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Saturday, 21 January 2012

Jammy Brioche

My girls would much rather have some sort of bread or baked product for breakfast than a bowl of cereal. I guess with the endless supply of different flavours of jam on hand this is hardly surprising (although my eldest has been known to opt for honey!). Consequently, I often make a batch of something for breakfast on a Sunday morning, freezing half and offering the rest for breakfast for the next few days. This might be waffles, banana/pumpkin/apple pancakes or something bready like Chelsea Buns. There is, after all, no time for faffing about on a school morning so being able to reach for something that can be quickly reheated in the microwave or toaster is essential on those mornings.

Having got through the Sunday batch of waffles by Wednesday this week, I decided to top up the breakfast bakery selection with some brioche buns. Doing this sort of thing mid week is only possible when you have a bread machine. So on returning from the school run, I threw the ingredients into the machine and got on with other things for an hour and half whilst it worked through the dough setting. Next I shaped the dough into 12 buns and then decided to see if it would work if I blobbed some jam into the centre of each one before cooking. Then, come the morning, it would just be case of popping a bun on a plate, no need even to slice it and spread with jam.

Well, I'm pleased to say that my experiment worked and this fresh batch made a very welcome after school snack that day and then a quick breakfast the next day. As is always the case with homemade bread, the rolls were a little stale on the 3rd day but 15 seconds in the microwave for 2 buns revived them and made another breakfast. Yep, a definite hit and something to add to the breakfast menu.

Jammy Brioche Buns (makes 12)

2 tablespoons milk
2 eggs
8 oz (225g) strong white flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon caster sugar
2 oz (55g) butter (diced)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried yeast
Seedless raspberry jam (or another flavour if preferred)
egg or milk to glaze

Pour the milk and eggs into the bread machine pan. Sprinkle over the flour to cover the liquid. Put the salt, sugar and butter into separate corners of the bread pan. Place the yeast into a small indent in the centre. Set the bread machine on dough setting and press start. When it has finished, gently knock the dough back on a lightly floured surface. Cut into 12 equal pieces. Grease a 12 hole muffin tin. Cup each piece of dough in your hand and add half a teaspoon of jam to the centre of the dough then gently pull the dough over the jam to seal inside. Place the dough fold side down into the holes in the muffin tin. Repeat for each piece of dough. Cover with lightly oiled clingfilm and leave to rise for 30 to 40 minutes. Preheat oven to 220°C, gas 7. Brush each roll with egg or milk to glaze then bake for 15 minutes until risen and golden. Cool on a wire rack.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Things to do with jam no.32

On my Jammy Cow Website I have a page dedicated to finding 101 things to do with jam. Back in August when I only had 12 things listed on this page, I asked my Facebook page fans for suggestions to help me towards the 101. My friend John replied with a comprehensive list and ever since then I have wanted to create his 12th suggestion which was to collect enough varieties to line them up as a rainbow on my shelf.

So when I finally had chance to restock my Greengage Jam this weekend I knew my spectrum was complete. OK so it's not exactly vibrant green but that's what you get with natural products and no colourings. The next job was to select the best shades of red, orange and purple from the other varieties I had on offer. Anyway, here it is, made from Redcurrant Jelly, Crabapple Jelly, Apple & Ginger Jam, Greengage Jam, Jostaberry Jam, Gooseberry Jelly, and Apple & Blackcurrant Jam.

Thanks John for the suggestions. If anyone else has got any silly or sensible suggestions or recipes then please let me know.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Doughnut Muffins

Having a ready supply of jam, I often ponder making jam doughnuts but sadly I don't own a deep fat frier and doughnuts need to be fried. I was therefore intrigued by a recipe for Doughnut Muffins in the January edition of the Good Food Magazine. Today I gave it a go and I have to say it made some very pleasant cakes. They have a taste and texture that is a cross between a cake and a doughnut so for the first few mouthfuls it is not entirely an authenetic doughnut experience. But then you reach the spodge of raspberry jam in the middle and you get the full doughnut hit. And being baked rather than fried they are verging on being a health food. Well... maybe not!

Doughnut Muffins (makes 8-9)

140g (5oz) caster sugar
200g (7oz) plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 pot (100-150ml) natural yoghurt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
140g (5oz) melted butter
9 tsp raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 190°C, gas 5 and put paper cases into the muffin tin. Put the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix. Beat together the yoghurt, eggs and vanilla in a jug and pour this into the bowl. Add the melted butter and mix together quickly until just combined. Spoon two thirds of the mixture into the paper cases then blob a teaspoon of jam into each case before covering with the remaining cake mixture. Bake for 20 minutes until golden and springy to the touch. Cool for five minutes then move to a cooling rack and sprinkle with caster sugar.