Homemade: Buttermilk Bread

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I have developed this recipe with a few essential changes from other buttermilk bread recipes I’ve seen. Using more buttermilk, warming it to the optimal temperature for activating the yeast and not allowing the yeast to come into direct contact with the salt, make this bread outstanding. If you make your own butter, this bread is a great way to use up your leftover buttermilk. This recipe works well as bread rolls, a tinned loaf or a free-form loaf.

 

Buttermilk Breadrolls

Ingredients

You can make a wholemeal version of this bread with 250g strong white bread flour, 250g wholemeal flour and 420ml buttermilk

Method

  1. Weigh buttermilk into TMX bowl
  2. Warm 4 min, 37C,  Sp2
  3. Add yeast, then flour, then salt
  4. Mix 5 sec, Sp 7
  5. Set dial to closed position and knead for 2 min 30 sec
  6. Remove dough from TMX and place in large bowl with tea towel over the top to prove for 60-90min
  7. Punch dough to release the air and knead for a couple of minutes, folding and stretching the dough
  8. Then shape into rolls, free-form loaf or tinned loaf and leave (covered by a tea towel again) to rise until doubled in size (60-90 min)
  9. Bake at 200C
  10. Bake 25-30 min for rolls, 30-35 min for free-form or tinned loaf

 

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Feeding the Funky Bunch: Caramel Cannellini Cakes

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I have made Chocolate Magic Bean Cakes many, many times now and they are always fantastic, but I wanted to try a vanilla version of the magic bean style cake. I chose to use cannellini beans, which  are high in fibre, high in protein, low in fat and a good source of iron. Using the chocolate recipe as a base I gave it a go, but used rapadura instead of sugar. Rapadura is the product of evaporated sugar cane juice. It is a brown, grainy sugar that has a caramel quality. Rapadura is a Wholefood as it has not been cooked at high temperatures, had the molasses separated from it, had any chemicals added to it or had the vitamins and minerals removed from it. It works really well as a substitute for refined sugar in biscuits and cakes. I buy my rapadura online for $5.95/kg from 2Brothers Foods, but it is also available in health food stores and through other online retailers. 

The result of my experimenting – caramel cakes! These are a really yummy, healthy cake and freeze well for lunch boxes.

Caramel Cannellini Cake

Ingredients

  • 420g can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed or 110g dried cannellini beans soaked and cooked
  • 1 tbls water
  • 1 tbls vanilla essence
  • 5 eggs
  • 100g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1 tsp  baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp pink salt
  • 65g (1/3 cup) oil or 125g butter
  • 180g rapadura

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180C
  2. Place cannellini beans, water, eggs and vanilla essence in TMX and blitz 2 min, Sp 7
  3. Add all other ingredients
  4. Mix 20 sec, Sp 4
  5. Spoon into patty pans and bake 20-25 min in 2tbls/40ml patty pans or 15-20 min in 1tbls/20ml mini patty pans
  6. Alternately, pour into ring tin and bake 30 min

Feeding the Funky Bunch: Black Bean Brownies

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So here it is (drumroll please), my first guest blogger! How exciting. My good friend Em makes these gorgeous black bean brownies which are a healthy treat that the whole family can enjoy. They are an absolute hit with the kids and are packed with nutrients. Great for an after school snack or in their lunchbox, and yum for everyone else too!
Black beans are considered a ‘superfood’ because they are packed with a rare combination of protein and fibre which is great for the digestive system, the cardiovascular system, and for regulating blood sugar. This protein-fibre combination is not found in fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy, nuts, seeds or seafood. Only in legumes, including black beans.
Em says “These are fantastic, always moist and chocolatey, and without a hint of the goodness of the beans hidden within. They can be made dairy free using milk free chocolate. I have not tried to make gluten free but I believe the plain flour can be replaced with a GF option”.
Preparation: 10 minutes. Cooking time: 20-30 minutes
Black Bean Brownies
Ingredients
  • 250g (3/4 cup) cooked black beans*
  • 100g (1/2 cup) oil (Em uses rice bran oil or vegetable oil)
  • 2 eggs
  • 20g (1/4 cup) cocoa powder
  • 110g (2/3 cup) rapadura
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g chocolate, divided in two
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 50g (1/3 cup) cup plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp pink salt

