Herb Recipes: Cakes, Biscuits and Breads

HOT HERBY LOAF

1 heaped tablesp chopped mixed herbs or

1 level tablesp chopped parsley and

fennel mixed Salt and pepper 3 oz unsalted butter, creamed 1 small loaf bread

Mix herbs and seasoning into butter. Cut loaf into V^-in slices lengthwise, but not through to the final crust. Spread each side of the slices with butter. Wrap in foil and ‘cook’ in a hot oven for about 10 minutes. Serve warm.

GARLIC BREAD

1 French loaf

2—3 cloves garlic, crushed

Creamed butter as required

Cut loaf crosswise, taking care not to cut through final crust. Then treat like her by loaf.

DAFFY’S SODA BREAD

1 lb plain flour

1 level teasp salt

1 level teasp bicarbonate of soda

1 rounded teasp of cream of tartar

1 oz butter

1 scant dessertsp dill seeds

½ pt milk

Pre-heat oven to 220°C, 425°F, Mark 7. Sift flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and cream of tartar into a basin. Rub in fat. Stir in dill seeds. Mix in the milk to make a soft dough, and knead mixture lightly until it is smooth. Form into a round on a floured baking tray. Cut 4 diagonal lines across top, prick all over with a fork and cook towards top of hot oven for 30-35 min.

PLAIN SEED CAKE

8 oz self-raising flour 4 oz margarine ¼ teasp salt 4 oz caster sugar

1 oz caraway seeds

2 eggs Milk to mix

Pre-heat oven to 180°C, 350°F, Mark 4. Line a greased 7-in cake tin with greased greaseproof paper. Sieve flour and salt, rub in margarine. Stir in sugar and seeds. Beat eggs with a little milk. Make a well in the centre of cake mix, pour in eggs. Slowly work dry ingredients into the eggs, adding more milk until a soft dropping consistency is obtained. Put into cake tin, level top and bake for about 1-P4 hours, until cooked through.

PEASANT BREAD About 1 ½ pt water

1 oz dried yeast

2 lb wholemeal flour 1 lb plain white flour

1 oz salt

2 oz lard

1 level tablesp fennel seeds

1 oz sugar

Warm ¼ pt of the water to blood heat. Sprinkle in the yeast, whisk lightly, leave in warm place for 10-15 min, until yeast has dissolved and top is bubbly. Mix the flours and salt together. Rub in the fat. Stir in seeds and sugar. Make a well in the middle, pour in yeast mixture and most of the water. Stir until a soft dough is formed, adding a little more water if required. Knead until smooth, leave to rise until doubled in size. Meanwhile, grease 3 1-lb loaf tins, then dust them with flour. Turn dough on to lightly-floured board. Knead and put into tins. Leave to prove until tins are full. Bake near top of oven at 230°C, 450°F, Mark 8 for 15 min, reduce heat to 200°C, 400°F, Mark 6 and cook for a further 40-50 min, or until loaves sound ‘hollow’.

CARAWAY BISCUITS

8 oz flour

Pinch of salt

¼ teasp cinnamon

3 oz butter

3 oz caster sugar

1 level teasp caraway seeds

1 large egg yolk

Egg and caster sugar to sprinkle over

Pre-heat oven to 190°C, 375°F, Mark 5. Sift flour, salt and cinnamon into a bowl, rub in the fat, stir in sugar and seeds. Add beaten egg yolk and knead well. Roll out into &-in thick rounds, brush with a little beaten egg, sprinkle sugar over and bake over centre of oven for 10-15 min.

Yield approximately 24 biscuits

VICARAGE BISCUITS

4 oz margarine

4 oz caster sugar

legg

8 oz plain flour

1 level teasp caraway seeds

Pre-heat oven to 180°C, 350°F, Mark 4. Cream margarine and sugar until light and fluffy, beat in egg a little at a time, then add flour and caraway seeds. Mix to a firm dough, roll out to J,4-in thickness on a lightly-floured board. Cut out into star shapes with a cutter about 2½-in diameter and bake above centre of oven for 15 min, when the biscuits should be firm, and light brown in colour.

Yield approximately 20 biscuits

GINGERBREAD

1 teasp crushed coriander seeds

4 tablesp water

1 lb plain flour

¼ teasp salt

1 level tablesp ground ginger

1 level tablesp baking powder

¾ level teasp bicarbonate of soda

8 oz soft brown sugar

4 oz black treacle

8 oz golden syrup

¼ pt milk, less 4 tablesp

1 egg, beaten

Warm the water, pour over seeds, leave to infuse and cool for about 30 min. Pre-heat oven to 170°C, 325°F, Mark 3. Line an 8-in square tin with greased greaseproof paper. Sift flour with salt, ginger, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Warm together the sugar, treacle and syrup until melted and runny but do not allow to boil. Cool a little if necessary and pour in milk, coriander water and egg. Make a well in flour mixture, pour in syrup liquid and, using a wooden spoon, mix all ingredients thoroughly together. Pour into tin. Bake in centre of oven for about 1 Vz hours, or until firm.

SAVOURY BISCUITS

3 oz plain flour

2 oz fine oatmeal

½ teasp dry mixed herbs or 1 teasp chopped fresh herbs

Salt and pepper

2 oz margarine or butter

2 oz grated cheddar cheese

1 egg, lightly beaten

Pre-heat oven to 190°C, 375°F, Mark 5. Mix flour, oats, seasoning and herbs in a basin, rub in fat, stir in cheese. Add sufficient egg to make a firm dough. Roll out thinly on a floured board, use a 3-in cutter to make the biscuits. Place on lightly-greased baking sheet. Brush over with remaining egg. Cook in centre of oven for about 15 min. Cool on wire tray.

Yield 15-18 biscuits

RICH SEED CAKE

8 oz self-raising flour

Pinch of salt

½ teasp cinnamon

¼ teasp nutmeg

1 level dessertsp caraway seeds

6 oz unsalted butter

6 oz caster sugar

3 eggs, beaten

Milk to mix

Pre-heat oven to 180°C, 350°F, Mark 4. Prepare cake tin as for Plain Seed Cake. Sieve flour, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir in the seeds. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, beat in the eggs a little at a time, then fold in the flour. Add sufficient milk to make a soft dropping consistency. Bake just below centre of oven for 1 – 1 ½ hours, until cooked through.

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