Recently I have been trying to make more things from scratch. Not only is it healthier but most of the time its far more cost effective than buying ready made.
I posted about my pasta sauce the other day. The total cost of that was under ₪10 (about R35). It was also sugar and preservative free and was totally delicious.
I also want to start making my own burger patties and pizza bases.
One of the things I’ve been making myself each week is our Shabbat challah. I started off making it because I got myself a stand mixer with a dough hook and it is just so easy but now I make it because its cheaper, healthier, tastes amazing and its really special to have homemade challah on a Friday night too.
I have reduced the original recipe to make 2 small medium sized challot but the original recipe makes enough for 4 challot or 2 challot and a dozen cinnamon rolls. Here is my amended recipe.
sesame seeds/kosher salt/herbsfor topping
Place water, sugar and yeast in a mixing bowl.
Leave for about 5 minutes or until it starts foaming.
Add eggs, oil, salt.
Add 3 cups of flour and start mixing.
Slowly add the 4th cup of flour until the dough becomes smooth and not sticky.
You may need more or less flour, go by feel.
Either kneed by hand or with a dough hook on your mixer until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
When the dough is ready, lightly oil your bowl and place the dough inside.
Cover with plastic wrap and a towel and let the dough rise for about an hour or until double in size.
Kneed down and divide the dough into 2 equal parts.
Form 2 challot, either by plaiting or forming rounds.
Turn the oven to 180C and let the challot sit, covered until the oven is ready.
Brush challot with beaten egg and top with desired topping.
So I mentioned that I bought a stand mixer the other day. Well, it arrived and so far I have made 2 batches of challah using the dough hook (NEVER kneading dough again!) as well as a batch of cinnamon muffins and on Friday I made an apple and banana bread/muffin recipe.
I have absolutely no idea what prompted me to add apples into the mix but I’m glad I did. They were amazing!
3 large grated or finely chopped apples (I used 2 green and 1 red and left the skin on)
3 large ripe or overripe bananas, mashed
2 cups sugar (I used sugar replacement)
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 large eggs
2/3 cup of oil
2 teaspoons vanilla (I didn't have so didn't add and it was absolutely fine)
Preheat your oven to 180C and grease 2 loaf pans or like I did, 1 loaf pan and 2-3 muffin trays (12-18 muffins).
Add all the ingredients into a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer.
Mix well, ensuring all the flour is incorporated.
Separate batter into the desired pans and place in the oven.
For loafs, bake for about 1 hour.
For muffins bake for between 30 minutes and 45 minutes.
The original recipe called for half a cup chopped nuts and half a cup raisins. I had neither on hand so didn't add them and the recipe came out fine. You could also add craisins or even chocolate chips to this recipe and it would be delicious.
As you know, Paul is diabetic, and I am always trying to find yummy sugar free food to bake or cook for him.
Paul tends to eat a bowl of oats with fresh fruit in the mornings but its getting boring. I work with a lot of UK products and last week, Scottish oatcakes kept popping up. So I googled and found a variety of recipes and yesterday I tried out a simple Scottish oatcake recipe.
These biscuits can be used in place of bread. Spread some butter, honey, jam or cheese on top or just have them plain right out the oven!
A quick to make, yummy biscuit. Can be served with butter, cheese, jam or as is.
The #BestBossEver sent me a link on Facebook to this recipe and I knew I had to try it for Shabbat tonight.
Although the actual preparation takes all of 5 minutes, you do need to prepare your dough a minimum of 8 hours before you want to bake it.
So I made my dough last night before I went to bed. It literally took 5 minutes. This afternoon I baked it, which took about 20 minutes to heat the oven and let the dough rest after shaping and a further 45 minutes to bake.
A few weeks ago Louisa posted that she was making sourdough. I hounded her relentlessly on Twitter about the process and she inspired me to try it myself.
I knew it was going to take time, you have to create a starter (a mix of flour and water that creates a natural yeast) and that it would take at least a week for it to be ready. I didn’t realise that actually making the bread would take almost an entire day (PSA: read the recipe from start to finish before you begin), because the yeast is not instant it takes much longer for the dough to proof (rise) than normal bread.
So, yup, not only did I learn how to make sourdough, I got a healthy lesson in patience.
I have to say, the time it took was well worth it. My bread was delicious, especially with a big bowl of homemade chicken soup!