*How to cook black beans

  • Firstly soak your beans overnight (or for 8 hours) in a large bowl with plenty of clean water, then drain the beans (discarding the water) and rinse well
  • Cook black beans on the stovetop using My New Roots method by placing 1 cup of beans and 3 cups water in a large pot, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer, cooking beans until tender (approx 45-60min).
  • Cook black beans in the TMX using Tenina’s method by placing them in the simmering basket in the TMX, then filling the bowl with enough water to just cover the beans. Cook 30 min, 100C, Sp 3.
  • Cook black beans in the pressure cooker using Em’s method by placing 1 cup of beans and 3 cups of water in the pressure cooker and cooking for 20 minutes.
To make the brownies: 
TMX Method
  1. Pre Heat oven to 180C
  2. Melt half of the chocolate (50g) and set aside
  3. Put the other half (50g) into TMX bowl and chop 3-5 sec, Sp 5 and set aside
  4. Place black beans and oil in TMX and blend to a paste 2 min, Sp 7
  5. Add eggs, cocoa powder, rapadura, vanilla extract and melted chocolate, mix 20 sec, Sp 4
  6. Add baking powder, flour and salt, mix 20 sec, Sp 4
  7. Add the chopped chocolate and mix 10 sec, Rev Sp 3
  8. Pour into a well greased and/or lined brownie tin (approx 20cmx20cm)
  9. Bake at 180C for 20-30 minutes – Em says “My oven is a big old gas oven without a fan and therefore everything takes a while. The brownie should be matte at the sides and shiny in the centre, it should still be slightly soft in the centre”.
  10. Allow to rest and then cut into cubes
  11. Enjoy!
Non-TMX Method
  1. Pre Heat oven to 180C
  2. Melt half of the chocolate (50g) and set aside
  3. Break or chop the other half (50g) into small pieces (Em says “I usually do this in the food processor before beginning the remainder of the recipe”)
  4. Using a  food processor or blender,  blend the black beans and oil to a paste
  5. Add eggs, cocoa powder, rapadura, vanilla extract and melted chocolate, and mix until well combined in a food processor or by hand
  6. Add baking powder, flour and salt, and mix until well combined in a food processor or by hand
  7. Add the chopped chocolate and mix until just combined in a food processor or by hand
  8. Pour into a well greased and/or lined brownie tin (approx 20cmx20cm)
  9. Bake at 180C for 20-30 minutes – Em says “My oven is a big old gas oven without a fan and therefore everything takes a while. The brownie should be matte at the sides and shiny in the centre, it should still be slightly soft in the centre”.
  10. Allow to rest and then cut into cubes
  11. Enjoy!

Feeding the Funky Bunch: Casserole Base

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This is my recipe for a basic casserole base. It creates a delicious gravy to cook meat and vegetables in. I generally cook this casserole base then pour half into my slow cooker, add my meat (for instance diced beef or lamb) and vegetables chopped into large chunks (for instance carrots, pumpkin, zucchini and frozen peas), then pour the remaining base over the top. Served with mashed potatoes it makes a delicious winter meal.

You can easily prepare this casserole base ahead of time and add it to your slow cooker straight from the fridge, or cook it up in the morning and pour into the slow cooker hot. If you’re leaving the slow cooker to cook for a whole day (at least 8 hours) you can add the casserole base cold and use frozen meat. If you have less time (approx 6 hours), I’d advise adding the casserole base hot and using defrosted meat.

 

Casserole Base

 

 

Ingredients

  • 25g butter
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 2 carrots
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1tbs tomato paste
  • 2tbs plain flour
  • 400g tin of tomatoes
  • 2tbs thermomix vegetable stock concentrate 
  • 200g (1cup) red wine
  • Cracked black pepper

Thermomix Method

  1. Place garlic, roughly chopped onion, celery & carrots, and butter in TMX bowl
  2. Chop 3-5 sec, Sp 5
  3. Cook 100C, 5 min,  Rev Sp 1
  4. Add tomato paste and flour
  5. Give a quick stir with the spatula
  6. Cook 100C, 2 min, Rev Sp 1
  7. Add tinned tomatoes, stock and wine
  8. Cook 100C, 10 min, Rev Sp 1

