New Sourdough, oh!

It is possible to have too many recipes for one much loved food. But when it comes to sourdough, the pursuit of the best recipe is a whole life adventure. This is the latest offering…. Now to wait and taste.

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Easter Hot Cross Bun Recipe

Perfect Easter Hot Cross Buns

Every year I make hot cross buns. I make bread regularly so this should not be a high stress event. But for some reason my crosses have never really work. This year I have found a great recipe. The buns are delicious and they are super easy.

This Good Friday as you remember the day that Jesus died on the cross, make these fabulous fruit an spice buns with your family. Enjoy!

Marked with a cross and ready for the oven

Easter Hot Cross Buns

Makes 16
1 1/4 cups (310ml) milk
3/4 cup caster sugar ( I think you can get away with less)
2 x 7 g sachet of dried yeast
4 1/3 cups plain flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon  of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, ginger and cardamom
1 cup mixed dried fruit ( I used sultanas, substitute cranberries and choc chips)
1 egg, beaten
100g melted butter

It is good to make long lines and not individual crosses

Kneading the dough – it is dark because of all of the wonderful spices. Use whatever you like best!

1. Stir milk and sugar in saucepan over gentle heat until lukewarm. Remove from heat. Add yeast, stir and wait for 10 minutes  or until mixture is foamy.
2. Sift flour and spices. Stir in fruit, yeast mixture, egg and butter, Mix well until dough forms. Knead on floured surface for 5 minutes. Place in oiled bowl and cover with plastic warp. Stand in a warm place for 1 hour or until dough has doubled.
3. Divide dough into 16 pieces and shape into balls. Place in a greased square cake tin. Cover with plastic warp and stand in a warm place for 30 minutes or until the buns have risen to the rim of the tin.
4. Preheat oven to 200 C. Make cross mix with1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup water and 1 tablespoon sugar. Cross mixture should be soft and stiff. Place in a piping bag or zip lock bag and snip the end. Pipe the crosses. Bake in hot oven for 10 minutes then reduce heat to 180 c and bake for a further 15-20minutes until golden.
5.Make a sugar syrup with 1/3 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons of boiling water. Brush hot syrup over buns and serve.

By Bread Alone…

The Bread Truck

Some time ago I gave up eating bread. Those of you who know me know that I bake bread often. It is a family staple and I love experimenting with different flours and sourdough starters, artisan style breads and breads with fruit and seeds. So it was quite a big deal to stop eating bread.

But I think I feel better for not overdoing it in the bread department. I have learnt to make a ‘sandwich’ without bread, to find alternatives to the thousand and one ways we eat fast food by wrapping and containing it some sort of bread product.
Freshly baked rolls at home

But I miss it….nothing beats beautiful handcrafted bread. I remember when we lived in London, there was a weekend market that sold truck loads of the most amazing baguettes, cobs, rolls and the like. This truck brimming with great looking French style bread took me back to my wanders down Northcote Road…..you can almost smell the fresh bread can’t you? Do you make your own bread? I have the best no knead, no (…insert hard work, time consuming nonsense!) recipe. Would you like it?

Wild Rice Porridge

I recently ate breakfast at Rebecca’s cafe in Port Fairy. A cafe that really does a great trade in good coffee and a menu that caters to a discerning clientele. “Rebecca” has developed a reputation for amazing cakes and sweet treats that can feed a small army in a single slice. It is all homemade and sourced from great local ingredients, as far as I can tell. But this breaky was such a surprise. Now my Asian roots have made me quite adverse to trying sweet rice dishes – think English rice pudding. But this Gluten Free dish of wild rice porridge at Rebecca’s , served with almonds, sesame seeds, maple syrup and a berry and rhubarb compote was simply stunning. Hearty yes, but not rich or overwhelming. I would love to try this at home so I have found several recipes which all look delicious. May be a weekend treat for the family? 


Wild Rice Porridge (version 1)

  • Serves:4

Ingredients


500ml water
1/4 cup wild rice – cooked as per packet
1/2 cup brown rice – cooked as per packet
1/2 cup pearl barley
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup oats
1 cup dried fruit eg raisins, chopped dates and cranberries
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbls butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tbls maple syrup to drizzle when served

Method




Cook rice as per packet instructions. Drain.

Place cooked rice and 500mls water together with remaining ingredients into medium saucepan.

Bring to simmer, cover with a lid and cook gently till grains are soft, stir occasionally.

Serve drizzled with Maple Syrup.

Wild Rice Porridge (Version 2)
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup uncooked Wild Rice
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream(To make this a healthy breakfast, substitute 1 cup skim milk or non-dairy milk)
  • 1/4 cup Maple Syrup
  • Fruit and Toasted Hazelnuts to garnish  
Directions:
1. Cook wild rice according to package directions. This could be done well in advance. You could even use leftover rice from dinner the night before.
2. In a pot over medium heat add rice, then stir in cream and maple syrup. Cook until everything is heated through.
3. Serve with fruit, nuts, and extra cream and syrup.