Cakes & Bakes: Red Leicester cheese scones

Buttered, home-made red Leicester cheese scones | H is for Home #recipe #scones

We watched Great British Bake Off winner, Nadiya Hussain’s new BBC cooking series this week. She made Eton mess cheesecake, smoked haddock welsh rarebit and red Leicester cheese scones. It all looked amazing but as we’re afternoon scone lovers, that was the one I wanted to recreate the most.

Flour and grated red Leicester mixture | H is for Home

Nadiya gave viewers a really useful scone-making hint that I’d never heard before. She advised when cutting out the rounds, don’t twist the cutter as this makes the scones lean when rising during baking. One to remember!

Cutting red Licester cheese scones from dough | H is for Home

The other revelation was using onion salt in the recipe. We have some pots of wonderful Cornish Sea Salt, one of which is onion flavoured. I find ‘regular’ onion salt tastes a bit strong, but this one is more subtle – so I added double the ¼tsp measure she sets out. It worked perfectly.

Brushing the tops of red Leicester scones with milk before they go into the oven | H is for Home

The entire process took half an hour from start to delicious end. Nadiya served up hers with her own home-made chive butter; however, plain old salted works a treat too. I reckon red Leicester cheese scones would be successful as part of an alternative ploughman’s lunch – served with cold meats, boiled eggs, salad and pickled onions & red cabbage. Great for picnics, drinks parties or afternoon teas too..

Cooked red Leicester cheese scones cooling on a wire rack | H is for Home

Click here to save the recipe to Pinterest.

Red Leicester cheese scones
Yields 9
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 175g/6oz self-raising flour
  2. 50g/1¾oz strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
  3. ¼ tsp onion salt
  4. 55g/2oz unsalted butter, room temperature
  5. 25g/1oz red Leicester, grated
  6. 150ml/5fl oz whole milk, plus 1tbsp extra for glazingHome-made red Leicester cheese scones ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC/425ºF/Gas mark 7
  2. Grease or line a baking tray with baking paper
  3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the flours, onion salt and butter into a bowl and rub together using your fingertips until you get a fine breadcrumb consistency
  4. Mix in the cheese
  5. Make a well in the centre and add the milk
  6. Bring the dough together with your hands, being careful not to knead or the dough will become tough
  7. Dust the work surface with flour and press the dough out to the thickness of about 2cm/1in
  8. Cut out the scones using a 5cm/2in circular cutter and place onto the prepared tray
  9. Bring the offcuts together gently, again being careful not to knead and cut out as many circles as possible until there's no dough remaining
  10. Brush the tops with milk and bake for 12-15 minutes until the tops are golden and well risen
  11. Allow to cool for a few minutes on a wire rack
  12. Serve warm with butter
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Adapted from Nadiya's British Food Adventure
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Halloumi herb bread

Home-made halloumi herb bread | H is for Home

We’re making an unusual real bread recipe this time, for our weekly Cakes & Bakes feature; Halloumi herb bread.

Cubed halloumi and extra virgin olive oil | H is for Home Halloumi mixed with chopped basil and extra virgin olive oil | H is for Home

Classic Halloumi is made with mint, and the original recipe called for 2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh mint leaves and 4 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh parsley leaves. I bought a pack of Halloumi from Lidl which was made with basil, so I tweaked the recipe accordingly.

Rolling the halloumi herb bread dough | H is for Home

Bakery Bits baked their Halloumi herb bread in a Pullman loaf pan, a bit of kit which I don’t own, so I just used a common or garden loaf tin.

Rolled Halloumi herb loaf proving in its tin | H is for Home

A delicious, hearty, intense flavoured loaf was the result. A suitable accompaniment for an endless number of dishes… meat, fish or vegetable based – rice, pasta, couscous or salad.

Baked Halloumi herb bread loaf on bread board | H is for Home

I had it again the following day, toasted on both sides under the grill – very satisfactory leftovers.

Click here to save the recipe for later!

