Christmas Swirls

Sweet bread rolls swirls, with a festive apple and mincemeat filling.

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It’s nearly Christmas! I can’t believe it has come round so fast!

I love Christmas, as there are so many parties and get togethers, which present the perfect excuse to bake some delicious treats, so I will be posting a LOT of christmassy recipes 🙂

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Mince pies are the ultimate Christmas treat, but I wanted to see if I could come up with any alternatives, so I had a think and came up with mince-pie cinnamon rolls!

They make a delicious breakfast or afternoon treat, and they are a fun change from mince pies!

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Variations: You could try alternative Christmas’s fillings if you don’t like mincemeat. I think a marzipan and apple filling would be delicious, or white chocolate and cranberry!

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Ingredients: Makes 12 Rolls

The Dough:

  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 10g salt
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 10g yeast
  • 250ml milk
  • 100g butter, melted.

The Filling:

  • 500g mincemeat
  • 1 green apple
  • 50g chopped almonds
  • 1 tbsp stem ginger

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To Make:

Warm up the milk in a small pan until it has just reached body temperature. Stir in the sugar butter and yeast.

Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl, making a well in the centre. Pour the milk mixture into the well and mix the dough until it begins to come together.

Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead for 5-10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Return to the bowl, cover and leave to prove for 1 hour.

Meanwhile make the filling. Grate the apple into a large bowl and mix in the rest of the filling ingredients to form a homogeneous mixture, set aside.

Once the dough has doubled in size, turn out into a clean, floured work surface. Use a rolling pin to roll to stretch out into a large rectangle, about 2cm thick.

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Spoon the filling onto the rolled out dough and spread out evenly, making sure to each righto to the edges.

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Roll the dough into a long sausage shape, then cut into twelve 5cm thick rolls.

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Place on an oiled baking tray and cover. Leave to prove for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Once the rolls have proved, bake them in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and cooked though.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Serve while still warm for a delicious Christmas treat!

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Greek Pork, Home-made Tzatziki and Pitta

Juicy pork shoulder steaks, marinated in oregano, lemon and garlic. Served with fresh tzatziki and delicious home made pitta.

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This is one of my favourite summer weekend meals, and it’s even better if you can cook the meat on a BBQ!

The flatbreads are really easy to make, but totally worth it, as you just can’t buy anything like it! Shop bought pitta breads or wraps are just not the same.

I use pork shoulder steaks with this recipe because they are cheap and they stay nice and juicy. You could use loin but I always find it a bit dry!

This is a great recipe to make for a larger number of people as the flatbreads and tzatziki can be made in advance, so all you have left to do is cook the pork!

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Ingredients: Serves Two 

Pork Shoulder Steaks:

  • 2 pork shoulder steaks
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 lemon – zest and juice
  • handful of fresh oregano
  • 1/2 a red onion
  • olive oil

The Flat Breads:

  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 250ml water
  • 10g fast action yeast
  • 10g salt

The Tzatziki:

  • 300g greek yoghurt
  • 1/2 a cucumber, grated
  • 1/4 clove of garlic
  • 1tbsp red wine vinegar
  • salt

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To Make:

The Flat Breads:

Combine all ingredients for the dough in a bowl, mix until they come together and form a rough ball.

Turn out onto a work surface, and knead for 5-10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Test the dough is ready by pressing it with your finger, it should spring back if the gluten has been worked enough.

Return to the bowl, cover with cling film, and leave to prove for 1-2 hours, until doubled in size.

After the dough has proved, turn it out onto a work surface and knock back, to remove any large air bubbles.

Weigh out 100g pieces of dough, and form into tight balls (allow 1-2 per person), leave to rest on the side for 30 minutes

Roll out each piece of dough until thin, and stretch into circular disks.

Fry each flatbread a large frying pan for a few minutes either side, until the edges have puffed up and the dough is cooked through.

The Pork:

Combine all ingredients except the pork in a small blender with a splash of water and blitz to a smooth paste.

Flatten the pork shoulder steaks with a meat hammer or rolling pin, then transfer to a large bowl and coat in the blended marinade. Leave to infuse for a few hours or overnight.

Place a saute pan with a lid over a high heat, and add a lug of olive oil. Once hot add the pork shoulder steaks, cover and cook on either side for 4 minutes, then for 1 more minute either side. Remove from the heat and leave to rest for five minutes.

The Tzatziki:

Grate the cucumber into a bowl, then add the garlic, cucumber, vinegar, yogurt and a pinch of salt. Mix to combine, then taste to check it doesn’t need more vinegar or salt.

Serving:

Slice to pork shoulder into thin slithers on the diagonal, and serve with a good dollop of tzatziki and a flatbread.

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Chocolate and Banana Rolls

Sweet bread rolls filled with banana and rich dark chocolate, covered in melted chocolate drizzles.

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At the end of the week, I find myself (as usual!) with for a bunch of over ripe bannanas. The past few times I have used the bananas in cakes (banana milkshake cupcakes and salted caramel and banana blondies), so this time I decided to completely break with tradition and use the bananas in some bread!

