Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf

For me, nothing quite compares to the beauty, taste and smell of homemade bread. Four ingredients, flour, yeast, water and salt, when mixed together, worked, rested, shaped and baked give such incredibly satisfying results. Bread is surely the heart of any feast and therefore, teaching  others to bake it is of upmost importance to me. Using step by step instructions and photographs, you too can learn how to make and bake this Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf.

FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf.

Inspired by a friend on Twitter, who claimed that bread baking was beyond her, I set out to show her she could. While she is a very accomplished baker, far more so than me, bread is her baking stumbling block. Everyone can make bread. Are you wary of baking bread? With this guide and a relaxing cup of tea, read through and then get baking!

FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf soft crumb with crunchy crust.

Following the techniques and tips in this recipe will guarentee that you too, can make delicious, homemade bread. Also the more that you practise, the more confident and better you will get a baking bread at home. It is important to remember that occaisionally a loaf of bread will turn out mishapen. Rarely is it inebible though!

Recipe: Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf

320mls Water at room temperature

1/2tsp Caster Sugar

7g Dried Yeast make sure that is reasonably fresh (3 months old max) – I use Allinson in the green tub/sachets

500g/1lb 2oz Strong White Bread Flour – I use Shipton Mill

25g/1oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature

7g Sea Salt – I use Maldon

Method: For making by hand or using a stand mixer with dough attachment.

You will need a large, buttered baking tray.

Stand Mixer:

  • Add all of the ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer in the order that they are listed. This ensures that the yeast does not come into direct contact with the yeast.
FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Adding ingredients to the bowl in the correct order.
  • With dough hook attached mix on low speed until all the ingredients are combined.
FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Ingredients have come together to form a dough.
  • At this point if you wish to knead by hand, scrape the dough from the dough hook into the bowl. See making by hand method.
  • Continue mixing the dough on medium speed for a further 10 minutes.
  • After the kneading time has elapsed stop the machine and tear off a small piece of dough. Stretch it between your fingers until it is so thin that light can be seen through it. This is known as the windowpane test. If it tears whilst stretching, add back to the dough and continue to mix for a further 2 minutes as before. Repeat the test after each further mixing period until the dough passes the windowpane test.
  • Scrape the dough from the dough hook into the bowl and cover with a clean tea towel.
  • Place the covered bowl in a draught free place, away from a direct heat source.
FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
No shaping, simply leave the dough in a bowl and cover.
  • Leave until the dough has doubled in size.

Making by hand:

  • Place the flour and butter into a large bowl.
  • Rub the butter into the flower using your fingertips.
  • Add the sugar and yeast to the bowl on one side. Place the salt on the opposite side, so that it doesn’t come into direct contact with the yeast.
  • Make a well in the centre of the flour and then add all of the water.
  • Using your hand, shaped like a claw, bring the dry ingredients into the water and mix them together.
  • Continue mixing in the bowl until the dough has formed a sticky ball.
  • Place the dough on to a clean worktop and push with the heal of your hand to tear and stretch the dough. Knead the dough for at least 10 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic.
  • Tear a small piece of the dough and perform the windowpane test as described above. If the dough tears knead for a further 2 minutes and test again.
  • Repeat the kneading and testing procedure until the dough passes the windowpane test.
  • Form the dough into a ball, place in a clean bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave in a draught free place until doubled in size.

Shaping and building the Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf

  • When the dough has doubled in size turn out on to a lightly floured surface, ensuring the top of the dough is in contact with the worktop. What was the top is now the bottom.
  • Weigh the dough and cut off one quarter.
FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Turning out and dividing the dough
  • Starting with the larger piece of dough, stretch and pull one side and press down into the opposite side.
  • Now stretch and pull the opposite side. Press down as before.
  • Turn the dough and repeat 4 more times, where the edge is rough and untouched, until your dough resembles the bottom right photo.
FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Building tension into the dough.
  • Flip the dough over and create a ball shape. Cup your hands around the dough, tucking and turning to create a tight ball shape.
FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Creating a ball shaped dough using your hands.
  • Place the dough ball base of the cottage loaf, on to a prepared baking tray.
  • Repeat the streching/pulling process with the smaller piece of dough, then shape into a ball.
  • Place the smaller ball centrally on top of the base.
  • With two floured fingers push down, through the centre of the top ball, tight into the base. Doing so joins the top and bottom together, creating one loaf.
  • Slash the top 6 times and the bottom 12 times. Cut vertically, from top to bottom.
FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Assembling the Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
  • Cover with a tea towel, leave in a draft free place until doubled in size, 45 – 60 minutes.

Baking the Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf

  • While the loaf is undergoing its second prove, preheat your oven to it hottest setting. Usually 250C or gas mark 9.
  • 15 minutes before the loaf is ready, place a pan with 5cm/1″ of water in the base of the oven. The steam created will delay the forming of a hard crust on the loaf, allowing maximum expansion, also called oven spring, to take place.
FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf ready for the oven.
  • Once the loaf has doubled in size it is ready to bake.
  • Remove the tea towel and place in the middle/lower part of the oven. Make sure there is enough height room, allowing for oven spring, when placing your loaf in the oven.
  • Bake for 5 minutes at the hottest temperature and then reduce the oven temperature to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7.
  • Continue to bake for a further 35-45 minutes.
  • The loaf is baked when it is a deep golden colour, feels light (not heavy and dense) in your oven glove protected hands and most importantly sounds hollow when rapped on the top and base with a knuckle.
  • Remove from the oven and place immediately on to a cooling rack.
FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf golden and delicious.