Halloumi herb bread
Yields 1
Cook Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 5g/0.2oz dry yeast
  2. 175ml/6 fl oz warm water
  3. ¼tsp caster sugar
  4. 250g/9oz strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  5. 25g/1oz strong wholemeal bread flour
  6. 4g/0.15oz salt
  7. 250g/9oz Halloumi cheese, cut into 1cm chunks
  8. 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  9. 2 tbs finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  10. 3 spring onions, peeled and sliced fairly finely
  11. pinch of sea salt
  12. pinch of freshly ground black pepperHalloumi herb bread ingredients
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Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, mix the yeast with 15ml/½ fl oz of the water at 30°C/86ºF and the caster sugar
  2. Allow to stand for about 15 minutes, until it has developed a slight froth on the surface
  3. Place the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine
  4. Add the yeast mixture and the rest of the water and use your hand or a dough whisk to mix everything together until there's no dry flour left and you have a shaggy dough
  5. Tip the dough out onto the work surface and knead for 10 minutes. By this stage the dough should be smooth and elastic
  6. Form the dough into a ball and place it back in the mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean, damp cloth and leave at room temperature for 1-1½ hours
  7. While the dough is rising, put the Halloumi into a medium bowl with the olive oil, basil leaves and spring onions
  8. Season with salt and black pepper. Stir, then cover and leave for at least 30 minutes
  9. Prepare a 500g/1lb loaf tin by lightly greasing the sides and base with butter and dusting lightly with flour
  10. When the dough has almost doubled in size, gently tip it onto the work surface and press it out to form a rectangle three times the length and slightly wider than your loaf tin
  11. Spread the Halloumi and herb mixture evenly over the top of the dough
  12. Working from one of the long sides, roll the dough up like a Swiss roll. Press gently on the seam with your fingers to seal
  13. Place the roll of dough in the prepared loaf tin, cover and leave to prove for about 30 minutes
  14. Preheat the oven to 190°C /375°F /Gas mark 5
  15. Bake for 1 hour or until the top of the loaf develops a golden brown crust and the base makes a hollow sound when tapped
  16. Remove the loaf from the tin and place on a cooling rack
Notes
  1. Serve with tomato salad
Print
Adapted from Bakery Bits
Adapted from Bakery Bits
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Crescia

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Slices of crescia with mini chick decorations | H is for Home

It’s Easter week, so we thought that we should make something that’s traditionally eaten at this time of year for this edition of Cakes & Bakes. We plumped for Crescia – an Italian cheese loaf.

Crescia ingredients | H is for Home

You can use any hard cheese – parmesan, pecorino and so on.

Crescia dough | H is for Home

The dough is simple to make and easy to handle.

Crescia dough proving | H is for Home

It’s baked in a tall tin so it has a distinctive shape, like a panettone – the smell as it cooked was amazing!

Baked crescia loaf in tin | H is for Home

A very handsome loaf wouldn’t you agree?

Crescia loaf | H is for Home

The bread is light and airy with a wonderful flavour. It’s traditionally eaten with cold meats. I’m vegetarian, but Justin volunteered to test this combination and tried it with some of his fennel salami – a perfect match he thought. It also works really well with various cheeses, olives, marinated vegetables, oil & balsamic vinegar etc, etc, etc. 

Slices of crescia with salami, cheese and salad | H is for Home

We can highly recommend this loaf – and we certainly won’t be waiting till next Easter to make another one!

You can pin the recipe from here to try later!

Crescia
A light & cheesy Italian loaf enjoyed at Easter
Cook Time
40 min
Cook Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 300g grated hard cheese (such as Parmesan Reggiano, Pecorino Romano or Grana Padano)
  2. 5 eggs
  3. 1tsp cracked black pepper
  4. pinch of salt
  5. 150g olive oil
  6. 150ml warm milk
  7. 1tbsp yeast
  8. ½tsp granulated sugar
  9. 600g strong bread flourHome-made crescia ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Put the grated cheese into a large mixing bowl
  2. Break the eggs into a bowl or large measuring jug. Add the salt & pepper and whisk slightly
  3. Add the egg mixture to the grated cheese, add the olive oil and combine
  4. In a measuring jug, dissolve the yeast in the warm milk, add the sugar and allow to stand for 10 minutes
  5. Add ⅓ of the flour to the cheese, egg & oil mixture and combine
  6. Add ⅓ of the dissolved yeast mixture and combine
  7. Alternate adding & combining the flour and yeast mixtures until it has all been incorporated and you have a smooth paste that comes away from the edges of the bowl
  8. Cover the bowl with cling film/Saran wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for at least an hour or until the dough has doubled in size
  9. Grease a high-sided baking tin such as a panettone tin (I used the tall bottom pan from my 3-tier steamer)
  10. Generously flour a work surface, turn out the dough and knock back before putting it into the high-sided baking tin and again covering with cling film/Saran wrap
  11. Allow the dough rise again until it has doubled in size (about 45 minutes to an hour)
  12. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F/Gas mark 4
  13. Bake for 45-50 minutes until golden brown and an inserted skewer comes away clean
  14. Remove the loaf from the tin straight away and allow to cool on a wire rack
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H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Cheese soda bread

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loaf of home made cheese soda bread | @hisforhome

Sometimes you want a lovely fresh loaf of home-made bread but you don’t always have the time for all the kneading and proving it can involve. On days like that I make a soda bread round. Bish, bash, bosh – it’s mixed, baked and ready to eat in just over half an hour.

cheese soda bread dry ingredients

I’ve not made a cheese soda bread loaf before – or even found a recipe for one anywhere – but you just know it’s one of those things that’s going to be a success!

flour with buttermilk

It’s definitely one to try!

unbaked cheese soda bread loaf

It’s lovely fresh out of the oven with a generous spread of butter. Good with pâté too – and cheese of course.

poached eggs on sliced & toasted cheese soda bread

It also makes great toast and the bread’s flavour combines very well with all kinds of breakfast ingredients – bacon, sausages, beans, mushrooms. Or one of our favourites – a simple poached egg.

