Tag Archives: Lemon

Courgette, Lemon and raisins Bread

DSC07902That’s my breakfast you see in the photo. I’m having three slices of my lovely courgette bread with Marmite and some mate while I write this post. It is 9:30 am now.

Yesterday was Getting-ready-for-Halloween Day at home, so we carved pumpkins and decorated the house while watching Frankenweenie and The Little Shop of Horrors.

DSC07905I started the dough before sitting with the pumpkins, and shaped it, proof it and baked it in between watching movies and sticking plastic spiders and other gross stuff to the front windows and main door.

We tried the bread warm from the oven and it is quite nice, but I really loved it this morning, toasted, slightly crunchy, with the sweetness of the raisins and the saltiness of the Marmite clashing in my mouth.

There is nothing tricky about this bread, it is quite easy to make, and very, very tasty.

This is an adaptation of the Courgette Bread by A Girl Called Jack.

Ingredients (for a 1/2 kilo loaf tin + 6 small rolls or 2 {almost} 1/2 kilo loaf tins)

1 small courgette

300 g strong wholemeal flour

7 g dried, fast-acting yeast (fast acting yeast does not need activating. If you have dried yeast which is not fast acting, simply place it in a small bowl with 3 tablespoons of tepid water and half a teaspoon sugar and let it stand until it froths. Add to the bread preparation when you add the water and lemon juice)

50 g raisins

Zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon.

Some warm water (100 ml approx.)

Pinch of salt

A bunch of fresh lemon thyme, chopped. (I happen to have a plant of lemon thyme, but if you don’t, just avoid this ingredient).

How to:

1.- In a big bowl grate your courgette. Add the salt and lemon thyme.

2.- Mix the flour, the fast-acting yeast and the raisins together, then add to the courgette mixture. Use a spoon to mix everything together, so that the courgette is evenly distributed:

DSC078773.- Measure your lemon juice and add enough warm water to get 150 ml of liquid. Add the liquid and zest to the courgette-flour mixture. Depending on the amount of water from your courgette (mine was quite dry) you may find that you need to add a bit more water or a bit more flour.

Mix with your hands to form a dough. It is going to be on the sticky side and not as pliable as other doughs . Knead for 5 minutes vigorously.

DSC078784.- Let it rise, covered with a plastic bag or cling film until double in size.

5.- Once the dough has risen, knock the air out of it and divide into two portions. Shape one of them as a loaf and pop into a 1/2 kilo loaf tin lightly oiled or covered in baking paper.

Make 6 smaller balls with the remaining dough and place in a lightly oiled muffin tin:

DSC078876.- Let them rise for 30 minutes, covered.

I just cover my breads with plastic bags...
I just cover my breads with plastic bags…

10 minutes before the proofing time is up, heat the oven at 180 C. Once the breads have risen…

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7.- Place in the oven and cook for 35 minutes. The bread is fully baked if it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Enjoy warm or toasted, with some lovely honey, salty Marmite or melted butter.

The little rolls are great for the lunch box. The loaf is lovely toasted for breakfast.

DSC07899Have a great Monday! Enjoy the sun (if you are in London, at least)!

Namaste,

Paula

Tuscan holidays: Fig, rosemary and lemon jam.

DSC07209In our garden in Tuscany we had a big fig tree full of fruit. Most of it was over ripe and feeding the birds by the time we arrived but we managed to salvage some figs.

The ones we didn’t eat fresh, I turned into this lovely jam, which can be eaten on toast for an indulgent breakfast or paired with cheese or cold meats for a lovely Tuscan aperitif. It also provided an excuse to use some more of the lovely rosemary that was growing in the garden.

Our house and the fig tree.
Our house and the fig tree.

I made a very small batch of jam, because I didn’t have enough figs, but the quantities below will make a decent batch 🙂

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Ingredients:

3 cups chopped figs (no need to peel them)

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup sugar (or replace the half cup of honey for half sugar, for a total of 1 cup sugar)

Rind of one lemon, thinly sliced (white bits removed)

Juice of 1 lemon

1 sprig of rosemary

1/2 glass of water

How to:

1.- Place the figs, lemon rind, honey and sugar in a pan. Let them sit for a while (approx. 20 minutes) so that the figs let out some of their juices.

DSC071062.- Place the pan on a low heat, add the water, rosemary and lemon juice. Stir to mix all ingredients.

3.- After 20 minutes your mixture will look a bit like this:

DSC071204.- You just need to be patient and let it cook, uncovered, for about 1 hour. Check it every so often, in case you need to add a bit more liquid. The amount of liquid in your jam will vary depending on how juicy your figs were. My figs were a bit dry and so my jam never got as runny as some do.

After 45 minutes your figs should be soft and beginning to go mushy. Again, depending on the type of fig, they may go completely mushy or keep their shape a bit. In any case, they can still be eaten on toast and are delicious.

DSC071235.- After an hour or so, your jam should be ready. To know whether it is, take some jam and put it in a plate. Once it is cold, push your finger through the jam on the plate. You are looking for it to wrinkle and not flood back into the gap.

DSC071346.- Let it cool and enjoy with toast!

Remember to keep it in the fridge!

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