Firstly I am going to tell you a little about myself. Retired to sunny Phuket, Thailand where we lived for 5 years. We have now moved to the North of Thailand which is vastly different. I say it is the real Thailand and am having so much fun exploring and learning new recipes, traditions which are being passed down through the generations and just how we are adapting to the way of life which is ours now. So join me as I tell you about our life and the authentic Thai food and also recipes which I am gleaning from people who pass through and maybe stop awhile and who hail from the 4 corners of the world.
I also am writing a novel and a cookbook well who doesn’t…lol…I am having an amazing ride and don’t want to get off so if you want to join me on my travels and share recipes then welcome it will be different and fun as I have been described by my writer friends as a quirky, whimsical English lady who definitely doesn’t know she has retired.
At the time my family and friends just humored me….lol
But now…who is right? Moi…..
I will be guest posting on The Recipe Hunter once a month and will be giving you the recipes for things that you can make at home, food that is healthier, food that will most of the time save you money..now who doesn’t like that idea??
Yes, it may not have the storage life of shop bought goods but it also doesn’t have the nasties although some you can freeze or pickle. I will be dividing the posts and grouping foods together which I hope will make it easier for you to find recipes.
This month I am starting with Bread….I will be giving you recipes to make your own bread, pizza bases, nan bread, crackers..yes sometimes…lol and also some recipes for what you can make with left over bread all in one post….
Firstly a Pizza base…As I mentioned a bit earlier we have 6 children…now can you image buying Pizzas for all the hungry mouths? So I use to knock up a base or two and see what I had in the fridge to top it with…Let the kids help! The tomato base I made by cooking down some tomatoes and adding lots of herbs … This base can then be used for Spag bol, lasagne or another pizza…It keeps in the fridge for a few days or I would freeze it in portions.
Pizza Dough: 2 cups of plain flour
7 g packet of dried yeast
1/2 tsp of salt
1 tsp of sugar
2 tbsp Olive Oil.
Combine 3/4 cup warm water, yeast, sugar and salt in a jug. Whisk with a fork to dissolve. Cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place for 5 minutes or until bubbles appear on the surface.
Sift flour into a bowl. Add yeast mixture and oil. Mix to form a soft dough.Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes or until elastic. Place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Stand in a warm place for 25 to 30 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
Using your fist punch the dough down and knead on a lightly floured surface until the dough is smooth.
To Cook: Spread the dough with your desired toppings and bake at 180C for 15 -20 minutes until the base is cooked through and golden.
This dough is enough to make one large or two small pizzas…When I was cooking for all my lot I used to make my pizza in my biggest tin and make a big rectangle pizza. Let the kids do the toppings and maybe section it up and do different toppings…Kids always eat what they help cook although they probably don’t need much encouragement to eat Pizza…Do they?
Flat Bread: These are so easy to make… and you can fill them with your favorite fillings.
1/4 cup milk.
1/2 cup water.
2 cups flour.
1 tbsp Baking Powder.
2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp salt.
To make flatbreads
Sift dry ingredients together.
Add liquids and mix thoroughly…I used my food processor and it took literally 2 mins.
If that and formed a ball. If it is too sticky add little more flour.
Divide into 8 pieces.
Flatten with the heel of the hand and roll out very thin
My first attempt at this and I didn’t roll mine out thin enough to start with.
Heat pan and cook 2/3 minutes each side turn over with tongs or fish slice and done finito..ready to fill…easy peasy.Fill with a filling of your choice….These ones I filled with left over lambThyme Crackers:
These lovely little crackers I whipped up in a trice and served with home made salsa or cheese.Ingredients: 3 tbsp of fresh Thyme
2 cups of flour
1 tsp Salt plus extra salt for topping.
1 tsp sugar
1 egg white
3 tbsp butter
1 cup of heavy creamPre- heat your oven to 375 degrees.Using your food processor pulse the flour, thyme, salt, sugar and butter, pulse until coarse crumbs.
With the machine running add the cream and process until a dough forms.
On a lightly floured surface knead for 1-2 mins and divide into 4.
Shape these into rectangles and wrap in cling film put in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.
Then lightly flour and roll out into a thin rectangle.
