Bread Machine Recipes - Stromboli

Saturday, 23 May 2009

I've never made stromboli before. I've never even eaten it before but the images I've seen of oozing fillings of cheese and meat wrapped up in a pizza dough and sliced proved too much for me to take. I bought some mozarella for the ooze factor and used up yet more ingredients from the fridge.
First you'll need to make a batch of basic pizza dough. I used 2 cups of white flour and 1 cup of wholemeal this time and it gives a lovely nutty flavour and texture without being over powering. Once the dough cycle us over, you'll need to split it in half. Roll one half into a rectangle and try to keep it as even as possible as it'll make rolling easier later.

You then need to choose your fillings. Basically you can use anything you'd put on a pizza but be aware that veggies tend to give out a lot of moisture and may make the stromboli soggy. I used raw mushrooms in ours and there was a lot of liquid while they were baking. They were still tasty though. I also uses peppered salami, a little ketchup (we had no tomato puree), garlic sausage, mushrooms, mozarella (low fat), dried mixed herbs and some grated cheddar. You want to spread the fillings out so that they're not too piled up and so that there's a border of around an inch all the way around.

I found mixed messages for how to roll stromboli online. The way I found it easiest was to fold one side over the fillings and the roll the dough from the folded edge in the same way you'd roll a swiss roll. You then need to tuck the ends underneath the roll and place it seam side down onto a baking tray (try to use one with a lip as I didn't and now have an oven cleaning mission ahead of me). You then need to do all that again with the other half of the dough.

Make a few slashes in the top of the rolls and brush them with beaten egg. I used milk because I had no eggs but wouldn't do that again. Eggs will give them a lovely crunchy golden top. Bake in a preheated 200C oven for 30-40 minutes and allow to cool slightly before attempting to slice them. You can also slice them when completely cool if you have the patience.


The Slow Cooker: Chilli and Cornbread

Friday, 22 May 2009

I'd been planning to make chilli this week since we did our shopping and as we've got some polenta in the cupboard to use up I also thought of making cornbread. Now, I know that cornbread is a southern American tradition and this is probably as far from real cornbread as you can get but, I don't care. It was delicious and it complimented the chilli perfectly.

I made the chilli using braising steak which I browned in a pan before adding to the slow cooker. I chopped and onion and some mushrooms and used up half a tin of tomatoes that was sitting in the fridge. I used Discovery Chipotle Paste - actually I used the last of it and rinsed the jar with water which then got thrown into the slow cooker too. I also added a few dried chillis, some cayenne pepper and some cumin seeds. I left the cooker on high (as I didn't put it on until quite late) for about 5 hours by which time the smell was amazing.

The cornbread recipe was very simple. I had been browsing recipes for a while thinking that maybe muffins might work but a lot of them used ingredients that I didn't have in. I thought this recipe was perfect as it could be added to the slow cooker and left to its own devices while I cooked the rice and got on with other things. I found the recipe here and made a half batch as my slow cooker is tall and round rather than a large oval. I skipped the onion and chilli in the cornbread and just kept it fairly plain (apart from the cheese).

This is the recipe as I made it (the original is slightly different) so this is the half batch. Feel free to double it if your slow cooker in the large oval kind.

1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp melted butter
1/2 cup milk
1 small egg, beaten
Grated cheddar cheese

In a bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, granulated sugar and baking powder. Add melted butter, milk and egg and stir well until ingredients are combined. Add grated Cheddar cheese stir again.
Drop cornbread batter, by spoonfuls, over the top of the mixture. Cover and cook on high for 30 to 40 minutes, until topping is set.


Bread Machine Recipes: Marmalade Citrus Cake

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

I've been holding out on you. I made this cake on Sunday and have been meaning to post about it as it was such a success. I would have posted it after I made it but we ended up taking to a friends house (and came back with half a slice) where it was greatly received. We then went out that night and didn't get back until late. Then I was out on Monday and yesterday I was busy with house stuff. There are no excuses left, this has to be posted.

I decided that I'd like to try to make a cake in my bread machine. It's about the only thing I haven't tried (apart from jam but I'm not sure I'd do that in my bread machine as it has no instruction manual!) and I'd found a recipe for a Quick Marmalade Citrus cake in my go to bread machine book One Hundred Bread Machine Recipes by Vicki Smallwood (ISBN: 1856057135).

It was simple but could have been simpler if I'd had a cake setting on my machine. I thought I did but by the time I found that I didn't, it was a bit late. All the ingredients were in the pan and it was ready to go... I have a "bake" setting (sounds like cake) but it doesn't mix so I had to improvise. I mixed it on the Rapido setting and once it was all combined, I switched the machine off and set it to bake. It took and hour and came out beautifully, it was moist and dense and the citrus flavour was lovely. The smell was amazing. Next time, I'll mix everything thoroughly and then put it in the machine, I'll also choose the "light" crust setting as I didn't think to check it (hence the slightly dark exterior).

