Spicy Rosemary Thins

Spicy Rosemary ThinsOk, I’ve been hammering the sweet tooth a little hard recently. Figured I’d change it up a little bit this week with these scrummy, savoury sensations! For me, rosemary always tastes so homely. Ok, that may sound a little strange but I feel it’s almost like the herb equivalent of that winter ‘sitting in front of the fire with a mug of soup’ feeling. I don’t know what it is but I just love it. Like a herby hug!

Anyway, they’re blooming amazing and obviously you’re gonna have a go at making them because they’re super duper easy & quick!

Here is what you will need to make approx 25 – 30.

(Recipe from the lovely I Bake He Shoots.)

  • 1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp Chilli Flakes
  • 100g Plain Flour
  • 100g Unsalted Butter, Room Temp
  • 100g Extra Mature Cheddar Cheese, Finely Grated
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

Finely chop together the rosemary and chilli flakes.

Spicy Rosemary ThinsIn a food processor, add in the flour, butter, cheese, baking powder, salt & herbs.

Spicy Rosemary ThinsPulse until it just comes together to form a dough.

Spicy Rosemary ThinsTip the dough out onto a sheet of grease proof or baking paper and knead gently into a log shape.

Spicy Rosemary ThinsUsing the paper as an aid – roll it up into a round log then press the ends in to fill any gaps.

Place this in the freezer for 25 minutes to chill.

Spicy Rosemary ThinsMeanwhile, preheat your oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C & line a baking tray with baking paper or a silicone baking sheet.

When the 25 mins are up – remove the dough from the freezer and slice discs approx 3-4mm thick.

Spicy Rosemary ThinsPlace the chilled discs onto the baking tray, slightly spaced apart to allow for spreading.

Put into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 10 – 12 mins or until just turning golden on the edges.

Spicy Rosemary Thins

Spicy Rosemary ThinsLeave on the tray for a minute or two to harden then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. (That should only take about 15 mins.)

Spicy Rosemary Thins

Spicy Rosemary ThinsThese would make great nibbles if you’re having friends over for a few drinks, or the perfect accompaniment to any cheese board! Far better than most crackers you can buy in the shops that’s for sure.

And if you’re worried about the heat of the chilli flakes, it’s not hot I promise. It’s more like a pleasant, gentle warmth in the back of the throat as an after taste. They’re just… well, blinkin’ gorgeous!

I hope you all enjoyed this weeks post my lovelies, until next week.

Miss KitchenMason

Rocky Road!

Rocky RoadOk, no one wants to put the oven on in the middle of a heat wave – especially me! I don’t do well with heat. Which probably explains how I’ve survived so long – being born and raised in the typically bad weathered UK.

However, this does not take away from the fact that I am always pretty anxious to bake something. So what’s the answer? Rocky Road! Other than melting some chocolate, there is no cooking involved whatsoever but I still get to eat a tasty, indulgent, home made treat at the end of it. Well I say that’s a win. So! Here is what you will need to make approx 8 generously sized pieces.

  • 165g Unsalted Butter
  • 300g Milk Chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 100g Dark Chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 4tbsp Golden Syrup
  • 200g Rich Tea Biscuits
  • 100g Mini Marshmallows
  • 10 x Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, cut into 6ths (Optional)

Equipiment

  • 18cm x 28cm Baking Tray

First – lightly grease and line the base and two sides of the baking tray. (The overhang will act like a handle making it easier for you to pull out the tray before cutting.)

In a large glass bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, melt together the butter, milk chocolate, dark chocolate & golden syrup.

Rocky RoadStir until smooth and completely melted then remove from the heat and set to one side to cool slightly.

Rocky RoadPlace the rich tea biscuits into a large bag. Now for the therapeutic bit – bash the hell out of it with a rolling pin until you get a good mixture of chunky pieces and crumbs.

Back to the chocolate. Pour about 150ml of the mixture into a jug and reserve for later.

Rocky RoadThrow the crushed biscuits & the marshmallows into the bowl with the bulk of the chocolate and mix until everything is completely covered.

Rocky RoadTip the mixture into the prepared baking tray and press down as firmly as you can using the back of a metal spoon.

Then pour over the remaining chocolate and spread around evenly.

Rocky RoadAt this point you can leave it at that and place it in the fridge for 2-3 hours to set completely.