An incredible homemade, home baked artisan style bread.

FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf with deeper slashes.

Serve sliced as open sandwiches, or toasted. Alternatively serve as an accompaniment to a meal, such as Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole.

FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf

Best eaten within a day of making, this bread will keep for up to 4 days in a bread bin, which allows air to circulate. It is better not to keep this Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf in an airtight container as it may go mouldy very quickly.

To freeze, thoroughly cool, then double wrap in cling film. Keep in the freezer for no longer than a month. Defrost at room temperature and refresh by placing in a moderate oven for 10 minutes.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf then you make also like these:

Farmhouse White Loaf

FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Farmhouse White Loaf

Seeded Cob Loaf

FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Seeded Cob Loaf

Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf

FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf
Christmas Spiced Fruit Loaf

Baking bread is such a rewarding experience. Whether you make the entire loaf by hand, or enlist the help of kitchen machinery, each loaf will be far superior in both flavour and quality than it’s mass produced counterpart. Even if you have a great bakery in your local vicinity, baking your own means you can make unusual, rarely seen loaves such as this Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, enjoy preparing your feast.

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced without the written consent of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

I am entering my Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf in the #GBBOBloggers2017 linky hosted by http://www.mummymishaps.co.uk

 

FF Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf

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Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake

Someone once said “A celebration without cake is just a meeting.” How right they were. Whether it is birthdays, weddings, christenings, or any other form of celebration, cakes almost always feature. Recently Hawkshead Relish won Small Business Of The Year 2017. Having reviewed and used their delicious jams, chutneys and more recently spreads, I was absolutely thrilled for them. To celebrate their award I offered to make a cake featuring their best selling Raspberry and Vanilla Jam. Here is the Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake made in celebration of such an amazing achievement.

FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake.

Three layers of light, vanilla sponge, sandwiched together with vanilla bean buttercream and raspberry vanilla jam. Covered lightly, yet incompletely with the same buttercream. Most of all, giving a very ‘on trend’ naked finish to the cake. Finished with edible garden flowers that reflect the geographic location of Hawkshead Relish, situated in the historic village of Hawkshead within the English Lake District.

FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake in the sunshine.

Using locally sourced ingredients Hawkshead Relish do not use any artificial additives or preservatives. Completely free from nuts, their range is also suitable for vegetarians. Holding 50 Great Taste awards, each product is made in small batches using traditional methods. Resulting in outstanding taste and quality, from a family run business.

FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake layered with buttercream and the very best jam.

Using the Hawkshead Relish motto “Embellish with Relish,” it has been my pleasure creating recipes that include their products. While creating Red Onion Sausage Plait, the Red Onion Marmalade is a vital ingredient to the finished bake. So unique are the  flavour of chutneys and sauces, they deserve more than to be spooned on to the side of a plate. Since including relish within recipes, a whole world of flavour combinations became unlocked.

Recipe: Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake serves 14-16

  • To make the 3 cake sponges:
  • 275g/10oz Unsalted Butter + 100g/4oz both at room temperature
  • 275g/10oz Caster Sugar + 100g/4oz
  • 3tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey
  • 1/4tsp + 1/8tsp Sea Salt  – I use Maldon
  • 6 Large Free Range Eggs + an additional 3
  • 275g/10oz Plain White Flour + 100g/4oz
  • 2.5tsp Baking Powder + 1tsp
  • To make the buttercream:
  • 500g/12oz Icing Sugar
  • 250g/9oz Unsalted Butter softened to room temperature
  • 2tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
  • 2  Jars Raspberry and Vanilla Jam from – Hawkshead Relish
  • 2-3tbsp Very Hot Water from a recently boiled kettle
  • To decorate the cake:
  • A selection of organic, pesticide free edible flowers. Both mint and lavender flowers were sourced from our garden.

Method: Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan, gas mark 3

Making the cake:

You will need 3 x 18cm/7″ approx 7cm/2.5″ deep, loose bottom sponge tins. As most people own only 2, this method is written with that taken into account. Therefore, two separate bakes are included. First of all making the batter and baking two sponges. Followed by making the batter and baking one sponge. Finally, should you own and have oven space for three sponges to be made and baked together, simply follow the steps, using the total ingredients.

  • First of all, lightly butter the baking tins. Cover the base in baking parchment.
  • Into a large bowl add the first amount of sugar, butter and salt.
  • Whisk together until pale and creamy.
  • Next add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and 6 whole eggs.
  • Whisk everything together until combined.
  • Follow by sieving in the flour and baking powder.
  • Whisk the ingredients together until combined. Take care not to over beat, or the resulting cake will be tough.
  • Divide the cake batter equally between 2 greased and lined tins. If using the entire mix divide between 3 tins.
  • Place the tins in the top and centre of the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes.
FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
Preparing and baking the cake sponges.
  • When they have turned golden brown and spring back from a light touch the cakes are fully baked.
  • Remove from the oven, allowing each cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out on to a cooling rack.
  • Wash up one cake tin and follow the steps given to make a single sponge cake. Make and bake as before. Each of the 3 sponges must be fully cooled before icing.

