Braided Bread

Time

Prep:

25 minutes

Cooking:

50 minutes

Rest:

5+ Hours

Nutrition Information

Servings: 18

Calories per serving: 134 kcal

Calories per 100g: 269 kcal

Ingredients

500g Flour

300ml Milk

60g Butter

20g Fresh Yeast

2 tsp Salt

1 Egg

A little extra Milk

Instructions

Dough

Weigh out the flour in a large bowl and measure out the salt, making sure to mix this well with the flour. Measure and weight out the milk, butter and yeast. Add the yeast and a few spoonfuls of the milk into a small mug, mixing until the mixture becomes liquid. Meanwhile, on low heat, warm the rest of the milk and the butter in a small saucepan until the butter is just melted*. Make sure the milk and butter mixture is just slightly warm, as it could kill the yeast if it’s too hot. Mix together the warmed milk and butter mixture with the thinned out yeast until everything is disolved, before adding this into the bowl with the flour and salt. Begin to mix the wet ingredients into the dry with a fork and then continue with well-washed hands. If you find the mixture is too wet to handle, make sure all the ingrendients are mixed in and then let it rest covered for at least 30 minutes.

Knead the dough for at least 10 minutes, making sure that the dough is smooth and can be formed into a ball, covering again and letting it rest for at least 4 hours, or ideally overnight, in a warm place.

Braid

After the dough has rested, knock out the air and split it into 4 parts. Roll out the parts into quarry long strands and lay them onto a lined baking sheet. Braid them together by folding the outer left strand under the middle left, over the middle right and under the outer right strands. Continue the braid by folding what was the outer right strand under and over again until it becomes the outer left strand. Repeat this until the braid is complete and fold the ends under to make them even**. Let this rest for at least an hour.

Meanwhile, whisk together the egg and extra milk until they are smooth and lightly spread this onto the braid to help it brown.

Bake

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius and place the baking sheet with the braid on the bottom rack for 20 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 150 degrees celsius, move the baking sheet to a the middle rack and continue baking for 30 minutes, or until the bread has a crunchy bottom*** and the middle has baked through.

Serve

Enjoy with savoury or sweet toppings, some examples might be butter, hummus & scrambled eggs**** or chocolate spread.

Storage

Store for up to 5 days in a food safe plastic bag, bread bag or container on the counter. Slide as needed, this will allow the bread to keep for longer. Alternatively, freeze for up to 3 months, I recommend pre-slicing the bread in this case, as slides can then be defrosted as needed.

Notes

*Alternatively, melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat, once its just melted, turn off the heat and add the milk, then it should have the right temperature.

**For a different braid, feel free to use 3 strands and braid as usual (alternating between folding the left and right strands over the middle), again making sure to fold under the ends.

I’ll be publishing a tutorial soon on how the dough should look at the different stages and braiding options.

***To test this, take the braid out of the oven, turn it over and knock lightly on the bottom, if it sounds hollow, it should be crunchy.

I personally baked my braid at 220 for 20 minutes and 180 for another 30, however found that this made the outside too crunchy, so the temperatures in the recipe are based on advice from a friend who’s experienced at baking this kind of bread.

****Why not use the leftover egg and milk mixture to make scrambled eggs as a topping for the bread.

I’m working on vegan and gluten free options.

Handheld Mushroom Pies

Time

Prep: 20

minutes

Cooking:

60 minutes

Rest:

15 minutes

Nutrition Information

Servings (pies): 8

Calories per serving: 281 kcal

Calories per 100g: 153 kcal

Ingredients

Pastry

150g Flour

100g Butter

50g Cold Water

Filling

10g Butter

1 tsp Oil

1 Shallot

3 cloves of Garlic

200g Mushrooms

300g Ham (lean)

1 Carrot

100g Peas

2 tbsp Flour

1 tbsp Tomato Paste

1 tsp Mustard

200ml Red Wine

200ml Water

1 tbsp Rosemary

1/2 tsp smoked Paprika

Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions

Pastry

Mix together flour and butter until a sand like consistency is achieved. Then add in the cold water, make sure this is very cold. Mix until the mixture just comes together. Form it into a ball, flatten it slightly and cut it into 8 equal pieces. Roll these smaller pieces into 8 smaller balls and then let them rest in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.

Filling

Wash the vegetables and finely mince the onion, garlic and carrot. Thinly slice the mushrooms and cube the ham. Sauté the onion on medium heat with the butter and oil until translucent, about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and mushrooms and turn the heat to medium high. Sauté the mushrooms until the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes, and then add the carrots, flour, mustard and tomato paste. Stir the mixture until all the ingredients are incorperate and add the red wine. Cook out the red wine until the alcohol has cooked off, about 10 minutes, stiring regularly, adding some of the water if it begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, making sure the mixture is relatively dry, so it doesn’t make the pastry too wet.

