HIIIIIIIIIII EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GUESS WHO IS BACK BACK BACK AND BACK :D
Oh my GOSH, I have missed each and every one of you sooooo much (no joke, as if you can’t tell!) and the whole feeling of blogging and oh wow, it just feels so fine to be back and blogging with you darling people!
I swear though the guest posts were so well received, I have to say a big thank you to these talented bloggers as well as you guys…. so THANK YOU :D
Anyway, as you may have noticed, I am slightly happy right now ;)
- I finished exams, yr 11 and HAVE ONE YEAR OF SCHOOL LEFT! And while I could focus on the sadness of graduation for the outgoing year 12s today and the fact that I… only have one more year of school left, I think I’d rather focus on the good times to come because 2012 October-December + 2013 will BE THE BEST EVER!
- I properly have time to cook! Oh god, I am not kidding you mes amis, if you are not sick of me by the end of the next two weeks then you have some seriously strong tolerance for sweet, bubbly and overall basic hyperness courtesy of yours truly ;) (oh and an overload of smiley faces too of course!)
- Oh did I mention two weeks? Oh right, IT’S MY HOLIDAYS! Thus my plans to cook, create and have a little surprise up my sleeve for all of you (but shhhh… nothing to be revealed) as well as chill, relax and chillax some more :)
- I am not a year 11 (done and finished) but have not officially started yr 12 – this makes me a nothing student. Do you like the concept of a nothing student? Yep, I do too :)
Anyway, along with end of school, fun and all that, it is brilliant that Spring has also come along :)
You know the deal, deer in the forest, butterflies with exotic wings and families picnic-ing by the crystal clear river with a pretty bridge over the top on which someone is being proposed to. Obviously ;)
Well, actually the reality of how I know Spring has come is this:
- I start to see an influx of pumpkin recipes from the Northern Hemispherians
- You can hear that incessant buzzing of flies… or is it mosquitoes?
- A spider has been found in the bed
- The sun comes up at 5:45am
Albeit, Spring didn’t come right now, when October is about to start, I admit, but hey, I think Mother Nature can forgive me being a wee bit late no? To let you Autumn… I mean Fall bloggers reminisce a little as well as inspire you fabulous Southern Hemispherians about to enter scorching summer, here are some recipes I think scream… sorry, sing of spring (those horror movies… honestly they get to me!)
- Australia Day Cake – Can I help it that Australia’s colours are so summery? Plus the golden butter cake has a surprise pineapple filling!
- Victoria Sponge [Pan] Cake – Freshly whipped cream, fresh strawberries and light fluffy pancakes while sitting in the sun. Oh yes… bring it on
- Fresh Fruit Tart – Is this made for Spring or what? Fresh, vibrant and romantic too since it was made for my gorgeous parents’ anniversary… sigh… old love ;)
- Brown Butter Mixed M&M Chewy Cookies – Too colourful, happy and bright to not include!
- Passionfruit Soufflé – This just sounds so impressive :)
And I promise many more to come this fine, fine spring and summer (provided the world does not end I mean, remember, it is 2012 ;))
To kick-start my rusty blogging wheels and cooking skills, I have decided to start off with something completely new, different and very varied to my usual. Haha, way to whip a machine back into shape no? ;)
Have you met this cookbook?
Well, CG gifted it to my birthday (you will meet her later in the year no worries!) and it has become my Cooking Bible. I have bookmarked more recipes in this solid book than the internet and other cookbooks combined + it tells you everything. How to make 5 types of puff pastry. Seriously, I told you, everything.
This is the cookbook I intend to be grubby-eared, stained with brownie batter and dusted constantly with flour until I am 85 years old at least. Similar to the Cordon Bleu Cookbook, I will be reviewing this book once I have made a substantial number/all the recipes desired from this book, mean you may have to wait till 3 years but hey, no problem :)
So without further ado, I give you a pull-apart scroll bread. Oh yeah, I am definitely back and better than ever, making stronger friends with savoury and meeting my frothy, kind-of-weirds me out buddy, yeast. And when we all joined to have a nice little chat and all, we had an absolute blast. I mean see the results for yourself no?
