Category Archives: sun-dried tomato

The Artisan Bakehouse

On Saturday, myself and a group of friends visited The Artisan Bakehouse located between Steyning and Ashurst in West Sussex for a bread making workshop.  The Artisan Bakehouse is owned and run by Les and Louise, a lovely couple who were very welcoming with plenty of tea, coffee and delicious home made biscuits,  a great start to what turned out to be a brilliant day.

The Artisan Bakehouse is set in 5 acres of secluded gardens and woodland, a really beautiful setting, peaceful and calm.   There are also two 16th century holiday cottages available to let all year round for a perfect country break.

The Bakehouse itself houses a custom-made wood fired traditional bakers oven, that uses nothing more than fire wood, to create the perfect bake.  

First up on the bread making list was Foccacia laden with garlic, rosemary and black olives.   We then tackled a small baguette, M&S watch out, ours were pretty good!  Next was a Tear and Share Crown Bread to which we added sundried tomatoes and more black olives.  The same dough again then produced a Seeded loaf with my favourite combination of seeds, sunflower, pumpkin, golden and brown flaxseeds and sesame seeds, a nutritionally power packed bread!  We didn’t get time for the Soda Bread, but as I’ve made it many times it was no matter and we all got a chance for a chat over tea and lunch so the day was not rushed and extremely enjoyable.

Bakes1 Collage

Bakes2 Collage 

Bakes3 Collage

The Artisan Bakehouse also hold a range of other workshops, including children’s baking and pizza making parties.  I will definitely be taking Miss ND next year (she’s a touch young at 3) I would love a mummy and me type afternoon of baking and sampling our bakes.

Lunch Tea Collage 

A break for lunch with home-made bacon quiche with plenty of salads and coleslaw plus a good selection of drinks and a lovely surprise was afternoon tea with a gorgeous selection of home-made cakes, whilst we waited for our final breads to bake, I couldn’t manage much by that point but Louise very kindly let me take home a brownie and meringue for Mr ND who was looking after Miss ND for the day.  They were very well received!

I can highly recommend The Artisan Bakehouse, warm and friendly, beautiful surroundings and superb tuition, I feel way more confident about baking a wider selection of breads now with all the tips Les passed on to us.

 A lot of kneading later and 32 breads made between us, 8 exhausted but happy ladies went away laden with bread and windfall damsons, see what I made with them here!  

 

 

Bread Time – Soda Bread

Soda Bread, leavened with bicarbonate of soda rather than yeast, which makes it perfect for me as I am supposed to be avoiding yeast, it’s not easy as I love breads of every kind!  I made a plain version to start with and really enjoyed it.  Soda bread does not keep well and is best eaten within a day or so, no problem there then!  Apparently it freezes well, mine didn’t last long enough to freeze.

I expect all Soda Bread recipes are mostly alike but I’m using Paul Hollywood’s version from his How to Bake book but I did halve the recipe, I always like to do a test bake first! 

Prep: 15-20 mins

Makes: 1 small loaf

Pre-heat your oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas 6
Line a baking tray with parchment/baking paper


Ingredients

250g plain white flour plus a little extra for dusting your board and dough before baking

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

½ tsp salt

200ml buttermilk

Method

Combine the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a bowl, then add in the buttermilk and stir until a sticky dough is formed.

Put the dough onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a ball, flatten slightly.

Then put the dough onto your prepared baking try, cut into quarters making sure you don’t cut all the way through and give a light dusting with flour.

Bake for 30 minutes or until cooked through.

Leave to cool on a wire rack.

The great thing about some breads are the alternatives you can make. Combining wholemeal and white flour and by adding grated cheese and onion or sun-dried tomatoes, olives, etc to the dough mixture for an even more delicious Soda Bread.

For the Sundried Tomato and Cheese Soda bread I used 180g white plain flour (all I had left after baking 2 other Soda Breads!) and 70g wholemeal flour, as you can see even so little wholemeal flour has given it a lovely colour and texture.  I used 40g extra strong Cheddar cheese, will use more next time, love cheesy bread and a few sun-dried Tomatoes, again could have used more.  Can’t wait to try out more combinations!

