“Get behind me, Vanilla & Chocolate Shortbread…”

Talk about melt in thy mouth!!

Phew this is a “get behind me, Satan” biscuit….

People who say you can’t taste the difference in shortbread between butter and marg or shortening, sadly need a kick up the jacksy!!

In some things you just need to use REAL 100% ( nz of course!) butter, no olivani (which I love), no margarine, no sunrise…BUTTER BUTTER BUTTER!! Continue reading

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What is Luscious, Golden and yummy?

ha ha many, many things!! BUT nothing is as luscious as the PANDORO…..

From the Veneto region, it is the regions equivalent of the Panattone.

I had some mini ones from the supermarket in Lucca and Venice but I knew they would not be like a homemade one.

The Italian supermarkets, sell huge boxes which have Pandoro in them but I still think, can’t beat homemade……

So without further ado………………….

What are we aiming for?????

Pandoro……….

Continue reading

Feeling a Little Bananaish?

Hmm, I have ummed and arghed over this because it’s not really a bread.

Delicious BUT not really breadish…….

I looked OVER many many recipes as I thought maybe I was missing something but nope, all cakey like recipes.

My question is this, “Why is this called a bread ? “

David Lebovitz asked the same question

(http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2007/09/banana-bread-or-1/)

and I am sure many others have as well. Continue reading

Heavenly Apricot Spice Brioche!! plus…..

Hubby’s Pavlova:

Not a yeasty beasty but deserves a mention as it’s a NZ dish, divine and Hubby makes it soooooo well. Not sure about the decoration below but you know what they say about ugly things!! They are usually the best.

A favourite NZ dessert…

You will need

  • 8 egg whites at RT ( see Poppy seed cake recipe to use up egg yolks).
  • 2 cups of castor sugar.
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence.
  • 1 tsp vinegar.
  • 2 tsp cornflour.
  • 450 mls cream for whipping later.
  • Sprinkles and/ or fresh fruit for decoration.

Whip those whites!!

  • Preheat oven to about 140 Celsius.
  • Prepare baking tray with baking paper on it.
  • DON’T NOT ALLOW A DROP OF YOLK IN THE WHITES.
  • Whip the egg whites until soft and peaky.
  • Add one tsp on sugar at a time.
  • This process takes about 10-15 minutes but you need the sugar to be dissolved and worked in as well as possible.
  • Beat in vanilla, cornflour and vinegar.
  • Don’t beat the whisk or the beaters on the bowl.
  • Spoon Pavlova mix onto the prepared baking tray, forming a round or oval shape.
  • Pile it up!!
  • Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes at 140 Celsius and then reduce heat to 110 and bake for a further 60-90 minutes until the Pavlova is dry and crisp and lifts of the baking paper easily.

Ready to ice!!

  • When cool, transfer to a plate and whip cream and place on top of the Pavlova.
  • Decorate to your taste!

Tastes divine too!!


Below is how we usually decorate the Pavlova but i think the boys told hubby that chocolate drinking chocolate would be nice, which it would taste wise but a brown Pavlova?? But as I said, it tasted divine!! 

A bit more colour …

Back to the Brioche……..

I don’t know why I do this to myself.

Talk about glutton for punishment.

I know these Brioche’s are buggers to make by hand BUT still i insist on making them….Luckily this time, not too long kneading, 20 mins to put in 300+ grams of butter. I need a new mixer with a dough hook. I have on the odd lazy occasion used the breadmakers kneading facility BUT I don’t like to use that with buttery goods as i like it to be worked in well, so by hand it is. I am looking for an old mixer, the old Kenwood’s ,you know they last for ever and I have my eye on a few so will keep you all informed!! HUGE dough hooks, good for at least 1-2 kg of dough…….and i have my beady eyes on some bannettons too:) Sigh….All the makings of yeasty heaven…

What are we aiming for?

Divine intervention from the Yeasty Gods!!

Now the recipe I used was https://greedybread.wordpress.com/2012/05/26/are-you-feeling-beasty-today/ from here so I won’t repeat it .

BUT i will add, that i used 320g of butter not 220g, so an increase in butter and take a little longer to work it in.

