Strawberry Bread

I found this intriguing recipe just when I had made strawberry preserve. It seemed the perfect time to make it.

The bread was moist and delicious. Though the original recipe had about 1 tablespoon of red colouring, I decided to add just a few drops of red colouring so that it would be pink and the strawberries would stand out.

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A nice tea time treat for the entire family! Juicy strawberries baked into a bread – what could be better? This recipe makes two loaves of bread.

This recipe is from American Cooking.

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PREP: 15 minutes COOK TIME: 45 minutes

Ingredients

1 cup butter

1 ½ cups sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp salt

1 tsp lemon juice

4 eggs

½ tsp baking soda

½ cup sour cream

3 cups flour

½ cup chopped nuts

1 cup strawberry preserve

A few drops red colouring

Instructions

Grease and flour two loaf pans.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Blend butter, sugar, vanilla, salt and lemon juice. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Dissolve soda in sour cream and add it to the egg mixture. Fold in flour, nuts, strawberry preserve and the colouring. Spoon the batter into the loaf pans. Bake for about 40-45 minutes or until the bread pulls away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Orange Raisin Muffins with Cookie Butter Frosting

Hello friends. There’s a lot of re modelling going on at home and I just haven’t found the time to post recipes. Things are coming back to normal slowly and I hope to be able to share some recipes with you. However, the weather is insanely hot. It was around 40 C today. Cooking is quite an effort in this heat.

I wanted to try my hand at making cookie butter. I bought some coconut cookies and found a simple recipe online which I will share with you shortly. I liked the taste of the cookie butter. It was delicious and free of preservatives, etc. besides saving on the cost. You just throw the ingredients into the blender and that’s it! You can of course use any type of cookie for this.

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Once I made it, I was wondering how I could use it in a recipe. Instead of incorporating it with brownies or a cake batter, I decided to use it as a frosting. It was really, really good. Quite yummy.

The recipe for the cookie butter is from https://gimmedelicious.com/insanely-easy-homemade-cookie-butter/ .

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This recipe makes around 15 muffins. 

PREP: 30 minutes COOK TIME: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients

2 cups flour

1 tsp soda

1 tsp salt

½ cup sugar

½ cup butter

Grated rind of 1 orange

½ cup raisins

11/2 cups buttermilk

Cookie butter

Sprinkles

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 200 C.

Sift the flour, soda, salt and sugar into a bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture is the consistency of breadcrumbs. Add the grated rind and raisins. Stir in enough buttermilk to make a soft dough. Spoon the dough into paper cups placed in muffin tins. Bake for about 15 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Cool completely. Frost with the cookie butter and garnish with some sprinkles on top.

Cottage Bread with Guava Jam

This cottage bread is very simple to make and it’s really delicious. You can try your own combination of herbs, etc. The smell of yeast and bread baking in the oven is just wonderful. There is something so satisfying about making your own bread. I sprinkled some rosemary on the top. I shaped the bread into a round loaf but you can shape it any way you like.

My guava tree was in bloom again and I decided to make some jam. These guavas are white and they are really juicy and tasty. However, they turn pink naturally in the cooking process and this particular jam is a lovely deep red in colour. It takes a little effort to sieve the cooked guava slices but it’s really worth it. The resulting jam was thick, luscious and fruity. I also didn’t use any preservatives except a little citric acid. It has to be stored in a cool place. I had to store mine in the fridge because it’s very hot right now.

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A slice of this heavenly bread with some butter and jam is perfect for tea time. This recipe makes one loaf of cottage bread and four bottles of jam.

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PREP: 2 hours for bread and 1 hour for the jam.

COOK TIME: 30-40 minutes for bread and 30 minutes for the jam.

Ingredients for Cottage Bread

21/4 tsp active dry yeast

11/4 cups warm water

11/2 tbsp sugar

11/4 tsp salt

1 tbsp butter

4 cups flour

11/2 tsp dried rosemary

Instructions

Dissolve yeast in the warm water. Add the sugar and salt. Leave covered in a warm place for 15 minutes until the top is frothy. Take 2 cups flour in a large mixing bowl, make a well in the centre and add the yeast mixture along with the butter. Beat until smooth. Add 13/4 cups flour and mix until the dough leave the sides of the bowl. Turn on to a floured surface and knead until smooth. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Turn onto a floured board and shape into a loaf, pressing well to knock the air out of the dough. Place in a greased loaf pan; cover. Let rise for 30-45 minutes. At this point, preheat the oven at 200 C. Sift the remaining flour on the top, after the dough rises and sprinkle with rosemary. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool on rack.

Ingredients for the Guava Jam

1 kg ripe guavas

1 tsp citric acid

5 cups sugar

Instructions

Slice the washed guavas. Add ½ teaspoon of the citric acid to one litre of water in a large pan. Add the fruit and cook on moderate heat. Bring it to a boil and simmer covered for about 15-20 minutes, until the fruit is soft. Cool.

Pureè the cooked guavas in a blender and strain through a fine sieve or muslin cloth. You will get around 5 cups of the guava pulp.

Place the guava pulp along with 5 cups of sugar and the remaining citric acid in a heavy pan. Cook on moderate heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture has thickened. Switch off the stove, spoon some jam onto a plate and cool in the refrigerator. If the jam is not runny, it’s done. If not, boil the jam further until it is thickened. Spoon the jam into clean bottles and cover when they are completely cool.