Non-Thermomix Method

  1. Finely chop garlic, onion, celery & carrots by hand or in food processor
  2. Place pan over medium heat and melt butter
  3. Add chopped garlic, onion, celery & carrot
  4. Cook for 5 min, stirring regularly, until softened
  5. Add tomato paste and flour
  6. Stir over medium heat for 1-2 minutes
  7. Add tinned tomatoes, stock and wine
  8. Stir gently until well mixed and simmer on low heat for 10-15 min, until sauce thickens

Feeding the Funky Bunch: Vegetable Mornay with Sage & Red Onion Crumb

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This recipe is one that has evolved over the years and is now a great, reliable midweek family meal. It makes a large serving for 4-6 hungry adults and the leftovers (if you have any!) are delicious the next day. It is a dish that can easily be prepared ahead of time and them popped in the oven when you’re ready. If you want to add meat, shredded roast chicken can be mixed through. Alternately you can add the chicken raw but cut it into very small pieces (2cm cubes) and double check it is cooked before eating.

Vegetable Mornay

Ingredients

  • 200g button mushrooms chopped
  • 1/2 cauliflower chopped into florets
  • 1 broccoli chopped into florets
  • 1/2 red onion
  • handful of sage leaves
  • 60g butter (10g & 50g lots)
  • 150g breadcrumbs

TMX Method

  1. Pre heat oven to 200C
  2. Make béchamel sauce and set aside
  3. Chop mushrooms and place in large bowl
  4. Steam cauliflower and broccoli (I do mine in the Varoma – 25 min, Sp 1, Varoma Temp – I like my vegetables quite well cooked, but steam for less time if you prefer them firmer)
  5. Allow cauliflower and broccoli to cool on Varoma trays so that most of the liquid evaporates off
  6. Place red onion & sage leaves in clean TMX bowl
  7. Chop 5 sec, Sp 5
  8. Add 10g butter, scrape down the sides and cook 100C, 5 min, Sp 1
  9. Add breadcrumbs, 50g butter and salt & pepper, then cook 100C, 2 min, Sp 1
  10. To assemble, add cooled, steamed cauliflower and broccoli to bowl with mushrooms
  11. Mix through béchamel sauce and season generously with salt & pepper
  12. Transfer to large baking dish (I use a 1.6L pyrex dish)
  13. Spread red onion & sage crumb on top
  14. Bake 40 min at 200C

Non-TMX Method

  1. Pre heat oven to 200C
  2. Make béchamel sauce and set aside
  3. Chop mushrooms and place in large bowl
  4. Steam cauliflower and broccoli (I steam mine for 25 min – I like my vegetables quite well cooked, but steam for less time if you prefer them firmer)
  5. Allow cauliflower and broccoli to cool uncovered so that most of the liquid evaporates off
  6. Finely chop red onion & sage leaves
  7. Melt 10g butter in a small saucepan over medium heat
  8. Add onion and sage, and stir gently until onion is transparent
  9. Add 50g butter and allow to melt
  10. Turn off the heat and stir through 150g breadcrumbs
  11. Season crumb well with salt & pepper
  12. To assemble, add cooled, steamed cauliflower and broccoli to bowl with mushrooms
  13. Mix through béchamel sauce and season generously with salt & pepper
  14. Transfer to large baking dish (I use a 1.6L pyrex dish)
  15. Spread red onion & sage crumb on top
  16. Bake 40 min at 200C

Feeding the Funky Bunch: Sultana & Cornflake Cookies

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Another gem of a recipe I copied from the Full Little Tummies Blog, before it was deleted, were these Sultana & Cornflake Cookies. They are a favourite in my house. Just a delicious, wholesome biscuit with that lovely sweetness burst you get from sultanas.

I buy organic sultanas ($8.99/kg), rapadura ($5.95/kg) and spelt flour ($3.50/kg) from 2Brothers Foods Online, along with a lot of other pantry staples. They’re great for nuts, seeds, flours, spices, dried fruits and more. Based in WA and with very reasonable shipping rates and delivery times. Here in Perth it is only $3.50 for up to 10kg of goods delivered in 1-2 working days. Well worth a look.

Sultana & Cornflake Cookies

Ingredients (makes approx 40 cookies)

TMX Method

  1. Preheat oven 180C
  2. Place butter, rapadura and vanilla in TMX bowl and cream for 40 sec, Sp 4
  3. Add flour and baking powder
  4. Mix 10 sec, Sp 3
  5. Add milk and mix for a further 6 sec, Sp 3
  6. Add sultanas and mix Rev, 5 sec, Sp 3 
  7. Add cornflakes and mix Rev, 10 sec, Sp 2 (or you can stir them in with the spatula if you want them completely intact)
  8. Roll tablespoons of mixture into balls and place on lined baking trays. Flatten slightly.
  9. Bake for 12 minutes. Cool on tray for 5 minutes before transferring to wire cooling racks.

