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Today we made bagels – our first attempt and after the results they won’t be our last. They were fun and easy to make, beautiful with their caramel sheen, and utterly scrumptious. I followed this bagel recipe and have included my thoughts on it below.
We started by making the dough – the recipe called for putting all the dry ingredients (bread flour, yeast, sugar and salt) into a food processor and briefly mixing, followed by the hot water. I used my lovely new Christmas present (the L’Equip 428 Mill Blender) and that worked ok enough, but I’m sure you could do it by hand if you don’t have a mixer.
Instead of covering in clingfilm, we used one of our trusty hotel shower caps (they work brilliantly!) and left it to rise for an hour – this is what it looked like 60 minutes later…
You turn the dough out onto your floured worktop and press it down ‘to expel any gases’. Next you cut the dough into 10 equal pieces – these will shortly become your bagels.
Last weekend we celebrated the fine weather with our first barbeque of the season (hopefully not the last!). We had tiny buffalo koftas from Laverstoke Park Farm, asparagus, new potatoes baked in the embers, and homemade flatbreads.
This was a new adventure for us – attempting to make our own flatbreads - and I was desperately worried they would go all crispy, and not soft and doughy like I was hoping. If there was anyone I was going to put my trust in, it was Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
There are some fantastic Christmas markets in Manchester at the moment, full of delicious foods. From Raclette melted over new potatoes and gerkins, to spaetzle and paella there are all kinds of goodies.
One of my favourite things at the Christmas markets is Flammkuchen – a German style pizza topped with a creamy sauce, bacon and onion. When I cook so much at home, it always feels quite expensive to eat at the markets. So instead we decided to give it a go at home.
I went in search for a recipe – mind you, it took me a while to get the spelling correct! I was inspired by this recipe because it used quark – an ingredient I’ve seen before but never known what to do with it. Here was the perfect opportunity to quell my interest – turns out it’s like cottage cheese without the lumps. Quite nice!
Pancetta or bacon
Preheat your oven 220°C.
Roll out the pizza dough as thin as you can.
Finely slice the onion – the thinner the better as the onion isn’t pre-cooked. I used pancetta rather than bacon and sliced it into lardons.
In a bowl mix equal amounts of creme fraiche, sour cream and quark.
Spread the creme fraiche mixture over the pizza dough, top with sliced onion and bacon before popping it into the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until it’s golden.
All it needs before eating is a good grind of black pepper…or not if your Mr Rigg.
Any other suggestions on what to do with the remaining quark would be graciously received!
Mr Rigg rustled up some homemade pizzas last night to enjoy in the garden for dinner. This incredible heatwave we’re experiencing in England this weekend has rendered us useless – the heat is just too heavy to do much of anything.
We used our tried and tested Jamie Oliver pizza dough recipe which can be found here. I made a simple tomato sauce: some sliced garlic cooked gently in olive oil, a sprinkle of dried wild oregano, add a tin of blitzed up cherry tomatoes, and season with salt, pepper and Agave syrup or honey if a little extra sweetness wanted/needed.
After the pizzas were cooked in a hot oven topped with the homemade tomato sauce and grated mozzarella we wandered down to the bottom of the garden in search of some extras.
We garnished our pizzas with some baby salad leaves, a sprinkle of chive flowers and some shreds of proscuitto. Sliced into wedges on a wooden board to share – no cutlery needed.
I wish the weekend would never end.