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Thursday, 16 June 2016

Tear and Share Pepperoni and Cheese Bread

Thought I'd do a spot of baking this afternoon. I'd seen a garlic and cheese tear and share in shop the other day and thought a pepperoni one would be nice with some pasta and tomato sauce.

Firstly I had to check I had enough strong (bread) flour in stock!

This is my favourite measuring bowl, it measures in grams, ounces, cups and fluid measurements. I used 450g of strong flour.

I popped the flour in my Kmix, added a teaspoon of salt, teaspoon of sugar and a sachet of yeast (7grams), I also added about 30ml of olive oil, the equivalent of about 2 tablespoons.

As it mixed, I gradually added some tepid water. I started with 300ml, but ended up increasing it to 320ml. Once I finished adding the water, I left it to keep kneading (dough hook on my Kmix) until it looked lovely and smooth and felt elastic and bouncy!

Into a dish to be left to proof

Covered with a clean tea towel

An hour later, it doubled in size. When I lifted it out of the bowl, it felt so light and full of air, just as it should.

On the work surface with some more flour sprinkled under it.

Hubby passing through the kitchen, so commandeered to do some rolling...

Couple of blobs of tomato puree smoothed on with the back of a spoon.

Before placing on the bread, I put the pepperoni and cheese in a bowl so I could add a couple of pinches of oregano, then spread it evenly over the rolled out dough.

Rolled the whole thing like a swiss roll and cut into pieces.

I placed them next to each other in a greased dish

Left for another half hour to proof a little more. Then used a brush to spread a little oil over the top. You can just see in this second picture how it's spread a little more.

In the oven for half an hour

Really turned out nice, light and tasty, enjoyed by all (the second tray was sent to my son)

Take care

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Growing a Garden

Thank you for your lovely and helpful comments on my last post, it's nice to know I'm going in the right direction.

As today is such a beautiful sunny day (after quite a few wet and chilly ones) I thought I should venture into the garden and see how the rain has helped things grow.

I planted some Alium bulbs last autumn (amongst others), they're past their best now, but are still eye-catching.

We have quite a few tubs filled with flowers, gradually starting to get more colour.

Good to see the Dahlias thriving, isn't the yellow magnificent...

These Pinks have been with us a few years now. Still giving us beautiful blooms though getting a bit straggly.

The plant at the bottom of the picture below is Basil given to us by our American friend when she was here... it gives lovely Basil...

We have a few vegetables growing in our raised beds. After losing most of our carrots to the horrible slugs and snails, we seem to be OK now.

The peas have pods!

As they can be rather unwieldy and our space is limited, we planted the Courgette and Cucumber seeds in pots. They both appear to be thriving

Tomato too

This was our bird bath. I'm afraid the birds just weren't brave enough to use it with our 3 little Chihuahuas and 2 cats. As the garden isn't very big, I don't like to waste space, so holes were drilled and seeds were planted.

The dog kennel has been brightened up with a new friend (fortunately this one doesn't need walking or feeding). The dogs gave it a sniff, then promptly proceeded to ignore it.

I think it's rather cute.

That was little tour of our small space. Im hoping in another month so, the colours will be spilling out everywhere.

I think Mitzi approves, Im sure she's trying to smile for the camera.

Take care

Monday, 6 June 2016

Hydrangea Wishes...

I think Hydrangeas are such lovely flowers, big blooms made up of so many delicate small flowers. Gorgeous colours from bright pink to a muted mauve, just as beautiful dried as fresh.

So why can't I have one??

I think we've bought Hydrangea plants 3 times now, and I've ruined 2 1/2 of them. The half is because I believe there's a chance that my last one is trying hard to stay with us...

We bought this little one last year near the end of the season. It sits at the front of the house and spends more time in shade than sun. I've left it alone, not removed a dead head, absolutely nothing, kept my very 'not green fingers' away from it.

I was so thrilled when I saw the new growth coming through, beautiful strong green leaves.

I wasn't sure what I should do... just leave it alone with last years dead flower heads, or get out the pruning scissors...

So, as with most things nowadays, I googled it. It didn't really help, I was reading about fresh growth from new shoots and some varieties grow their shoots on old wood, it all felt quite confusing!

I decided to be brave and follow the advice that recommended removing the old flowers after winter so the new growth 'knows' it needs to flower and produce more seeds.

Was this the right thing to do? Any advice is very welcome. Will she survive and give me more flowers?

Even though it's looking very small, I can see the future flower heads beginning to form.

What favourite flowers grow in your gardens, am I the only one who doesn't have a very green thumb?

Will my dreams and wishes come true.....

Take care