Hot Cross Buns

Hello everyone, I hope you are all having a great Friday.

It’s looking really bright and sunny for a change but’s still a little chilly outside. Recently the lockdown rules have eased slightly in the UK which is a good sign of a new normal sometime soon, hopefully! Today I made hot cross buns, I think the last time I made them was probably a year ago and as the recipe was written down I’m not sure where it originally came from. Traditionally eaten on Good Friday in the UK and many other countries, a hot cross bun is a sweet, spiced bun made with dried fruit. It’s a little bit of a long process because you’ve got to let the dough rest and prove but the end result is definitely worth it.

A very popular tradition for Jamaicans on Good Friday is to eat bun and cheese. The bun is a similar vibe to the hot cross bun in the sense of it being sweet and spiced. Also, fried fish is usually eaten instead of meat.

Recipe: Hot cross buns (makes 6)

Ingredients

250g plain flour

1 tsp mixed spice

1/2 tsp cinnamon

40g caster sugar

4g salt

30g butter

140ml milk alternative, warmed slightly

4g dried yeast

40g dried fruit, soaked in orange juice an hour before (I’ve used sultana’s)

Cross topping: 2 tbsp plain flour, 1 tbsp water

Glaze: 1 tsp sugar with a little hot water

Method

  • In a large bowl add all of the dry ingredients, then add the butter and use your fingers to make a grainy, crumble mixture.
  • Stir the yeast into the milk, then pour into the flour mixture and use your hands to form a dough. Knead for at least 5 minutes.
  • Flatten out the dough a little, sprinkle over the dried fruit and knead to fully combine. Place the dough back into the bowl and cover with a tea towel for at least an hour to rise.
  • After the hour, equally separate the dough into 6 pieces and shape into balls and flatten, place each one on a light oiled oven tray. Leave to prove until doubled in size covered with a tea towel.
  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 5. Use a piping bag to do the cross topping and use a pastry brush to add the glaze over the top.
  • Bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes until golden brown on top. Add the left over glaze once more and leave to cool before eating.

Check out my Instagram for more food!!

Empanada Pastry

Hello everyone, thanks for stopping by my blog today.

Empanadas are a stuffed pastry either baked or fried and they are eaten in many Latin American and south European countries. If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll know that I’ve featured Emapanadas a few times before with beef and chicken fillings. I thought I’d share the recipe for anyone looking for a soft textured, shortcrust style pastry recipe that works well every time. This recipe can be used for any meat or vegetable fillings and is a great way to use up any leftovers. For that golden crust, you can glaze over the top with egg.

Click here for my Beef Empanadas

Click here for my Chicken Empanadas

Recipe: Empanada Pastry (makes 1 using a 2.5 inch cutter)

Ingredients

350g plain flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

175g butter, melted

1 egg

40ml warm water

Method

  • Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl.
  • Pour in the butter and egg, use a spoon to start mixing and slowly add the water.
  • Use your hands to knead the dough for 5 minutes.
  • Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes before using.
  • When using, roll out to roughly 1/3cm and your fillings and bake in the oven for 25 minutes on gas mark 6.

Check out my Instagram for more food!!

Red Cabbage and Kale Pizza

Hello everyone, thanks for stopping by my blog today.

Today’s post is a fairly healthy pizza recipe, including toppings like red cabbage, kale and sweetcorn. All very nutritious and beneficial for the body. I like using kale on a pizza because it gets nice and crispy in the oven similarly the red cabbage stays slightly hard and adds an extra crunch to the pizza. Although I have used mature cheese, mozzarella is a great alternative for a healthier low fat option.

I am aware that cabbage of pizza is a little unusual however, I often enjoy trying new things and I had a feeling it wouldn’t disappoint. Red cabbage is an amazing vegetable because it is fairly versatile and can be eaten as a side to a main meal, used in coleslaw or sliced into steaks and seasoned for a vegan burger alternative. The health benefits of red cabbage are numerous, the vitamin C acts as an antioxidant in the body and protects our cells, it is also a great source of folate which is imperative during pregnancy to help the body produce red blood cells, carrying oxygen from the lungs to other areas of the body.