Mahjouba (Algerian Crèpes)

Mahjouba are traditional Algerian pancakes, very popular as a street food in Northern Africa. These thick pancakes are made of semolina and folded into a parcel after being filled with caramelized onions and tomatoes. It is often paired with harissa sauce.

The semolina dough has to be worked until it is not sticky. I greased the inside of my food processor with olive oil and made it. It’s very difficult to do by hand. You either need a stand mixer or a processor.

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My first attempt at making this was not as good as the professionals, though I was quite happy with the result. It reminded me of a sweet that we make here using semolina dough outside and a sweet coconut filling on the inside. It’s also flattened by hand and it’s a South Indian speciality called Ubbat.

I really liked the taste of the mahjouba. The tomato filling was very delicious. This recipe is from Saveur. This recipe makes around 12 crepes.

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PREP: 11/2 hours COOK TIME: 45 minutes

Ingredients

6 medium sized onions, chopped finely

3 green chillies, chopped finely

2 medium carrots, chopped finely

¼ cup olive oil, plus more for greasing

3 tbsp tomato paste

1 can whole peeled tomatoes in juice, drained

2 tbsp salt, plus more to taste

1 tsp turmeric powder

¾ tsp red chilli powder

1 cup fresh coriander, chopped finely

41/4 cups fine semolina

Instructions

Crush the tomatoes by using a stick processor, so that they remain chunky.

Heat oil in a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onions, chillies and carrots and cook stirring until they are soft and caramelized. Add the tomato paste and cook for a further three minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, salt, turmeric and chilli powder. Cook the mixture until it becomes thick and slightly dry. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped coriander. Cool.

Combine two tablespoons salt with the semolina. Add two cups of water and stir to make a firm dough. Transfer to a stand mixer or food processor and mix until it is no longer sticky. Use some olive oil to grease the inside of your mixer/processor. Divide into twelve equal pieces, shape into balls and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and rest for 30 minutes.

Lightly oil a marble surface and working one at a time, flatten the dough balls using more olive oil into a disk using the heel of your hands until it is 1/6 inch thick. Gently pull the edges to stretch into a paper thin rectangle and place about 2 tablespoons of the filling in the centre. Spread the filling so that it covers the middle section of the rectangle. Fold the long sides of the rectangle over the filling and fold over the short sides, pressing to seal and enclose the filling. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.

Heat a 12 inch skillet over medium heat and place a packet, seam side down and pat the crepes out into as thin a parcel as you can. Flip the crepe when it is browned on one side and repeat with the remaining packets.

Banana Mincemeat Bread

I had made a large quantity of mincemeat for Christmas but I just didn’t have the time to make anything. I was just looking up some recipes featuring mincemeat and came across this interesting one. As I had some over ripe bananas as well, I was rather pleased. It’s something that I could eat at anytime of the day.

The bread was really delicious and the combination of the bananas with the boozy mincemeat was great. I could taste the subtle flavour of both and it was a big hit with my family and friends. It’s definitely going to be something I make often.

It’s easy to make and is perfect over a cup of tea or even in the morning if you’re rushed for time.

This recipe is from the book American Cooking.

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PREP: 20 minutes COOK TIME: 1 hour

Ingredients

¼ cup butter

½ cup sugar

2 eggs

11/4 cup sifted flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

¼ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup mashed bananas

1 cup mincemeat, drained

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 160 C. Butter and line a loaf tin with parchment paper. I used a double lining for the tin.

Sift the flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt and soda together.

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat well. Add the flour mixture to the butter alternating with the bananas and mincemeat. Mix well. Spoon into the buttered loaf tin. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, depending on the oven. Cool.

 

Moist Zucchini Bread

Zucchini is one of my favourite vegetables. It’s so easy to prepare and it’s so versatile. It can be used in a variety of cakes and other baked goods. It doesn’t alter the taste and it’s super healthy and so moist.

When I saw this recipe from King Arthur Flour, I decided that I must try it. The result was so good and the best part about it is it’s so easy. It was chock full of walnuts and raisins and very moist. The top tends to be a bit soft, but as long as the toothpick comes out clean, the bread is done.

Since it contains zucchini, it doesn’t keep for very long. It can be stored in a container for several days or frozen if you want to keep it for a longer period. But I must tell you, it doesn’t last that long!

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This recipe yields an 8 ½” x 4” loaf.

PREP: 15 minutes COOK TIME: 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3/4th cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 3/4th cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 3/4th cup walnuts, chopped
  • 3/4th cup golden raisins
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar for sprinkling on top

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease an 8 1/2”x 4” loaf pan.

Beat the brown sugar, milk, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla in a large mixing bowl until smooth.

In a separate bowl, mix the baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into the flour. Mix the dry ingredients with the liquid ingredients until creamy and smooth.

Stir in the zucchini, walnuts and raisins.

Scoop the batter into the prepared loaf pan, smoothing the top as required and sprinkle the brown sugar on top.

Bake for 50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove the bread from the pan after it has cooled for 10 minutes. Turn it out on to a rack to cool completely. Slice the bread after it has cooled completely.