Friday, 6 April 2012

Wheat-free hot cross buns

(Small quantity, to produce circa 4 buns).

Mix 2 tsp of dried yeast with 1/8 pint of warm water and a tsp of sugar. Set aside in a warm place until it is well frothy.

For the buns:
8oz flour composed of some combination of rye, barley and cornflour. I used 3 oz rye, 3 oz barley, 2 oz cornflour.
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp mixed spice (or cinnamon, cloves, ginger)
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1 oz melted butter
2 oz currants
1 oz mixed peel
1 oz white sugar

warm milk/water

Put the dry ingredients in a large warm bowl. Break the egg into it and stir.
Add the melted butter and stir.
Make up the yeast liquid to just under 1/4 pint, preferably with warm milk if available, or warm water.
Add the yeast liquid to the mixture.
Add the currants.
Mix well. It will have the consistency of a cake mixture: not kneadable but scoopable.

Put the bowl in a plastic bag and leave it in a warm place for about an hour.

Not sure how to do crosses without wheat flour, but you could try a paste of barley flour and water from a piping bag.

When the mixture had had time to prove, grease four yorkshire pudding tins and scoop a large spoonful of the spongy mixture into each of them. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 425ºF or gas mark 7.

Glaze as for normal hot cross bun recipe.

Hot cross buns

This is not the traditional Osborne recipe, but I've just checked it works. Makes 12 buns:

For the buns:
450g / 1lb strong plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
50g / 2oz butter
25g / 1oz fresh yeast (or you may substitute dried yeast)
50g / 2oz caster sugar
100g / 4oz currants
50g / 2oz chopped mixed peel
150ml / 1/4 pint warm milk
4 tablespoons warm water
1 egg, beaten

For the crosses:
± 2oz plain flour
± 3 tablespoons cold water

For the glaze:
50g/ 2oz granulated sugar
3 tablespoons milk

Sift flour, salt and spices into a bowl. Rub in the butter. Put the yeast in a cup with 1 tbsp sugar and stir until it goes liquid. Meanwhile stir the remaining sugar into the mixture and also the currants and peel. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the liquidy yeast into it, together with the milk, water and egg. Mix to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured board and knead until elastic. Put the dough back in the bowl, cover with cling film or a plastic bag, and leave to rise in a warm place [airing cupboard, or spot near the boiler do nicely] for about 1 to 1.5 hours, long enough for it to double in size.

Then knock back the dough and divide it into 12 balls. Place balls well apart on a greased baking tray. Again cover and leave in a warm place, for about 30 minutes. Next, make the paste for the crosses using flour and water, divide this into 24 tiny balls, roll the balls into "worms" in your fingers and lay the worms over the buns in the form of crosses, sticking the ends down firmly to the side of the buns. Bake buns in a hot oven [220C, or 200C in a fan oven / gas 7] for 20 - 25 minutes. While they're baking make the glaze by bringing the sugar and milk to the boil, stirring. When the buns come out of the oven, brush the glaze over them. [This is difficult without a pastry brush, so locate one if possible]. Cool on a rack.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Red thai beef and aubergine curry

Ingredients to serve 4:

1 large onion
3-4 garlic cloves
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1lb braising/casserole beef, diced
1 large aubergine, diced
2 tbsp red Thai curry paste
1 tbsp fish sauce
400ml coconut milk (canned or made by soaking dessicated coconut in water and then straining through a sieve)

1. Finely chop the onion and garlic until almost paste-like. Heat oil in a frying pan and fry onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes, stirring, until softened.
2. Add beef and aubergine and fry a few pieces at a time until browned.
3. Transfer to large saucepan or casserole and stir in curry paste, fish sauce and coconut milk. Bring to boil.
4. Cover and cook for c.1 hour until meat is cooked and tender. Alternatively use slow cooker (8-9 hours).
5. Serve with plain boiled rice and stir-fried pak choi or similar.

Thai green chicken curry

Ingredients to serve 4:
1 tbsp peanut oil or similar
75g green thai curry paste
3 long green chillies, finely chopped
1kg chicken thigh fillets, cut into 1.5" pieces
2x400ml cans coconut milk (can also be made by soaking dessicated coconut in water then passing through a sieve)
2 tbsp fish sauce
zest and juice of one lime or 2 tbsp lime juice
1-2 stalks lemongrass - I think you're supposed to bash the ends
1 tbsp sugar
75g frozen peas
1 aubergine, diced quite finely - optional
1 large courgette, thinly sliced
fresh basil leaves
fresh coriander leaves
2 spring onions coarsely chopped

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan. Cook the paste and two thirds of the chilli, stirring continuously, for 2 minutes. Add the chicken and lime zest and cook until browned, stirring continuously.
2. Add the coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and aubergine if using. Simmer for 10 mins until aubergine is just tender.
3. Add courgettes, peas and herbs. Simmer until courgettes are tender.
4. Serve sprinkled with with rest of the chilli and the spring onion.