A meal fit for a King...well, maybe!
I was on a bit of a baking spree yesterday & managed to have the camera handy (although my kitchen lighting doesn't make for excellent food photography, so do forgive the yellow haze!) so I can add a few more recipes to my archives! :) 'Tiger bread rolls', 'Bakewell tart' & a rather tasty 'Sweet potato, leek, bacon & sweetcorn soup'.
First...the Tiger bread rolls. Make up a batch of regular white bread dough. I always use the basic recipe from 'The River Cottage Bread Handbook', but any one will do. I have personally found that for a better, softer result, giving the dough 2 rises before the final 'shaping' & proving stage is essential. And plenty of water...it's better to have a slightly stickier dough than one that is too dry. At this stage you can also add a bit of sesame oil to the dough if you like 'sesame bread'...I did it once or twice, but not in this recipe. It can be quite strong.
When ready, shape into rolls.. whatever size you like. This works the same if you want to make a Tiger bread loaf too.
When the rolls are starting to puff up it's time to make the Tiger topping!!
Mix 60g rice flour, with half a teaspoon of salt. Activate the dry yeast in 65ml of warm water & a teaspoon of sugar. Then add the water to the flour along with 1 1/2 or 2 tablespoons of sesame oil.
Stir & leave until 10 mins before the rolls go in to the oven, then carefully dollop a spoonful over the rolls & roughly smooth it out. A thick layer will make larger 'flakes' & a thinner layer will make more of a crackle effect. It works due to the lack of gluten in rice flour. When combined with the yeast & baked it 'cracks'...thereby making an ordinary loaf into a thing of wonder! heehee
It tastes rather lovely too. Subtle, but different!
Bake on the hottest temperature, & throw a cup of water into a tray in the bottom of the oven for extra 'spring'. 15 - 20 minutes later (depending on your oven) they come out looking like this... not really 'Tigers'...more 'Giraffes'... but I believe the name Tiger bread stems from the term 'Tigerbrood' or also known as 'Dutch Crunch' bread.
I prefer Giraffe bread myself... lol
Bake loads & throw 'em in the freezer so that next time you fancy one, all you need do is take one out, wrap in foil & heat in the oven for 15 minutes...hey presto...instant fresh bread!
Now for the 'Sweet potato, leek, bacon & sweetcorn soup'... (see the first picture!)
Makes about 3 portions...adjust to suit the amount of mouths you need to feed!
roughly chop 2 medium potatoes & one medium sweet potato
Wash & slice one small leek
Chop one smallish onion, a red one would be nice.
Chop 3 or 4 smoked bacon rashers into a saucepan with a splash of olive oil & start them browning. Add the onion & leek & stir until it softens.
Throw in the chopped/cubed potatoes & add black pepper & a sprinkling of mixed herbs (the seasoning is totally up to you really). Give it a quick stir & add a couple of pints of vegetable stock.
(Apologies for my vague measurements, I tend to cook 'intuitively' & go by eye)
Then throw in about 2 large handfuls of sweetcorn (mine was frozen).
Simmer for about 15/20 minutes or so. Leave to cool a bit, then ladle roughly half the the potatoes & leek bits into a food blender & whiz up until creamy & smooth.
Return to the pan & stir well to combine. You should have a nice creamy, flavoursome soup with plenty of chunky veg & bacon left in it. You could probably add a swirl of cream or creme fraiche if you felt like being decadent! heehee...
This was a first attempt for me, so not perfect, my pastry was a bit on the crumbly side, but I shall be making it again for sure. The recipe is from Mary Berry's Complete Cookbook
125g caster sugar
125g ground rice or semolina
1/2 tsp almond essence
2 tbsp rasberry jam
icing sugar for sprinkling
175g plain flour
45g chilled, cubed butter
45g chilled white vegetable fat (I just used cooking butter for both!)
about 2 tbsp cold water
milk for glazing
19cm (7 1/2 inch) loose bottomed fluted flan tin
Make the pastry. Either rub in the butter by hand, or put in a food mixer & whiz up until it comes together. Form into a soft pliable dough, wrap in clingfilm & chill for 30 mins.
Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface & line the flan tin. Save the trimmings.
(My flan dish is larger than specified, so I didn't have any trimmings for the top btw! )
Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the caster sugar & cook for a minute or so. Remove from the heat, cool a little then stir in the semolina, beaten egg & almond essence.
(It doesn't say to 'blind bake' the pastry first, but if using a heavy dish like mine it is best, to avoid the 'soggy bottom' syndrome!!)
Spread the jam over the bottom of the pastry shell & pour the almond mixture on top. Roll out the saved pastry trimmings & cut into long thin strips. Arrange on top of the tart to form a lattice attaching them to the edge of the pastry shell with a little milk.
Bake in a pre-heated oven 200c (400f, gas 6) for 45 mins until the filling is well risen, golden & springs back slightly when pressed.
Remove from the oven. Sprinkle with icing sugar & serve... hot or cold...with or without custard! Mmmmmm yummy :)