Icing to create a naked cake finish:

During the cake icing process, chilling of the iced cake in a fridge is required. Therefore a cake board, or flat plate is needed for transferring the cake. Also a cake decorating turntable is helpful for ensuring a smooth even finish to the buttercream. Alternatively use a cake stand large enough to accommodate the cake board/plate. A palette knife and large piping bag are also required.

  • Into a large bowl add the softened butter and vanilla bean paste.
  • Sieve the icing sugar into the same bowl.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of very hot water from the kettle and start whisking the ingredients on a low speed.
  • Continue whisking until the buttercream has turned very pale and has a light, creamy consistency.
  • Place the cake board on to the cake stand.
  • Next, put a small dollop of buttercream on to the centre of the board. Spread the icing so that it is slightly smaller than the diameter of a cake sponge.
  • Lay the first sponge, flat side uppermost on to the board. The buttercream anchors the cake to the board, providing a stable base.
  • Spread 4 generous tablespoons of jam on to the cake. Leave a 2cm gap between the jam and the edge of the cake.
  • Next, take a separate sponge and add a generous dollop/4tbsp of buttercream to the top.
  • Using a palette knife, spread the buttercream evenly so that it covers the sponge.
  • Carefully lift and flip the sponge, placing it on top of the jam sponge, buttercream side facing down. See the photos below for guidance.
FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
Layering each sponge with jam and buttercream.
  • Repeat the last steps, with the remaining sponge. However, this time the sponge should be placed flat side down. Hence leaving the finished, stacked cake with a natural top.
FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
3 sponge cake layers stacked. Also covering the top in buttercream.
  • Spoon a generous amount/5tbsp of buttercream on to the top of the cake.
  • Again, using a palette knife, spread the buttercream so that it covers the top of the cake evenly.
  • Fill a large, disposable piping bag with the remaining buttercream. Snip the end of the bag to give a 1cm opening. A nozzle is not required.
FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
Covering the cake sides with buttercream.
  • The purpose of piping buttercream is to fill in any gaps. Similar to plastering, buttercream is added and then smoothed on to the cake sides. During this process buttercream will be added and then taken off. Resulting in a ‘naked cake’ finish.
  • Pipe the buttercream in between each layer of the cake, including the base and the cake board. Take care not to get jam mixed with the buttercream.
  • Holding a palette knife at a slight angle to the side of the cake, slowly turn the cake stand. As the buttercream spreads across the cake it will also accumulate on the palette knife. Scrape the palette knife against the side of the butter bowl to remove any excess.
  • Continue turning the cake, piping buttercream on to any bare spots, until the sides of the cake are roughly covered. See bottom left photo above.
  • The next stage is creating a smooth, even finish across the entire cake.
  • Fill a jug with very hot water. Wipe any buttercream from the palette knife and then place it in the hot water. Since the heat of the knife melts buttercream, it is very helpful in creating the smoothest finish.
  • Remove the palette knife, wipe off any water and then hold it flat against the side of the cake. Rotate the cake slowly. When you start to feel a dragging sensation, turn the knife over and repeat. Creating a completely smooth cake requires a lot of repetition of these steps. Repeat until the sides of the cake are smooth.
  • Now use the same technique for smoothing the cake top. As soon as the cake top is smooth, run a hot palette knife around the outside of the top cake layer. Creating a smooth top and sides is the aim.
  • While it is tempting to keep going, there does come a point at which the cake is satisfactorily smoothed. Part of the beauty of naked cakes, is their imperfect finish.
  • Clean off any buttercream on the cake board.
FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake before and after smoothing with a hot palette knife.
  • Chill the cake, uncovered, in the fridge for an hour. Chilling sets the buttercream prior to decorating.
  • Decorating a naked cake:
  • If using fresh flowers it is important to decorate the cake on the day it is to be served.
  • While the cake is chilling prepare the flowers for decoration. Remove lower leaves on stalks and trim flowers so that they can sit on top, or to the side of the cake.
  • Decorate using your chosen flowers. It is important to consider the cake from every angle whilst decorating.
FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
Roses and herbs reflect the rural and natural products made by Hawkshead Relish.

Finally the Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake is ready to be served.

FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake.

Store any leftover cake, floral decorations removed, in an airtight container, ideally refrigerated.

If you have enjoyed this Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake recipe, you may also like these:

Lemon Drizzle Whipped Cream Filled Giant Doughnut

FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
Lemon Drizzle Whipped Cream Filled Giant Doughnut.

Toffee Cookie Base Chocolate Cheesecake

FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
Toffee Cookie Base Chocolate Cheesecake

Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake

FF Raspberry Vanilla Naked Celebration Cake
Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake.

Celebrating a special event, such as Hawhead Relish’s achievement, with cake, marks the occasion. Other desserts such as cheesecakes and pavlova’s can also make an impressive alternative. Especially as different dietary requirements may need catering for. All Pavlova recipes on Feasting is Fun are specifically gluten free, for that very reason. Including as many people in a celebration is always important.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun creating your feast.