OR you could make it even more epic by scattering Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups over the top, pressing gently then refrigerating in the same way. It’s entirely up to you.

Rocky RoadWhen it’s completely set, remove from the tray using the overhanging baking paper and slice into 8 large pieces.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge. (Well, that’s if you haven’t devoured the lot already!)

Rocky Road

Rocky RoadThere is no treat in the world that is easier to make, I promise! It’s also a perfect recipe to make with your kids while they’re off school and a great way to get them involved in the kitchen.

You could even mix up the recipe by switching out the rich tea biscuits for another biscuit, or adding in some chopped hazelnuts, or even using 400g of white chocolate instead of the milk & dark.

The possibilities are endless but it’s a great ‘throw it together’ no fuss, no bake recipe for you and your family!

I hope you enjoyed this week’s recipe my lovelies – until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

Chocolate HobNobs

Chocolate HobNobsMy favourite biscuit EVER has got to be the Chocolate HobNob. Oaty biscuits are always so satisfyingly crumbly & crunchy, but with chocolate on the top? Hell yes, I’m ON IT!

This incredibly quick & easy recipe will have you joining the HobNobs addiction club in no time. Here is what you will need to make approx 16 sensationally chunky, chocolate dipped, gloriously golden, oaty pieces of heaven.

  • 125g Unsalted Butter
  • 1 tbsp Golden Syrup
  • 125g Self Raising Flour
  • 125g Light Brown Soft Sugar
  • 125g Porridge Oats
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 100g Milk Chocolate, cut into chunks (Optional)
  • 150g Milk Chocolate, for dipping

In a small saucepan over a low-medium heat, melt together the butter and golden syrup.

Set to one side to cool.

Preheat your oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, oats, salt & bicarb.

Chocolate HobNobsAfter cutting the chocolate into chunks – add to the bowl and mix. (You can leave these out if you want to.)

Chocolate HobNobsPour in the cooled butter and mix until everything is evenly distributed and it all comes together.

Chocolate HobNobsDivide the mixture into 16 equal pieces and roll into balls.

Chocolate HobNobsFlatten slightly and place as many as will fit onto a large baking sheet. Allow room in-between for spreading.

I lined mine with a silicone baking mat. In all honesty, it doesn’t really need lining – I tend to just do it out of habit.

Chocolate HobNobsBake in the centre of the preheated oven for approx 16mins until golden.

Turn the tray around half way if your oven doesn’t bake evenly.

Chocolate HobNobsAllow to sit on the tray for a couple of minutes to harden, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat the process for the remaining biscuits.

When the biscuits are all baked and cool, (which won’t take long) melt the 150g of milk chocolate in either the microwave or in a bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water.

The next part is up to you. Some would ‘paint’ the chocolate onto the top of each biscuit, I prefer to just dunk half straight into the chocolate and put onto a wire rack over newspaper to set.

Chocolate HobNobs

Chocolate HobNobsTo keep these little beauties nice and crunchy, store in a metal tin lined with baking paper. Preferably at room temperature but if it’s too warm, in the fridge will work just as well.

And there you have it! Told you they were quick & easy to make. Addicted yet??

Hope you enjoyed the post my lovelies!

Miss KitchenMason

 

 

 

 

Back To Basics: Salad

Back To Basics- SaladContrary to popular belief – I do actually try and make an effort to eat well. I can’t live solely on Chocolate Mousse Brownies, Millionaire’s Shortbread & Doughnuts. Despite the fact that I really want to!

Even though I eat far more now than I ever used to, I still have to ‘trick’ myself into eating healthy things. Take this salad for example. It’s seemingly healthy from the outside (not all that appealing to me if I’m honest) but when you look inside? There’s smokey bacon and feta cheese. These two ingredients make anything taste a bazillion times better! Helping me get my “5 a day” (something I find to be unrealistic at best) and making me feel better when I do ram a slice of Ice Cream Cake down my pie hole.

In the spirit of trying to be healthy, here is what you will need to make my “How to train a fussy eater to eat salad” salad.

(Serves 2 as a side for a main course.)

  • 2 Slices Smokey Bacon
  • 1 Whole Romaine Lettuce
  • 1 Sweet Bite Pepper (mini pepper)
  • 2 Large Tomatoes or 6-7 Cherry Tomatoes
  • 2-3 Spring Onions
  • 200g Feta Cheese (I use Apetina)
  • Salt & Pepper

For The Dressing

Back To Basics- SaladFirst up – the bacon.