Cheese soda bread
Yields 1
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 200g/7oz plain flour
  2. 150g/5oz wholemeal flour
  3. 50g/2oz wheatgerm
  4. 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  5. 1tsp salt
  6. 30g/1oz butter, cubed
  7. 300g/10½oz buttermilk
  8. 100g/3½oz mature cheddar cheese, gratedcheese soda bread ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC/430ºF/Gas mark 7
  2. Grease a large baking tray and set aside
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients well
  4. Rub the butter into the flour mix before making a well in the centre
  5. Pour the buttermilk into the well and begin bringing the flour from the edge of the bowl towards the centre using a spatula or dough scraper
  6. Add the grated cheddar and knead the dough into a ball, trying not overwork
  7. Put the dough on to the baking tray, make a deep cross on the top using the dough scraper or large sharp knife
  8. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown on the top
  9. Allow to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before serving
Notes
  1. The buttermilk we buy in the supermarket only comes in 250g containers. We just top up the recipe amount with 50g plain yoghurt
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H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Simple home made paneer

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Home-made paneer cubed | H is for Home

 

I’m a regular stalker of the discounted shelves and fridges in our local supermarket. I’m very strict though, I only ever pick something up that I would have bought anyway. On a recent late evening trip to Morrisons, I saw a 4-pint bottle of whole organic milk for 89p down from £1.84. We don’t generally use full fat milk, and we never buy it in such large quantities, but I knew that I wanted to try making home made paneer.

Paneer is a simple curd cheese – similar to cottage cheese, mascarpone and quark – that relies on acid rather than rennet to form. From earlier research I knew that only full fat milk really works – and you need a fair amount of milk to make a big enough portion of paneer worth the process. You also need the acid which separates the curds from the whey. This can be in the form of natural yoghurt, citric acid, lemon juice or vinegar.

The process was like a doing a school science experiment. Heat the milk in a big saucepan, add the acid, stir and the alchemy of the separating liquid from solid happened instantaneously! I knew it was simple to do – but didn’t realise it was that simple. Why hadn’t I done it before? Paneer costs about £7 per kilo in the shops – when you can actually get hold of it that is!

We used some of it when making a curry and some of it like you would ricotta, in a spinach & paneer lasagne. We saved the whey and used it in place of the water when making a dhal. It made the dish slightly sweeter, creamier and tastier.

Here’s how I made it…

Simple home made paneer

Simple home made paneer

Ingredients

  • 4 pints/2 litres full cream milk
  • 150g plain natural yoghurt
  • 2tsp white wine vinegar
  • or 1½tsp powdered citric acid
  • or 1½tsp lemon juice
  • ½tsp salt
  •  
  •  

Instructions

  1. Sterilise a large piece of muslin, cheesecloth (or a lint-free glass cloth like I used) by putting it into a pan/heatproof bowl and covering it completely with boiling water from a kettle
  2. Using tongs, remove the cloth from the water and spread it over a metal colander
  3. If you plan on using the whey, put the colander into a large mixing bowl so that all the liquid can be collected
  4. Put the milk into a heavy-bottomed pan and heat to boiling stirring regularly to prevent it burning
  5. When it begins to bubble, add the yoghurt and vinegar turn off the heat and stir. The curds should separate from the whey
  6. Set aside until cool enough to handle
  7. Pour the contents of the saucepan into the cloth covered colander
  8. Remove the colander from the mixing bowl, put the colander into the kitchen sink and carefully rinse the curds
  9. Sprinkle evenly with salt
  10. Take up the corners of the cloth into your hands and twist & squeeze as much of the liquid out as possible
  11. Form the cloth into a block shape - ( I put the cloth into a DIY 'mould', a plastic container that some mushrooms came in that I punched holes in the bottom of )
  12. Weigh it down with something heavy ( I put a jar of dried split peas into an identical mushroom container and popped that on top )
  13. Put the paneer on to an under-plate and refrigerate with the weight still on top for about half an hour
  14. The paneer is ready to cut into cubes to be used or can be removed from the cloth, covered in clingfilm/saran wrap and left in the fridge for up to 5 days
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Gimme Five! Cheeseboards

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selection of 5 cheeseboards

One of the little joys of the festive season is the buffet table full of treats that you can grab a quick little something each time you pass. Chocolates, nuts, crisps, fruit, mince pies, and of course cheese. In fact, for us, the cheeseboard is the star of that table. We love selecting some interesting, good quality cheeses & crackers in run up to Christmas to be unveiled on the day! You can put your cheese on a plate of course, but a lovely board really sets them off. Here’s a small sample of cheese boards we liked on a recent trawl of the net.

  1. 1960s wooden ceramic cutting board: £16.27, Etsy
  2. Kitchen Craft My London Red Leicester Square cheese paddle: £9.92, Amazon
  3. Vintage apple green and wooden cheeseboard & knife: £11.36, Etsy
  4. ‘Cheese Glorious Cheese’ cheeseboard: £15, Notonthehighstreet
  5. Acacia cheeseboard: £34.99, Lakeland