Non-TMX Method

  1. Preheat oven 180C
  2. Place butter, rapadura and vanilla in a bowl, and cream well by hand or with electric mixer
  3. Add flour and baking powder, and mix by hand or with electric mixer until just combined (be careful not to over-mix)
  4. Add milk and mix by hand or with electric mixer until just combined
  5. Add sultanas and cornflakes, and mix through by hand until spread relatively evenly throughout the dough
  6. Roll tablespoons of mixture into balls and place on lined baking trays. Flatten slightly.
  7. Bake for 12 minutes. Cool on tray for 5 minutes before transferring to wire cooling racks.

Feeding the Funky Bunch: Vegetable, Cheese & Pasta Slice

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Inspired by a recipe in the latest Donna Hay I made this slice for my kid’s dinner a few weeks ago and again the other night. It was very well received (and eaten quickly!). I sliced the rest into portions and froze it for lunch boxes next term.

Vegetable, Cheese & Pasta Slice

Ingredients

  • 1 & 1/2 cups (135g) dried pasta (small shape like shells or spirals)
  • 1 medium carrot finely grated (100-120g)
  • 1/2 zucchini finely grated (180-1200g)
  • 200g feta
  • 100g grated cheddar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup (150g) self-raising flour
  • pink salt & cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

Method

  1. Pre heat oven 180C
  2. Cook pasta in salted boiling water until al dente
  3. Drain and set aside
  4. I usually complete the rest of this recipe while the pasta cooks so that i’m ready to mix it in as soon as it’s drained
  5. Crack eggs into a large bowl and whisk
  6. Add grated vegetables, crumbled feta, cheddar, flour, butter and season with salt & pepper
  7. Mix well
  8. Add cooked pasta and mix through
  9. Pour into greased and lined 20cm x 30cm tin or pyrex dish
  10. Bake 35-40 minutes

Feeding the Funky Bunch: Asian 2 Minute Noodles

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My husband enjoys the occasional Indo Mee packet noodle lunch at home on the weekend, and the kids always love having some. I wanted to recreate that 2 minute asian noodle meal without the crazy amount of additives and preservatives (and heaven knows what else!) that are in the packet ones. My husband was keen to find an alternative too, as long as it tasted as good. So with a little experimentation I whipped up this quick and easy recipe. The kids were eating so fast they couldn’t even comment and my husband says it tastes just like the packet. Winner! This is a quick and easy meal, with only a few wholesome ingredients. You could definitely add steamed or stir-fried meat and/or veg if you wanted to, or serve this as a side dish, but at my place just noodles for a quick weekend lunch.

Asian 2 minute noodles

Ingredients

I cook 100g of noodles which makes 4 children sized portions or 1 hungry husband portion. If you cook more noodles, increase the sauce component amounts accordingly.

  • 100g Organic Noodles (I use Hakubaku Japanese Noodles – cooking time will depend on your noodles. Somen cook in 2 min and the others range from 4-10 min cooking time)
  • 2 tsp TMX Vegetable Stock Concentrate
  • 2 tsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 1/2 tsp honey (add up to 1 tsp honey depending on how sweet you want it)
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • optional – dried onion flakes to taste (I use 1 tsp)
  • optional – dried chilli flakes to taste (I use 1 tsp)

Method

  1. Bring water to the boil, add noodles and cook for time recommended on the packet
  2. Place all other ingredients in a bowl
  3. Add cooked, drained noodles to the bowl and mix until coated in sauce
  4. Serve and enjoy

Feeding the Funky Bunch: Fruity Puff Bars

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One of my favourite blogs, Full Little Tummies (written by a Thermomix loving Mum in Tassie) has gone! Checking the blog today I saw that all posts have been deleted! Not sure what’s happened – she hasn’t blogged in a long time but I regularly went to her site for recipes. In a Thermomix Recipe Swap I’m part of on Facebook there has been a few upset cooks who can’t access their favourite recipes. I was ridiculously happy to find that I was so excited when I first discovered Full Little Tummies that I copied and pasted recipes into a Word Doc. Thank goodness! I’ll blog my favourites here – I’d always intended to share them but just hadn’t gotten around to it.