There are tons of ways to cook bacon but I find this way to be no mess, no fuss & almost embarrassingly easy. Naturally, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

1. Line a baking tray with tin foil and lay on the bacon strips.

2. Place the tray onto the middle shelf in a cold oven & turn up the temperature to 200°C/Fan 180°C.

3. Allow to cook for about 15 minutes, (usually until you can just start to smell it) then turn each slice of bacon over and cook for a further 10mins or so until the fat is crispy. Yeah, non of that god awful stringy fat that a lot of people leave on – crispy. And don’t even think about cutting it off either – that’s where all the flavour is! Crispy.

4. Leave the bacon to one side to cool. When you have done, simply throw away the tin foil & put the baking tray back in the cupboard. No pots to wash either! Win.

Top Tip: When I am making a cooked breakfast on a Sunday morning, which almost always involves bacon, I cook a couple of extra slices in the same way as above. Once they are cooled, I chop them up and store in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days and then just toss them straight into this salad. Saves time & effort after a days work when, lets face it, we can’t really be bothered to to anything!

Onto the actual salad.

Back To Basics- SaladSlice the whole romaine lettuce into approx 1cm wide strips, then chop a couple of times in the opposite way to make the strips shorter. Dump it all into a large glass/serving bowl.

Slice the sweet bite pepper into small strips.

De-seed the tomatoes and slice the flesh into 1cm pieces. (If using cherry tomatoes, just quarter them & don’t bother de-seeding.)

Trim & slice the spring onions.

Top Tip: Find that you only use a few spring onions and the rest have gone bad by the time you go to use them? Simply trim and slice the whole bunch, allow to dry in the fridge for 20-30 minutes on a plate, then store in the freezer in an airtight plastic tub or plastic bottle. You can use them straight from the freezer in salads. As they’re cut so small, they defrost almost instantly!

Finally, cut the Feta cheese into cubes.

Place all the ingredients into the bowl with the lettuce & season well with salt & pepper.

Back To Basics- SaladTo make the dressing, simply add all the ingredients into a small glass or mug, mix together and pour over the salad.

Using two spoons, toss everything together in the bowl to distribute the dressing evenly.

Then serve alongside some sort of chicken or fish, or whatever you like really!

Back To Basics- SaladIt’s really not that difficult or expensive to make. And with the added bacon & feta – well, they say a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, this is probably the savoury equivalent!

Back To Basics- SaladIt’s also a great way to clear out your fridge of all those leftover vegetables you don’t have enough of to do anything with.

I Hope you enjoyed this week’s post my lovelies, until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkThis is a recipe I have been trying to master for a long time now and I think I’ve finally cracked it! It’s so cheap to make, so easy to make & unbelievably tasty! Have I sold it to you yet? Good! Let’s get started.

Here is what you will need to make enough for approx 6-8 generously sized sandwiches.

  • 1 1/2 tbsp Paprika *
  • 1 tbsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Coarse Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 85g Honey
  • 2 tbsp/30ml Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp BBQ Sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion
  • 1kg Boneless Pork Shoulder Joint (Fat on)

*If you can, use a good quality, smoked paprika – it will make all the difference.

Equipiment

  • Slow Cooker (mine is 3.3 litre)

Let’s start with the marinade.

In a small bowl, mix together the paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic & thyme.

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkThen add in the honey, red wine vinegar, BBQ sauce & olive oil. Give it all a good mix and set to one side.

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkPeel & slice the onion in half then place at the bottom of the slow cooker, face down.

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkSlice the pork joint in half and place on top of the onions. (Leave the fat on, it adds a great deal of flavour & is easily removable once cooked.) Then pour over the marinade. Try to cover as much meat as possible – it doesn’t matter if some of it falls to the bottom.

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkLastly, pop the lid on and cook on low for about 6 hours or until the meat just falls apart.

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkWhen it’s ready. Turn the slow cooker off and transfer the meat to a large bowl.

Remove the fat, then using 2 forks back to back – shred the meat.

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkDon’t forget about those onions! Take them out, finely dice them (be careful, they’ll be a bit slippy) and add them straight back into the meat.

Then pop the whole lot back into the slow cooker along with those gorgeous juices. Give it a good mix and you are good to go!

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkIf there is a little too much juice for your liking – simply put the slow cooker on high but leave the lid off. Cook until it’s the consistency you want (it shouldn’t take too long) and stir occasionally.