It’s been a while since I made some sweet breakfast rolls so I thought I’d see how banana and chocolate swirls would turn out. And I would definately say it was a success!

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I think I might actually prefer these to cinnamon rolls, as all the chocolate just makes them that bit more luxurious and indulgent for breakfast!

I’m going to be taking these over to Fiesta Friday #72 this week hosted by Quinn @Dad Whats 4 Dinner and Naina @Spice in the City! Hope to see you there 🙂

Variations: You could use milk or white chocolate for a sweeter filling, and you could change the bananas to any other fruit, I think raspberries would be delicious!

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Ingredients: Makes 12 Rolls:

The Dough:

  • 500g Strong White Flour
  • 10g Salt
  • 12g Fast Action Yeast
  • 50g Caster Sugar
  • 250ml Milk
  • 1 Egg

The Filling:

  • 3 Bananas
  • 50 Butter
  • 50g Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • 100g Dark Chocolate

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To Make:

Combine the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, milk and egg in a large bowl, and mix to form a rough dough. Turn out onto a work surface and knead for 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Return to the bowl and prove for 1 hour.

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Combine the butter, sugar and coca powder in a small pan, and heat until melted and combined. Slice the bannana into thin rounds, and break the chocolate into chunks.

Turn out the proved dough, knock out the air and stretch into a large rectangle.

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Brush over the butter and sugar mixture in a thin layer, completely covering the dough. Then lay over the banana chunks and chocolate. Roll up the dough and divide into 12 rolls.

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Place the rolls on oiled baking trays, cover in clingfilm, and prove for a further hour.

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Preheat the oven to 180C, and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.

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Transfer to a wire rack to cool, serve as they are, or drizzle with some melted dark chocolate for an extra chocolatey finish!

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Cheesy Sourdough Plait

Enriched sourdough bread, plaited and covered in meted cheddar cheese.

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This is probably the best bread I’ve made so far with my sourdough ferment. We managed to eat half the loaf between two people all in one evening!

Enriching the dough with the milk and egg made it really light and tasty, and robust enough to be eaten just on its own, fresh out of the oven.

Variations: you could use any cheese you want to cover the bread, or even mix some sun-dried tomatoes or herbs into the dough, to make it extra exciting!

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Ingredients: Makes one large loaf

  • 200g Sourdough Ferment
  • 500g Strong White Bread Flour
  • 10g Salt
  • 25g Honey
  • 250ml Milk
  • 1 Egg
  • Cheddar Cheese, grated

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To Make:

Combine the ferment, flour, salt, honey, milk and egg in a large bowl, and mix to form a rough dough. Turn out onto a work surface and knead for 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Return to the bowl and prove for 8 hours.

Turn out the proved dough, and knock out the air. Stretch out into a rectangle and cut 6-7 strips lengthways, then plait the strips to the end, to form a plaited loaf. Transfer to an oiled baking tray and leave to prove for a further eight hours.

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Preheat the oven to 200°C

Cover the plait in grated cheddar cheese and bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown, and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

Leave to cool on a wire rack before serving.

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Blueberry Cheesecake Sourdough Rolls

Enriched sourdough bread, covered with cream cheese and blueberries, rolled into swirls and drizzled with sweet lemon icing.

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I wanted to use my sourdough to make some sweet breakfast rolls this weekend, my first thought was cinnamon rolls, but I decided to be a bit more adventurous, so I used cream cheese and blueberry as a filling instead. Plus, I thought cinnamon rolls were a bit wintery to be made with this lovely spring time weather!

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I’m really glad I used my ferment because the sourdough flavour gives the rolls a much more robust finish than a normal sweet dough, which complements the blueberries and cream cheese really well.

BUT, you don’t need a ferment to enjoy this recipe, if you don’t have one, just replace the ferment in the recipe with 15g of fast action yeast, and only prove for 1-2 hours each time. I’m sure it would still be delicious!

This was really exciting and different, and I’m really pleased that I’ve found such fun things to do with my ferment! You should look forward to many more sourdough posts!

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Variations: You could use any fruit in the rolls, some strawberries or raspberries would be really nice, and you could add some chunks of white and dark chocolate, to make them even sweeter.

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Ingredients: Makes one large loaf

The Dough:

  • 200g Sourdough Ferment
  • 500g Strong White Bread Flour
  • 10g Salt
  • 50g Honey
  • 250ml Milk
  • 1 Egg

The Filling:

  • 250g Cream Cheese
  • 1 Egg
  • 100g Sugar
  • 50g Self Raising Flour
  • 200g Fresh Blueberries

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To Make:

Combine the ferment, flour, salt, honey, milk and egg in a large bowl, and mix to form a rough dough. Turn out onto a work surface and knead for 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Return to the bowl and prove for 8 hours.

Turn out the proved dough, and knock out the air and stretch into a large rectangle.

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Combine all the filling ingredients except the cinnamon and blueberries, and spread the mixture over the rectangle, making sure it is evenly covered right up to the edges.

