Hot Cross Bun Pull Apart Bread

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Ok, so pull apart bread seems to be my whole life. Since making Joy the Baker's LIFE CHANGING cinnamon loaf last summer I can't stop thinking about it. On any occasion I just want to whip out the yeast and get going. Remember how we celebrated my 21st birthday? Pull apart peanut butter and banana bread. I JUST CAN'T GET ENOUGH. I need help, yes. And surely by now you've guessed what we're making for Easter (of course you have, assuming you've already read the title of this post). Hot Cross Bun Pull Apart Bread. You might be wondering why I haven't just made Hot Cross Buns, but like last year, I still don't want to be entirely traditional. And y'know, any excuse to make pull apart bread. I cannot resist.
So let's talk about this uh-mazing bread a little, shall we? All the flavours of hot cross buns are kicking around but with added bow chicka wow wow. Served warm, this bread with ooze marmalade-y spiced sugar goodness. Each slice will be jeweled with dried fruit and peel and guess what? We add orange glaze JUST BECAUSE WE CAN. It will also fill your kitchen with the smell of sweet, baking bread - and who doesn't love that?! 
Easter will never be the same again.

For Hot Cross Bun Pull Apart Bread you will need: 

1 loaf tin

For the dough
390g flour
50g granulated sugar
7g yeast (1 packet)
1/2 tsp salt
60g unsalted butter
80ml whole milk
60ml water
3 medium eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling
100g dried mixed fruit and peel
4-6 heaped tbsp marmalade
100g granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cloves
pinch of grated nutmeg

For the glaze
juice 1/2 orange
100g icing sugar
a little orange zest for decoration

We made exactly the same dough in my peanut butter bread, but we'll go through the process again. Begin by combining 260g of the flour with all the sugar, salt and yeast. Whisk together and then set to one side. 

Now melt the butter and milk together on a low heat until the butter is all melted. 

 Add in the water and vanilla extract and then set aside.

Leave to cool a little and then add to the dry ingredients. 

Get stuck in with a spatula and work into a ball.

Beat your eggs and pour into the dough mix.

It will look scary and goopy to begin with, but keep working it and you will end up with a thick wet dough batter. 

Add the remaining 130g flour and mix in like a maniac again. 

Then transfer to a large greased bowl and cover with clingfilm. Leave to rise for an hour or until doubled in size.

Now to prep our spiced sugar. Begin by pounding your two cloves with a pestle and mortar. 

You're going for a powder like consistency, make sure there are no hard bits of clove still floating around. 

Then add the cinnamon and the nutmeg and grind all of the spices together. 

Add to the sugar, still through and set aside.

Once your dough has risen, knock it back, add 2 tablespoons of flour and then work it into a manageable ball.

Turn onto a large, floured surface. 

Roll out as big as you can, aim for 12x20 inches. Then spread the base in marmalade. You need a thin covering so make a judgement call on how much you need. 

Scatter over your mixed fruit and peel. 

Then your spiced sugar. 

Now slice into six equal(ish) strips. 

Layer one on top of one another. 

 Then slice again into six pieces.

Place the layers into a greased loaf pan facing upwards. Cover with a clean tea towel and then leave to rise again for 45 minutes until nearly doubled in size. Then put into an oven preheated to 180c for 35-40 minutes until it is looking dark, caramelized and delicious. 

Quickly whip up your glaze by gradually adding the orange juice to the icing sugar. If you add it all at once it may be too thin. Add until it has the same dropping consistency of single cream. 

Now take your loaf out of the oven and leave to cool for about 10 - 20 minutes. 


Turn your bread out onto a serving board or plate by running a flat knife around the tin and then drizzle away with your orange glaze.

Uuhhh. Easter never tasted so good. 

Sprinkle with orange zest if your heart desires a little extra colour. 

Tear apart and share asap. This bread is best served warm and still oozing marmalade-y spiced sugary goodness. It is great cool too, but I mean C'MON. Just eat it.  

Happy Easter! 

Lottie Loves: 25

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Instagram of the week: Blue skies and blossom.

2. Seeing famous places from above. I think nearly every built up area looks futuristic/apocalyptic. Especially Barcelona!

3. I watched Non Stop this week. I think I like Liam Neeson in everything. It's the accent, I'm sure.

4. I can't believe people actually ask theses crazy interview questions. J is really good at answering them. Me - not so much.

5. As I introduced Parsnip on the blog, I feel I need to say that we said goodbye to our little one this week after such a short time together. He was a beautiful little bear and this week has been hard. We're already missing his cuddles.