Then serve warmed in crusty cobs or mini ciabattas with a generous helping of coleslaw. (Use gluten free is you are coeliac.)

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkDidn’t I tell you it was easy? It’s the perfect addition to your summer BBQ. Spend 5 minutes preparing it in the morning then leave the slow cooker to do all the hard work for you. Genius! I guarantee your guests will fall in love with both you and the pork!

Considering how heavenly this is, it really is SO cheap! I had all the spices in my cupboards already and the meat cost me less than £3. Now that’s the kind of maths I like to do. Bargain!

In other news, have I told you about Stellar/James Martin’s new soft grip tools range? No?Stellar James Martin Soft Grip Tools

Stellar James Martin Soft Grip ToolsBefore the cynical among you ask, no they’re not paying me to say this. I genuinely love Stellar cookware and have used their stuff since I’ve ruled my own kitchen! It really is fantastic quality. But then, you wouldn’t expect anything less from products that come with a lifetime guarantee though would you?

This range is no exception. Their soft grip handles make them extremely comfortable & safe to use. Not to mention how robust they feel in the hand. Just picking them up – you know they’re not the usual cheap cack you get from the supermarkets and that they’re definitely going to last. I for one, will be using them all the time! If you want to know more, check out the Stellar site HERE.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this week’s post lovelies, until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

Chocolate Orange Easter Biscuits

Chocolate Orange Easter BiscuitsWe’re over half way through the Easter bank holiday weekend but I’m not done baking yet! I had an itch that needed scratching & a new toy to play with so I came up with the idea of these gorgeous little beauties. I’ve recently purchased these cute Biscuit Stamps (which I found at Aldi for £3.99 – bargain!) and I really wanted to give them a try. Plus chocolate orange is one of my all time favourite flavours… any excuse!

So here is what you will need to make approx 25 biscuits

For The Biscuit Dough

  • 250g Unsalted Butter, softened
  • Good pinch of Salt
  • 200g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg, beaten
  • Zest of 1 Orange
  • 450g Plain Flour

For The Chocolate Ganache Filling

  • 150g Milk Chocolate
  • 150ml Double Cream
  • 1/2 tsp Orange Extract (optional)

Equipment

In an electric stand mixer (or a large bowl with an electric hand whisk) beat together the softened butter, the salt & the caster sugar until light and fluffy – about 3 minutes or so.

Chocolate Orange Easter BiscuitsAdd the egg to the mixture in two halves, mix well after each addition then stir through the orange zest.

Chocolate Orange Easter BiscuitsSift in the flour then mix on a slow speed until a dough forms and there is no flour visible in the bowl. (or use a spatula and mix by hand.)

Chocolate Orange Easter BiscuitsInbetween two sheets of baking paper or clingfilm – roll out half the dough to a thickness of 5mm (1/4″) and place in the fridge to chill for a minimum of 30 minutes. This will make it easier to cut out later and they will hold their shape much better. Repeat the process for the other half of the dough.

When the dough has chilled, remove one half from the fridge and firmly press the stamp into it, repeat until you have covered as much dough as possible.  Then, using a 6cm round cutter, cut out circles around each stamp mark. If necessary, keep re-rolling the dough and repeat until it is all used up. You should get about 25.

Remove the other half of chilled dough from the fridge. This time, don’t stamp them – just cut out plain circles. Again, you should get about 25.

The dough will probably be quite warm and malleable by now so pop the prepared biscuits back into the fridge whilst we preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 170°C and make the filling.

Finely chop the  milk chocolate and place into a large bowl.

Chocolate Orange Easter BiscuitsPlace the cream into a saucepan and place over a low heat. Gently bring it just up to boiling point (but don’t actually let it boil) then pour over the top of the chocolate.

Chocolate Orange Easter BiscuitsAllow to sit for 2 minutes then stir slowly with a wooden spoon until it becomes thick, shiny & smooth. Then mix in the orange extract if using.

Chocolate Orange Easter BiscuitsAllow to set at room temperature whilst we bake the biscuits.

Place some chilled biscuit circles onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper or a silicone baking mat. Allow about 3cm between each biscuit for spreading.

You will need to bake them in batches but don’t worry, this will allow the ganache time to firm up :)

Bake for approx 12 minutes until just turning golden on the edges. You may need to turn the tray round half way to ensure an even bake.

