Recipes that are delicious and that always work!

You know these recipes are delicious because if I didn't think that they were fabulous . . . I wouldn't be showing them to you. You can also be sure that these recipes work for the same reason! The rest is simply a matter of taste.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Bettys Classic White Bread Rolls and the GBBO

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For nearly 100 years, people have been flocking to Yorkshire for a taste of Bettys. Bettys was founded by Frederick Belmont, a Swiss baker and confectioner who came to England in search of opportunities to develop his craft skills. He opened his first Café Tea Rooms in Harrogate in 1919 and named it 'Bettys'. The reason why remains a mystery to this day.

Lots of things have changed since then. They now have six Café Tea Rooms in Yorkshire and the Bettys name has become famous the world over. They have also added a mail order service which delivers deliciousness to homes from Tunbridge Wells to Tokyo, and they share their knowledge and passion for food through Bettys Cookery School.

But in other ways, they are unchanged. Still family-owned, they believe in doing business in a way that is fair to people and kind to the planet. And at their Craft Bakery in Harrogate they still practice the artisan skills that Frederick Belmont brought to Yorkshire from Switzerland nearly 100 years ago.

Its now Great British Bake Off Season here in the UK, and in honor of that each week Betty's will be sharing a delicious recipe, plus a video and their baking tips to go with each recipe. The kind of thing you won't find in any cookery book!

This week they are sharing their recipe for Classic Bread Rolls with us.   After watching the video, I think even I will be able to bake  us some lovely rolls!

*Classic White Bread Rolls*
the Betty's way
Makes 8
400g strong white flour (3 cups)
35g butter (2 1/2 TBS)
5 g sea salt (1 tsp)
8 g fresh yeast (2 1/2 tsp)
110ml whole milk (scant half cup)
110ml water (scant half cup)

To Decorate:
20ml whole milk (1 12 TBS)
1 egg, beaten
selection of poppyseeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds
1.  Place the flour and salt together in a bowl. Rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips until it is fully mixed through.
2.  Add the yeast to the milk and water and mix with a fork.  Allow to stand until the yeast has dissolved before adding this to the dry ingredients.
3.  Gradually add the liquid to the dry ingredients, together with the dissolved yeast.  Work the mixture together until it forms a ball of dough, and tip ou tonto a work surface.
4.  Knead gently for about 10 minutes until the dough becomes soft and smooth.
5.  Allow the ball of dough to rest under a slightly damp cklean tea-towel for 5 minutes.
6.  Roll the dough into a sausage shape first and, using the scraper, divide th edough into 8 evenly sized pieces.  Roll each into a round shape.  Allow the dough to relax again for five minutes under a damp tea-towel or clingfilm before making each ball into a shape.
7.  When the dough has been shaped, carefully place onto a baking tray.
8.  Brush the dough with a little egg/milk mixture and sprinkle with seeds of your choice.
9.  Place the tray in the prover or leave in a warm place covered with clingilm for about 20 minutes, or until doubled in size.
10.Bake the bread in a preheated oven at 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6 (fan assisted) oven for 10 to 15 minutes, (depending on shape.)
11.The bread is baked when golden brown in colour and when tapped underneath they should sound hollow.  Place on a cooling wire.
~o~Beautiful Bread~o~

When kneading, always work the dough in the same direction. This will deveop the network of gluten strands.

To avoid sticking to your dough, use the one second contact rule - don't touch your dough for more than a second as you knead it

Imprint your dough with your thumb - if it springs back, its ready.

This stage is really important - what you're trying to do is trap energy in the dough.

When Lisa holds up the underside of the balled off dough, you can see the swirls of the core - yet the top is smooth.

The  movement you're looking for is down and over.  Notice in our film how Lisa pushes slightly down and she rotates the dough in her palm, travelling in the same direction.

If you don't hav ea dedicated prover, few of us do, its easy to create one.

Simply take a bowl, turn it upside down in your sink, add hot water and your tray of dough, and cove rwith some cling fim.

Do you get tangled up in clingfilm?  Than fold it back on itself to double line it - it prevents it from misbehaving!

Allow the dough a final 10% to finish the race.  In other words, remove the dough from the prover a little before it has completely risen.

This is because the yeast needs a last bit of energy to take into the oven for a perfect rice.

When cooling your bread, make sure there's an airflor under the tray.

This prevents soggy bottoms!

Do check out the Betty's Baking Secrets Page, for a whole lot more baking secrets during the GBBO and beyond.   Also don't forget to check back next week to see what's baking next!  (With any luck I might even get it baked myself to show you my results!  There is no rest for the wicked!!)

Green Peach Salad

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This lovely salad comes from a cookery book which I just love and can't recommend enough. Genius Recipes, by Kristen Miglore.  Its a compilation of  recipes that promise to rethink the way you cook.   There hasn't been a dud in the bunch.  I have loved every one I have tried, and this one here today is no exception!

