Our recent smoothie bowl craze has led us to think of ways to make our other breakfast favourites healthier too. These guilt-free muffins are made with wholewheat flour, applesause instead of eggs, olive oil instead of butter and honey instead of sugar. If it wasn’t for the yoghurt, we could have called these Vegan too!
Makes 15 regular muffins
Prep time : 15 mins Bake time : 25 mins
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups wholewheat flour
200g applesauce (we used babyfood jars)
1/2 cup greek yoghurt
1 cup milk
1 cup muesli
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
2 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp honey
Preheat the oven to 180 degree celsius
Butter and flour muffin trays or cups
In a bowl, whisk oil, applesauce, milk , honey and yoghurt until well combined
In another bowl, mix the flour & baking powder
With a spatula, mix the wet ingredients slowly into the dry and gently stir until just combined. Don’t overmix, it’s ok if you still see a few small lumps of flour.
Next stir in the muesli & dessicated coconut.
Spoon the batter into the cups, filling them almost to the top. Bake until toothpick inserted into centre comes out clean about 20 minutes.
Once baked, remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
Ah ! the wonder that is Turkish food ! Pide, Dolma, Lokum , Baklava … we just can’t get enough. Having woken up with a Turkish food craving this morning , and with no reliable Turkish restaurants around , we decided to go ahead make some homemade Lahmacun.
Lahmacun is a Turkish flatbread traditionally topped with minced meat. It’s often compared to pizza but to us it actually tastes quite different and the making of the dough also utilises different techniques.
The first few times we tried it we faced a few issues ; soggy dough , meat that kept sliding off the bread , dough that rose too much and so on …so after some trial and error and with our now full, happy tummies , we’re sharing this recipe with you. This recipe is somewhat modified from Rebecca Seals’ Istanbul , with some ideas from Yotum Ottolenghi and Claudia Roden and some of our own tips on getting your Lahmacun just right. It’s a wee bit laborious but worth the effort!
Makes 4 Prep time : 30 mins Resting time : at least 1hr 15 mins Cooking time : 10-15 mins
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
350 ml lukewarm water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
500g bread flour
2 teaspoons salt
450g minced lamb or beef
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp coriander seeds
1 teaspoon sumac
1/2 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large tomato (skinned, seeded and finely chopped)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoon tomato puree
Bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon red chilli flakes or harissa paste
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt & Pepper to taste
3 tablespoons tahini or 1 egg beaten
25g pine nuts
Parsley to garnish
Lemon slices to garnish
Mix the yeast, water, sugar & olive oil in a jug or bowl . Stir through with a fork and allow to rest for 15 minutes until it forms a thick , foamy top. Meanwhile, mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Once the yeast has been proofed, pour it little at a time into the flour mixture , stirring as you pour. You should get a doughy mass.
Transfer the dough to your kneading surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10-15 minutes. Oil a large bowl, place the dough inside and cover it with clingfilm.
Place the dough in a warm place to let it rise. It should take about an hour or a little more. To test if the dough is ready, make sure it’s a least double its original size and forms a dent when you press on it with your finger.
If the weather is cold, place your dough near a warmed oven to help it rise. You want a warm environment , but not too warm – the dough needs a slow rise to maintain its flavour.
Activated Yeast forming a foamy top
Dough kneaded and ready to ferment
Preheat your oven to its highest setting If you have a small oven, you will have to bake the lahmacun one at a time. Brush oil over your baking trays or pizza stones and keep them aside.
We like to use a round pizza tray to when we spread out the dough , so it gets a nice round shape.
While the dough is resting, make the topping.Dry roast the cumin & coriander seeds. You know they are ready when they start to release their fragrant scent. Grind the seeds in a pestle and mortar.
If you don’t have a pestle & mortar, a handy trick is to place them on a flat surface atop some cling film, then use a rolling pin to press hard and roll over the seeds so they get crushed).
Place the seeds and all other ingredients into a bowl and use your hands to mix them together well until it forms a paste.
It’s really important that the mixture is paste like so its easier to spread. Also make sure that your tomatoes are properly deseeded. If you are using particularly moist tomatoes, squeeze the excess water out of them. This will help to ensure that the water from the tomatoes doesn’t seep through your dough while cooking, making it soggy.
When your dough is ready, knock it back by placing it on your kneading surface and kneading the air out of it , about 5 minutes. Then divide in into four equal portions. Roll out each piece of dough with a rolling pin into 30 cm (about 11 inches) rounds. Place the rolled out dough on your oiled baking tray or pizza stone.
If like us, you have trouble getting perfect rounds, roll out the dough halfway with the rolling pin, then place it on a round pizza tray and spread it out with your fingers until the dough reaches the tray all around. This will help to get it round and prevent it from losing its shape as it bakes.
Now you can either spread a thin layer of tahini on the surface of the rolled out dough or egg wash it – this will help the topping to stick to the dough. Then spread a quarter of the topping over the dough , spreading it out evenly almost to the edges, leaving just a thin crust. Use the back of a spoon to spread the topping and press it well into the dough.
Sprinkle the pine nuts over it and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the crust golden and the meat is cooked and bubbling.
We couldn’t let stone fruit season get away without making these rustic grilled peach & prosciutto focaccia buns. Grilling the peaches makes them taste rich & almost cream-like. Salty prosciutto and sharp, bitter Valeriana leaves bring out the sweetness of the peaches. We wiped these out in one meal , so make them quick before peaches make their last appearance this summer!
