Monday, 21 April 2014

Recipe: Hot Cross Buns

This recipe is based on Jamie Oliver's see link for his recipe, this difference with mine is that I have let my bread maker do the hard work.

Ingredients - makes 12

200ml milk
50ml water
55g butter
14g dried yeast (in Turkey they come in 10g sachets, most other places they are 7g sachets)
455g strong bread flour, I just use ordinary white plain flour, works fine
1tsp salt
1tsp mixed spice
1tsp cinnamon
1/2 whole nutmeg, grated
55g white sugar
2 pieces of stem ginger, cut up into small pieces, optional
1 large egg, beaten
100g dried fruit of your choice, usually the recipe states 50g to 80g but we like the extra fruit
runny honey to glaze
For the cross - optional
2 tbsps plain flour
2 tbsps water

Method -

In a small saucepan add the milk and water and heat gently until you can feel warmth in the mixture when you put your little finger in it.  Transfer the liquid to a medium sized bowl, stir in the yeast and put to one side.

In the same saucepan gently melt the butter and then put this to one side.

Add all the dried ingredients to the Bread Maker, I give the ingredients a little mix with a spoon to combine.  Then add the beaten egg, melted butter and yeast and milk mixture.  Set the Bread Maker to the dough setting, on mine this takes 1.30 hours.  This mixes and kneads the dough and provides heat to allow the dough to rise.

Once the Bread Maker has finished tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Pull the dough out to a rough sausage shape and cut into 12 pieces.  Lightly shape each piece to a ball and place on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper.  Cover over with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place, until the dough doubles in size, this can take from 20 to 40 minutes depending on how warm your surroundings are.

In a small bowl mix together 2 tbsps flour and 2 tbsps water to form a paste.  Make a piping bag out of a small plastic bag, buy putting the past into one of the corners of the bag and cutting off the tip of the corner.

Gently flatten down your buns and pipe a cross on each bun.  Place in a preheated oven at 180c for 15 to 18 mins or until the buns are golden and when you turn one over the bottom sound hollow when tapped with your finger.

When baked transfer to wire cooling rack, allow to cool slightly and then brush the top of each bun with some runny honey.

Allow to cool.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Tip Of The Day - Never Throw Away The Rind From Cheese

When you are left with the rind from cheese, put it in your favourite soup to add extra flavour.  Just remember to remove it before serving.

(Jenny McGruther of Nourished Kitchen -

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Recipe: Chicken Liver Pate

Ingredients - 

200g chicken liver
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
salt and pepper

Method -

In a frying pan, fry the chopped onion, garlic and liver for 10 mins or until the chicken livers can easily be broken apart with a wooden spoon.

Transfer to a blender, add the butter and blend to the consistency you prefer.

Season with salt and pepper and add the tomato ketchup and blend into the pate.

You can also add a tbsp parsley, basil or oregano to the pate at the blender stage.
For a change add a handful of mushrooms to the frying stage for an added twist.

Thank you to Sandy Munson for this recipe.

Tip Of The Day - Squeeze Of Lemon For Oomph

When a savoury dish needs a little oomph add a squeeze of lemon juice instead of salt.  A hint of citrus can make the dish come to life.

(Erin Scott of Yummy Supper -


A delicate, tasty, herb that is so easy to grow but often forgotten about.  These seeds I planted a few days ago are nearly ready.

I have not found anywhere in Turkey that sells cress or cress seeds, but a packet of seeds brought over with a visitor lasts for ages and grows very quickly.
I have a small shallow dish with a see through lid which I line with kitchen roll, soak with water and then spread with the cress seeds.

On my kitchen work top the seeds germinate within a day, with the lid on, a day or two if you don't have a lid.
I then remove the lid and within a few days are ready to eat, remembering to keep the paper moist.
Providing you keep the paper moist the cress will last for several days.

Use the cress to make some lovely light Egg and Cress Open Sandwiches -

Open Sandwich: Egg and Cress

Method - serves 2

Boil 4 eggs in a pan of salted water.

Once cooked plunge in cold water and then shell.

In a bowl chop the eggs, season with salt and pepper then mix in mayonnaise, to the consistency you prefer.

For an added taste, add a handful of chopped crispy bacon or bacon flakes.

Serve on a slice of crusty bread and sprinkle with the cress.

Recipe: Lemon Curd

Ingredients - for 2 x 395g jars 

3 medium lemons
227g sugar
113g butter
3 eggs + 1 egg yoke only

Method - 

Grate the rind of all the lemons and juice them all.

Put your empty clean jars, without their lids, onto a baking tray and put in a very low oven at 100c to warm the jars ready for jarring up the lemon curd.

Melt the butter gently in a medium saucepan and then add the lemon rind, juice and sugar. Stir well keeping the heat low until the sugar starts to dissolve.

Beat the eggs together and add to the saucepan.

Continuing over a gentle heat, so as not to allow the egg white to start to cook and separate, cook the ingredients, stirring all the time. Once the mixture starts to thicken and the colour changes to a lighter shade remove from the heat. The lemon curd will appear to be too runny but it thickens a lot once cold.

Carefully remove the jars from the oven and fill each one with the lemon curd mix and seal with the lids immediately. Leave to cool before storing.

Once open the lemon curd is best stored in the fridge.