Parmesan, sundried tomato and basil soda bread

This week was bread week over on the Great British Bake Off. The contestants were challenged to make a no prove bread, baguettes and a 3D bread sculpture. Of course I was going to attempt the latter* but I ran out of time, so I opted for a (no prove) soda bread. I decided to go for an Italian theme as it has to be my favourite food. I just love all the vibrant colours and delicious flavours and I wanted that to come across in my bread this week.

*blatent lie

Parmesan, sundried tomato and basil soda bread

parmasan, sun dried tomato and basil soda bread

 

Ingredients

  • 400ml Milk (preferably whole milk, but semi skimmed is fine. Skimmed milk tends to be too watery)
  • 1.5tbsp lemon juice
  • 450g plain flour
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1tsp salt
  • 75g parmasan, finely grated
  • 75g of sundried tomatoes, dried well and roughly chopped
  • bunch of fresh basil, finely chopped, or 1 packet of Gourmet Herbs Lightly Dried Basil – I used this and it was amazing!

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees/180 degrees fan.
  2. I tend to use milk and lemon juice instead of buttermilk as I always have it in, you can substitute it for 400ml of buttermilk if you like. Mix the lemon juice and milk together and put to one side for 5 minutes.
  3. Sieve your flour, bicarb and salt into a large mixing bowl and combine before adding the parmasan, sundried tomatoes and basil. Combine until the ingredients are evenly mixed throughout.
  4. Make a well in the centre of the dry mixture and add around half your milk/lemon juice. Using your fingers lightly combine, adding more liquid as necessary – you may not use it all, but you are looking for a soft, slightly sticky, dough – a little drier than plain soda bread as the added ingredients will add moisture. Again try to ensure that your ingredients are evenly dispersed.
  5. Using floured hands put your dough onto a well oiled baking sheet. Form into a round and flatten. Use a sharp knife to cut a criss cross on the top, around a third of the way down. This allows the bread to expand as it bakes.
  6. Bake for 45mins until golden brown and cooked through. To test if bread is cooked turn it over and tap on the bottom – a hollow sound indicates it is cooked. If it isn’t turn it upside down and bake for a little longer.
  7. Although to cool slightly before serving warm – perfect served with a selection of antipasti and dipping oil and vinegar.

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Turkey and bacon risotto

Turkey and bacon risotto

Right before Christmas we had a bit of a change in plans. Due to a family illness we ended up with a few more people for Christmas dinner than we had anticipated and one of them had already begun defrosting their Christmas turkey, so it made sense to use that for dinner.

Our turkey crown ended up in the freezer and I took it out and cooked it this week. Now I know turkey doesn’t seem to be popular throughout the year, but its cheaper and leaner than chicken!

I was obviously left with copious amounts of leftover Turkey, so I made this delicious Slimming World friendly turkey and bacon risotto. Without the parmesan this dish is completely free on the Extra Easy plan. Each level tbsp of parmasan is 1 syn.

Turkey and Bacon Risotto

turkey and bacon risotto

Serves 4, ready in about an hour

Ingredients

  • 250g leftover cooked turkey, chopped
  • 150g bacon, chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 chopped pepper, any colour, or a mixture – I used frozen as I had run out of fresh and always keep a bag in emergencies for such occasions.
  • handful of frozen peas
  • 250g risotto rice
  • 750ml chicken stock
  • grated parmesan, to serve

Method

  1. Spray a deep sided frying pan with low calorie cooking spray. Gently fry the bacon, onion and garlic until the bacon is cooked.
  2. Add the peas, pepper and chopped turkey. Fry for a minute, before adding the rice and stirring thoroughly until it coats the other ingredients.
  3. Over a medium heat begin to add the stock, a small amount at a time, and keep stirring. When the stock is absorbed, add more and continue until the rice is cooked. If the rice isn’t cooked by the time all the stock is absorbed, then simply add boiling water
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste (we leave out the salt) and serve sprinkled with 1 level tablespoon of parmesan per person (1 syn each)

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