When cooked, transfer the biscuits to a wire rack to cool completely before filling.

Chocolate Orange Easter BiscuitsWhen all the biscuits are baked and cooled, it’s time to make some sandwiches!

Load a piping bag with a 1cm round nozzle (or just snip the end if you don’t have one) and fill with the ganache filling which should now be firm enough to just hold its shape.

Pipe blobs of the ganache into the centre of the plain biscuits then ‘squash’ down with a stamped biscuit until the filling is pushed to the edges.

Store in a metal tin in a cool, dry place.

Chocolate Orange Easter BiscuitsI absolutely adore chocolate orange. When making this ganache I always end up licking the bowl clean. But when it’s spread inbetween some freshly baked orange biscuits? Even better! I actually took some of them into the office and they went down a treat. There wasn’t a single bad word to be said about them, just lots of “Mmmmm!” and “Yummy!” noises.

The biscuit dough can actually be used as a base for other flavours. Simply swap out the orange zest for lets say, 1 tsp of vanilla extract or the zest of 1 lemon. Or even the zest of 2 limes then sandwiched with a white chocolate ganache. Hmmm, I might just try those!

I hope you enjoy the remainder of your Easter holidays my lovelies. Oh, and all those chocolate eggs of course!

Until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

Easter Bakes Recipe Competition

Two Ingredient Nutella Cake!

2 Ingredient Nutella CakeOk, I came across this recipe (from Kirbie’s Cravings) and thought… yeah, that’s not possible. Turns out, it’s totally possible! Not only do you need just two ingredients, it’s easy to make and it’s gluten free! So what are you waiting for? Here is what you will need.

  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 240g Nutella

Equipment

  • 7″ Springform or Loose Bottomed Pan
  • Electric Stand Mixer with Balloon Whisk Attachment OR Electric Hand Whisk

First thing’s first, grease and line your baking tin with baking/parchment paper & preheat your oven to 180°C/Fan 170°C.

Two Ingredient Nutella CakeWeigh out the Nutella into a large glass bowl.

Two Ingredient Nutella CakeEither microwave for 20 seconds or place over a pan of barely simmering water for a minute or two. Stir until loose and smooth. Allow to cool whilst you move onto the eggs.

Two Ingredient Nutella CakeBreak the eggs into the bowl of an electric stand mixer. (or, if using an electric hand whisk, a very large glass bowl.)

Two Ingredient Nutella CakeUsing the balloon whisk attachment, whisk on the highest setting for about 6-7 minutes until thick, shiny & at least tripled in volume. (This may take longer if using an electric hand whisk.)

Two Ingredient Nutella CakeAdd 1 third of the whisked eggs into the Nutella and very gently fold in using a spatula. Continue to fold until there are no streaks of egg left, then repeat twice more for the last two thirds. You should be left with a light, chocolate batter.

Two Ingredient Nutella CakeCarefully pour this into the prepared tin and bake for 20-25 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Two Ingredient Nutella CakeWhen it’s cooked, open the oven door and allow to cool in the oven for about 30-40 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Two Ingredient Nutella CakeWhen it has completely cooled, and I do mean – completely. Cut into 8 slices and enjoy with a cup of tea. Store in an air tight container in the fridge. In fact, I actually think it tastes nicer once it’s been chilled!

Two Ingredient Nutella CakeThis cake looks like it’s going to be quite fudgy but it’s actually incredibly light! I almost don’t want to call it a cake as much as, well, honestly? I’m not sure what I’d call it! Whatever the case, it’s light, it’s gluten free and it’s got Nutella in it. I think that’s a win right? Oh, and each slice is only about 200 calories. Not bad eh?

Hope you all enjoyed the post my lovelies, until next week!

Miss KitchenMason

Spicy Sausage Pasta

Spicy Sausage PastaIn need of a quick, easy and tasty midweek meal idea? Look no further! This super speedy dish is packed full of flavour and really simple to make. So what are you waiting for?! Here is what you will need to feed 2 hungry hippos. (Easily doubled.)

  • 200g Conchiglie Pasta *
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 4 Hot & Spicy Sausages
  • 90ml Dry White Wine
  • 90ml Double Cream
  • 1 x Heaped tsp of Honey Mustard
  • Pinch of Chilli Flakes
  • 1/2 Bunch Fresh Basil, roughly chopped

* Any shaped pasta will do, e.g. Penne, Fusilli or Farfalle. I like the Conchiglie though, as it traps all the pieces of sausage.

