season well. Add the cumin, stir well, then add the spinach and stir until wilted. Leave to cool.

3) In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt.

4) In a jug, whisk the melted butter, eggs and yoghurt.

5) Pour the wet ingredients over the flour and stir until just combined. Fold in the spinach and onion mixture, the carrots and  then the toasted pumpkin seeds. Spoon into the cases, filling till about 3/4 full, and bake for about 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Red Onion, Cheddar and Bacon Muffins  (adapted from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

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(makes six)

1tsp olive oil

50g streaky bacon, cut into small pieces

½ red onion, finely diced

175g self-raising flour

1tsp baking powder

1/4tsp bicarbonate of soda

pinch of salt

1 egg

100ml buttermilk (I used 100ml natural yoghurt with 2tbsp of lemon juice)

75g strong cheddar, grated

Method

1) Heat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6 and line a muffin tin with the parchment squares or muffin cases.

2) Fry the bacon in a frying pan with the oil over a medium heat until crispy. Lift the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. In the same fat, sauté the onion until just softened then set aside to cool.

3)In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt.

4)In a jug, whisk the eggs, butter and buttermilk, stir them into the flour mixture with a spatula until just combined, then fold in the cooled bacon, onion, and two-thirds of the cheese.

5)Spoon or scoop the mixture into the muffin tin, filling till about 3/4 full. Sprinkle on the rest of the cheese, and bake for about 18 minutes, until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.

 

 

Here’s some pretty neat hip hop to accompany your savoury treats..

http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Mes12ZikPw

 

Starter News: Day 5 and Garth the Starter’s first loaf.

Day five arrived and it was the last day of action, according to Mr Lepard’s instructions from day 6 I could get baking (although I left it until the weekend, having not got the time to devote to bread making). So here’s how day five went down and the trials and tribulations of my first sourdough loaf.

Day Five:

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Dan Lepard says that by day five the fermentation should be obvious, and the aroma should be starting to turn acidic.

Ingredients:

100g water at 20 degrees c

125g strong white flour

Method:

1) Remove and discard 3/4 of the starter from the kilner jar.

2) Pour in the water and mix well.

3) Add the flour and stir to a thick paste. Cover and leave for another 24 hours.

Dan Lepard favours keeping the refreshment heavier on the flour than the liquid (when many prefer a 1:1 ratio) as he says this slows down the rate of fermentation and prevents the leaven from rising and falling too quickly.

My first loaf.

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Seemingly everyone out there has varying and often conflicting rules when it comes to sourdough loaves, being highly inexperienced in this field I decided to play it safe with a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe from the channel4 food website. I decided upon this recipe as it uses a sponge method, which you make 24 hours before you make the dough, it’s a technique I used to make my stollen at christmas and I was pretty pleased with that. I did have a few disasters along the way; my proving basket is yet to arrive, so I used a suggestion off another food blog to heavily flour a tea towel and use it to line a colander. A brilliant idea in practice, but when you fail to properly flour the tea towel and your dough sticks to it once it’s proven it doesn’t seem like a great idea. In the future, if I’m devoid of the proper equipment, I will use this method but HEAVILY flour my tea towel. I also failed to heat my baking sheet properly, and I then didn’t cook my loaf for long enough, so it was quite undercooked on the bottom. But there were a few positive aspects of my first bake. The crust was great (having used the pan full of boiling water to create steam method) and the top of the loaf had a pretty good crumb. I played it too safe with the presentation of my first loaf, and decided to not slash the dough, so it did just look like a boulder. But all in all I am pretty damn proud of my first loaf, knowing I cultivated Garth from the very beginning. Hopefully this is the start of something, and after a few more dodgy loaves I’ll be cracking out artisan bread left, right and centre. But for now, my slightly stodgy sourdough was a sufficient accompaniment to some homemade soup.

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