Dill and Potato Irish Soda Bread

Dill and Potato Irish Soda Bread

Irish soda bread – often simply described as “soda bread” – is the sort of recipe that everyone should know how to make. The savory, quick-rising bread gets its lift from baking soda, not from yeast, and it can be mixed up in less than 5 minutes. You read that right: homemade bread from scratch with almost no prep time!

Not only does it come together quickly, soda bread can be flavored in any number of different ways, so that one bread recipe can yield dozens of different loaves. I’ve made sweet versions and savory versions before, so you really can take it in any direction you want to go. This Dill and Potato Irish Soda Bread is a savory herbed soda bread that uses plenty of dill, making it a great choice for springtime dining.

Instant potatoes may seem like an unusual ingredient here, but they’re a surprisingly handy ingredient to have when you bake a lot of breads, whether yeast breads or quick breads. The potatoes dissolve into the bread, so you don’t get any potato flavor at all, and create a softer crumb than wheat flour alone. That is why you’ll often see soft “potato bread” in the sandwich bread section of the grocery store.

Instant potatoes keep very well in the cupboard, so you can have them on hand for baking projects without needing to cook up whole potatoes. If you happen to have leftover mashed potatoes, they can be substituted by using 1/3 cup instead of 1/2 cup of instant. Leftover potatoes have more moisture than dried potato flakes, so your final loaf may need ever-so-slightly less buttermilk to come together.

I used dried dill, but fresh dill can be used if you happen to have some. Fresh dill is more potent than dried, so use slightly less than the amount I suggest below. If you’re a big dill fan, feel free to use a bit more! The bread is herbacious and savory, with a great flavor. It’s delicious when served warm and spread with butter, or when paired with a great spring soup or salad. The loaf can be eaten almost as soon as it comes out of the oven and is at its best when its fresh, so try to make it as soon before serving as possible. Leftovers can be stored at room temperature and taste great toasted when served alongside a soup or salad.

Dill and Potato Irish Soda Bread
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup instant potato flakes
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp dried dill
approx 1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, sugar and dried dill. Stir in buttermilk, mixing until the dough pulls together into a ball. If the dough is too sticky, add in an additional 1-2 tablespoons of flour. Dough will be sticky, but you should be able to shape it into a ball.
Shape dough into a ball and place on parchment paper. Cut two deep slashes (to form a +) on the top of the loaf.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown and set.
Allow loaf to cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing.

Makes 1 loaf; Serves 6-8.

*Note: Lots of soda breads include raisins or currants, regardless of whether the bread is sweet or savory. If you like raisins in your soda bread, , stir in 1/2 cup along with the buttermilk and continue with the directions as written.

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Bacon Gruyere & Tomato Tartlets

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Such a perfect little bite to eat – these little bites of loveliness are just right whether they’re a snack for hungry hoards after school or gracing the table at an afternoon tea.

Just one word of warning from me, do not eat one warm from the cooling rack, you won’t be able to stop at just the one and half will have disappeared before anyone else gets a look in!

Ingredients :

Pastry

225g plain flour

100g butter, cold diced

Pinch of salt

1 egg, medium beaten

1-2 tbsps cold water

Filling

80g sweet tomato relish

200g thick cut bacon (approx. 4 rashers)

50g Gruyere cheese, grated (use a good strong cheddar if you’d prefer)

100ml single cream

1 egg, medium

Salt and pepper

 

Oven Temp:       180c(fan)/200c/Gas Mark 6.

Makes: 12 tartlets

Freezing:  Suitable for freezing for upto 1 month.

Method:

To make the pastry place the flour and cold diced butter in a large mixing bowl or for speed in the bowl of your food processor.

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Rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips  or blitz with the processor until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

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Stir through the pinch of salt and make a well in the centre.

Add the beaten egg and work into the mixture until the pastry begins to come together, adding a little extra water if necessary.

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Knead lightly  until smooth.

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Cover with clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

While the pastry rests prepare the filling.  Grill the bacon and allow to cool.

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Yes I have 5 rashers, the extra one is going on a sandwich for my lunch!

Trim away the fat and dice into small pieces.

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In a jug beat together the single cream and egg and season well with salt and pepper.

Once the pastry has chilled grease the recesses of a 12 hole bun tin.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured worksurface to approx. 4mm in thickness.

Cut out 12 rounds using a pastry cutter and use to line each recess of the tin.

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As you cut them out set them on the top of the recess and then carry on cutting out.  As the pastry relaxes it will start to shape into the hollow.

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Once all 12 are cut out, press them very lightly so that they line the recesses neatly.

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Add ½ teaspoon of tomato relish to the base of each pastry case.

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Divide the bacon pieces and grated cheese between each.

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Pour the cream mixture into each case, taking care not to overfill, you just want to surround the fillings.

