Tag Archives: thelittleloaf

Kale & Chilli English Muffins.

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I LOVE BRUNCH. Like seriously LOVE IT. It’s the joy of breakfast food but in bigger portions AND with a wider scope of ‘acceptable’ food options, what’s not to love. I saw this recipe on the little loaf’s blog a while back, and following my foray into the world of buckwheat flour I was keen to try some more recipes that used it. I found that I needed to cook the muffins for a lot longer than suggested on the little loaf’s blog, and I added/removed a few items from the ingredients list (mainly as I was too lazy to go and buy the correct ingredients). I also took a very lazy approach, using a food processor as much as possible, as no one needs to be chopping on a sunday morning, especially one that looks like this…

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Kale and Chilli English Muffins (adapted from thelittleloaf)

Ingredients:

(makes six)

5g butter
10g olive oil
1 tsp chilli powder
150ml semi skimmed milk
110g curly kale
5g dried yeast
150g strong white bread flour
75g buckwheat flour
Pinch sea salt
Polenta, cornmeal or semolina for dusting

Method:

1) Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the kale and fry for 3-4 minutes, then add the butter.

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2) Mix together the chilli powder and milk, pour over the kale and cook until wilted. Leave to cool for 5-10 mins then transfer into a food processor, draining some of the excess milk off. Blitz gently till finely chopped, but not pulp.

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3) In a large mixing bowl mix the bread flour, buckwheat flour, salt and yeast, ensuring you place the salt and yeast at opposite ends of the bowl (otherwise the salt will kill the yeast!) Add the now cooled down kale mixture then add enough tepid water to form a dough (the dough will be quite sticky)

4) On a lightly floured surface, knead your dough for 10-15 minutes until it feels more elastic and smooth. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm or a plastic bag and leave in a warm place for 30mins- 1 hour to rise.

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5) Place a heavy-based frying pan over a low heat. Then dust your work surface with polenta,semolina or cornmeal. Place your now risen dough on top and using your hands press out till around 2cm in thickness. Using a 7.5cm cookie cutter (or water glass) cut out your muffins, ensuring both outsides are covered with polenta/cornmeal/semolina.

IMG_09896) Place the muffins in the frying pan, leaving gaps in between them. Cook for 5-10 minutes before flipping (keep checking to make sure they’re not burning!) If you find they are taking a long time to cook, or are not convinced they are cooked all the way through you could pop them in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

7) Serve warm with lashings of butter, they’re even better when toasted.

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Sunday brunch cooking needs a soundtrack (as does pretty much every activity) so here’s a few of my current obsessions. I love a good cover song (note: a good one) and these are my current favourites…

 

 

 

Buckwheat Cookies, Food Blogs and Cake Dates.

Trawling through food blogs is my biggest procrastination method. I spend, on average, an hour a day clicking through recipes and tantalising photographs, bookmarking as I go. My reading list  has more recipes saved than I could cook in a lifetime. My current favourite blog is a fellow wordpress user by the name of the little loaf. It’s packed full of bread, cake and cookie recipes as well as some hearty meals, all accompanied with beautiful photographs and informative tips. A recipe of their’s struck my fancy a few weeks a go using buckwheat flour, something I have never cooked with before. Buckwheat flour is gluten free and, having an increasing number of gluten-free friends, is definitely an ingredient I should incorporate more into my cooking and baking. Much like thelittleloaf my attitude toward cookie recipes is fickle at the best of times. After a few harrowing experiences of biscuity or cakey cookies, I was reticent to try again. But in the past year I have experimented with many great recipes, and my interest has grown to the extent that I now profess a new love for a different recipe each time. But, for now at least, I will be sticking with thelittleloaf’s Buckwheat Cookies, the brown butter adds a further dimension to the nutty flavour and the perfect balance of sugar, flour and fat makes for chewy and beautifully crinkly looking biscuits!

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After months of missing the mark with cookies, I did some research to find out what individual ingredients within the recipe did, in an attempt to correct my many catastrophes and the following is what I have learnt:

Sugar- The more sugar you add the thinner, and subsequently crispier, your cookies will be. This is because the sugar will melt, and it it makes up the majority of the recipe will leave you will flat cookies as they spread in the heat. If you use Brown sugar, the cookies will be chewier, as it absorbs more moisture.

Eggs- If you add too many eggs your cookies will be more like cakes. I try to avoid putting more than one egg in per a batch. I liked thelittleloaf’s recipe as it had one egg and one yolk, this extra yolk makes the mixture richer.

Baking soda-  makes the cookies rise, which is essential, but too much can leave them with an unfortunate after taste.

Another food british food blog I adore is The Cake Hunter.Her current posts about christmas foodie gifts are brilliant, I can’t wait to get my exams over and done with so I can try out a few of them. I also appreciate her blog as she shares a similar taste in chefs, including Irish food blogger, tv chef, and all round dreamboat Donal Skehan. Following her recommendation I will definitely be baking a swedish apple cake; the recipe looks simple and has very few ingredients, but the outcome is beautiful and the cake looks ridiculously moorish!

Finally, myself and my fellow baker and flatmate have started a new tradition, Cake Date Tuesdays. It’s our final year at University (in the very beautiful city of Edinburgh) and seems such a waste not to sample its culinary delights before we depart post graduation. Edinburgh is full of tiny tea shops, bakeries and patisseries. Yes we do have chain (and in my opinion, mundane)  bakeries and coffee shops , like the vastly underwhelming Patiserrie Valerie, but we also have a plethora of individual and offbeat eateries each more quirky than the last, it is these fine establishments we intended to dine at every Tuesday. We started off with a trip to Lovecrumb , with slabs of cake larger than your face. Last week’s cake date we spent in New Town, on recommendation from a friend, at French Fancies. Its a small, hidden, french patisserie, and is well worth searching for! We had a choux bun which was filled with the greatest vanilla cream I have ever tasted as well as a delectable dark chocolate tart.

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