Sammie xx

Hawkhead Relish kindly supplied the used in this recipe. All opinions, views, content including photography are my own. No part of this post may be reproduced without the express written permission of its owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread

If you are a frequent visitor to this blog, you will know how much I enjoy making bread. While I am very happy to let kitchen appliances carry out the hard work, indeed for this loaf they are necessary, shaping the dough is always fun to do by hand. Since I first tried an eight strand plaited loaf last year, I have become hooked on intertwining lengths of dough and observing the final, baked result. This Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread is delicious and easy to make.

FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread a delicious breakfast.

Having re-tested the recipe and technique I have full confidence that you too can make this delicious bread. Even if you have never plaited before, the step by step photographs will show you how. Such a small amount of extra effort and you will be rewarded with a stunning loaf. While the smell of cinnamon dough, baking, will have you counting the minutes until your first slice!

FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread golden and bronzed with a hidden inner.

When baking, it always pays to use the very best ingredients available. However, not everyone’s budget can stretch to premium ingredients. If you can make one change here, I strongly recommend using free range, or organic eggs. Their golden yolks are what help give this loaf its amazing colour. Both in the bread itself and the egg wash, brushed on before baking. Resulting in both the golden and bronzed baked crust.

FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread beautiful inside and out.

Serving this bread, sliced for breakfast or as an afternoon treat with a hot drink, is sure to brighten anyone’s day. Since it is a large loaf, why not take it to work, pre-sliced and share with your colleagues? Since all food tastes better when it is shared, that is the only way to improve this bread. Simply by sharing it.

FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread simply delicious.

Recipe: Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread 

300mls Whole Milk

2 Large Free Range Eggs

1tsp Caster Sugar

10g Dried Yeast – I use Allinson in the green tub or sachets

600g/1lb 5oz Strong White Bread Flour – I use Shipton Mill

50g/2oz Unsalted Butter

10g Salt – I use Maldon

For the cinnamon filling:

75g/3oz Light Muscavado Sugar – I use Billington’s

4tsp Cinnamon

1 free range egg plus 1tbsp milk to brush over the loaf.

Method:

The method given for making this Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread uses a dough hook fitted to a stand mixer. The enriched dough is very, very sticky, prior to its first prove. Using a stand mixer ensures that the dough is kneaded properly. Resulting in a light textured crumb once baked.

  • First of all ensure that your kitchen is warm. It will really benefit the yeast, during the dough making process.
  • Measure the milk into a jug and warm in a microwave for 20 seconds. Ideally the milk should be body temperature 37C. However, do not overheat as it may kill the yeast.
  • Pour the milk into the bowl of a stand mixer.
  • Crack 2 eggs into the jug and add these to the milk in the bowl. I always break eggs into a separate container first. If any shell escapes it can then be removed and also, extremely occasionally, should an egg be bad, it will not spoil the whole recipe.
  • Next add the sugar and yeast. Swish the liquid about with clean fingers to break up the eggs and mix lightly.
  • On top of the liquid mix add the flour.
  • Now add the butter and salt.
  • Lower the dough hook into the bowl and mix on the slowest speed for 5 minutes. Then, gradually increase the speed to medium and mix for a further 5 minutes.
  • After the mixing time has elapsed stop the mixer.
  • Remove a small piece of dough and stretch it between your fingers. The dough is kneaded when it can be stretched so thinly that light can be seen through it. This is called the windowpane test.
  • If the dough tears before it can be fully stretched, lower the dough hook and continue mixing, checking every 3 minutes, until it passes the windowpane test.
  • Once the dough passes the windowpane test it is ready to prove. Scrape the dough from the dough hook and allow to drop into the bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and place somewhere warm and drought free.
  • Allow the dough to prove until doubled in size – approximately 1 hour.
  • While the dough is proving grease a large baking tray with butter. Also, into a small bowl, weigh out the sugar and add the cinnamon. Stir to mix and break up any large sugar lumps using your fingers. Set to one side.
  • Once doubled in size turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface. Use your hand, or a dough scraper to remove all of the dough.
  • Shape the dough into a round and then weigh it. I use digital scales, placing the dough on to a piece of baking parchment. Make a note of the weight of the dough. Now divide that figure in 3.
  • Cut the dough into 3 pieces that are equal in weight.
  • Roll each piece of dough into a length and then flatten, using your hands or a rolling pin. Each flattened length of dough should measure 50cm/20″.
FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Preparing three dough strands for the cinnamon/sugar filling.
  • Sprinkle the sugar/cinnamon mixture down the middle of each piece of dough. Dividing it equally between three strands.
  • Dab a little tap water down the right side of the first strip of dough. Now bring the left side over and pinch to secure the sides together. Similar to making a sausage roll.
  • Continue until all three lengths of dough have their filling securely encased.
  • Roll each length of dough so that the join is underneath and not visible.
  • Join all three lengths of dough at the top. Place on top of each other and pinch together to secure.
FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Filling, securing and attaching the top of the plait.
  • Plaiting the dough:
  • Starting from left to right, number the strands 1, 2 and 3. Number 1 strand will always be to the left, 2 in the middle and 3 on the right.
  • Pass strand 1 over strand 2.
  • Now pass strand 3 over strand 2. Ensure the strands are not pulled tight and likewise there should be no gaps.
  • Repeat the past two steps until the plait is finished. (Strand 1 over 2, then strand 3 over strand 2 and repeat.)
  • Pinch the bottom 3 strands together so that they are secure and look tidy.
  • Lift the plait using both hands at either end and place diagonally on to the greased baking tray.
  • Cover with a clean tea towel and leave, as before, in a draught free place.
  • While the plaited dough is proving preheat the oven to 240C/220C gas mark 9. Break an egg into a bowl, add the tablespoon of milk and whisk with a fork to mix. This is the eggwash.
  • Once the plaited dough has doubled in size use a soft pastry brush and carefully brush the egg wash over.
FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Plaiting the dough strands, proving and egg washing before baking.
  • Place the egg washed Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7. Continue to bake for a further 15-20 minutes.
  • The bread is baked when a deep, golden crust has formed and the base sounds hollow, when rapped with a knuckle.
  • Once baked remove the bread from the oven.
FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Beautifully baked Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread.
  • Slide a pallet knife under the baked bread, then carefully transfer to a cooling rack.
FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread cooled and sliced, revealing the hidden centre of each strand.