You also need half a cup of Raisins and half a cup of chopped apricots and 2 tsp cinnamon.

When you take the brioche out from its night in the fridge, still work as quickly as you can with it. Put it back in the fridge if need be.

Work the apricots etc into the dough and work through, don’t handle it too much though, so work as quickly as you can.

You could add the fruit just after you finish the kneading the day before, just before you place the dough in the fridge. I don’t like to add fruit etc during the kneading process unless its right at the end.

Leave to prove until doubled in size, just as in the above recipe. You may need 5 minutes more cooking time with the added fruit. From the recipe above, I got 1 brioche and one braided plait so you will get a larger plait if you are making only one or you could make 2 smaller ones , the size I did.

Leave to cool and then enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!

Lets look at the photos.

1st starter for Brioche

Ingredients and 1st starter already to go !

Eggy mix into 1st starter

Yeasty eggy mix into Dry

Form that dough!

Work that dough!

Work that butter in!!

Almost done!!

Into the fridge in an oiled bag overnight

Apricots, Raisins and Cinnamon

Grease the tins!

Ready for proving

Add in the Fruit and Spice

Ready to roll and braid

Ready for egg wash

Bit of a prove

Mmmmm ready to eat!!

Sooooooo Nice!!

top

Bready for Challah?

Brrrr Cold today, so some nice fresh, hot Challah will be a treat!!

This Challah, is the result of trial and error over time of 3-4 recipes that i tried, pulled apart and added things in my quest to recreate the Challah from Sasha Finkelstzyn in Rue de Rosiers, Paris. All I can say, is that nothing else tastes like it (Sasha’s Challah, not mine, i wish!!) and I need to use way way more butter as its bready but very buttery but not like a pastry or sickly buttery. Hmm, more work is needed. In saying that however, the quest will continue BUt this Challah here is still pretty good, if i do say so myself:)

Ingredients CHECK!!

Michelle’s yeasty beasty Challah:

  • 6 eggs + 1 for egg wash
  • 150g butter or Dairy free margarine
  • 20g yeast
  • 5 cups of flour , Strong bread flour is best
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of raisins
  • 1 cup milk warmed
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of Olive oil
The dough ready to rise!!

Method:

  • Dissolve 1 tbsp sugar in warm milk and stir in yeast.
  • Cover with gladwrap and leave in warm place until creamy and frothy.
  • Place flour and salt in bowl and mix well.
  • Rub in butter
  • Add in sugar and raisins.
  • Remove creamy yeast from warm place and add in the 6 eggs beaten and oil to yeasty mix.
  • Add Yeasty eggy oil mix to dry to form a dough
  • Turn out on floured area and knead for about 5 minutes until smooth and elasticy

All ready for punching down!!

  • Place in lightly oiled bowl and cover, leave in warm place for 90 minutes.
  • Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
  • Remove from warm place and turn out on floured area.
  • Knock pout excess air and knead for 5 minutes.
  • Shape into the shape you want.
  • Traditionally this is braided but it can be oval, rectangle anything you like.
  • Braiding is VERY VERY easy even an unco like me can do it:)
4 braid

4 braid ?

Perhaps a 6 braid?

4 braid all ready for proving!!

You wouldn’t think i had 3 sons with this braiding!!

  • Place braided or shaped loaves, covered in a warm place for 1 hour.
  • Be careful not to over prove as i did on the 4 braided one (see below)
  • Over proving meant when baking, the braids would not look separate as i wanted.
  • Pre heat oven 15 minutes before ready to 210 Celsius
  • Remove loaves from warm place and brush with egg wash.
  • Place in over for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and cool (if you can wait that long)
  • Perfect- not overproved!!

     

    See, over proving!!
    Its ok, and tastes good but the braids are not easily seen.

     

    Just great!! Very nice and tastes……divine!!

    Enjoy, enjoy and enjoy!!

    You can omit the raisins and all the sugar bar a small amount for the yeast and make this a savoury or plain bread.You can also sprinkle it with poppy seeds or sesame seeds, I have also seen a poppy-seed mix inside the Challah too. You could change the raisins and add other fruits and spices as well.

    Many  variations and many happy hours of trialling these methods are to be had 🙂