Wholemeal loaf

I have started making bread dough in the bread maker, and finishing it off in the oven. I find the strange shape of the pan tin in the breadmaker a bit disconcerting. The slices don’t fit well in the toaster, and I finish the loaf very quickly. 

Here is my recipe for breadmaker dough. Once the machine has made the dough, I kneed it, set it to prove and then bake it. Hello to Ronnie and Peter who were asking about this. 

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 1 tsp dried yeast
  • 225g strong white bread flour
  • 225g strong wholemeal bread flour (or any ratio to total weight 550g)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp butter or oil
  • 330ml water

METHOD:

  • Put the ingredients into the bread-maker in the order specified, and set it to the wholemeal dough bread program, or the nearest suitable setting. My machine takes just over three hours for this, including soaking the flour in the water, warming the mixture to the correct temperature, kneeding and resting the dough. 
  • When the dough is made, remove from the bread maker, kneed it again for around 5 minutes. Try not to add any more flour. If the dough is a bit sticky to start with, try oiling your hands. 
  • Shape and roll the dough into a loaf shape, and put it in a large, greased, loaf tin. Cover, and set it to one side to rise. 
  • Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200C. When the dough has risen to double, put it in the hot oven and bake for 33 minutes or so. 

As I am the only person who likes wholemeal bread in the house, I put half in the freezer so it doesn’t go mouldy. You can, of course, experiment with the basic recipe to customise it. 

Brunsviger

Hello Annie – this is the recipe that Malcolm has been playing with. We’ve had several versions at home before he took it to the coastguard last night. The original recipe is from Fika and Hygge, by Bronte Aurell. Malcolm has been testing out making the sticky dough in the breadmaker. 

Brunsviger, or Brunswick Bun, is like a large flat cinnamon bun, soaked in brown sugar and spices. 

INGREDIENTS: 

For the bread base:

  • 2 1/2 tsp dried yeast
  • 250ml whole milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 350g strong white bread flour
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 1 tsp salt

For the topping:

  • 175g softened butter
  • 225g dark soft brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup
  • vanilla extract
  • Optional, 1 tbsp cinnamon

METHOD:

  • Put the ingredients for the bread dough into the bread maker in the order on the list. Program the bread maker for dough. 
  • When the  bread maker has done its stuff, make the topping. Whisk the butter with 200g of the dark sugar, golden syrum and vanilla extract. 
  • Tip out the dough, knock it back and kneed it. If you need a little more flour it is OK to add it now. 
  • Transfer the dough to a baking tin, we used our medium roasting tin to contain any leaks. Stretch the dough to the sides of the pan, and use your fingers to poke holes in the dough as if you are making focaccia. The more holes the better. 
  • Spread the soft topping over the dough, using a spatula. Cover all the dough, and then sprinkle over the rest of the sugar. Cover with a plastic wrap or clingfilm, and leave it to prove, around 30 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, set the oven to 200C. 
  • Once the dough has risen, remove the plastic wrap and cook for around 20 to 25 minutes. The topping should be shiny and sticky. 
  • Take out of the oven, cool, cut into squares and eat with coffee. Take time to enjoy this. 

For a stickier top, add more sugar to the topping before baking. 

 
 

Lentil and Bulgar wheat pilaf

I made this to go with the lamb rib dish that I discovered. It is nutritious enough in itself not to need any meat, and it is filling. It makes a good base for adding other ingredients. Try serving it with kale seasoned with za’atar spice blend and lime juice. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 100g green lentils
  • 150g coarse bulgar wheat
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced in half and then finely sliced into half-rings
  • 350ml water or stock
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • ground pepper

METHOD:

  • Rinse the lentils and soak the bulgar wheat in cold water
  • Boil the lentils in plenty of unsalted water for around 15 minutes, then drain them and set them aside
  • Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, and cook the onions over a low heat for around 15 minutes, until they are caramelised. 
  • Drain the bulgar wheat and add to the saucepan as soon as the onions are cooked to your liking. Stir, add the lentils and stock or water. Season with salt and pepper, and bring to the boil. 
  • Cover and simmer for around 15 minutes, then turn the heat off, wrap the lid in a teatowel and replace onto the pan, and let it rest for around ten minutes before serving. 