550g Bread Flour
7g Dry Yeast
16 g sugar
250 ml water
115 ml milk
45ml olive oil
2 ripe yellow peaches
Butter for greasing
120g cooked prosciutto , thinly sliced
1 cup of green salad leaves of your choice such as Valeriana (corn salad), Rocket or Spinach
Olive oil & Coarse Salt flakes
In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients, then add the olive oil, water & milk – all a little at a time, stirring with a fork as you add. Stir until you get a rough dough. Knead the dough in the bowl, it will be wet & sticky at first , but keep going & it will come together. Dust your hands with some flour if you need to keep it from sticking to the dough. You can add a little flour if you find it too sticky to work with, but don’t add too much as the focaccia will turn out dry.
When you are able to collect all the dough into a ball, transfer it to your kneading surface (we use a silicone baking mat) and knead well for about 10 mins until you get a smooth ball of dough. We push the dough down with the heel of palm, fold it over and repeat. There are great kneading techniques here .
Transfer the dough to a well-oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Let it rest in a warm place for 2 hours during which it should double in size.
While waiting, prepare your baking sheet by oiling it generously with olive oil.
While waiting for the dough to rise, prepare your grilled peaches. Cut each peach into half and remove the stone. Cut each of those halves into half again making quarters. Now slice these quarters into 1/2 inch thick slices. Heat up your grill pan and grease it generously with butter. Place the peaches cut side down and allow them to just cook through and get nicely grilled , then turn over with tongs and repeat on the other side. Finish doing this with all the slices and keep aside. Keep the butter handy so you can brush the peaches if the pan starts to dry up.
When the rest time is over, knead the dough again for 5 mins on your kneading surface. Place it back in the oiled bowl, cover and let it rest for another 30 mins. Half way through the resting time, preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius on a fan setting.
When the time is up, knead the dough again for 5 mins and divide the dough into 10 equal balls. Place each ball on your kneading surface and press them down flat with the palm of your hand, gently pushing outwards until you get a round-ish shaped bun. Transfer to your baking sheet and re-form any of the buns that have lost their shape. It doesn’t have to be perfectly round – remember we are going for a rustic look!
Press a few slices of the peaches into each bun and place the baking sheet in the oven. Bake the buns for 30-35 minutes until they start to brown slightly.
While waiting, get out your prosciutto and salad leaves. Tear up the prosciutto into small pieces and wash and tear any large salad leaves.
Once the buns are done, take them out of the oven, top with the torn up prosciutto and salad leaves. Drizzle with olive oil and lightly sprinkle some salt on top before serving.
Focaccia is surprisingly easy to make and these will make a lovely addition to your picnic basket. We’ve had tons of disasters with dough and still do, but we find the best way to work with it’s sticky character is just to keep it simple & not overthink it.During the fermentation (rest) period , it helps to place the dough near a warm oven so it rises well. We got this and some other great tips on bread making from a book called Artisan breads by Eric Kastel, which is sort of our encyclopaedia on all things bread.
We decided to do away with the regular tomato and rosemary topped focaccia and try something a little different. This flavour is all summer- light and sweet and lemony .Cut these into bite sized squares.
Prep time : 30 mins Rest time : 2.5 hrs Cook time : 40 mins
Makes 1 large or 2 small loafs
550g Bread Flour
7g Dry Yeast
16 g sugar
250 ml water
115 ml milk
45ml olive oil
65ml olive oil
25g salt flakes
1 lemon, outer yellow skin peeled and very thinly sliced crosswise
3 figs sliced lengthwise
2-3 Tbsps of fresh ricotta
I spring of mint leaves, chopped
Mix the ingredients for the salamoia in a small bowl and whisk together until well emulsified.This is going to go on top of the focaccia as a last step.
In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients, then add the olive oil, water & milk – all a little at a time, stirring with a fork as you add. Stir until you get a rough dough. Knead the dough in the bowl, it will be wet & sticky at first , but keep going & it will come together.
When you are able to collect all the dough into a ball, transfer it to your kneading surface (we use a silicone baking mat) and knead well for about 10 mins until you get a smooth ball of dough. We push the dough down with the heel of palm, fold it over and repeat. There are great kneading techniques here or you could just give the dough a good bashing & throw down like Subas’ mom-in law does!
Transfer the dough to a well-oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Let it rest in a warm place for 2 hours.
While waiting, prepare your baking sheet by oiling it generously with olive oil , you can really use any size or shape pan you like and shape your dough to fit it.
When the rest time is over, knead the dough again for 5 mins on your kneading surface and then pull the ball of dough on both ends to get an oblong shape and place it on your baking tray. Spread it out with your fingers on the top , bottom & sides to get a longer oblong shape.
You could spread it out to a rectangle shape or really any shape you choose depending on your baking sheet. You could also split the dough into two make two loafs. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be perfect, it will expand a little again in the next step.
Leave it to rest for 30 mins.While waiting , prep the toppings and preheat your oven to 180c
When the rest time is up, reshape your dough fixing any areas that are messy. Using your fingers , poke holes all over the dough(this is the fun part!).
Arrange the lemon & fig slices on the focaccia and press them into the dough. Dot with the ricotta.
Pour the prepared salamoia evenly over the dough.Bake for 30-40 mins until crusts are golden. Top with the fresh mint.