This Irish soda bread is just perfect for a hearty morning tea or an after-school snack for hungry kids. It is best eaten fresh, but leftovers (if you have any) are delicious thinly sliced, lightly toasted and topped with honey.
4 cups plain flour
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp bicarb soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
500ml sour cream
2 tbsp buttermilk
1 cup currants (in a pinch I've used sultanas, but currants are best)
1 tsp caraway seeds - traditional, but optional (I never add them, I don't use them for anything else)
Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Grease two 20cm x 10cm loaf tins and line the bases with baking paper. Mix the flour, sugar, bicarb soda, baking powder and salt. Add the eggs, sour cream, buttermilk, currants and caraway seeds. Mix until just combined. This will be a very thick, very lumpy batter. Distribute batter evenly between the two pans. Bake loaves for 1 hour or until nicely browned. Do not over bake. Best served immediately with butter.
Bagels are delicious, crusty boiled rolls. They are great for salad fillings as they don't go soggy. Not going soggy makes them ideal for packed lunches, especially when they'll be packed for a while! And they are really, really easy to make, much easier and faster than conventional bread rolls.
This recipe is for a traditional New York style bagel, and personally I think it can't be beaten, particularly by mass produced supermarket bagels. I've used this recipe exclusively for about 5 years now so I guess you could say it's a winner.
4 cups plain flour
1 tbsp white sugar
1 tbsp vegetable oil (I use olive oil, you can use any vegetable oil you have on hand)
2 tsp. dry yeast
1-1/2 cups lukewarm water
Step 1. Combine 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast in the bowl of a mixer.
Step 2. Add oil to the water and pour into the mixing bowl.
Step 3. Mix with a dough hook until smooth and creamy looking.
Step 4. Add remaining flour and continue to knead with the dough hook for several minutes until the dough is uniform and smooth.
If you don't have a mixer with a dough hook, you can beat the batter by hand with a wooden spoon, then add the remaining flour and knead it by hand for 10 minutes.
Step 5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board. Cut dough into 8 equal size balls or, if you're as OCD as I am, get out the scales and weigh each ball of dough so the finished bagels will be the same size.
Let them rest for 20 minutes, the dough will puff up into balls.
Step 6. Roll each dough ball into a long "snake" until it will wrap around your hand to form a circle. Don't make your circles to small or when the bagels rise they will just look like regular, over-sized rolls. You want them to have the "hole" in the middle. Fuse the ends of your dough snakes well, then roll with the palm of your hand to smooth them over. Let them rest for 20 minutes.
Step 7. In the meantime, preheat oven to 205 degrees Celsius, bring a pot of water to the boil and oil a large baking sheet.
Drop the bagels into the boiling water and cook for 1 minute on each side. Let them dry for a moment then place onto the oiled baking sheet.
Step 8. Bake at 205 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, turn bagels over and bake for another 10 minutes.
You can add flavour to your bagels before cooking. After taking them out of the boiling water, drop them face down into either poppy or sesame seeds, dried onion, dried herbs and garlic etc. then bake as per the instructions.
Cost: $1.20 or 15 cents per bagel - so much cheaper than buying them and nicer too.
Cranberry Orange Nut Bread
2 cups plain flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 tsp orange zest
3/4 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
2 tbsp melted butter
1 egg, beaten
2 cups craisins* chopped roughly
1 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Grease and flour a 9x5x3 loaf pan.
Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and bicarb soda into a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the orange zest, orange juice, melted butter, and beaten egg. Slowly add the wet ingredients into the large bowl with the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined - do not over stir. Add the craisins and the walnuts and fold in until combined. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake in preheated oven for 55 minutes to 60 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand in loaf pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack and let rest for several hours before serving. Makes 1 loaf.
*Craisins are dried cranberries and are available in the dried fruit aisle of your supermarket.
If you find yourself cooking a meal and realise you don’t have any garlic bread, then here's a cheap and quick way to make it!
1 – 2 slices of bread
1 – 2 tablespoons of olive oil
Crushed garlic and herbs (adjust amounts to your liking)
Simply spread the mixture on your bread and pop under the grill. Chop into small cubes for salad croutons!
Contributed by Chloe Johnson
From the March 2017 Journal