If you are going to make this to serve with the lamb ribs, you should start making the pilau before you sort out the ribs. 

Lamb ribs, Turkish style

I found a way to cook lamb ribs that is delicious. You know how it is, in the freezer is a bag of bits from when you got some delicious local lamb. I’m never sure of the best way to deal with these, but broth is the usual stand-by. However, for a good broth, I use the neck, and the ribs are a bit of a fiddle. 

First off, I delegated the job of sorting through the bits to my husband. He separated all of the rib bits into singles, and then we marinaded them overnight, before baking in a hot oven. We served this with a pilaf of bulgar wheat, kale and lentils, and a side-dish of small pickled cornichons. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 bag of lamb ribs – we had about a kilo
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed or chopped
  • a pinch of dried thyme
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp pul biber (Aleppo pepper, or other mild chilli)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

METHOD:

  • Marinade the meat: Mix all of the marinade ingredients together, and coat the ribs with the mixture, cover and leave in the fridge overnight. 
  • Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan. Put the ribs in a single layer in a roasting tin and bake for 20 minutes. 
  • Turn the ribs over, turn the heat up to 220C/200C fan and cook for another 5-10 minutes. 
  • Let the ribs settle while you add any finishing touches to the rest of the meal; you’ll need to eat them with your fingers. 

Kale, lentil, carrot and sweet potato soup

This is very filling, we got six portions from this easily. It is more of a stew than a soup, really. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 250g puy lentils or similar brown lentils
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • a bunch of Kale leaves, ribs removed and chopped
  • 1 litre vegetable stock, such as Marigold
  • Salt and pepper

METHOD:

  • Heat the oil in a large pan, and fry the onion gently with the garlic, ginger, turmeric, chilli flakes and cinnamon, until soft. 
  • Add the sweet potatoes, carrots, and tomato puree, and stir. 
  • Add the stock and lentils and bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes with the pan covered, until the lentils are softening. 
  • Add the chopped kale, check and add water if required, and bring to a simmer again for 10 minutes. 
  • Check and season with salt and pepper.
 

Spicy sausage burgers

The idea for this came from Madhur Jaffrey, but I wanted something much quicker and easier, based on what I had in the fridge. I started with half a pack of reduced sausages from the co-op, the tail end of a jar of garam masala, and ended up with this delicious switch. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 pork sausages
  • chopped coriander leaves or parsley
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

METHOD:

  • Skin the sausages and put the meat into a bowl with the spices and herbs, and mix. This is most efficient by hand, although it is a bit sticky. A wooden spoon does a reasonable job too. 
  • Cut the mixture into four and form into small burgers.
  • Fry the burgers on each side in a little cooking oil. 

We had these as a quick scratch meal with a yoghurt dressing, flat breads, and a green salad. 

Sausage risotto

This is a favourite. It is probably not that authentic, but it is very tasty. As usual, the technique is to make a delicious stew, and then add the rice and stock to make the risotto. I allow around 60g rice per person, and 3x as much water as rice. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 50g butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 sausages, chopped into chunks – around 200g
  • 250g risotto rice
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • salt and pepper
  • 20g porcini mushrooms
  • approx 750ml hot chicken or beef stock
  • salt and pepper
  • around 50g grated parmesan

METHOD:

  • Melt half of the butter in a pan, and gently fry the onion and sausage until the sausage is cooked. 
  • Meanwhile, soak the porcini mushrooms in half a cup of hot water.
  • When the sausage is cooked, remove the soaked mushrooms from the water, chop them finely and add them to the pan, with the tomato puree and the mushroom water, to make a simple stew. Simmer for around 15 minutes. Keep an eye and add a little stock if the mixture is beginning to stick. 
  • Add all of the rice, stir to coat in the stew, and then cook gently. Add the stock one ladleful at the time, adding more stock only when the last bit has been absorbed. After 20 minutes, all the stock will be in and the rice will be cooked. 
  • Take the pan off the heat, and stir in the rest of the butter and half the parmesan cheese. Adjust the seasoning; I like a lot of pepper
  • Serve with more parmesan cheese on the side. 

