Saturday, 23 February 2013


I decided to challenge myself today & attempt to make bagels for the first time. They took a long time but they look delicious. I got this recipe from the River Cottage Handbook on Bread by Daniel Stevens. The recipes originates from an old Jewish cookbook. 

500g strong bread flour
5g yeast
10g salt
250ml warm water
20g caster sugar
50ml vegetable oil
1. Mix together all the ingredients in a large bowl to make a dough. Knead on a clean surface until smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball, coat with a little extra oil and place in a bowl. Leave to rise, covered, until double in size. (Mine took about 2/3 hours.)
2. When the dough is ready, deflate it and divide into pieces. (The recipe can make up to 12, I made 8.) One at a time, roll into a log shape. Press the ends together to make a ring. Leave to prove, covered, for about an hour.
3. When the bagels have doubled in size again, they are ready for poaching. Bring a pan of water to the boil (about 10cm of water.) Turn the pan down to a simmer then slip as many bagels as will fit comfortably in the water. Cook for a minute or so on each side. Remove from the water and leave to drain on a clean tea towel. Don't use kitchen paper as it will stick.
4. Preheat the oven to 180 (fan.) When they are all poached, lay the bagels on a lined baking tray. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with whatever seeds you like. Bake for 15 minutes, until the bagels are uniform, glossy golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. 

Ta da!

They rose a lot in the oven and the holes in the middle have disappeared a bit. When I first make the rings of dough, I made the hole too small, so when they proved again & were poached the holes shrank.
Still, for a first attempt I am pretty pleased. Will definitely be making these again X Bo

Monday, 18 February 2013

Butterfly biscuits

Sincere apologies for my lack of blogging recently but here's a lovely little recipe to make up for it! It's another one from Peggy Porschen's 'Boutique Baking' book. 

Ingredients for the biscuits
250g unsalted butter, softened
250g caster sugar
pinch of salt
zest of 2 orangers OR 3 lemons OR 3 limes
1 large egg
500g plain flour
For the icing
250g icing sugar
white of 1 egg
1. Place the softened butter, salt and preferred zest in a mixing bowl and cream together until smooth and creamy.
2. Beat in the egg until fully incorporated. Add the flour and mix until the dough comes together. Shape into a ball and wrap in cling film. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
3. Once cooled, place on a floured surface and knead briefly.
4. Roll out the dough and cut out the butterfly shapes using cutters. Place them on a baking tray, lined with greaseproof paper. Chill again for 30 minutes. 
5. Bake for about 10 minutes at 155 until just turning golden around the edges. 
6. Once baked, let them rest for about half an hour.
7. Meanwhile, to make the icing, mix the icing sugar with the egg white. Put in a disposable piping bag. Once the biscuits have cooled, pipe your designs on to them.

I chose to make lemon biscuits for my friends at our local pub quiz. Didn't have a lot of time to ice them so the designs are fairly straight forward. They resemble shortbread in their texture and leave very buttery marks on the baking paper. However, the pattern is quite pretty...

Until next time... X Bo

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Happy Pancake Day!

Pancake day has always been one of my favourite Spring time traditions. 

100g plain flour
pinch of salt
1 egg
300ml milk

1. Mix all the ingredients together in a jug using a whisk so there are no lumps.
2. Leave to chill in the fridge for a while.
3. Heat a little bit of oil in a frying pan.
4. Pour in the batter and cook the pancakes, feel free to attempt a flip!
5. Flavour with whatever toppings you want, lemon & sugar, honey, melted chocolate & banana. 

Apologies for the terrible photo quality.
Camera is out've battery and my phone isn't the best!

I always have mine with lemon & sugar and they are delicious! Enjoy X Bo

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Shortbread revisited

As a little treat I decided to make my toffee almond shortbread again. 
Original post:http://bakingbo.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/toffee-nut-shortbread.html
This time I followed the recipe and used flaked almonds.
Ta da!

Took my colleague at work a piece. I think it's fair to say it went down very well! 
Hopefully more baking to follow soon! X Bo