Assemble

Take the pastry out of the fridge and flatten the balls using a rolling pin, the flat bottom of a glass or your hands. Try to make them as flat and round as possible and put the rolled out pastry on a lined baking sheet. Place a heaped tablespoon of the filling into the middle of the rolled out pastry, fold over one side to form a semi-circle, squeeze together the seams where the pastry meets to close them and then press the edges with a fork.

Bake

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius, then bake the pies for 30 minutes.

Serve

These pies are best served warm out of the oven, however, be careful as the filling can be very hot when it’s fresh out of the oven. Serve on their own or with a side salad.

Storage

Store in a closed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. The pastry and filling can be stored separately, assembled but not yet baked or baked. Warm leftover pies in the oven before serving.

Notes

For the pastry, this time I used garlic & herb butter, this gives the pastry some extra flavour, so I highly recommend trying it.

The shallot can also be replaced with onion. The same goes for the rosemary and smoked paprika, these can also be replaced with other herbs and spices, such as thyme, sage, herb de province, etc.

This recipe uses red wine, if you’d prefer not to use wine, this can be replaced with the same amount of broth or water.

Truly Handheld

For a different meat option, why not try this recipe with some minced meat.

For a non-dairy version, feel free to replace the butter with coconut oil or margarine. Oil might also be an option, however I’m still testing how well that works for the pastry.

For a vegetarian version, leave out the bacon.

For a vegan version, replace the butter with the aforementioned options and leave out the bacon.

Blueberry Custard Tart | Vegan

Time

Prep:

30 minutes

Cooking:

60 minutes

Rest:

30 minutes

Nutrition Information

Servings: 8

Calories per serving: 202 kcal

Calories per 100g: 285 kcal

Ingredients

For the base

75g flour

50g coconut oil

25g cold water

1tbsp sugar

For the custard

2 tbsp corn starch

200g coconut milk

1 packet vanilla sugar

For the glaze

150g Jam

30g Water

Instructions

Base

Mix together flour and coconut oil until a sand like consistency is achieved. Then add in the cold water, make sure this is very cold. Mix just until the mixture comes together. Form into a ball, flatten it slightly and then let rest in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. Line a 20 cm cake pan or comparable baking dish with parchment paper. Then roll out the rested dough between some more parchment paper, alternatively flatten it with your hands. Place the measures parchment paper to line the cake pan on top of it and placing the rolled out dough in the cake pan. It might need some adjusting or reforming of the dough to fit the cake pan, a glass with stright sides can be usefull to press it into the pan. Make sure that the dough covers the base and comes up about 2 cm on the sides. Make sure to poke a lot of holes into the bottom part of the dough, before letting it rest in the fridge for 15 minutes again. The holes will ensure the base does not rise up too much end up with any air pockets, as the air can escape.

Bake the base

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Bake the base for 30 minutes or until it is golden brown.

Custard

Meanwhile, place the corn starch into a small mug along with a small amount of the coconut milk, then whisk this together until the mixture is smooth and has no lumps. In a small pot add the corn starch mixture, the rest of the coconut milk and vanilla sugar. Consistently stir this over a medium-low heat until the custard begins to thicken and coats the back of a spoon. This should take about 10 minutes. Pour into the baked base and bake in the already preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the custard is set, with a slight juggle in the middle. The custard mixture might bubble slightly while it is in the oven, don’t worry about this, that’s normal.

Glaze

Add the jam and water into a small saucepan and heat it slowly until it bubbles. To get rid of lumps, it may be necessary to whisk the mixture while it heats up. Pour this on top of the baked custard layer, then let the tart cool completely before serving, at least one hour.

Storage

Store for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge.

Notes

This is a great way to use up jam or marmelade you have at home, so feel free to use any kind that you have at home.

I used canned coconut milk in this recipe, as the fat in it helps the custard to set.

The coconut oil could also be replaced with margarine and the custard could also work with a form of vegan cream or milk, although I recommend the using the coconut milk for flavour.

Apple Crumble | Gluten Free & Vegan

Time

Prep:

15 minutes

Cooking:

45 minutes

Nutrition Information

Servings: 6

Calories per serving: 215 kcal

Calories per 100g: 186 kcal

Ingredients

Crumbles

50g Ground Almonds

50g Oats

50g Coconut oil

25g Sugar

25g Boiling Water

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 packet Vanilla Sugar

A dash of Salt

Apple Base

3 Apples

1/2 packet Vanilla Sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Peel the apples and cut them into large chunks. Then place them into a small baking dish and cover them with sugar and cinnamon.

