Oatmeal bread rolls

This week is National Bread Week in the UK, so I thought I’d share one of my favourite bread recipes with you. I generally prefer to make bread rolls to a whole loaf of bread as a loaf often tends to go off before we go through it. Rolls on the other hand are easier to freeze and just take one out and defrost as needed. They also still taste freshly baked this way!

Oatmeal rolls in the making

This is a recipe that reminds me of the oatmeal rolls my gran used to make. These ones are a bit less compact though, and has the {optional} addition of linseed, or flax seed as they are also called, depending on where you are from. {Linseed seems to be the European name, whereas it’s flax seed in North America}. I usually use the brown variety, as they are generally better value, but the {more expensive} golden variety works just as well if you prefer not to see them as easily but still want the goodness they provide. Or just leave them out – I like the texture they add though.

Oatmeal rolls - ready to rise

The recipe is pretty versatile – I have used different varieties of oats {from finely milled to rolled oats}, spelt flour {refined and wholemeal} instead of wheat and have also made them as overnight rolls {I should probably have reduced the amount of yeast then though}

Anyway, here’s the recipe. I hope you give them a go!

Oatmeal rolls

Adapted from a recipe from Tasteline

Oatmeal bread rolls

Ingredients
500 ml milk
100 ml linseed / flax seed – optional (70g)
150 ml oatmeal (70g)
7 g fast action yeast (1 sachet)
200 ml creme fraiche, low fat
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons golden syrup
1000 ml strong bread flour (600g)

Method
1) Pour the milk into a pot, add the oats and linseed / flax seed (if using) and simmer until thickened into a porridge. Leave to cool until lukewarm.
2) Mix most of the flour with the fast action yeast. Stir in the porridge, creme fraiche, salt, and golden syrup, working together to form a smooth dough. Add the remaining flour if needed, leaving a bit for when it’s time to roll out the dough.
3) Cover the dough and leave to rise for about a hour, or until doubled in size.
4) Turn out the dough onto a floured work surface and roll it out until about 2.5cm/1 inch thick. Use an 8cm/3 inch circle cookie/scone cutter to cut out the rolls. {Or just divide the dough into smallish sized pieces and roll into a ball. Flatten slightly} Prick the rolls with a fork a few times on each and leave to rise on a baking tray for another 30 minutes.
5) Preheat the oven to 225 °. Bake in middle of oven about 12 minutes. Let cool on a rack.

The rolls freeze well and are equally good for breakfast, as a snack and bread for food.

Oatmeal rolls - ready to eat

Cardamom and lemon cookies

When I was little, I always thought biscuits were pretty boring. They never looked that exciting {apart from possibly my dads chocolate chip ‘dollop’ cookies – need to remember to write a post about them some other time}. I was more into cakes and buns, and probably still is. I use the term biscuits here, as in the UK definition of the word {and not the US bread roll type bake} as the bakes I’m thinking brings to mind shortbread and other brown {golden} baked goods, which at best would be decorated with a scattering of sugar or, more often, chopped nuts or flaked almonds – none of which I was very keen of when little.

I bought a baking book quite a while ago called the Celebrity Bake Book, after having seen it advertised on the Food Network UK. The book aims to raise money for the Ben Kinsella Trust, to raise awareness about knife crime. I have been meaning to bake something from the book a while now, and when flicking through it again I found a recipe for stamped Cardamom and Lemon cookies by the Hairy Bikers, that I discovered also features on the BBC Food website as it was included in their Bakeation tv series.
I got a couple of cookie stampers for Christmas which I hadn’t used yet, so I figured I’d use this recipe to try them out. I must admit I didn’t have high expectations of the biscuits, but figured they would be better than just plain {read ‘tasteless’} ones.

Cardamom lemon stamped cookies

I normally don’t gush like this over recipes in my posts, but there is always a first time for everything!
These cookies are absolutely amazing!!!! They are melt-in-the-mouth tender, have a delicate flavour and are mega cute when stamped!
I made the dough one day but ended up never having time to bake them that day, so I put it in the fridge for a few days until I had more time. This might have lessened the lemon flavour slightly, but they still tasted fantastic! The whole family loved them, as did a few friends who tried them, and I pretty much ended up having to fight hubby for the last one!  

Cardamom lemon stamped cookies up close

I’m now totally hooked on cardamon, I usually only use it in cinnamon buns, but I’m now going to dig out some recipes I have pulled out of magazines but never got around to trying. Watch this space!

Baked cardamom lemon stamped cookies

TIP: If you don’t have a cookie stamp, just flatten the cookies slightly before baking them, and use something else as a stamp, a fork for a simple striped pattern or one of the kids toys for example – be creative!

Eat Me cookie stamp

Cardamom and lemon stamped cookies

Ingredients
225g butter, softened
150g caster sugar
1 lemon, zest only
250g plain flour
100g ground almonds
3 tsp ground cardamom or 1 heaped tsp cardamom seeds, ground in a pestle and mortar

Method
1) Preheat the oven to 190C. Line two large baking trays with baking parchment.
2) Beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest together until pale and fluffy.
3) Beat in the flour, almonds and cardamom until the mixture is well combined and comes together to form a stiff dough.
4) Roll the dough into a thick roll and chill for at least 30 mins
5) Cut the roll into 1 cm thick slices and stamp with a cookie stamper, if using.
6) Bake for 12–14 minutes, until the cookies are pale golden brown.
7) Leave them to cool on the tray for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. They will crisp up as they cool. Store the cookies in an airtight tin and eat within 7 days.

Homemade cookie stamp

Cheesecake filled chocolate eggs

Happy Easter everyone! 

When I was looking for inspiration for our Easter lunch the other day, I came across this recipe on a Swedish recipe site and though it would be a fun pudding to end the meal with.
Cheesecake filled chocolate eggs
They are incredibly easy to make, the trickiest bit was to remove the toys from the Kinder chocolate eggs without breaking the whole egg but you could use other hollow chocolate eggs to make it easier. The Kinder egg size was probably a bit on the small side for a pudding, however we served them with little chocolate nests that my mother-in-law had brought with her, and also freshly baked hot cross buns.
I did end up with a lot of cheesecake mixture left over as I only made 5 eggs, so next time I’d probably half the amount of mixture.
Cheesecake filled chocolate egg
Cheesecake filled chocolate eggs
Ingredients
250 g cream cheese
125 g sugar
250 ml whipped cream.
lemon curd
hollow chocolate eggs, about 30 small or 10 big
Method
1) Mix the cream cheese and sugar.
2) Whip the cream, add a third to the cream cheese mixture before folding in the remaining cream. Put the mixture into a piping bag.
3) Carefully cut the top off the eggs. Pipe the cheesecake mixture into the eggs, filling them about two thirds.
4) Add a little dollop of lemon curd to each egg. If needed, pipe some more cheesecake mixture around the lemon curd.
Cheesecake filled  chocolate eggs with chocolate nest