I think the real version uses proper Italian sausages, but these are hard to come by locally. 

Rabbit risotto with olives

More rabbit recipes. This one is from Risotto Risotto by Valentina Harris. There are some risotto basics that crop up. Adding the ingredients one by one, and letting them cook together allows the flavours to build. Many of the meat risottos involve making a rich stew, and then adding the risotto rice and the stock, bit by bit. 

I allow around 60g risotto rice per serving, and multiply by 3 to get the volume of stock in ml. For example, for 100g rice, use 300ml stock. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 rabbit, jointed and rinsed
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 1 large handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 200g chopped pancetta or streaky bacon
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 glass red wine
  • around 20 small black olives, chopped. 
  • a pinch of dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 400g risotto rice
  • 1.2 litres of chicken or vegetable stock, simmering 

METHOD:

  • Fry the onion, celery, pancetta and parsley in the olive oil over a low heat, until the onion is soft
  • Add the rabbit and brown it all over. 
  • Mix the tomato puree and wine together, and stir it in, with the olives, oregano, salt and pepper. Simmer over a low heat or cook in a low oven for an hour and a half, until the rabbit is really tender. Add stock to ensure that the stew does not stick or dry out. 
  • Let the stew cool, and strip the rabbit meat from the bones. Cut larger sections of meat into pieces the size of a walnut. Return to the stew and bring it back to a simmer
  • Add all of the rice, and stir to coat all the grains. Cook over a gentle heat, and add the stock a ladleful at a time, Make sure the rice absorbs the stock before adding the next ladleful.
  • After about 20 minutes the rice will be cooked. Remove the risotto from the heat, and let it stand for a couple of minutes before serving. 

Carrots with Marsala

I have some enormous carrots in the garden, and this was a delicious side-dish. It is great with lamb. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • about 500g carrots, peeled and chopped into large batons
  • 50g butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 150ml Marsala wine, (madeira or sherry might do instead)
  • Chopped parsley or a pinch of dried tarragon

METHOD:

  • Melt the butter in a saute pan, and when it is foaming, add the carrots. Mix well with the butter so that the flavour is taken up by the carrots. Season with salt and pepper. 
  • After a couple of minutes, add the Marsala, simmer for five minutes, and then add water so that the carrots are not quite covered. Bring back to a simmer, put the lid on the pan and cook the carrots until they are tender. 
  • Take of the lid, turn up the heat and reduce the liquid so that it becomes a syrupy sauce. 
  • Add the chopped parsley or tarragon, and serve. 

 

Lamb shanks in a fragrant yoghurt sauce

I made this with a couple of shanks from a wee hebridean hogget. I used a Madhur Jaffrey recipe as a starter, but it has been adapted to suit me. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lamb shanks
  • salt and pepper
  • approx 200ml yoghurt
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • a walnut-sized bit of fresh ginger, sliced
  • 4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 5 cardamon pods
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • half a small onion, cut into fine slices. 

METHOD:

  • Preheat the oven to 160C. Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper
  • Make the yoghurt sauce. Put the yoghurt, garlic, ginger, 100ml water in a food processer and blitz this until the garlic and ginger are finely minced. Next, sprinkle in the flour, coriander, cumin and cayenne pepper along with a small tsp of salt, and blitz again. 
  • Put the oil in a small casserole dish or pan suitable for the oven. It should accept the two lamb shanks. Over a medium high heat, add the cardamon, cloves, peppercorns and the lamb shanks. Brown the meat on both sides, adding the sliced onions as you go. 
  • Once the lamb is browned on both sides, add the yoghurt mixture, stir and bring to a simmer, before covering the pan and putting it in the oven. 
  • Cook for around 3 hours, checking from time to time. 

We had this with Greek flatbreads from the Co-op, a current favourite.