Allow the loaf to cool to body temperature before slicing. Attempting to slice while the bread is still hot will compact the bread. Also eating freshly baked, hot bread, is not good for our digestion!

Serve sliced with a smile and a complimenting drink.

Placed in a bread bin, or wrapped loosely in foil, once fully cooled, this loaf will last up to three days. It can be toasted, although I’d advise not to use a toaster due to the sugar present. Under a grill, or even better, in front of a log fire, this bread makes excellent toast!

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread you may also like these:

Large White Bloomer

FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Large White Bloomer

Knotted Poppyseed Rolls

FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Knotted Poppyseed Rolls

Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns

FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns

Homemade bread is the most luxurious food, for me, to bake. Enticing smells as it is baking, make our house feel like a home. Appreciative comments when a fresh loaf is on the table, to be served with dinner, or for breakfast, make me smile. Not for the accolade, or indeed achievement, from others, of having made my own loaf. Simply the fact that I am giving my family, delicious, additive free, tasty bread, is enough to keep me baking.

What do you really enjoy cooking and baking? Who do you like to share it with?

Sammie xx

 

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Orange Lemon Ombre Piped Rose Cake

Orange Lemon Ombre Piped Rose Cake, three layers of orange and lemon cake, sandwiched with lemon curd, crumb coated and piped with lemon buttercream.

Birthday season is upon us in the Feasting family. Cakes, bakes, canapés and celebration continue from now, right through to the New Year. Therefore, making this Orange Lemon Ombre Piped Rose Cake with family in mind, resulted in a beautifully decorated, delicious cake, perfect for guys and girls of all ages.

FF Orange Lemon Ombre Piped Rose Cake
Orange Lemon Ombre Piped Rose Cake delicious citrus flavours all the way through.

So the cake itself is made using Wright’s Baking Orange Cake Mix, to which lemon zest is added. Baked as a single cake, it is then sliced into three layers which are sandwiched back together using tart lemon curd. The result, a balanced citrus flavoured cake, that wakes up your tastebuds ready to party!

FF Orange Lemon Ombre Piped Rose Cake
Orange Lemon Ombre Piped Rose Cake full of hidden fruit.

In addition, the decision to decorate the cake with piped buttercream roses, shows an increase in confidence with regard to piping. Creating an ombré effect, from pale lemon swirls to deeper tangerine lends a modern finish to this cake.

FF Orange Lemon Ombre Piped Rose Cake
Orange Lemon Ombre Piped Rose Cake a stunning centrepiece perfect for celebrating.

Since piping this Heart Engagement Bundt Cake, crumb coating, covering the whole cake in a thin layer of buttercream, was not an option, it was a must. The finished cake looks much cleaner, more professional and any gaps between the roses are already covered.

FF Orange Lemon Ombre Piped Rose Cake
Orange Lemon Ombre Piped Rose Cake my entry for #GBBOTwitterBakeAlong

While not absolutely necessary, the added edible violas give the finished cake an elegant, yet natural touch. Their presence hints at the floral, citrus flavoured cake hidden by the piped roses.

Recipe: Orange Lemon Ombre Piped Rose Cake serves 12-14

2 Packets Orange Cake Mix available from Wright’s Baking online shop you will need 1 1/2 packets of mix for this recipe

90ml Vegetable Oil – I use sunflower oil plus a little extra for greasing the cake tin

300ml Water

1 Large Free Range Egg

1tsp Lemon Zest – the zest of one regular lemon

Approx 1/2 jar Lemon Curd

For the ombre buttercream:

700g White Icing Sugar

350g Unsalted Butter – softened to room temperature

2tbsp Very Hot Water

Gel Food Colouring – Red and Yellow, or Orange – I use Wilton

1tsp Lemon Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

Optional – pesticide free viola flowers

Method: Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan, gas mark 3.5

You will need a 20cm/8″ diameter 8.5cm/3.5″ deep tin to bake this cake.

