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Saturday, 2 November 2013

Using up the odds and ends

When I make a batch of jam or chutney, it is unusual that it fits perfectly into the a complete number of full jars. As a result, I always have a selection of little tubs of odds and ends of jam and chutney for my family to use up.

A consequence of this is that I usually encourage my children to have something for breakfast that involves jam. Sometimes this is as simple as toast but often I try to make it a bit more interesting

Having made Pear & Chocolate Jam the other day I decided that vanilla waffles would be the best way to make the most of this new invention. Pears have very little pectin and even with added apple pectin the jam sets very lightly. This, however, makes it perfect for dolloping onto waffles.

Vanilla Waffles

250g plain flour
7g baking powder
20g caster sugar
5g salt
475ml milk
2 eggs
30ml vegetable oil
A few drops of vanilla extract

Mix all the ingredients together and leave to stand for a while or overnight. Cook in a waffle maker. Serve hot with jam.

Another breakfast favourite is brioche. Often I just buy a loaf of brioche but occasionally I feel inspired to make some. Sometime back I had the brainwave of putting a teaspoon of jam into the centre of brioche rolls before baking them. My girls liked this but I felt that, although the jammy centre was lovely, there was quite a lot of brioche that didn't have jam with it.

Then the other day I made some Cheddar, beetroot and bacon rolls to have with our dinner. These worked out beautifully and I liked the way the tasty filling was in every bite.

Cheddar, Beetroot & Bacon Rolls (makes 12)

200ml water
50ml milk
300g strong white flour
150g plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp yeast
25g butter
150g cooked beetroot, grated
100g grated Cheddar cheese
40-50g crispy smoked streaky bacon, in small pieces

Place the water and milk into the bottom of a bread machine then cover with the flours. Place the salt, sugar, yeast and butter in separate areas on top of flour. Set the machine to "dough" and start. In the meantime, boil the beetroot if raw and cook the bacon until crispy. When the dough is ready, knock back on a floured surface and roll out into a rough rectangle. Sprinkle over half the cheese then add the beetroot and bacon and then the remaining cheese. Roll the dough up tightly along the longest edge then cut into 12 rolls. Place each roll, cut side up, into a greased muffin tin. Cover with oiled Clingfilm and leave to double in size. In the meantime, preheat oven to 200°C, gas make 6. Cook the rolls for 30 minutes until risen and cooked through. Serve warm.

This made me wonder if the same technique would work for the brioche rolls. That's to say, could the jam be rolled all the way through each bun? Well, the answer was yes. Another jammy breakfast success.

Brioche Jam Swirls (makes 12)

30ml (2 tbsp) milk
2 eggs
225g (8 oz) bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp caster sugar
55g (2 oz) butter
1 1/2 tsp yeast
2-3 tbsp jam

Pour the milk and eggs into the bread machine pan then put the flour on top. Add the salt, sugar, butter and yeast in separate areas on top of the flour then set your machine to the dough setting. When the dough is ready, knock back on a floured surface then roll out into a rough rectangle. Smear the jam over the dough then roll up the dough along the longest length. Cut into roll into 12 pieces and place each piece, cut side up, into greased holes of a muffin tin. Cover with oiled Clingfilm and leave to double in size. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 200°C, gas 6. Bake for 15 minutes until golden and well risen. Serve hot or cold.