To my surprise and delight I find myself hosting this month’s challenge for Fresh from the Oven, after the scheduled host had to withdraw at the last moment. Being Signor Biscotti, I just had to come up with something Italian for people to get their teeth into. That’s quite an appropriate metaphor, as this focaccia has a crunchy caramelised topping of salty butter and sugar, which settles into the dips in the surface as a sort of caramel sauce. Continue reading »
Nota per lettori italiani/e: troverete una versione italiana della ricetta alla fine del post.
Saffron buns are a speciality of one of my favourite places in the whole world, namely Cornwall, so when I saw that they were the subject of this month’s challenge for Fresh from the Oven, I just had to have a go at making them. As is my way, I interpreted the brief a little loosely, and made a loaf as well as the buns. What’s more, as you will discover, I got a bit carried away and made a rather exotic variation on the theme as well. Continue reading »
One of the challenges of making home made pizza is to get both the base and the topping cooked correctly. It’s all too easy to end up with an undercooked base or a carbonised topping. A solution I like is to pre-bake the bases, and I recently came across a very good recipe, courtesy of the Fabulous Baker Brothers, which I have adapted below. The mix of ingredients make for a very good flavour, which is further enhanced by the very long and slow rises which I have used.
As it happened, the Fresh from the Oven challenge for June, hosted by Anita at Slice of My Life, was for Pita breads. I realised that both the dough and the method for these was very similar to the one I use for pizza bases, so I decided to include both in one recipe. I have never been very inspired by Pita breads in the past, but as with Bagels, I discovered that the home made variety are definitely far superior to the ones you find in the shops. Continue reading »
This light textured bread is subtly flavoured with rosemary and honey, and although it contains a lot of sultanas, is not overly sweet. I thought it would be ideal for this month’s challenge on Fresh from the Oven, hosted by La Cuisine de Sarah, which was to make a fruited breakfast bread.
Although Rosemary is often thought of as a savory herb, it works beautifully in sweet recipes too. In this bread, it plays a quite understated role, and if you didn’t know it was there, you might wonder what exactly was lending that interesting undertone to the smell and flavour of the bread. Continue reading »
This variation on hot cross buns was inspired by a visit to the Felin Fach Griffin pub in the Brecon Beacons (highly recommended, both for the accommodation and for the food). We stayed overnight, and at breakfast there was a bowl of prunes which had been poached with quartered oranges, complete with their peel, and cinnamon. With a dollop of thick, creamy yoghurt, these were truly delicious, and completely changed my previously lukewarm opinion of stewed prunes. I have tried to capture those wonderful flavours in these buns. Continue reading »
“Is there an easy way?!?”, I seem to hear you ask. Well maybe… but more of that later. I can quite understand why people might think croissants are time-consuming and fiddly to make. You certainly can’t just dash them off in a couple of hours, and some stages of the process can be quite tricky. Continue reading »
Despite its name, this blog will not just be about things Italian, and you certainly couldn’t get much less Italian than this recipe.
“The oddest thing you are ever likely to do to a piece of dough”. So says Daniel Stevens in his introduction to the recipe I have adapted here. He was referring to the way the bagels are poached before being baked. Odd it may be, but the unexpected reward was the delicious aroma that wafted up from the simmering water. Not only that, but the finished bagels were delicious too. Continue reading »