Bread, butter and a new kitchen

This is a very quick post, and only a couple of photos. We've moved into our home, and while a lot of unpacking still waits to be done I'm starting to get settled into my new kitchen (and enjoying how much better the oven works!).

This past week I came home from a trip to the Wednesday market with a loaf of pumpkin bread. Not one full of pumpkin pie-type spiced ones that Pinterest is full of. Just a white bread, with a orange hue, and a delicious flavour. We smashed it, just with lashings of butter and of course, this resulted in some discussion around either a) buying a loaf every week or b) having a go at making our own.

Saturday rolled round bringing with it a severe rain system which stopped me going out, (except to dig a trench) and baking bread once I'd dried off just seemed like the greatest idea. A lack of ingredients meant it wasn't pumpkin bread, but I'm hoping it will be a good launching off point.

As usual, it wasn't straightforward. I assumed my bag of flour was 500g….hahahahaha of course it was a 1kg so there was a moment of confusion when the dough wouldn't come together, then of course I overcompensated with water and had to add MORE flour, and with over a 1kg of flour the kitchenaid struggled to keep up and I had to knead by hand.

I had enough dough to make a loaf, and eight big bread rolls, which I have to admit, came out every bit as good as I hoped.

My biggest tip (care of The Great British Bake Off) was to add a pan of water to the bottom of the oven for steam. This gives you the most wonderful crust.

Easy White Bread, from


1) 500g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting

2) 2 teaspoons salt

3) 7g satchet fast-acting yeast

4) 3 tablespoons olive oil

5) 300g lukewarm water


Put the flour, salt and yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer with the dough hook attached.

Put the water and olive oil in a jug. Get the mixer running nice and slowly and pour the water/oil mix into the edge of the bowl. If the mix seems a little stiff add 1-2 tablespoons of water. You have two choices here, let your machine do the kneading or if you've had a bad day, tip it out and knead by hand.

Once the dough is satin smooth, drop into a lightly oiled bowl and cover lightly with cling film. Allow to prove for 1 hour or until it's doubled in size.

Knock the dough back and gently turn into a ball. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Allow to prove for another hour or until doubled in size.

As some point in that hour (depending on your oven) place a high edged tray in the bottomed of your oven and preheat to 220C/ fan 200C/ gas 7. Get a jug of water ready.

Cut a 6cm cross in the loaf, and place in the oven, and quickly pour the water into the tray in the bottom of the oven for steam. Allow to bake for 25-30mins. Your loaf will be cooked when it sounds hollow when you tap the bottom.

Slice, butter, and enjoy!




It’s Turkey! One last time!

Well. I know I’m not Captain Reliable but that was an unexpectedly long break. I thought my Christmas/New Year mini-holiday would be hectic at the beginning (hello Christmas) and then basically a long leisurely week of batch cooking with my leftovers, a bit of baking, afternoon naps and glasses of cold wine (or Bacardi depending on my mood). It, in all honestly wasn’t quite like that, but I guess there were elements of it. Boxing Day I tore apart what was left of my turkey, weighed how much meat I had and started to make plans. Given we had both a turkey and a ham to use up, and that turkey really doesn’t last as long I went hard at that first.

There were of course Turkey Sandwiches. What kind of leftover person would I be if I didn’t make some sandwiches? But more excitingly there was Turkey Scrolls (thanks Great British Bake Off Christmas Book of awesome) and a creamy Turkey stew (which used up all sorts of other things I had left over) which I turned into some pasties, and then portioned up the rest and froze ready to be poured over rice, or baked potatoes or left over vegetables for easy lunches.

I am absolutely in love with the Great British Bake-Off Christmas Cookbook. I had actually ordered a copy for my sister for our birthday, and before wrapping it, cheekily had taken quick photos of the recipes I wanted to have a go at.

Imagine my surprise when I had my very own copy waiting gift wrapped on my birthday, not from my sister (that would have been too funny), but from my mum and dad? It was hilarious, especially given I’d sent mum the link to it and said ‘hey I love this, do you reckon Sophie would like it too?’. She must have been chuckling for weeks about that.

Anyway. Turkey scrolls. I did have to make a substitution. Unlike Paul I had no stuffing left over (what a crazy idea), and I wasn’t making more, so I fried off some diced bacon, shredded cabbage, garlic and sage instead. It used up what I had left over, and got similar kinds of flavours. It is a little dry, which is probably where having real stuffing would have helped, but I can overcome that with….oh I suppose butter, or a quick swipe of mayo and extra cranberry sauce/relish or even….oh…gravy?

We ate two hot from the oven, and I’ve batched up the rest for lunches. I had one yesterday, zapped in the microwave with a side of Caesar Salad. (Obviously the salad wasn’t zapped).

Not bad GBBO, not bad at all.

Turkey, Stuffing and Cranberry Chelsea Buns – adapted from Paul's Turkey, Stuffing and Cranberry Chelsea Buns, Great British Christmas Bakeoff


For the dough

  • 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 40g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 2 x 7g sachets fast-action dried yeast
  • 10g salt
  • 150ml warm milk


  • 1 x 270 jar of cranberry sauce
  • 300g leftover roast turkey, shredded
  • 200g leftover sage and onion stuffing (or in my case bacon and cabbage fried with garlic and sage)


Place all the dough ingredients in a large bowl with 140ml water. Stir with your hands until a dough is formed, then slowly add 50ml more water and massage the dough in the bowl for 4 minutes.

Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead well of 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic (I sped this up with the electric mixer and a dough hook). Leave in the bowl to rise for 1 hour covered with a damp tea towel.

Tip the risen dough out onto a very lightly floured surface and roll out to a rectangle about 50 x 25cm and 5mm thick. Spread the cranberry sauce onto the surface of the dough, using a palette knife, then sprinkle the turkey and stuffing (or stuffing alternative!) on top.

Roll up the dough quite tightly towards you, starting with the long side furthest from you. For me the dough stuck quite badly to my countertop, so I used a dough scraper to keep pushing it along. Use a sharp knife to cut the rolled dough into 5cm thick rounds. Place cut side up in a buttered baking tray or roasting tin, spacing them 1cm apart (I couldn't, my tray wasn't big enough, but they seemed quite happy squished in together). Cover with a tea towel and leave for a second rise (1 hour in a warm place). Heat the oven to 200C.

Place the risen buns in the heated oven and bake for 15-20 mins, until golden brown. Leave to cool in the tray/tin for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.