Add the coconut oil and boiling water into a bowl, then add the rest of the ingredients and mix until a crumbly texture forms. Place these over the apples in an even layer and put the baking dish into the oven for 45 minutes or until the apples are soft and the crumbles baked to a golden brown colour.

Serve

Best served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Storage

Store covered in the fridge for app to 3 days.

Notes

Oats are naturally gluten free, to ensure that this recipe is also, make sure to get certified gluten free oats as they the regular ones could be contaiminated during transport or processing.

Feel free to replace the coconut oil with margarine or (vegan) butter, depending on whether the recipe needs to be vegan.

The salt in this recipe brings out the other flavours, it is not meant to make the recipe salty, so only add a very small amount.

Waffles

Time

Prep:

15 minutes

Cooking:

30 minutes

Resting:

30 minutes

Nutrition Information

Servings: 10

Calories per serving: 214 kcal

Calories per 100g: 285 kcal

Ingredients

250g flour

125g butter

25g sugar

250ml milk

2 eggs

1 packet vanilla sugar

1/4 tbsp baking powder

salt

Instructions

Batter

Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature.

Beat the butter together with a dash of salt until creamy. Mix the vanilla sugar und regular sugar, then alternate between adding the sugar and milk, mixing until all the sugar granuals have incorperated. Then sieve the flour and fold it carefully into the mixture.

Bake

Preheat a waffle iron, spread some butter on it to stop the waffles from sticking. Then bake the waffles for around 3 minutes, or until they are golden brown.

Serve

Serve with your choice of toppings, such as chocolate spread, jam or peanut butter, as well as fresh fruit or bits of chocolate.

Storage

Store for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge, warm up before serving.

Notes

Feel free to replace the butter with margarine for a diary free option.

In terms of toppings, there are really no limits. Personally I really enjoy adding chocolate spread, fresh berries (when in season), mango, banana and cut up chocolate pieces.

Banana Bread

Time

Prep:

10 minutes

Cooking:

45 minutes

Nutrition Information

Servings: 15

Calories per serving: 159 kcal

Calories per 100g: 316 kcal

Ingredients

1 egg

80g molasses

65g ground almost

65g oats

3 very ripe bananas

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

200g Pecans

Instructions

In a food processor, blend together oats and ground almonds until a powder forms. If you don’t have a food processor this step can also be omitted. Then mash (or blend) the bananas until a smooth paste forms. Add the egg, molasses, baking powder and baking soda, mixing well to combine, then add the pecans and mix again.

Bake

Pour the mixture into a lined loaf pan and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees celsius for 45 minutes, making sure to cover the loaf pan with some aluminium foil after 30 minutes. Then let the banana bread cool completely before removing from the loaf pan.

Storage

Store for up to a week in an airtight container.

Notes

The bananas should have a lot of brown spots on them to if they are ripe enough – if they are still yellow or green they will not be sweet or soft enough.

Oats are naturally gluten free, to ensure that this recipe is also, make sure to get oats that were not processed in a factory which also processes wheat products.

If a gluten free option is not required, the oats and ground almond can be replaced by 130g of flour. If it’s self-raising flour, the baking soda can also be omitted.

Add-ins of choice; chocolate, nuts, leftover cookies/chocolate bars/pretzels/popcorn/etc. and spices such as cinnamon or vanilla can also be added, as well as a dash of salt to enhance the other flavours.

Chocolate Hazelnut Granola

Time

Prep:

10 minutes

Cooking:

20 minutes

Nutrition Information

Servings: 12

Calories per serving: 246kcal

Calories per 100g: 506 kcal

Ingredients

100g oats

150g hazelnuts

50g pumpkin seeds

5 medjool dates

75g peanut butter

1 tbsp coconut oil

75g dark chocolate

Instructions

Granola Base

In a large bowl mix together the oats, hazelnuts and pumpkin seeds.

Peanut & Date Caramel

Soak the dates in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and blend them together with the peanut butter and coconut oil. You can use a food processor or even just a fork for this. Add some of the soaking water if the mixture is too thick

Bake

Mix together the caramel and granola base until chunks begin to form. Transfer the mixture to a lined baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees celsius for about 20 minutes. Stir every 5-10 minutes to ensure the granola browns evenly and does not burn. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on the baking tray.

Chocolate Chunks

Chop the chocolate into chunks and add them to the cooled granola

Storage

Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks

Notes

If you don’t have medjool dates, feel free to replace them with 120g of any other dates. These might require longer soaking before being blended.

Oats are naturally gluten free, to ensure that this recipe is also, make sure to get oats that were not processed in a factory which also processes wheat products.

To ensure this recipe is vegan, make sure to check the ingredient label on the chocolate. Most dark chocolate is vegan.