Recipe: Red cabbage and kale pizza (makes 1 tray)

Ingredients

250g plain flour

Pinch of salt

1/2 tsp caster sugar

4g dried yeast

150ml warm water

1 tsp oil

3 tbsp tomato sauce

150g mature cheese, grated

80g sweetcorn

50g kale, roughly chopped

40g red cabbage, thinly sliced

Method

  • Sift the flour into a large bowl and add the salt, sugar and yeast. Mix together and make a well in the middle.
  • Pour the warm water into the well along with the oil and use your fingers in circular motions to form a smooth dough.
  • Knead the dough for 5 – 10 minutes and leave to rest in a warm place for 1 hour until it has doubled in size.
  • After the hour is up, preheat the oven to gas mark 5 and lightly grease an oven tray with oil.
  • Knock the air out of the dough a little, then roll out onto a floured surface until it reaches the same shape of the oven tray.
  • Carefully place the dough onto the tray and add the tomato sauce, kale, sweetcorn and cheese.
  • Put in the oven for 25 minutes until the edges are golden and the cheese has melted.
  • Leave to cool for a few minutes before serving!

Follow my Instagram for more food!

*Nutritional information was found through Google*

Beef Empanada’s

Hello everyone, I hope your day has been good. If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll know that I’ve made Emapnada’s a few times before however, today’s recipe is made using beef instead of chicken. You can find my recent Chicken Empanada recipe here.

I had so much fun making this meal and the end result was amazing!! Beef empanada’s are a staple food in Argentina and are enjoyed worldwide. I made the dough first and left it to chill in the fridge for a few hours. In the meantime I mixed the garlic, onion and seasonings together in a bowl to get prepared for cooking the dish as my beef was frozen. The one thing I really like about this emapanada dough in the yellow flakiness of the pastry, also the colour and flavour are both so rich from the egg yolk and butter you hardly need any salt.

Recipe: Beef Empanada (makes 15)

Ingredients for pastry

275g plain flour

Pinch of salt

50g butter – diced and cold

1 egg

90ml water

Method

  • Weigh out the flour, salt and butter into a bowl and combine with your finger tips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • Next, add the egg and water moving your hands in a circular motion until it forms a dough.
  • Knead the dough for 5 minutes on a lightly floured surface.
  • Wrap the dough in clingfilm and leave to chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, knead the dough for a couple of minutes and roll out to roughly 2mm thick and cut out 12 discs using a 12cm round cutter.

Ingredients for beef filling

400g minced beef

2 tbsp oil

1/2 onion – finely diced

1 garlic – crushed

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp oregano

1/4 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp flour

200ml of water

1 tsp brown sugar

Method

  • Combine the onion, garlic and seasonings together in a bowl and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and fry this season mixture until the onions are soft, cover with a lid for 3 minutes.
  • Add the minced beef to the pan and turn the heat up slightly cooking until the juices are reduced.
  • Sprinkle over 1 tsp of flour over the beef and pour in the water and the sugar.
  • Mix well, cover with a lid and leave to simmer on a medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Leave to cool.

Making the Empanada’s

  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 and lightly grease 2 oven trays.
  • Take 1 pastry disc and add a spoonful of the beef mixture to one side.
  • Fold over the pastry in half, making sure the filling is completely covered and crimp the edges with a fork.
  • Use a cocktail stick to pierce 2 holes on top of the pastry and place one the prepared trays. Repeat until everything is used up.
  • Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until the pastry is lightly golden.
  • Serve with a salad.

*If you have left over mince like I did you can keep it in the fridge for up to 2 days and eat with some rice.

Follow my Instagram for more food.

Garlic Herb Pitta Bread

Hi everyone, how has life been treating you?

Since the ‘lockdown’ I have really been into making bread varieties. Usually, I would just stick to a pizza base dough, but I’ve made a plain bread loaf, flat bread, tortilla wraps and pitta bread over the months. To be honest they are all quite similar using mainly flour and water but they all taste so different and each complement a range of dishes. Since these are homemade, I opted to make them as healthy as possible, and as you can see in the images below, they are not covered in oil but tasted so good.

Garlic Herb Pitta Bread recipe (makes 6)

Ingredients

225g strong white bread flour

7g dried yeast

Pinch of salt

Pinch of sugar

1 tbsp oil

130ml warm water

Method

  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 and lightly oil an oven tray.
  • Place all of the dry ingredients into a bowl making a well in the centre and pour in the water and oil.
  • Use your hands or a wooden spoon to form a dough and knead for 5 minutes. Shape into 6 circles, place on the tray and leave to rise for 30 minutes.
  • Bake in the oven for 10 minutes and set aside until needed.

What is your favourite type of bread?

Follow my Instagram for more food.