Sunday, 16 September 2012

Autumn cooking

This weekend has been largely about food. I've baked and cooked a fair bit, even for me. Yesterday as I said I made scones and macaroons, the day before I made rhubarb crumble muffins. I started today making bacon, scrambled egg and toast sandwiches for breakfast then went on to cook lentil soup for eating later in the week and fried onion bread, some of which will be eaten with the soup and some was for making steak sandwiches for tonight. The weather has been a bit dull and wet so it's just perfect for some lovely comfort cooking. I thought for today's blog I'd post up some of the recipes.

Rhubarb Crumble Muffins.
For the muffins
13oz plain flour
7oz caster sugar
1&1/2  tablespoons baking powder
half a tsp salt
6oz room temp butter
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
6fl oz milk
1tsp ginger or mixed spice
6oz chopped rhubarb

For the crumble topping
3tbsp plain flour
1/2-1oz butter
1tbsp demerara sugar
1tsp ginger or mixed spice
Rub butter into flour and then stir in sugar, baking powder salt and spice. Separately, beat together the eggs and milk then add to the dry ingredients with the fruit, mix until all combined but don't beat or overdo the mixing. Divide the batter between 12 muffin cases in a muffin pan and then sprinkle over the crumble topping. Bake at 200C for 30mins or until a skewer comes out clean. 

Lentil Soup

1 large onion
3 medium carrots
1 medium sweet potato
2 sticks of celery
2 pints of veg stock
3oz red lentils
a drop of oil

Chop all the veg up into small pieces. Heat the oil in a big pan then add all the veg together and stir around so they start to cook a little in the oil. When they've taken on a little colour, add the stock and lentils. Simmer long enough for all the veg to be cooked then blend til smooth. 

Fried Onion Bread

1lb Strong Bread flour (White or half and half white and wholemeal)
1 sachet instant yeast
1 tbsp butter
tsp salt
11floz half water half milk, tepid
I large onion, chopped. 

Start by frying the onions very gently so they soften and brown and crisp at the edges but don't burn. Set aside.
Combine the flour, yeast, seasoning and butter with the liquid in either by hand or in a food processor and mix until it forms a ball. If using a processor, let it run a little while to knead or knead by hand until the dough is soft but not sticky and a pinched bit of dough reveals a network of bubbles underneath the surface. Add a bit more flour if the dough is too wet. Knead in the fried onions then place in an oiled bowl and cover with oiled cling film, place somewhere warm for an hour to 90 mins until doubled in size. If using a breadmaker, just throw in the onions once it's mixed it into a dough and let it knead them in but a food processor will just blend the onions into the dough which isn't as nice. 
Turn the raised dough out onto a floured surface and knead again for a few minutes then form into your chosen shape. I did two baguettes and a cottage loaf as you can see, but any shape will be fine, or turn into a  loaf tin. Cover with oiled film again and allow to prove for another half hour before baking at 200C for about 30 mins for a single loaf, less for multiple smaller breads. You know they're ready when they sound hollow when tapped on the underside. 

These are my recipes. They are either based on ones I've gotten from friends/family and adapted for my purposes or are entirely cobbled together by me as I go then written down while I still remember what I did. I'd love to hear how you got on with them if you make them but if you repost these recipes as they are here, a credit and link back would be nice. 


  1. Not sure about the muffins, but I'm nicking that bread recipe. It's a pity I didn't spot it earlier, as I've also been baking.

  2. The muffin one is fairly adaptable, I tweak it for all sorts of flavours. Raspberry is nice, or blueberry.