Score the dough into 4 x 2 inch diamonds, brush with egg white and sprinkle with salt. Garnish with a thyme sprig. Bake 15-20 minutes.
Cool and break into individual crackers.These crackers can be served with cheese or salsa, in fact, any dips ..they can also be topped with poppy seeds instead of salt and thyme which makes a nice change
The beauty of making your own crackers is you can make any shape you want.
Don’t you think the smell of fresh bread as you walk into your kitchen is one of the best smells ever?I make far more bread now than I ever did one because I can only get a packet of instant yeast here and its big…If I don’t use it because it is so humid it goes off..
Yes, you can freeze it but then I would forget and also Thai bread is not nice ..it is sweet…So we either don’t eat bread or I make it so not much choice really.This recipe is for my Buttermilk bread
Now crumpets are an English dish
Just to demonstrate that I do have kitchen disasters…I do!
And the most spectacular ones at that…
Here is my recipe for crumpetsServed hot with butter these are awesome..Now for my bread recipeIngredients:5 cups of All purpose flour or bread flour ( I think bread flour) gives a better taste.
2 tbsp instant yeast or 2 x 7g packets
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 cups warm-hot water ( not boiling) or you will kill the yeast
1/4 cup of olive oilLet’s bake!Put 4 cups of flour in a bowl with the yeast, sugar, and salt.
Pour in the hot water and mix until combined it will be sticky add the remaining cup of flour gradually.
Turn the dough on to a board and knead for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Put in a bowl and cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise it should double it’s bulk.
When doubled punch down and divide into two, shape to fit 2 oiled loaf tins.
Leave to rise again until it reaches the rim of the tin.Bake in a pre heated oven on 400F for 40 minutes.To soften crust wrap the loaf in a damp t/towel.What to do with your left over bread?Because we all get that…Well, you could feed the birds or you could make croutons by just cutting your day old or stale bread into little squares, drizzle them with some olive oil and pop into a hot oven…Lovely for serving with soup or salads.
Make breadcrumbs which freeze very well and then if you need a coating for fish or meat you have lovely homemade breadcrumbs instead of store bought ones..healthier and definitely cheaper.Or make a lovely bread sauce to go with your chicken or turkey (recipe) will be in next months post so don’t miss it!
I save any odd bits of bread in the freezer and when I have enough I make a bread pudding, a bread and butter pudding or a lovely summer pudding which is a lovely mixture of fruits and bread and the bread soaks up all the juice from the fruit it is a lovely thing.
Summer Pudding: 200g Raspberries plus a few extra to serve
225g Blackberries, plus a few extra to serve
100g Redcurrants, plus a few extra to serve
400g Strawberries hulled and quartered
140g golden caster sugar, plus a bit extra (optional)
400g bread slicesClotted cream, to serve (optional)Wash the fruit and place it all (except the strawberries) in a large pan with the caster sugar and 3 tbsp water.Gently heat for 3 mins until the juice from the fruit starts to seep out.Add the strawberries and cook for 2 mins more.Drain the juice from the fruit through a sieve set over a large bowl.Taste the juice and add a little more sugar if necessary in a 1.2-liter pudding basin with a double layer of cling film, leaving an overlap around the top.Remove the crusts from the bread and slice the loaf into 1cm-thick slices along the length of the loaf.Cut 1 slice in half width ways and trim the corners to fit into the base of the bowl – you may need to use both squares, trimmed to fit.Trim the slices to the correct length to line the sides of the bowl.To assemble the pudding, dip the slices of bread into the fruit juice, then use them to line the basin.Start with the bottom pieces, then lay soaked rectangles of bread along the sides of the bowl.If you have any gaps left at the end, patch these up with any remaining bread, but make sure you save some for the base.Tip the fruit into the lined basin.Finish the pudding with a layer of bread to make a base, then pour over any remaining liquid.Wrap the overhanging cling film over the top.Place a small plate, which will fit snugly on top of the basin, over the cling film and weigh down with 2 x 400g cans of tomatoes or beans.Leave the pudding weighed down in the fridge for at least a couple of hours, or overnight if possible.To serve, unwrap the cling film and place a serving plate over the pudding. Flip it over, remove the basin and carefully peel away the cling film.Serve in slices with clotted cream, if you like.Bread and Butter pudding is a lighter version than its sister bread pudding.