  • Starting with the cake tin, grease the entire tin and also line the base with parchment paper.
  • Into a large bowl add the water, egg, oil and one packet of the orange cake mix. Weigh the other packet of cake mix and divide in half. Add half of the packet contents to the bowl – it was approximately 260g. Please check the weight for yourself.
  • Whisk the ingredients together according to the instructions on the packet.
  • Finally add the finely grated zest of 1 lemon, approximately 1tsp, to the bowl. Whisk to distribute and combine.
  • Pour the citrus cake batter into the prepared tin.
FF Orange Lemon Ombre Piped Rose Cake
Cake batter in the tin and ready for the oven.
  • Place the cake tin in the centre of the oven and bake for 1 hour 30 minutes. Test the cake at 1 hour 20 minutes with a skewer. The cake is baked when an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • Once baked remove the cake from the oven, place on a rack and allow the cake to cool completely in the tin.

FF Orange Lemon Ombre Piped Rose Cake

    Breath in the rich, citrus, homebaked aroma.
  • When the cake has cooled turn it out of the tin. Also if necessary, run around the outer rim of the cake with a palette knife. Doing this will loosen any slight sticking, that said Wright’s cake mixes are excellent and always turn out of the tin easily.

Preparing the cake for decoration:

  • The cake whilst baking rose slightly more in the centre. The cause may have been the addition of an  egg to the cake mixture, or, baking at a slightly higher temperature.
  • First cut off any dome on the top of the cake. Having a small rise in the centre is an advantage with the finished cake.
  • Slice the cake evenly into 3 layers. A serrated knife cuts cleanly through the cake, minimising crumbs.
  • Place the bottom layer, cut side up, on a board or cake stand.
  • Spread the bottom layer with an even, thin layer of lemon curd, so that it almost reaches the edges.
  • Next, place the middle layer on top of the bottom layer, matching up the sides.
  • Again, spread a thin, even layer of lemon curd on to the cake, keeping just inside the edges.
  • Finally place the top of the cake on to the middle layer.
FF Orange Lemon Ombre Piped Rose Cake
Shaping, slicing and then reassembling the cake.

Preparing the cake:

  • Place the softened butter into a large bowl.
  • Sift the icing sugar into the same bowl.
  • Next add the very hot water and lemon extract.
  • Finally whisk the ingredients together, starting on a slow speed and increasing the speed, until you have a pale, fluffy, lump free, buttercream.
  • Remove 3 heaped tablespoons of the buttercream and set aside to crumb coat the cake. First place the buttercream on the top of the cake. Use an offset spatula to spread the icing across the top of the cake, gently pushing it over the sides. Rotating the stand, or board, gradually cover the sides of the cake with a thin layer of buttercream. Finish by dipping a palette knife into hot water, drying and running the hot knife over the cake, this will produce a smooth finish. Place the cake in the fridge for 30 minutes to allow the crumb coat to set slightly.

Colouring the buttercream:

  • Divide the remaining buttercream equally, between 3 bowls.
  • Use cocktail sticks, gel food colouring and a teaspoon to stir, start colouring the icing. It is easier to achieve the lightest colour, which is piped on to the top of the cake, first. Doing so sets the shade and tint of the icing.
  • Following on, add more colouring to the next bowl, until the shade is correct. Finishing with the last bowl and deepest colour, add extra red and yellow gel until the desired deeper colour is obtained.
  • To pipe the buutercream, fit 3 large, disposable piping bags with large star piping nozzles – Wilton #1M. Fill each bag with a separate shade of buttercream. Label the piping bags light, medium, dark, so they are distinguishable.
FF Orange Lemon Ombre Piped Rose Cake
Natural lemon flavoured buttercream and the 3 shades created for the ombré effect.

Decorating the Cake:

  • Starting right in the centre, on top of the cake, using the lightest shade, pipe the first rose. Begin in the centre of the rose, keeping pressure steady on the bag pipe a star, continuing into an e shape, then continuing round to form a rose swirl.
  • Continue working evenly around the centrally piped rose, piping more rose swirls. Carry on until the top of the cake is covered, or almost covered, in evenly piped rose swirls.
  • Following on, use the next shade darker, pipe rose swirls around and inbetween the lighter shade, then pipe evenly around the side of the cake.
FF Orange Lemon Ombre Piped Rose Cake
The image on the right shows the colour difference.
  • Complete the cake by piping the darkest shade around the base of the cake. The full ombré effect is then complete.
FF Orange Lemon Ombre Piped Rose Cake
Orange Lemon Ombre Piped Rose Cake very effective.
  • For the very best results place the piped cake into the fridge, or somewhere cold, for 30 minutes.
  • Just prior to serving add the edible violas.
FF Orange Lemon Ombre Piped Rose Cake
Orange Lemon Ombre Piped Rose Cake perfect with a Buck’s Fizz!

Beautifully baked, evenly distributed fruit, decorated with rose swirls, this Orange Lemon Ombre Piped Rose Cake demonstrates how easy it is to create a sensational cake using a mix.