This scroll bread was perfectly flavoured, a very soft and dense roll but so tasty. I had two in one go, as did my brother, and baking. Oh the smell of baking is more delicious than anything you would have ever baked before. Take it from me :D
*My changes are in bold
** Since this recipe requires making white bread and then baking it differently, I have added instructions for what to do if simply the best white bread in the world is desired, no problem – see the notes section :)
Feta & Sundried Tomato Pull-Apart Scrolls
Adapted from: Mastering The Art Of Baking
Makes: 22.5cm loaf
1/2 quantity basic white bread dough
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbs warm water
- Large pinch of caster (white) sugar
- 1 1/4 tsp dried yeast
- 30g butter, melted
- 1/2 cup full cream milk
- 3 cups plain flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 80g sundried tomatoes (replacing the pitted kalamata olives), chopped roughly
- 150g Danish feta, crumbled
- 2 1/2 tbs oregano leaves, coarsely chopped (Italian herbs)
- 1 1/2 tbs olive oil
- Combine 1/4 cup of the water and sugar in a large bowl. Sprinkle over the yeast and set aside for 5-6 minutes or until foamy. (Mine took 40-50 minutes to froth enough, stirring once inbetween, perhaps since I made this in relatively colder conditions. I would suggest covering the bowl with a plate, keeping it warm and just being patient)
- Add the butter, 1/2 the milk, remaining water, half the flour and the salt and use a wooden spoon to mix well
- Add the remaining flour, stirring until a course dough forms
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes or until it feels smooth, elastic and fairly soft, adding a little extra flour if too sticky
- Put the dough in a lightly oiled large bowl, covering to coat in oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1 1/2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size *last step for normal white bread*
- Knock back the dough with one punch to expel the air and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough into a rectangle about 26x40cm
- With the long side facing you, scatter the sundried tomatoes, feta and herbs lengthways over half the dough, leaving a 1cm border around the edges. Drizzle oil over the filling
- Grease an 8 x 22.5cm loaf tin with olive oil (I used mini tins and a smaller version)
- Fold the dough over to enclose the filling and use your fingertips to press the edges of the dough all the way around the seal
- Use a large sharp knife to cut the dough width-way in 10 even slices – Working with one piece at a time, roll up lengthways and place, cut side down, in the tin, pushing in the ends to fit and taking care not to drop much filing.
- Continue packing in the pieces of dough so they fit snugly in the tin, scattering with any dropped pieces of filling as you go
- Use your hands to press down the surface of the dough to make it even. Cover with a tea towel and set aside in a draught-free area for 1 hour or until the dough has risen to the top of the tin.
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C
- Bake for 50 minutes or until the loaf is deep golden all over and the base sounds hollow if tapped. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes then transfer to the wire rack.
- Pesto, tomato and parmesan – Omit olives, feta and oregano for 60g pesto, 80g finely grated parmesan cheese and 110g sundried tomatoes (spread the pesto over half the rolled dough, leaving a 1 cm border and then scatter the other ingredients on top) – proceed with recipe
- Not suitable to freeze and best made to serve on day of baking
Note: To Make White Bread
Following on from step 5…
- 6. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Lightly grease two 17.5 x 8cm loaf tins
- 7. Knock back the air to expel the air in one punch. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and use a large sharp knife to cut the dough in half
- 8. Working with one portion at a time, pat the dough into a rough rectangle (1.5cm) thick. Roll each rectangle, like a Swiss roll, and place into greased tins, seam side down and pushing them slightly to fit
- 9. Cover with a damp tea towel and set aside in a warm, draught-free area for 45 minutes or until the dough has risen just above the edge of the rim
- 10. Use a sharp, serrated knife or razor blade to make 3-4 diagonal slashes in the top of each loaf, taking care not to deflate the dough. Bake for 10 minutes then reduce heat to 180 degrees C and bake for 30 minutes more or until the loaves are deep golden and sound hollow when tapped on the base. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool
Variations + Tips
- Can be frozen, sealed freezer bag for up to 6 weeks
I shall see you all very soon mes amis but until then I say, Adieu!