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.

Guava Spread

It’s the season for guavas and the tree in my garden was laden with the luscious fruit. I usually make Guava Jelly but this time I decided to make a spread instead. The result was just heavenly.

It requires some patience, but the effort is well worth it. Children love this spread and you can also add a pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon powder. You have to be careful to remove it when it starts leaving the sides of the pan. It’s also better to use a heavy bottomed pan as it takes some time to cook and you don’t want the mixture to burn.

It’s great as a sandwich with fresh wholemeal bread or with toast.

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PREP: 1 hour COOK TIME: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1 kg fresh ripened guavas
  • 1 kg granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp citric acid
  • 100 gms butter
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions

Wash the fruit and trim off any blemishes/bruises on the surface. Chop the fruit into 1/2” cubes and add enough water to cover the fruit. Cook until the fruit is soft (about 10-15 minutes). Cool and pass the mixture through a strainer so that the seeds remain behind. Transfer the fruit pulp to a large pan.

Add the sugar, citric acid, butter and salt to the fruit pulp and cook over medium heat until the butter and sugar dissolve. When it starts boiling, reduce the heat and simmer the mixture stirring constantly until it leaves the sides of the pan. Transfer the guava spread to dry, sterilized bottles. Store in a cool and dry place.

 

Melon and Ginger Jam

I was intrigued by this recipe that I found in Encyclopaedia of Creative Cooking. It was so different from the usual teatime jams and it tastes great on home-made bread. The recipe calls for ogen or charentais melon, but I used honeydew or musk melon as they are available here throughout the year. There’s not much difference between them anyway.

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The addition of ginger both fresh and crystallized gives it a tangy taste that is just heavenly!

Recipe:

1 1/2 kg melon, peeled and de-seeded

3 inch piece fresh ginger, grated

100 grams crystallized ginger, chopped

1 1/2 kg sugar

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 cup commercial liquid pectin

Method:

Dice the melon. Place the ginger in a small sieve and squeeze gently to extract the juice.

Place the melon, ginger juice, crystallized ginger, sugar and lemon juice in a heavy bottomed pan and stir over a gentle heat until the sugar dissolves. Then bring it to the boil and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the liquid pectin. Cool for 15 minutes and bottle in sterilized jars.

Watermelon Jam

It’s always watermelon season in India and I decided to try my hand at making a preserve out of it. The fruit contains 90% water and that’s the reason the finished jam was a little runny. But, the taste was unbelievable! It was so fresh and the colour and appeal was absolutely spot on. The taste was so natural.

You have to be careful while choosing the fruit. Always try to use fresh, firm fruit. The colour is the best indicator. A really rich colour produces more taste. You can also use this jam as a dressing for other fruit salads. Mix it with lemon or orange juice and spoon it over the salad.

The other jam in the picture is melon and ginger jam. I am making a separate post for it. My family really loved both the jams and it’s a wonderful gift for a special friend.

 

Recipe:

1.75 kg watermelon

750 grams sugar

Juice and rind of 2 large lemons

Method:

Cut the watermelon in half and remove the seeds. Chop the flesh into 1/2 inch cubes. Place the melon and sugar in a heavy bottomed pan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and cook rapidly for 5 – 10 minutes. Remove the syrup from the heat and add the lemon juice and rind. Return to the heat and simmer until the quantity has reduced almost by half and the melon looks transparent. Remove from the heat and cool before bottling it the usual way.