Ingredients for Bread and Butter Pudding. 50g/2oz butter, plus extra for greasing
8 thin slices bread
2 tsp cinnamon powder
350ml/12fl oz whole milk
50ml/2fl oz double cream
2 free-range eggs
25g/1oz granulated sugar
Nutmeg, grated, to taste.
One of life’s mysteries or one of the English languages little quirks.
2 cups whole-wheat bread flour
1 cup regular cake flour
½ cup ground flax seed (I measured ½ cup of seeds and tossed it in an old coffee grinder, which I use to grind all my spices or seeds to a powder)
½ – 1 teaspoon salt ****
½ – 1 teaspoon sugar
8g packet quick-rise instant yeast
500ml lukewarm water
Combine all the dry ingredients.
Add the water and mix thoroughly.
Set aside to rise and double in volume.
Use a wooden spoon to pat it down.
Place dough in your bread pan and let it rise again.
‘Paint’ the top with water and sprinkle with coarse salt. If you decide to add coarse salt, you may wish to leave out the salt in the dough – you decide, or just use ½ teaspoon of salt in the dough. ****
If you do not use the coarse salt, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of flax seed (or use both), just because you can!
Bake for ±50-60 minutes at 350oF or until a tester comes out clean.
SOURCE: Esme’s kitchen – own creation
TRIED AND TESTED
For some or other reason (not sure why) I have an aversion working with yeast, but I so badly wanted to bake this bread, as it reminds me of the most yummiest bread I bought while still in SA, so I just decided, this is the end of this simple dislike, and that I have to bite the bullet and made it, and it’s the easiest of breads to bake, so I will do this more often!!! Continue reading →
½ cup margarine (you can use butter, but it’s rather rich)
1-2 tsp garlic (how much do you like garlic???)
½ cup creamy Italian salad dressing
1 loaf Italian bread
1-2 cups shredded Cheddar, mozzarella cheese (you decide how much)
Dried or fresh chopped parsley
Mix butter/margarine, lots of garlic and salad dressing together.
Place bread cut-side up in a baking sheet.
Spread butter mixture over the bread.
Top with shredded cheese and parsley.
Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees till the cheese melts and bubbly.
Yumminess in overdrive
2/3 cup warm water
2 teaspoons sugar
1 packet (8g) active dry yeast
800g all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
About another cup of warm water, give or take
Mix the sugar into the 2/3 cup warm water and add the packet of yeast. Stir once or twice and then set aside to activate for about 10 minutes. You will see bubbles form on the water.
In the meantime, sift the flour and add the salt. Mix the salt in, because yeast will not work as well if it hits the salt directly. Add the yeast-water to flour, with another cup or so of warm water. Mix to combine and then turn out onto a floured surface to knead. You may need to add more flour or water until you get the right consistency, and it needs a good 10 minutes of muscular kneading to get it to be elastic. Work with it until it doesn’t break when you knead. Then place in an oiled bowl and cover with a wet towel. Leave in a warm place to rise for at least half an hour to double in size.
After it has risen, punch it down and roll out to about 1/2″ thickness. At this point, I sliced most of it into squares, but left a few long strips for the sticks…
Place the squares onto the top rack of the barbeque (we had a smoker box on for the meat, which gave the perfect fire-roasted flavour) and bake about 4-5 minutes a side.
Clean a stick – a nice, long, thick one that matches the size of sausage you’re using. Clean it well and then coat with flour. Roll the long strips of dough around the stick, making sure to seal the end well. Bake over the fire (embers work best) for about 20 minutes, and then pull off the stick. Stuff the hole with sausage and serve with your favorite condiments.
Brings back some wonderful childhood memories of hunting through the garden with my brother for the perfect stick and patiently baking it over the fire even though we just couldn’t wait to eat it!! Today, I had the honour of passing this on to our children. So special.
We had some gorgeous smoked pork ribs, and of course the sausages, to go with the bread. With a salad, you couldn’t ask for anything more.