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Sprinkle over the cinnamon, then scatter over the fresh blueberries. Roll up the dough, to form a long sausage shape, and slice into 12-14 pieces, lay out onto a baking tray and leave to prove for 2 hours.

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Preheat the oven to 180C, and bake the rolls in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until puffed up and golden brown.

Leave to cool a little on a wire rack and serve warm.

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Picante Pepper, Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Focaccia

Soft, light focaccia, stuffed with sweet and spicy picante peppers, sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil.

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I recently joined the Daring Kitchen, which is a group who challenge bloggers to bake or cook something adventurous and exciting every month. For the month of April, Rachael of pizzarossa and Sawsan of Chef in Disguise, took us on a trip to Italy. They challenged us to try our hands at making focaccia from scratch!

I have only tried making focaccia once before, so I was excited to make it again, and try a different flavour combination!

I found the focaccia reasonably simple to make, the most important thing is to keep the dough wet and sticky, I usually find wet doughs a bit of a nightmare to knead, but this recipe suggests kneading it in the bowl for a while before turning it out, which really helped!

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You also need to make sure you give the dough enough time to rise and develop some unevenly distributed air bubbles, so don’t move onto the next stage unless the dough has at least doubled in size!

I have used a Paul Hollywood recipe, for a basic focaccia, but I have added some picante peppers, sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil, for extra Italian flavour!

Variations: You could use whatever you want to flavour the bread, some olives would work well, or some toasted pine nuts!

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Ingredients: Makes Two Large Loaves

  • 500g/1lb 2oz strong white bread flour

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 2 sachets dried easy blend yeast

  • 2 tbsp

  • 400ml/14fl oz cold water

  • extra olive oil, for drizzling

  • 2 tbsp chopped picante peppers
  • 2 tbsp chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • fresh basil
  • grated parmesan cheese

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To Make:

Place the flour, salt, yeast, olive oil and 300ml/10½fl oz of the water into a large bowl. Gently stir with a wooden spoon to form a beat the dough in the bowl with a wooden spoon for five minutes, gradually adding the remaining water.

Stretch the dough by hand in the bowl, tuck the sides into the centre, turn the bowl 80 degrees and repeat the process for about five minutes.

Tip the dough onto an oiled work surface and continue kneading for five more minutes. Return the dough to the bowl, cover and leave to rise until doubled in size.

Fold in the chopped picante peppers and sun-dried tomatoes, then leave the dough to prove for a further hour.

Grease two large baking  sheets. and preheat the oven to 220C. Tip the dough out of the bowl and divide into two portions. Flatten each portion onto a baking sheet, pushing to the corners, then leave to prove for one hour.

Drizzle the loaves with oil, and press your fingers into the dough, to form lines of dimples. Then scatter over the fresh basil leaves and parmesan cheese.

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Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. When cooked, drizzle with a little more olive oil and serve hot or warm.

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Garlic & Mozzerella Pizza Bread

Chewy, crunchy flatbread, smothered in garlic and parsley butter, and melted mozzarella cheese.

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What meal isn’t improved by a starter or side of freshly baked garlic pizza bread? I made this at the weekend as a side to a lovely bowl of pasta, but it was so tasty, we ended up eating more garlic bread than pasta!

I’ve used the same Richard Bertinet recipe for the dough that I used for my stone baked pizza but instead have made a simple garlic and parsley butter as a topping. I decided to include a layer of mozzarella cheese as well, just to make the bread a little but more indulgent.


Variations:
You could add some chilli flakes or sun-dried tomatoes for some extra flavour.

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Ingredients: Makes 6 Flatbreads

The Dough:

  • 500g Strong White Bread Four
  • 50ml Olive Oil
  • 10g Salt
  • 320ml Luke Warm Water
  • 15g Yeast
  • Semolina for dusting

Garlic Butter:

  • 100g Salted Butter
  • 6 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1 Bunch of fresh Parsley

Topping:

  •  2 Balls of Mozzarella Cheese

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To Make:

The Dough:

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix to incorporate.

Turn out onto a work surface and knead for 5-10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. (This is quite a wet dough, but try not to add extra flour, as it will become more difficult to work with later on).

Once you think the dough is ready, coat your hands and the dough in olive oil and knead for a further few minutes, test that it is ready by poking the dough, it should spring back when it has been worked enough.

Leave to rest for 1-2 hours at room temperature.

Divide the dough into 6 pieces, each weighing around 150g. Form into tight balls and leave to rest while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

The Garlic Butter:

Finely chop the garlic and parsley, and add to a small pan with the butter. Cook over a medium heat until the butter is completely melted, set aside.

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Assembling:

Put a pizza stone in the middle of the oven, and pre-heat to 200-220°C.

Roll out one ball of dough with a rolling pin, and then stretch to the right shape with your hands and transfer to a chopping board liberally coated in semolina.

Use a pasty brush to liberally coat the dough in a layer of the garlic butter, then top with the sliced mozzarella cheese.

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Slide into the oven, onto the pizza stone, and bake for 8-10 minutes.

Slice and serve!

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