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Leftover Meat Escallope

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So you saw that lovely roast pork I posted yesterday.  I do love a roast dinner, don't you?  I love the leftovers even more!  They are a beautiful ingredient to use to create another delicious meal from.  My mother was great at making pot pies from leftover roasts.   I like to do that also, but if I can create a delicious casserole, so much the better!  Delicious casserles like this Leftover Meat Escallope casserole!  You don't need to use pork in this, lamb, beef or chicken work equally as well.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Roast Pork with Sage and Potatoes

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This is a lovely roast that I cooked a month or so ago and am just getting to show you now.  I figured now that temperatures are cooling down a bit the timing would be better and I didn't want you to give up on this delicious recipe because it was too hot outside!  This is a real winner!

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Peanut Butter Shortbread Biscuits

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Do you love shortbread biscuits as much as I love shortbread biscuits?  Who doesn't!  I think that shortbread biscuits have to be just about everyone's favourite cookie!  I make whipped ones every Christmas which are as simple as beating them together and dropping them on a baking sheet.    I make rolled and cut outs in a variety of flavours.  All are gorgeous.  When I saw this recipe for Peanut Butter ones, I knew I just had to bake them.  Peanut Butter and shortbreads . . . two of my favourite things together in one!

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Raspberry Dessert Cake

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Oneof my friends on Facebook the other day sent me a photograph of a dessert they had found and wanted to know if I had ever seen it, or made anything like it.  I managed to track the recipe down to this place.  It appears to be in German.  I tried to translate it, but had no luck, and so instead I set about recreating my very own version of something similar, and with (I have to admit) most delicious results!  Oh how I love the challenge of creating my own recipes from scratch!

Friday, 19 August 2016

Newman’s Own Foundation announces £150,000 for UK charities

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Harry Hill launches campaign for empowerment of children 

Newman’s Own Foundation has committed £150,000 for UK charities and Harry Hill announced the program today. Newman’s Own Foundation, started by the late actor and philanthropist Paul Newman, will grant approximately £150,000 (US$200,000) to registered UK charities for the empowerment of children. To date over £4 million has been awarded to a wide range of UK charities.

Long-time advocate of Newman’s Own, Harry Hill has worked with Newman’s Own Foundation since 2014. Citing Paul Newman as an inspiration, Harry is encouraging UK charities to apply for grants from this year’s campaign after this year visiting one of the recipients of the 2015 grants, Hackney Village. Applications are now open and charities meeting the requirements are encouraged to submit their grant requests by Monday 5th September, 2016. Final grants will be announced on 21st November 2016.

Newman’s Own Foundation was established in 2005 by Paul Newman to sustain the legacy of his philanthropic work. Since 1982, Paul Newman and Newman’s Own Foundation have donated more than US$ 470 million (approx. £355 million) around the world.

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Comedian Harry Hill, says; “I am thrilled to be involved with Newman’s Own Foundation again. Last year I got the chance to meet some of the grant recipients and saw the incredible impact the funds had. Paul Newman has always been a huge inspiration to me personally and I wanted to get involved to help spread the word about this year’s grants and encourage UK charities to apply”. 

Bob Forrester is President and CEO of Newman’s Own Foundation, and was a close friend of the late Paul Newman. He comments, “We would like to encourage all charities which focus on empowerment programmes to submit a request for a grant during this campaign. We hope our funding can make a difference not only to empower but inspire, encourage and support children throughout the UK to overcome exceptional situations in order to build a better future”.

UK charities that meet the criteria may submit their contact information from 4th August 2016 via the expression of interest form available on on or before the 5th September, 2016. Selected organisations will be contacted to receive a full application for funding from Newman’s Own Foundation. Additional charity requirements may be found at Grantees will be announced on 21st November 2016.

To find out more visit

Chicken and Artichoke Casserole

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When I worked at the Manor one of the appetizers that was quite popular for the Dinner Parties was a Hot Artichoke Dip.  It was cheesy and garlicky and went down a real treat.  I also used to do a baked chicken dish slathered in artichokes that the Mr was gaga over.   This week, I created a casserole which incorporates the best of those two things into one delicious dish!

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Curried Pineapple Glazed Gammon Steaks

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I like to treat us to gammon steaks every now and again, and I usually like to shake things up a bit when I do.  You can get a gammon steak grill at most pubs over here in the UK, served with chips and either a fried egg or a ring of pineapple on top.  Neither one has ever really appealed to me.  Today I created a curried pineapple sauce to serve with them instead and it went down a real treat!

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Oven-Baked Spicy Chicken Tacos

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Making Mexican (Tex Mex) food here in the UK has always presented me with somewhat of a challenge.  Although there are certainly many more ingredients available these days in the grocery shops than there were when I first  moved over here,  they are quite Briticized and not everything that I am used to using is available.   But that's okay.  I adapt.