Here is the recipe that I made (I used grapefruit instead of lime as that's what I had in the house)

6tbsp marmalade
110g (4oz) butter
1 orange
1 lemon
1/2 red grapefruit (you can use any citrus)
4 eggs
2 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Place butter and marmalade in a saucepan and heat gently until melted (stir occasionally). Set aside to cool.
Finely grate the zest of the citrus fruits into a mixing bowl, add the butter and marmalade mixture and eggs and beat until thoroughly combined. Add the juice of the lemon, half of the orange and grapefruit and beat again. Pour the mixture into the baking pan of your bread machine.
Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and bicarboinate of soda and add to the baking pan.
Set the program to "CAKE." Check that all ingredients are mixing thoroughly about halfway through the mixing cycle. Once baked, turn out onto a wire rack to cool.


A curry feast on a weekday night

Friday, 15 May 2009

I decided yesterday that we needed a proper dinner. We're moving house in just under 3 weeks and are generally trying to just use things up in the cupboard so we have less to pack. I'm getting quite good at that game but am sort of sick of cup-a-soup.

I thought that I'd put a bit of effort in and make a curry for us both with a few different elements to it. I put the slow cooker on (I'm obsessed with our slow cooker these days) and filled it with vegetables (onion, carrot, broccoli, cauliflower, aubergine, mushrooms and half a tin of tomatoes from the fridge) with some madras powder. I left it on high from about 2pm and we ate at about 6. Chili sauce was added once the vegetable had cooked down a bit and the sauce was thickened up with some gravy granules (shocking!).

I bought some chicken and plain yogurt from Tesco when I was in town and decided that tandoori chicken was the next thing to make. I love making tandoori chicken because when you use a good curry paste it only has 3 ingredients. I put half a large tub of low fat plain yogurt into a glass bowl, added a generous tablespoon of curry paste and mixed them together. I added two chicken breasts and covered them with the marinade. I covered the bowl with cling film and popped it into the fridge until I was ready to cook them.

I also made some Bombay bhajis from a Slimming World recipe.

Fry Light
1 Onion finely chopped
6oz cooked and chopped potatoes
8oz canned chick peas
1 beaten egg
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp of bombay mixed spice
1 tsp mixed herbs
Salt and Pepper

Using fry light, fry the onion for 5 mins until tender, transfer to a bowl, add the potato and chick peas, mash together, stir in remaining ingredients and form 20 small balls.
Arrange bhajis on a baking tray, bake gas 7 for approx 15 minutes.

They were very easy to make and I used a food processor to combine everything. I also added the spices to the onion when it was frying. I used tinned potatoes as we had some in the cupboard and threw the rest into the veg curry after I'd weighed out what I needed for the bhajis. The only problem I had with these was that they were a bit wet. I think using fresh mashed potatoes and a medium egg (I used a large) would help this problem.

The curry was served with brown rice and hot pitta breads. It was absolutely delicious. There wasn't really a lot of hands on time, maybe about 30 minutes altogether. It was easy to put the chicken into the oven then add the bhajis once the chicken was starting to cook and then chucked the pitta bread in at the last minute. A perfect weekday meal.


Bread machine recipes: Home made pizza

Monday, 11 May 2009

We had pizza for tea tonight and it was another success. I really love how easy it is to make pizza from scratch. I used the usual recipe but this time replaced 1/2 cup of white bread flour with wholemeal bread flour. It was delicious. I think next time I might go with a whole cup of wholemeal with 2 cups of white. We'll see.

The pizzas were topped with tomato puree, onion, mushroom, sweetcorn, pepperoni and smoked venison keilbasa sausage from a local european shop. I bought some grated mozarella and cheddar cheese with red pepper and jalapenos in especially for the pizzas and it was lovely (if a bit spicier than I was expecting!) we also added a little extra cheese as there wasn't wuite enough to go 'round. There was plenty of dough for two largeish pizzas. More than enough for two but neither of us had eaten properly today and we polished off the lot.


Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

Saturday, 2 May 2009

I made these last night to take out with me tonight. There are several birthdays around this time so as I'm a bit skint I decided to take some cupcakes for everyone instead of buying individual presents. I used the same basic recipe as I did for the mocha cupcakes but modified them by replacing the coffee with pureed fresh raspberries and halving the recipe to make only 12 cakes. Again I substituted the sour cream with plain yogurt.

For the frosting I modified the Kahlua chocolate frosting but replaced the Kahlua with more pureed raspberries. I tried to half the recipe (as I was left with a lot of leftovers last time) but it came out a little soft and wasn't quite enough to cover all 12 cakes. It has become a little stiffer overnight and the cakes still look great.

The hearts were made from pre-coloured red fondant cut with a cookie cutter.


Lemon Sugar Cookies.

I actually didn't get any pictures of these as they were kind of last minute. I was looking for a recipe for easter biscuits and this Lemon roll out Sugar Cookie recipe from Basically Baked struck me as kind-of perfect. I thought the lemon flavour would be perfect for Spring and they were sturdy enough to cut into shapes (I chose chicks).

They were actually very good. They were crisp and crumbly and the lemon was just prominent enough to enhance the flavour of the basic dough. I would definitely make these again (and take pictures next time!).

I teamed these with tradition easter nests made from Rice Krispies and dark chocolate and decortated with Cadbury Mini Eggs. I also bought a few Lindt chocolate bunnies and Cadbury Cream Eggs to create small easter gifts for my family. They all went down really well.


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