6. Catching up with old friends. Just lovely.

7. Have you heard about Fenn's treasure? I want to go treasure hunting!

8. Orlando Bloom wearing eyeliner. Can we just appreciate this for a second?

9. I had a big sort of my Pintrest boards this week. Yes, I know - gripping. If you're also a Pintrest fiend then you can check out my boards here.

10. Guilty pleasure listening to this song (ON REPEAT). Go ahead, judge me, but I'm still listening. 

Have a happy weekend, friends! x

Student Salad Niçoise

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

It's no secret that students are on a budget. First year it was all about the essentials, cereal and apple vodka. Second year was less apple vodka (and more headaches) and final year is all about PLEASE CAN I JUST HAVE WINE AND EAT MEAT AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK?! Yeah, I went a bit far on the caps, but that's how I feel. Anyway to achieve what I want from my budget (with wine, always wine and sometimes maltesers too) I spend an hour or so flicking through magazines and the internet for inspiration. This means that I manage to spend, on average, £2 per meal, per head. Whilst this all seems a bit boring it all adds up. And I also want a new jacket. So, budgeting. Anyway this meal is TOTALLY affordable. Use the leftover beans, tomatoes and eggs in recipes throughout the week and save those pennies for the important things in life. I didn't intend this post to be all over cost effective food but we're somehow we got here. I actually really wanted to talk about ANCHOVIES. And tuna. Drenched in a tangy dressing with a little heat, nestled next to soft boiled eggs, crunchy green beans and just tender new potatoes. That is the kinda stuff I want to talk about. And why is this a Student Salad Niçoise? Well we're using tinned tuna and standard chicken eggs and chunking the salad up with greens so it serves as a hearty dinner. You can totally sub in tuna steak or quails eggs if you're feeling fancy, but this version is just as delicious. Student food can be beautiful and delicious, we can do this guys.
So you gotta make it, you gotta make it now. 

For Student Salad Niçoise you will need (serves 2 generously):

200g new potatoes
2 large eggs
100g green beans
1 sweet gem lettuce
10 cherry tomatoes
6 anchovies in olive oil
197g tinned tuna steak

For the dressing:
1 tsp sea salt
1 clove garlic
3/4 tsp mustard powder
1 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
5 tbsp olive oil
handful of parsley, chopped
black pepper

Begin by thickly slicing the potatoes and adding them to a pan of boiling water along with the eggs for 7 minutes.

After seven minutes, remove the eggs from the pan and plunge them into a jug of cold water (this will stop the cooking process and keep the yolks soft) then trim and add the green beans to the potatoes and cook for a further 4 minutes.
Once cooked drain and run under cold water until cool. Set aside.

Prep the rest of your ingredients by slicing your tomatoes and draining both your anchovies and tuna.

Then wash your lettuce leaves and prepare the leaves in two bowls ready for serving.

Now lets quickly whip up that dressing. Start with the salt and garlic in a pestle then grind together to form a smooth paste.


Add the mustard powder and work in with the mortar.

Add the red wine vinegar and mix until everything is incorporated.

Olive oil, parsley and freshly milled black pepper get mixed in.

And you're done! Give it a quick taste to make sure it's seasoned to your taste. If it's not tangy enough then add another splash of red wine vinegar.

Now assemble your salad. Peel and slice your eggs into quarters. Add them to the lettuce leaves along with the potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, anchovies and flake the tuna on top.

Why did the lettuce blush?
Because it saw the salad dressing.
Bu-dum-chhh! I'm here all week folks.

Drench both bowls in that deliciously tangy dressing.

Tuck in! 

VIDEO: Two Minute Breakfast Smoothie

Monday, 7 April 2014

This week's video is all over the breakfast smoothie. This recipe is one of my favourites and so, so easy to make. Frozen bananas, peanut butter and honey is a winning combination whatever the weather. For more recipes check out my channel and enjoy your Monday!

Lottie Loves: 24

Friday, 4 April 2014

Instagram of the week: The beginning of a rather lovely day off. Breakfast can be the absolute bomb diggity, right?

1. I think all flights/events/days should start like this. Also PS, why aren't the people on the plane cheering at the end? Jeez. I would be woop wooping.

