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Ownself make: Currant scones from Good to the Grain

18 May

I’m always looking for a good scone recipe. So far, I’ve had the best success from a River Cottage recipe, but am always happy to try new ones. I was in the mood to try something different over the weekend, so I flicked through my new favourite baking book Good to the Grain.

This recipe is a keeper. The scones that turn out aren’t your dainty well shaped ones from high-class hotels. These are big, country-style, feel-good scones with a beautiful buttery and crumbly finish. They are little mounds of heaven with clotted cream, strawberry jam and a scalding hot cup of tea on a Saturday afternoon.

Currant scones

From Good to the Grain

Dry mix:
1 1/4 cup spelt flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar (I used light brown)
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt

Wet mix:
50g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup currants (add more if you like your scones more fruity)
1.5 cups double cream

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 deg C and prepare your baking trays by rubbing butter on the baking sheets.
  2. Sift all dry mix ingredients into a large bowl, pouring back into the bowl any grains that remain in the sifter. (I’m a lazy baker and didn’t bother to sift the salt or sugar)
  3. Add the butter to the dry ingredients. With your hands, work the butter, pinching it until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  4. Add the currants and stir to combine with a rubber spatula.
  5. Pour the cream into the bowl and stir the ingredients just until the flour is moistened throughout.
  6. Separate batter into 9 mounds and place them about 4 inches apart on your baking trays.
  7. Bake for 18-20 min, rotating the trays halfway. You’ll know they’re done when the tops and bottoms turn golden brown.
They’re best eaten on the day you make them. But you know, I had leftovers on Sunday, and kept a couple in the fridge. I ate one on Tues night and it still tasted pretty good.
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Ownself make: Granola

21 Apr

I’ve recently been into pimping up my own muesli, adding nuts and dried fruit to a plain oats base. Much as I love buying granola from the supermarket (I’m partial to the Rude HealthSharpham Park and Dorset ones), I’ve realised it’s much cheaper and healthier to make your own.

Today, I had lots of bits and pieces lying around, and I wanted to free up some pantry space, so I decided to make some granola. The recipe I used as a base is from David Lebovitz (in itself an adaptation of Nigella’s recipe), as it has just the right amount of sweetness and crunch. I took out the sugar from this recipe as I’m trying to consume less sugar overall, and I plan to eat it with fresh fruit. You can always add 1/2 cup light brown sugar to the dry mix. And of course, if cashews or brazil nuts aren’t your thing, you can always substitute with hazelnuts, almonds or any of your favourite nuts.

Granola

Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz

Dry mix:
2 1/2 cups jumbo oats
2 cups rye flakes
1/2 cup untoasted sesame seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup light brown sugar (optional, if you want it sweeter)
3/4 cup cashews
3/4 cup brazil nuts, chopped in half

Wet mix:
1 large apple, peeled and de-seeded
1/2 cup honey
2 tbsp extra virgin mandarin olive oil (walnut or hazelnut oil works too)

  1. Preheat oven to 150 deg c.
  2. Chop apple into little pieces and heat gently in a little saucepan until it becomes a puree.
  3. Add the rest of the wet mix to the apple puree and let heat on low for another few minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients from the dry mix together.
  5. Pour the wet mix into the dry mix and stir together, making sure the wet bits are evenly distributed.
  6. Distribute over 2  baking sheets.
  7. Bake at 150 deg c for 45 min. Stir the granola every 10 min to ensure it browns evenly.
  8. Remove and let it cool completely.

Breakfast is served! I nommed a few tablespoonfuls immediately before storing it away.