First up are these Fruity Puff Bars which are an absolute winner in my house. They are delicious, freeze well, add a bit of zing to any lunch box and are way better for you and the kids than any shop bought bar packed with additives, preservatives and who knows what ingredients. Thank you to Chelsea of Full Little Tummies wherever you are for this recipe.

Fruity Puff Bars

Ingredients:

  • 110g butter
  • 90g rapadura
  • 70g honey
  • 1 tsp homemade vanilla essence
  • 90g puffed brown rice
  • 40g organic shredded coconut
  • 70g dried sultanas, cranberries or chopped dried apricots

Method:

  1. Place butter, rapadura, honey and vanilla essence into TMX bowl
  2. Heat at 100C, 6 min, Sp 3
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix 20 sec, Rev Sp 3
  4. Scrape mixture into a baking tin lined with baking paper (mine is 30cm x 25cm x 5cm) – if you leave the baking paper a bit longer than the tin you can use it to lift out the slice
  5. Spread out mixture and press down very firmly with your hands or the back of a spoon
  6. Refrigerate (at least 2 hrs) and slice into bars when firm
  7. To freeze simply slice then pop in a resealable bag or container in the freezer. They don’t stick together or, if they do, easily come apart.

These bars do go soft in hot weather. My kids don’t mind and just eat them out of a bowl or from their lunch box with their fingers. I’ve read that people have replaced some of the sweetners with melted marshmallow to hold them together but I haven’t tried this. In summer my kids are even happy to crunch on these straight from the freezer!

Feeding the Funky Bunch: Persian Lamb

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It’s cold and chilly in Perth at the moment, so the perfect time to whip out a few slow cooker recipes. This persian lamb was originally a Neil Perry recipe that a friend cooked us for dinner one night. I’ve since changed it here and there, and now converted it for TMX and slow cooker. The result is a delicious, thick and spicy dish with melt-in-your-mouth lamb. Best to cook this one while you’re out all day as the smell is divine! I like to serve this with cous cous (which only takes a few minutes to prepare) and roast vegetables, however it is also good with steamed veg and rice. If you are short on time just roughly chop some slow cooking veggies like pumpkin, carrot and potato, and throw it in the slow cooker with the lamb. For best results this dish needs a good 8-10 hours in the slow cooker.

Persian Lamb

Ingredients

  • 500g diced lamb shoulder
  • 2 brown onions
  • 20g butter
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1tsp pink salt
  • 1tbs thermomix vegetable stock concentrate
  • 100g dried prunes
  • 1tsp raw sugar
  • 75g lime juice (approx 2 limes)
  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • 120g water

To serve

  • Large handful of fresh mint
  • Roasted almonds or pistachios
  • Steamed or roasted vegetables
  • Cous cous or Rice

TMX Method

  1. Turn slow cooker on to warm up
  2. Peel & quarter onions, place in TMX and chop 5 sec, Sp 5
  3. Add butter and cook 100C, 3 min, Sp 1
  4. Add ground spices and salt, cook 100C, 3 min, Sp 1
  5. Add prunes and chop 5 sec, Sp 5
  6. Add stock, sugar, lime juice, saffron & water
  7. Cook 100C, 3 min, Sp 1
  8. Pour 2/3 of mixture into slow cooker, then add lamb (fresh or frozen), then pour remainder of sauce over the lamb
  9. Cook 8-10 hours
  10. Serve on cous cous or rice with vegetables and garnish with fresh mint and chopped almonds or pistachios

Non-TMX Method

  1. Turn slow cooker on to warm up
  2. Peel & chop onions
  3. Roughly chop prunes
  4. Heat butter in a frypan and add onions
  5. Cook over medium heat for 3-5 min until onions are softened
  6. Add ground spices and salt, cook stirring over medium heat for another 1-2 min
  7. Add stock, prunes, sugar, lime juice, saffron & water to pan
  8. Cook over medium heat for 5 min
  9. Pour 2/3 of mixture into slow cooker, then add lamb (fresh or frozen), then pour remainder of sauce over the lamb
  10. Cook 8-10 hours
  11. Serve on cous cous or rice with vegetables and garnish with fresh mint and chopped almonds or pistachios