Toddler Chicken Quinoa Burgers

My toddler’s food choices are changing, gone are the days when she would eat and sample everything, now I have to conceal vegetables in anything I can as I am not prepared for her to go without her veggies or good nutrition.

Getting her to eat chicken (we only eat chicken and fish) is also not so easy, she will pick it out of any dish, it’s not the taste but probably the texture she isn’t keen on. With this in mind I decided to buy a mincer, a cheap plastic one in case it was all in vain, to mince up the chicken (not a pleasant task!) and make some mini chicken burgers. They turned out better than expected and she even managed a couple of bites, they did taste delicious, I would have liked some chilli in the mix but they are for the girl not me, although I did manage to polish off test out a couple!

Ingredients

4 x chicken mini fillets, minced
2 x sundried tomatoes
2 tsp red pesto (contains pecorino and grana padano cheeses)
2-3 spring onions, finely chopped
about half a slice of fresh oaty bread, minus the crusts
1 tsp mixed herbs, I used herbes de provence
black pepper to season (optional)
*Quinoa, cooked


Method

Put the chicken fillets along with the sundried tomatoes into the mincer and mince, then put the bread through the mincer, this helps to clear out all the chicken, the fresh bread rather than dried breadcrumbs keep the burger moister.

Add the red pesto, spring onions, mixed herbs and seasoning to taste and combine until all the ingredients are blended in.  Then add 1-2 tablespoons of cooked Quinoa.

Form into small balls, cover and chill for an hour.

Fry gently for 2-3 minutes, patting down into burger shapes, (you can also grill, brush with oil first if you do) on both sides until cooked through.

Serve with mini burger buns and cheese (the red pesto also contains pecorino and Grana pandano cheeses), or in TC’s case eat as a snack, it’s a start!  My next experimental batch will definitely have some vegetable puree blended in.   More from the “toddler test kitchen” soon!
*I cook Quinoa a couple of times a week and keep cooled in the fridge ready for use in a variety of dishes, I added about a tablespoon to the chicken burger mix, add more or less to your taste. 

Savoury Courgette Tomato Mozzarella Muffins

I have a penchant for vegetable cakes, we all know how delicious carrot cake can be, even without the icing!  Cakes with vegetables baked in can be a healthier option by providing a tasty way to increase vegetable consumption, especially for children who aren’t keen on anything resembling a vegetable.

This recipe contains no butter or sugar, carrots can be substituted for courgettes if you want a sweeter batter or a mix of both is good too.  I have used white, brown and a mix of the two flours, all are equally tasty, the latter having more fibre of course.

The sun-dried tomatoes can be substituted with roasted cherry tomatoes.

Give the grated courgettes a good squeeze through a sieve to eliminate excess liquid before adding to your batter.

I used just a sprinkle of parmesan before baking, I was over-exuberant with it once and it just over-ran and melted in a puddle all around the muffins in the tin which I still picked off and ate, so very tasty, melted, baked cheese!

Pre-heat your oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4.

Makes around 12 large muffins

Ingredients

1 large egg
50ml olive oil
150ml semi-skimmed milk
200g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
4-6 sun-dried tomatoes (drained and chopped)
1 large courgette, grated
Salt and black pepper
150g mozzarella, chopped into small pieces
¼ tsp paprika
grated Parmesan for sprinkling on top

Method

Put the egg, olive oil and milk into a bowl and whisk together until blended.  In another larger bowl, combine the flour and baking powder, pour the egg/oil/milk mixture over the flour and gently combine, muffins need minimal mixing or they can become rubbery once baked.  Add the sun-dried tomatoes, courgettes and the seasonings and paprika to your taste.  Finally add the chopped mozzarella and combine together.

Pop mixture into a prepared muffin tin lined with muffin cases, sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on the tops of the muffins.  Bake for 20-25 minutes turning once halfway though.

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