Sunday, 28 March 2010

Fresh from the oven - March 2010 - Kringel

This month's Fresh from the oven Challenge was hosted by Jo from Jo's Kitchen. She chose Kringel (an Estonian sweet or savoury bread) that has recently been featured in the Hairy Biker's programme, Mum's Know Best. Thank you Jo for hosting this months challenge.
It's been a while since I updated the blog and even longer since I took part in a challenge so hopefully this challenge will see me back to regular blogging and taking part in challenges. I ended up baking this bread today! as it was the only totally free day I have had at home in ages. I also baked a wholemeal loaf for this weeks lunch. It has been so long since I baked I had to get my bread book out to check on all the quantities which I used to know by heart!

Since there is only the two of us to eat this sweet bread I halved the recipe and we also decided to make it a little healthier and omit the chocolate topping (partly as we had none in the house). The recipe was simple and relatively quick and the end result was like nothing I have baked before. I do think that the chocolate topping would have improved it. I used dried yeast and just halved the quantity. There were also a few comments from members that 1tsp salt was missing from the recipe and the original recipe stated 'flour' and we decided it meant white bread flour. I have added these additions to the recipe below but have heard the some members struggled with this recipe as they stuck to the original recipe which perhaps has a few flaws. I couldn't make my mind up from the recipe instructions for platting the dough in which direction to cut the dough in half. I went for length wise which made the platting easier but the bread didn't turn out like the picture!

(adapted from The Hairy Bikers, mums know best)

Ingredients (Makes 1 Loaf)


  • 40g fresh yeast
  • 1tbsp sugar
  • 250ml milk, lukewarm
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 1tsp salt
  • 600-700g white bread flour


  • 100g butter, softened
  • 3 handfuls of raisins
  • 10 tsp sugar


  • 150g dark chocolate (at least 50% cocoa solids)
  • 75g butter


Mix the yeast and sugar in a bowl. Add the lukewarm milk and egg yolks, then mix in the flour, salt and melted butter and knead well. Shape the dough into a ball, cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 200°c/Gas 6. Dust your work surface with flour. Take the dough out of the bow, knock it back and roll out to a thickness of 1cm. Spread the softened butter evenly over the rolled sheet of pastry, then sprinkle with raisins and finally sugar.

Roll up the dough like a swiss roll and cut it in half with a sharp knife. Starting from the uncut end, plait the dough, lifting each half over the other in turn. Finally, shape the plaited bread into a B shape and transfer to a buttered baking tray. Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden.

In the meantime, prepare the chocolate topping by melting the chocolate and butter in a bowl over boiling water. Once out of the oven, let the bread cool down a bit, place on a serving plate and drizzle with chocolate sauce.

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Monday, 8 March 2010

Lancashire hotpot recipe

I've been full of cold and generally feeling under the weather for the past week or so (hence the lack of posts on either of my blogs). I haven't felt up to cooking much but once I started to feel better this weekend I have been planning what to cook and craving good homely comfort food. This dish fitted the bill perfectly. Lancashire hotpot is a traditional British dish which is essentially a lamb stew topped with sliced potatoes on top. Its simple to prepare and the flavours are delicious. But not the easiest dish to make look pretty!
Lancashire hotpot

Serves 4
1-2tbsp olive oil
500g Lamb neck fillet, diced
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1cm thick discs
1 onion, diced
1tbsp plain flour
250ml lamb stock
1tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1tbsp dried thyme (or a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme)
2 bay leaves
4 baking potatoes, peeled and cut into thin slices
few small cubes of butter (optional)

Preheat the oven to 170C
Heat the olive oil in a cast iron casserole dish over a medium heat. Add the lamb and carrots. Stir occasionally until the meat has browned and the carrots softened slightly. Set aside on a plate.
Sweat the onion in the meat juices (add more oil if necessary) for a couple of minutes.
Add the flour and stir well.
Add the stock, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and bay leaves and stir until the flour mixes into the gravy.
Make a layer of potatoes under the gravy (place in the gravy and use your wooden spoon to push them under the surface. Add the meat and carrots back to the gravy.
Arrange the remaining potatoes over the top. Add some small butter cubes around the top.
Put the lid on and cook in the oven for 1 hour with the lid on and 20-30 minutes at the end without the lid until the potatoes are golden.

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