Because of my health limitations, creating this cake from scratch would be too much for me. Of most importance, my aim, to show how the ombré piping effect is achievable, at home, with a little practice. Secure in the knowledge that the cake underneath is reliably good. A couple of badly piped roses were removed, using a butter knife and re-piped. Practice and making mistakes is how we learn to improve our skills.

If you have enjoyed the recipe for this Orange Lemon Ombre Piped Rose Cake you may also like these:

Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake

FF Orange Lemon Ombre Piped Rose Cake
Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake also uses Wright’s cake mixes.

Strawberry Sweetheart Cake

FF Orange Lemon Ombre Piped Rose Cake
Strawberry Sweetheart Cake my first piped cake.

Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake

FF Orange Lemon Ombre Piped Rose Cake
Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake.

Beautiful cakes do not have to be difficult to create. Since I am most definitely not an accomplished cake decorator, I have learned a few decorating techniques that enable me to finish a cake to a good standard.

Most of all I hope you have been inspired to try out a new technique? Homemade cakes taste infinitely better than their supermarket counterparts. While they are convenient, no amount of love, has, at any stage been added to the cake. Baking at home creates a unique, delicious cake that will prompt huge smiles from the recipient and those who share in the celebration and cake!

Sammie xx

 

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Lighter Wholemeal Loaf

Bread, an everyday staple for most people. Yet finding a loaf that is light, tasty, with added fibre can be hard. Look no further my friends, as I present my Lighter Wholemeal Loaf.

Lighter Wholemeal Loaf easily sliced and perfect for sandwiches.
Lighter Wholemeal Loaf easily sliced and perfect for sandwiches.

I must admit I am a bit of a ‘bread head’ – does that make me sound cool?!!

By that, I mean that I adore most breads, providing they are well made, do not contain additives and have a flavour of their own that contributes to the final dish.

I do not live near an Artisan Bakery, where freshly baked bread, in all its array of shapes and flavours can be purchased. So instead I make our bread at home.

Lighter Wholemeal Bread full of flavour.
Lighter Wholemeal Bread full of flavour.

This Lighter Wholemeal Loaf is one of our family’s favourite breads. The loaf slices beautifully and so is perfect for packed lunches, or toasted for breakfast and then slathered in homemade jam.

I have 100% wholemeal bread recipes such as my Wholemeal Cob Loaf and Wholemeal Loaf, yet if I’m honest, as delicious as they are, having the same bread every single day can get a bit boring. So I like to switch things up a bit, keeping our taste buds interested and in reality, ensuring our teenagers eat a decent portion of their lunch.

They say variety is the spice of life 😉

Lighter Wholemeal Loaf just add butter for a delicious feast.
Lighter Wholemeal Loaf just add butter for a delicious feast.

When I eat bread I want it to contribute to the flavour of the whole dish. What I mean is, it shouldn’t, mustn’t just be a limp carrier for other flavours. The mature cheddar cheese and butter, as seen in the photo above, became my lunch yesterday – the perks of being a food blogger!

Yet this sandwich, with the addition of some Red Onion Marmalade, truly is one of my favourite lunches. Each component adding flavour and different textures, so that as a whole, the resulting sandwich was incredibly appetising and filling.

Lighter Wholemeal Loaf a heart, flavour packed lunch.
Lighter Wholemeal Loaf a hearty, flavour packed lunch.

I used a mixture of stone ground, organic strong flour from Shipton Mill to make this Lighter Wholemeal Loaf. The wheat, traditionally milled, using the flow of river water for energy needed to drive the grinding stones, is consistently excellent, whilst it’s production is sympathetic to and works in harmony with the environment.

So that I can guarentee you consistent, excellent results when making this Lighter Wholemeal Loaf, this recipe has been thoroughly tested, with the resulting loaf being approximately one third wholemeal flour. This 2:1 combination of Strong White to Strong Wholemeal flour gives a great, nutty, wholesome flavour, whilst keeping the bread light enough for everday use. It’s also a great way of adding extra fibre into your own and your familiy’s diet, especially if their preference is for white bread.

Recipe: Makes one Lighter Wholemeal Loaf

150g/5oz Strong Wholemeal Flour – preferably organic plus a little extra for dusting the work top.

350g/12oz Strong Unbleached White Flour – preferably organic

360ml Tepid Tap Water

7g/1 Sachet Dried Yeast

1tsp Honey

7g/1tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon Sea Salt Flakes

25g/1oz Unsalted Butter

Method:

The ‘bowl’ is either a large bowl, with which to mix the bread by hand, or the stand mixer/bread maker bowl.

For all methods:

Pour the water into the bowl. Add the honey and yeast. Swish about with clean fingers to activate the yeast.

Add the flour on top of the liquid.

Add the salt and the butter.

If using a bread maker, set to dough cycle and start the program. Once the cycle is completed re-start for 1 minute. This ‘knocks back’ the dough. See below for how to shape the loaf prior to it’s second prove.

If using a stand mixer, attach the dough hook and mix on medium speed until all the ingredients are combined. Continue to mix for a further 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Stop mixing. Scrape the dough from the dough hook and combine with the dough in the bowl. Form into a ball, place back into the bowl. Cover with a damp cloth and leave in a draught free place until doubled in size (approx. 1hour). Once doubled remove the cloth, mix for 1 minute on medium speed using the dough hook. This ‘knocks back’ the dough.

