Cinnamon Raisin Quick Bread

Ingredients

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
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Easy Peesy French Bread

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoons Active Dry Yeast
  • 3½ – 4½ cups flour

Directions

  1. Combine the water, honey, salt and yeast in a glass bowl. Let sit for 5-10 mins. until there’s some bubbling, foam stuff on the top.
  2. Next, add a bunch of flour. I used just regular white organic flour. Keep kneading until it is no longer sticky. You want your dough to be sticking to itself, not your fingers. So, keep adding flour and keep kneading until that happens.
  3. Form the dough into a loaf shape. Cover with a towel and let sit on the counter for 20 mins (or on top of the preheating oven if your kitchen is cold). This is the time to set the oven to 400 degrees.
  4. After 20 mins., cut slits in the top of the dough and bake for 16-20 mins.
  5. Variations can be made by adding garlic and oregano, or cinnamon and raisins, or whatever you dream up!

Fruit & Spice Soda Bread

Ingredients

  • 100g rolled porridge oat
  • 25g butter, diced
  • 200g plain flour
  • 200g plain wholemeal flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1½ tsp mixed spice
  • 50g raisin
  • 50g sultana
  • 50g stoned date, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp mixed peel
  • 450ml buttermilk
  • 3-4 tbsp demerara sugar

The ultimate makeover: Carrot cake

Ingredients

For the cake
  • 1 medium orange
  • 140g raisin
  • 125ml rapeseed oil
  • 115g plain wholemeal flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder, plus a pinch
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 rounded tsp ground cinnamon
  • 140g dark muscovado sugar
  • 280g finely grated carrot(about 375-400g carrots before peeling)
  • 2 eggs
  • 115g self-raising flour
For the frosting
  • 100g light soft cheese, straight from the fridge
  • 100g quark
  • 3 tbsp sifted icing sugar
  • ½ tsp finely grated orange zest
  • 1 ½ tsp lemon juice

Hedgehog Rolls

Ingredients

  • 500g pack brown bread mix
  • 25g butter
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 12 raisins
  • 6 flaked almonds

Directions

  1. Make the bread mixture with the butter following pack instructions. It’s easiest to use a stand mixer but not difficult to do by hand. Leave the dough to rest for 5 mins, then knead for 5 mins.
  2. Cut the dough into six pieces. Dust the surface with a little flour and shape each piece into a ball by rolling it between your hand. Now make it hedgehog-shaped by pulling one side out a little and squeezing it gently into a snout. Be quite firm or it will bounce back.
  3. Put the hedgehogs on a baking sheet, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise for 1 hr.
  4. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Using kitchen scissors (supervise younger children), carefully snip into the dough to make the spikes on the backs of the hedgehogs. Press raisins in for the eyes and push a flaked almond into the end of each snout.
  5. Bake for 15 mins or until the rolls are risen and golden. Will keep for two days in an airtight container.

Easy carrot cake

Ingredients

  • 235ml vegetable oil, plus extra for the tin
  • 100g natural yogurt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ an orange , zested
  • 265g self-raising flour
  • 335g light muscovado sugar
  • 2½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ fresh nutmeg, finely grated
  • 265g carrots(about 3), grated
  • 100g sultanas or raisins
  • 100g walnuts or pecans, roughly chopped (optional)
For the icing
  • 100g slightly salted butter , softened
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 100g full-fat cream cheese

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Oil and line the base and sides of two 20cm cake tins with baking parchment. Whisk the oil, yogurt, eggs, vanilla and zest in a jug. Mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg with a good pinch of salt in a bowl. Squeeze any lumps of sugar through your fingers, shaking the bowl a few times to bring the lumps to the surface.
  2. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, along with the carrots, raisins and half the nuts, if using. Mix well to combine, then divide between the tins. Bake for 25-30 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. If any wet mixture clings to the skewer, return to the oven for 5 mins, then check again. Leave to cool in the tins.
  3. To make the icing, beat the butter and sugar together until smooth. Add half the cream cheese and beat again, then add the rest (adding it bit by bit prevents the icing from splitting). Remove the cakes from the tins and sandwich together with half the icing. Top with the remaining icing and scatter with the remaining walnuts. Will keep in the fridge for up to five days. Best eaten at room temperature.