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Bake in the oven for 20-22 minutes until golden.

Release from the tin and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Serve warm or cold.

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Bacon Gruyere and Tomato Tartlets

Ruth Clemens, Baker Extraordinaire

DoubleTree Signature Cookie Recipe

Chocolate Chip Cookies are still our favorite cookie!

Ask anybody in my house (perhaps not the baby, but I am sure she will agree when she can speak) what our favorite cookie is and we will tell you without a doubt that it is a classic chocolate chip cookie.  I actually do not bake them too frequently, because we tend to lose self-control. With so many of us at home right now as result of COVID-19 many restaurants, hotels, amusements parks, etc. are sharing some of their favorite recipes.  When Doubletree shared this recipe a couple weeks ago, both my husband and my dad sent me the link.  I took that as a sign that I should definitely make them.  I have stayed at DoubleTree many times, and I honestly don’t think my cookies turned out quite like their cookies, but they were still delicious!   We still prefer my recipe, but these were a nice treat. 
DoubleTree Signature Cookie Recipe
makes 26 cookies
½ pound butter, softened (2 sticks)
¾ cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 ¼ cups flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch cinnamon
2 2/3 cups Nestle Tollhouse semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 3/4 cups chopped walnuts 
Cream butter, sugar and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes. 
Add eggs, vanilla and lemon juice, blending with mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, then medium speed for about 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy, scraping down bowl. 
With mixer on low speed, add flour, oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, blending for about 45 seconds. Don’t overmix. 
Remove bowl from mixer and stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.
Portion dough with a scoop (about 3 tablespoons) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper about 2 inches apart. 
Preheat oven to 300°F. Bake for 20 to 23 minutes, or until edges are golden brown and center is still soft. 
Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet for about 1 hour.
Cook’s note: You can freeze the unbaked cookies, and there’s no need to thaw. Preheat oven to 300°F and place frozen cookies on parchment paper-lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake until edges are golden brown and center is still soft.
Notes:  I used my standard cookie scoop and was able to get 3 dozen cookies.  We left out the walnuts as we are not fans.  I also only added 2 cups of chocolate chips, because 2 2/3 cups seems like way too much!  I used a mix of miniature chocolate chips and regular chocolate chips.

Cameron-Krzyzewski Indoor Stadium Will Be Open This Fall!

North Carolina v Duke
Welcome back! | Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Say it with us…

It’s been a long hard year with plenty of pain and suffering to go around so in the big scheme of things, missing basketball games wasn’t a huge sacrifice. But nonetheless, it absolutely, indisputably SUCKED.

So hearing that Cameron-Krzyzewski Indoor Stadium (if we all keep using that eventually it will be adopted so say it when you can) and all athletic facilities will be fully open this year is wonderful news.

Nothing compares to sitting in Cameron-Krzyzewski and watching basketball. As Mike Krzyzewski has said at times, the building has a soul and he’s right. It really does.

The upperclass Crazies will have to do a few weeks of training and setting expectations for the kids who haven’t been there before. We hope that the time away, and eager underclassmen who haven’t had the pleasure, not to mention the K Ya Later Tour, will amp things up to an unbelievable level.

Let’s go Duke!

table for one

Before I could even bake a batch of pineapple tarts, the Chinese lunar new year is already over!

This year, I was terribly late in preparing for the Chinese new year. I couldn’t even complete my spring cleaning chores. Nevertheless, we didn’t miss any of the family gatherings and feasting and were never short of any new year goodies.

As the festive season is over, now is the time to try to clear the leftover goodies! For the past two weeks, I have been helping myself to one mandarin orange a day, but there are still a dozen or more left in my fridge. There’s also leftover bak kwa despite having been diligently helping myself to a slice or more every time when I feel like having some ‘bak kwa sandwich’.

With some broccoli and cherry tomatoes, I pulled together the usual festive goodies into a one dish meal for my lunch…mandarin orange and broccoli salad.

It was a quick and easy meal with minimal cooking. I only need to chop the bak kwa into small bits before toasting it on a frying pan and blanch the broccoli. The unsalted cashew nuts which I bought from the dried goods stall in the market were already baked and ready to eat. They look plain and raw but trust me, they are really tasty and a much healthier option than those which are salted or fried.

I prepared a very light salad dressing just to bring the ingredients together. It was a simple mix of 2 teaspoons of mayonnaise (I used Kewpie Half Salad dressing which has 50% less fat than the usual kewpie mayo), 1 teaspoon of rice vinegar and half teaspoon of Sriracha chili sauce just to give it an extra kick. The dressing is so light that the mayonnaise was almost non existence.