First things first, get a large pan of generously salted water to the boil and cook the pasta according to packet instructions.

Meanwhile, heat a large, heavy based saucepan over a medium heat. Add in the oil then squeeze the sausage meat out of their cases and into the hot pan.

In a kind of ‘stabbing’ motion, use a wooden spatula to break up the meat and fry until nicely browning. (About 5 minutes.)

Spicy Sausage PastaThen pour in the wine and simmer for a minute or two until the sausages have almost absorbed it. (About 2 minutes.)

Spicy Sausage Pasta

Spicy Sausage PastaNow pour in the double cream, mustard, chilli flakes (if using) and season well with salt & pepper.

Spicy Sausage PastaGive it a good stir and heat through for a minute or two.

Spicy Sausage PastaWhen the pasta is cooked, drain and add it to the pan along with a little of the pasta water. This starchy liquid will help to emulsify the sauce – meaning, it will bring it all together and help it to stick to the pasta as opposed to making a pool of liquid at the bottom of your bowl. Win.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir through the basil.

Spicy Sausage PastaServe in warmed bowls and devour!

Spicy Sausage Pasta

Spicy Sausage PastaHow awesome is that?! It took about 20 minutes to make, minimal pots to wash and two full and satisfied bellies. You can’t ask for anymore than that can you? You could try variations of this too. It would be lovely with any flavour sausage so even if you’re not a fan of the heat, skip the chilli flakes and you’ve still got yourself a seriously quick and delicious dinner. Brilliant!

I hope you enjoyed the post lovelies, until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

No Knead Mug Bread

No Knead Mug BreadMy biggest baking nemesis to date has got to be bread. Yes I’ve made ‘nice’ breads before but I’ve honestly never felt like I ‘got it’… until now. I was lucky enough to receive James Morton’s book Brilliant Bread (Great British Bake Off Runner Up 2012) for Christmas and I happened to stumble across the easiest recipe for bread I have EVER seen. There’s no measuring, no kneading & pretty much no faff whatsoever! Yet it’s hands down, the most beautiful bread I have ever created in my kitchen. So, without further ado, here is what you will need to make 1 large loaf.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 Mugs of Strong White Bread Flour
  • Enough Salt just to coat the bottom of the mug
  • 1 x 7g Sachet of Fast-Action Yeast
  • 1 full mug of tepid water

And that’s it! All you need to do is pick a mug. Any mug.

Fill it two and a quarter times with flour and tip it all into a bowl.

No Knead Mug BreadTip salt into the same mug until the bottom is just covered. Add this into the flour and rub in with your thumb & forefingers briefly.

Add in the yeast and rub briefly again.

Fill the very same mug with tepid water. (By ‘tepid’ James means when you put a finger in, if you can’t tell whether it’s hot or cold – it’s just right.)

Pour this into the centre of the bowl and bring the mixture together using a wooden spoon.

No Knead Mug BreadWhen it’s nearly come together, get your hands in and mix until you can’t see any more flour.

It’s also worth noting, this is quite a wet dough. I have been assured by this book that ‘wetter is better’ and judging from the results I’ve had… I totally agree!

No Knead Mug BreadCover with a damp tea towel or cling film and leave to rest for about 40mins. (Or until noticeably more plump.) Yep, NO KNEADING!

No Knead Mug BreadWhen it’s rested, using wet hands (keep wetting if they start to stick) slide your fingers underneath the dough then fold it in half firmly. Turn the bowl slightly and repeat the fold again. Continue to do this until there is no more air left in the dough and it’s a smooth ball.

No Knead Mug Bread

No Knead Mug BreadCover again and allow to prove for about 1 hour or until just doubled in size.

James’ Tip: If you need to go out, simply put your dough in the fridge. It will slow down that 1 hour process to about 8-12 hours.)

No Knead Mug BreadWhen your dough is proved, we need to shape it. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface.

At this point, you could shape it into a ball or divide & shape into some rolls. I opted for a simple batard loaf.

For great shaping advice you really should invest in James’ book. It’s got fantastic step by step picture guides for it – a man after my own heart! Failing that, get yourself on YouTube if you are stuck for ideas/techniques – there are hundreds of guides to shaping all the bread types you can think of!

