Tag Archives: Procrastination

Everything-in-the-Cupboard Granary Plaited Loaf


This is called an ‘everything in the cupboard’ loaf as its very adaptable to whatever seeds or herbs you have in your cupboard, and can use any kind of bread flour. I used plain strong white, but wholemeal or seeded would be great. And you can shape it as you wish, I love plaited loaves (apart from 8 strand plaited loaves, damn you Paul Hollywood) they’re a quick way to produce a professional looking loaf.


500g or 1lb bread flour, whatever your preference is, I used strong white.

7g or one sachet of fast action yeast.

1.5 tsp salt

150g mixed seeds, I used sunflower, linseed and poppy seeds.

1tbsp dried rosemary (or any herb of your choice, sage works nicely)

3tbsp of olive oil (preferably extra virgin)

1 egg ( for eggwash before baking)


1) Measure into a large bowl your flour, salt and yeast. Ensuring that the yeast and the salt are on separate sides of the bowl as direct contact will mean the salt will kill the yeast. Add the mixture of seeds and herbs, stir together.

2) Measure the water (some people use 2/3 tap water to 1/3 boiled water, I just use hand hot water from a tap). Make a claw shape with your hand, pour the water into the dry mixture and using your ‘claw’ mix until a dough is formed and all the liquid is used up.

4) Place your dough on a lightly floured surface, try to use as little flour as possible, as this will be worked into the dough, and too much is effectively adding flour to a recipe that has enough and will cause your dough to be dense. Knead for around 5-10 mins until your dough is elastic.

5) Place in an oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place for an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.

6) You will know your dough is ready to knock back when you press it and it springs back. When this is the case, remove from the bowl and knead for a further 5 minutes, this will remove some of the excess air.

7) Shape your dough to desired shape and place on an oiled baking sheet. If plaiting, diving into three strands, push together the three straight at the top and proceed to plait, when you get to the end combine all the strands and tuck the end under the bread to leave a neat edge. Place on oiled baking tray, cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place for 30-40 minutes to prove.

8) Preheat your oven to 220 degrees/gas mark 7.

9) The loaf should almost double in size, and again be springy to touch. Finally using a pastry brush egg-wash your loaf and place in the middle of the oven for 15minutes, after 15 min turn the oven down to 190 degrees/gas mark 5 and cook for another 15 mins. Turn the loaf over and tap to see if it sounds hollow, this will mean its cooked through, if not return to the oven for a few more minutes.


Study Music- Take Thirteen (it’s been a while…)

So a new term has begun, thus I have taken to trawling the internet for new music in an attempt to avoid reading/essays/dissertation/life. I stumbled upon this gentlemen, a one George Ezra, and have had the few songs available on youtube on repeat ALL day. He has the most hauntingly beautiful voice and yet such an unassuming presence. A young man with an old soul- one of the better combinations. Now to give up my last cliched halloween as a student, no doubt drinking and dressing up , for a chance to hear him in a dingy pub in Glasgow- I am undecided. But if my obsession with these two tracks continue I may just have to.



Study Music, Take Ten.

Shouldn’t really be posting as I have so much revision/essays to write, so will just be a quickie.

This song keeps popping up on my spotify playlist, and I absolutely love it. It’s by a guy called Benjamin Folke Thomas, unfortunately I can’t find a youtube link, but it’s on myspace (cringe, I know, who uses myspace these days)  check it out, it’s pretty jaunty, pretty folky, but chill enough to have on in the background of some last minute cramming.



Snacks and Tracks- Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cookies

So exam season is upon is which means comfort food is definitely required. Today’s recipe comes with a free song to listen to (thats right, free!) so here you go, some snacks and a track…

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cookies.


300g plain chocolate

100g milk chocolate

100g light muscovado sugar

85g butter/margarine

100g crunchy peanut butter

1 egg

½ tsp vanilla extract

100g self-raising flour

100g salted roasted peanuts


1)Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4/fan 160C.

2) Chop 200g of the plain chocolate and all of the milk chocolate into small chunks for inside of the cookies.

3) Melt the remaining 100 grams of plain chocolate in the microwave (be careful not to burn it!)

4) Mix into the melted chocolate stir the sugar, butter, peanut butter, egg and vanilla and beat with a wooden spoon until its all mixed in.

5) Then stir in the flour, nuts, milk chocolate and half of the plain chocolate chunks.

6) Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper, spoon on a tablespoon of the mixture at a time to form round blob shapes, make sure there is plenty of space between them so they have room to spread, I cooked mine in batches of four. Press two or three of the left over plain chocolate chunks into the top of the mixture so they are exposed. Cook on the top shelf for ten minutes, so the cookies are cooked around the outside but still gooey in the middle, they will harden once they have been left to cool. Leave on the baking sheet once you’ve removed from the oven for about 10-15 minutes,  the cookies will break if you move them straight away. Repeat with the rest of the batches.

Simples, Enjoy!

The ‘Track’

Peanut Butter reminds me of American Diners and American Diner’s reminds me of Buddy Holly, recently stumbled across this excellent cover of ‘Dearest’ by my current obsession The Black Keys.

Study Music, Take Nine.

BEARDED IRISH MAN ALERT!! Let me introduce you to the wonderfully talented, James Vincent McMorrow-esque, Marc o’Reilly…

I can’t get enough of this guy, he’s irish, folky and bearded, doesn’t get better. There’s not a lot of his music on youtube, but if you check out his official website you can find more, and of course iTunes, for those with a few pretty pennies to spare for a really talented guy who deserves to make it big. I’ve been obsessively checking his tour dates, but alas, he is nowhere near in the immediate future, but hopefully by the end of the year I’ll be able to put his name on my ‘Best gigs 2k12’ list.

So here’s a track of his called ‘Foo’, Enjoy!


Study Music, take six.

Blog’s been a bit quiet, apologies, many essays to write. Currently cracking on with a Victorian Comedies essay and thought I’d post one of the many songs that are keeping my mind functioning. Got a bit of twinspiration for this choice, aka my sister showed it to me. It’s a song called ‘If I go, I’m Goin’ by Gregory Alan Isakov from his album ‘This Empty Northern Hemisphere’. For a South-African-born-Philly-raised singer-songwriter who now lives in Colarado , Gregory Alan Isakov is surprisingly country western. But the perfect blend with soft folk rather than straight out redneck, this song is an absolute beaut… Enjoy!