I wouldn’t say this is a healthy meal since it contained half a slice of calorie-laden bak kwa (3 slices of bak kwa is about 7 bowls of rice!!), but the other ingredients did help to balance up a little. The overall combo is to my liking…savoury, sweet, tangy and juicy…a very satisfying meal on its own.  I had this two days in a row, and I would certainly make it again even long after the festive season is over.

Croissant śniadaniowy z jajkiem sadzonym

Brakuje pomysłu na leniwe śniadanie? Tradycyjne kromki chleba czy bułki zamieniamy na croissanty. Z nimi nawet proste dodatki jak ser i szynka smakują o wieeele lepiej 😉 Na blogu była też już wersja z jajecznicą, a tym razem padło na jajko sadzone, do którego zainspirowały mnie skarpety z Many Mornings #EatThatSock Świetne, prawda? <3 Do tego chrupiący boczek, ser, rukola… Banalnie proste, a jak pyszne! 

Składniki na dwie porcje:

  • 2 croissanty
  • 4 plastry boczku wędzonego
  • 2 plastry żółtego sera
  • 2 garści rukoli
  • sól, pieprz, czerwona papryka
  • opcjonalnie sosy – u mnie słodko-kwaśny

Na rozgrzanej patelni podsmażyć boczek aż stanie się chrupiący. Zdjąć z patelni i na pozostałym tłuszczu usmażyć jajka sadzone. I prawie koniec!

Croissanty przekroić na pół, na dolną połówkę wyłożyć kolejno rukolę, boczek, ser i jajko. Oprószyć przyprawami i polać sosem. Mamy to! Szybko i smacznie.

PS na stronie Many Mornings znajdziecie wiele innych genialnych skarpet, ale ja zdecydowanie polecam te w tematyce kulinarnej 😉

The BEST Cinnamon Rolls

These are my new favorite dessert!

For Mother’s Day this year my family and I had brunch at home.  I would say it was due to COVID-19, but it was not.  I do not like going out to crowded restaurants for special occasions.  I do not want to wait in line, so we typically have a nice dinner the night before Mother’s Day and then a special meal at home.  This year I decided I wanted cinnamon rolls for Mother’s Day brunch and all I can saw is that these are so worth all the work and calories!  It was hard to stop at just one, so we ended up giving a few to some neighbors.  These are better than any I have had at a restaurant and I highly recommend you make them this weekend.   I prepared these Saturday and then left them in the fridge overnight for the second rise.  I left them sitting in the counter for 30 minutes before baking. 

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls {Cinnabon Copycat}
recipe by Tastes of Lizzy T

For the Dough:

1 cup warm milk (about 115 degrees F)
2 1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
2 large eggs at room temperature
1/3 cup salted butter (melted)
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (divided)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar

For the Filling:
1/2 cup salted butter (almost melted)
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon

1/2 cup heavy cream (for pouring over the risen rolls)

For the Frosting:
6 ounces cream cheese (softened)
1/3 cup salted butter (softened)
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tablespoon maple extract (or vanilla)

Pour the warm milk in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast overtop. Add the eggs, butter, salt and sugar. Add in 4 cups (save the other 1/2 cup and add only if you need it) of flour and mix using the beater blade just until the ingredients are barely combined. Allow the mixture to rest for 5 minutes so the flour has time to soak up the liquids. Scrape the dough off the beater blade and remove it. Attach the dough hook. Beat the dough on medium speed, adding in up to 1/2 cup more flour if needed to form a dough. Knead for 5-7 minutes or until the dough is elastic and smooth. **The dough should be tacky and will still be sticking to the sides of the bowl.  Use a rubber spatula to remove the dough from the mixer bowl and place it in the greased large bowl.  Cover the bowl with a towel or wax paper. Set the bowl in a warm place and allow the dough to rise until double.

While the dough is rising, prepare the cinnamon filling. In a medium bowl, combine the soft butter, brown sugar and cinnamon, mixing until well combined. Set aside.

Sprinkle a pastry mat generously with flour. Turn out the dough onto the pastry mat and sprinkle the top of the dough with additional flour.  Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough to about a 24×15″ rectangle, it does not need to be exact. Use a rubber spatula to smooth the cinnamon filling over the whole dough rectangle. Starting on the long end, roll the dough up tightly jelly roll style.  Cut into 12 slices and place in a greased 9×13 baking pan. Cover the pan and allow the rolls to rise for 20 minutes or until nearly double.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Warm the heavy cream until the chill is off. Once the rolls have risen, pour the heavy cream over the top of the rolls, allowing it to soak down in and around the rolls. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-22 minutes, until the rolls are lightly golden brown and the center rolls are cooked through.  While the rolls are cooling, prepare the cream cheese frosting.

In a large bowl, combine the softened cream cheese and butter using a hand mixer. Blend well. Add in your favorite extract and the powdered sugar. Beat until combined. Spread the frosting over the cooled rolls.