This time, I decided to use my new proving basket (or banneton.) If you also have one, flour very generously and lay your shaped loaf in the base – bottom/seam side up. If you don’t have one, simply line a baking sheet with baking paper and sprinkle generously with a coarse flour, like corn meal or semolina. Lay your shaped bread on top. (If you don’t have a coarse flour, just generously use normal flour.)

Either way, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to prove until doubled in size again. (Approx 1 hour.)

At least half an hour before baking – Preheat your oven to about 230/240°C (regardless of electric or fan ovens.)

It’s also worth mentioning your baking surface at this point. Ever noticed when you bake bread at home that you end up with a line of dense stodge at the bottom? It’s because the surface that you baked it on wasn’t as hot as the air in your oven, resulting in an uneven bake. To stop this from happening, get a baking stone and place it in the oven before you preheat it. If you don’t have a stone, turn a large baking sheet upside down – you will achieve a similar result.

No Knead Mug BreadIf you used a proving basket, cut a large sheet of baking paper and place over the basket. Flip it over and place on a baking sheet then gently remove the basket to reveal a beautiful ‘artisan’ looking pattern!

No Knead Mug BreadAll that remains for you to do is to ‘slash’ the top. I made 3 diagonal incisions along the top of mine.

Now to bake:

1. With the loaf still on the baking parchment, slide it off the baking tray and onto the preheated baking stone/upside down baking sheet.

2. Throw half a mug of cold water on the bottom of the oven and quickly shut the door. (Creating steam which will help it rise.)

3. Turn your oven down to about 210°C.

4. Cook for at least 40 minutes until you get a good, dark golden crust.

5. When cooked, allow to cool before you cut into it… I know it’s difficult but just trust me.

No Knead Mug BreadI only have one thing to say, James Morton… you are a bread genius! Thanks to you I finally feel like I’m starting to understand bread. Since trying this recipe for the first time about 2 weeks ago, I’ve made it another 5 or 6 times at least! I’m literally hooked and can’t wait to try the next variation!

If you have never really made bread before but are wanting to get into it, this is a fantastic way of learning what bread should really be/feel like. Definitely an excellent learning curve for me and one that I’m truly excited to see how it develops!

I sincerely hope you all enjoyed the post my lovelies, until next week.

Miss KitchenMason

Slow Cooker Tomato Chicken!

Slow Cooker Tomato Chicken!We’re in the frosty grips of winter, there’s tons of Christmas preparations to be done,  parties to attend, cards to be written, shopping to be bought and no time to do it all. So what do we need? Another no fuss, hearty and amazingly delicious slow cooker meal! And it has to be said… this is definitely my favourite so far.

Here is what you will need to feed 2 (easily doubled)

  • 2 Chicken Breasts, skinless & boneless
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 Jar of Tomato Based Sauce (I used Ragu’s Tomato & Pecorino Cheese Sauce )
  • 6-7 Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 100g-150g Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Parsley, optional to decorate

And before you say it… the jarred sauce? We all need to cheat some times!

Right on with the show.

First thing’s first, season your chicken breasts generously with salt & pepper. Tip half the jar of sauce into the slow cooker and spread along the bottom. Place the chicken breasts on top, add in the cherry tomatoes for good measure then cover with the remaining sauce.

Slow Cooker Tomato ChickenSlow Cooker Tomato ChickenPop the lid on and cook on low for about 3-4 hours.

See how easy that was?!

Slow Cooker Tomato ChickenWhen the chicken is cooked through, transfer to a baking dish and pop the grill on a medium/high heat.

Slow Cooker Tomato ChickenNow for the beautiful part. Cover it in grated cheddar cheese…

Slow Cooker Tomato ChickenPlace it under the grill and wait for the magic to happen.

Slow Cooker Tomato ChickenCOMMENCE DROOLING! When the cheese is bubbling and golden, sprinkle over some chopped parsley and serve with some crushed new potatoes doused in olive oil and butter.

Slow Cooker Tomato ChickenJust look how magnificent it is! That sensual, beautifully melted golden cheese cascading over the sweet, seductive tomato sauce on a juicy chicken breast… *Homer moment*

In all seriousness, this really is so simple to make, incredibly tasty and down right ruddy marvelous! If you find yourself short on time over the festive period, I would definitely dust off your slow cooker and give this one a go.

Hope you all enjoyed the post my lovelies, until next time!

Miss KitchenMason