If hand mixing, bring all the ingredients together with your hand until they form a doughy mess! Place this dough onto a very lightly floured worktop. Knead for a good 10 minutes. If the dough gets sticky, keep kneading and working it – if you add extra flour the finished bread will be dry. After a good 10 minutes kneading, the dough should have a smooth elasticity. Place the kneaded dough into a buttered bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave in a draught free place until doubled in size, 1-2 hours.

To shape the dough: Tip the knocked back the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently flatten the dough into an oval/rectangle shape.

Flatten out the dough into a rough oval.
Flatten out the dough into a rough oval.

Fold the top third of the flattened dough over.

Fold the top third of the dough over.
Fold the top third of the dough over.

Fold the bottom third of the dough up and slightly over the previous fold.

Bring the bottom third of the dough up.
Bring the bottom third of the dough up.

Rotate the dough by a quarter, gently flatten out and repeat the folding process.

Repeat the turning and folding twice more, ensuring the last turn and fold is quite tight. This folding technique does not take long and unlike pastry, this bread dough can withstand being moved and worked. The purpose of turning and folding is to build a good structure within the dough.

Once the folding and turning is complete turn the dough over so that it is seam side down.

Place into a greased 3lb loaf tin. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm, draught free place until doubled in size.

I also sprinkled some wholemeal flour over the top of the dough, this gives a nice, rustic finish to the baked bread.

Neat, tightly folded dough ready for its second prove.
Neat, tightly folded dough ready for its second prove.

The dough can take between 45 minutes and a couple of hours to double in size, depending on the ambient temperature and humidity.

Whilst the dough has it’s final prove, preheat your oven to it’s hottest setting.

5 minutes before your loaf is due to be baked, fill a tray with ice cubes and place on the lowest shelf in the oven. The hot, steamy environment will help the dough to rise even further before the crust sets and helps bake a crusty loaf.

Lighter Wholemeal Loaf beautifully risen and ready for the oven.
Lighter Wholemeal Loaf beautifully risen and ready for the oven.

Place the loaf into the centre of a preheated oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7. Bake the Lighter Wholemeal Loaf for 30 minutes.

The bread is cooked when it is a golden brown colour and sounds hollow when rapped on the base of the loaf with your knuckle.

Once baked remove the bread from the oven and immediately tip out onto a cooling rack. Note: If the loaf is cooked but you’d like a darker crust, place the loaf, without the tin, directly on to the oven shelf and bake for a further 5-10 minutes until the crust is the colour you desire.

Lighter Wholemeal Loaf such a delicious and versatile bread.
Lighter Wholemeal Loaf such a delicious and versatile bread.

The smell of freshly baked bread is so unbelievably good. Our postman really likes delivering to us in the morning, as that tends to be when the bread is either baking or cooling!

Do not be surprised if your neighbours pop in, just for a chat, as they catch a whiff of freshly baked bread escaping from your house 😉

This Lighter Wholemeal Loaf will keep in a bread bin for up to 3 days. To freeze, ensure the bread is completely cold and wrap tightly in cling film. Fresh bread can be frozen for up to 3 months. To defrost, remove all the cling film and allow the loaf to stand on a large trivet or a cooling rack at room temperature, until fully defrosted.

I like to refresh frozen bread – this simply involves preheating the oven to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7. Once the bread has fully defrosted, spritz with tap water and place directly onto the middle oven shelf for 10-15 minutes. After removing from the oven allow the loaf to cool and it will taste like it has been freshly baked that day! I won’t tell 😉

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Lighter Wholemeal Loaf, then I have some others you may like too:

Farmhouse White Loaf

FF Lighter Wholemeal Loaf
Farmhouse White Loaf

Oat Bran White Bread

FF Lighter Wholemeal Loaf
Oat Bran White Bread makes the best toast!

Knotted Poppyseed Rolls

FF Lighter Wholemeal Loaf
Knotted Poppyseed Rolls perfect for picnics.

Using a bread maker or stand mixer to carry out the kneading part of making bread dough isn’t cheating. I hand kneaded some incredibly sticky Brioche dough for 20 minutes at the weekend and honestly, it has really taken it’s toll on my body this week. So if using kitchen appliances enables us to eat better quality, homemade bread, that is also much cheaper than it’s shop bought counterpart, why not?

I hope that the detailed, yet easy steps in this recipe have encouraged you to bake your own bread – you may find that once you start it is impossible to go back to mass produced, plastic wrapped loaves!!

I am always willing to answer any questions you may have with this, or any of my other recipes. Simply leave a comment, or for a quicker reply Tweet me a message.

Have fun making and baking in your kitchens, maybe invite a friend or neighbour round and bake together. It may take longer but I can guarentee there will be lots of laughing.

Sammie xx

This is not a sponsored post. I have been buying Shipton Mill flour for almost as long as I have been baking my own bread.

British Bakeware  sell a range of baking products, their 3lb farmhouse loaf tin was used to bake this Lighter Wholemeal Loaf.

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