2. Disclaimer: food porn. Oreo Rice Krispies treats. I die.

3. Have you seen the Honest Trailer for Game of Thrones? Hilare. The Breaking Bad one is well worth a watch too.

4. Tennis! J and I have recently taken up tennis and we're loving it. My legs now hurt nearly all the time but it's all ok because I have a pink racquet and I'm better than J (and he doesn't read this so I'm safe, I hope...).

5. Girls has finished - sob. The series was so good and I can't wait for Lena Dunham to release her next creative venture, Girls related or otherwise. She's brilliant!

6. Joy did April Fools like a pro. I was taken in by this stunt article. Cruel to Marvel fans across the world I think.

7. Spring cleaning calms me down. Does this make me a Monica? Sometimes I definitely wake up with the hair.

8. I'm sure I'm a morning person (and will, with a bighead, take on all the compliments offered by this article). Surely I am if I can't keep my eyes open past 11pm...?

9. Ralph Fiennes in The Grand Budapest Hotel. I went to see the film this week and he really is top drawer. The film itself is also great and un-apologetically artsy - so I loved it.

10. TEAPOT LOVE! I've been after a teapot for bloody ages. Finally I spotted one that I adore (mustard yellow and full of character). Am currently enjoying bringing it to my desk and living off Earl Grey. Life in the fast lane, eh?

Have a happy weekend, friends! x

Classic Lemon Tart

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

All good things begin by rubbing together a little butter and flour. Homemade pastry says 'hey man, I love you'. Well to me it does, anyway. We go through so much to put in on the table, in tact, not burnt and looking delicious. We cube butter, rub it into breadcrumbs, bring together to a dough, roll out and blind bake to form a pastry case. So many processes to go that extra mile. This tart is all about the extra mile. It's made with love and last weekend it was made for Mother's Day. 
Lemon tart is one of my family's favourites. When my Dad and I were planning a menu for Mothering Sunday a couple of weeks ago we didn't have much of a decision on our hands. Lemon tart all the way. It's a favourite of my Mum's and always certain to be polished off by my sister. A winner all round. The recipe itself is a little time consuming, but is a labour of love for sure. And everyone will just adore you for bringing it to the table! It is also worth it. And it mean WORTH IT. Delicious, thick, creamy lemon filling held in a sweet, buttery, crumbly pastry case. Classic flavours come together to produce one of the most elegant tarts around. And if you're feeling super fancy, you should definitely serve it up as Tarte au Citron and put your cream into a jug rather than just whacking the pot down on the table. But however you chose to serve it, slice up generous portions - you can't skimp on this beauty.
I don't know if I can give this one anymore of an introduction, so shall we bake?

For Classic Lemon Tart you will need:

For the pastry:
250g plain flour
70g icing sugar
125g unsalted butter, chilled
2 egg yolks

For the filling:
5 eggs
150ml double cream
140g caster sugar
3 lemons, juice and zest
icing sugar, to dust

tart tin 25cm wide, 3cm deep.

Begin by cubing the butter and then rubbing it together with the flour and icing sugar.

Add in the two egg yolks and mix together. If the dough isn't coming together add 1-2 tablespoons of chilled water and mix until a dough forms.

Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.

Whilst your pastry is chilling, get to making your filling by cracking 5 eggs into a bowl. 

Add in the cream and sugar.
Weirdly loving the close up of this shot. Food textures weirdo for sure.

Add in the lemon juice and beat together.

Now strain the mixture into a clean bowl. I know this seems like a time consuming faff but it really does make a difference and will leave you with a decadently smooth tart filling!

Then add in the lemon zest, stir through and set to one side. 

Now roll out your dough.

Place into your tin.

Push the pastry into the corners of the dish.

Remove any excess.

Prick with a fork and chill for another 30 minutes.

Once chilled, blind bake (with parchment and baking beans) for 10 minutes in an oven preheated to 160c.

Bake for a further 20 minutes without the parchment and beans until your have a biscuity base.

Pour in your filling and then bake for 20 - 35 minutes. You want this tart to be just set when you take it out. Overcook it and the filling will pull away from the sides. This doesn't alter the taste of the tart but is incredibly frustrating (trust me, I speak from experience!). So be careful when you bake. If you know your oven is particularly hot check the tart at 20 minutes - it might be done! 

Once just set and delicious looking leave to cool and then serve at room temperature or chilled.

Finish with icing sugar (that I wasn't on the ball to photograph - probably because I had wine with dinner) and serve with a little creme fraiche, cream or simply on it's own. It's deliciously smooth and creamy and the homemade pastry is TO-DIE-FOR.
Love in a pastry case, for sure.

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