Five Seed Wholemeal Sandwich Bread

 Prep Time : 20 + 10 Minutes | Cook Time : 40 Minutes | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : Bread

Hello my lovelies! It’s important to have a plan for your leftovers. Even if that plan is just to make sandwiches. This flavourful bread is packed with seeds and makes the best sandwiches! Make it on Boxing Day morning or make it ahead of time and pop it in the freezer already sliced. Then pile it up with ham and pickles and cheese and leftover salad and all the good things. Heck keep making this bread during the year for school lunches. Nice things aren’t just for Christmas. This dough comes together quickly and easily with a bit of squelchy fun adding some butter. Butter makes everything better. It makes the crumb soft and pillowy. We are using a bit less than half wholemeal flour in this loaf to keep a soft texture while still getting a good amount of wholemeal goodness. The dough will feel a bit stiff and you’ll need to put some muscle into the kneading but it will get easier when you add the butter.

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Lemon + Tarragon Soda

 Prep Time : 10 Minutes | Cook Time : 5 Minutes | Total Time : 30 Minutes | Difficulty : Easy

Hello my lovelies! At this time of year a lot of toasts are made and a lot of drinks are provided. But what if you don’t drink alcohol? I don’t drink anymore apart from the odd mouthful on a very special occasion because it’s not good for my mental health. My body and my brain are not fans. While I make no bones about it there are a lot of people who would rather not drink a lot or at all for reasons they may or may not be comfortable sharing. It’s important to look after those people too. Give them something better than “back up” options. With the crazy heat in NZ at the moment we need all the cold drinks we can get! I’ve been making lemonade the way my mother taught me for years. It has 2 ingredients and takes no time at all. Today we are going to level up using one of my favourite herbs. Tarragon adds a glorious herbal anise flavour that goes wonderfully with lemon. Herbs are woefully underused in sweet foods and drinks and they’re a great way to add a new dimension of flavour. Made up with soda water this is a fabulous drink on it’s own but if you must it is also delicious in gin cocktails.

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Glazed Lebkuchen Buttons

 Prep Time : 15 + 75 Minutes | Cook Time : 12 Minutes | Total Time : 2 Days | Difficulty : Easy

Hello my lovelies! More traditional Christmas goodies with a twist. These mini gingerbread cookies couldn’t be easier to make. You just need to give yourself time to let the dough rest. At least 24 hours. Preferably 48. The classic recipe lets the dough age for a week which you can do if you have time but you can get away without. These cookies are chewy and delicious and packed with Christmas spices. A little lemon glaze complements the molasses flavours and gives the cookies a gorgeous frosted appearance. These cookies are great for gifting as well as eating. Just make sure the glaze is completely dry and set before packaging them up. The flavour will improve with time so make these as early as you can! By far the largest bit of active time is dipping the cookies in glaze. Put a podcast on and zone out while you do it.

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Nan-E Babari

 Prep Time : 20 + 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 20 Minutes | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : Bread

Hello my lovelies! We need options. Snack options. Bread options. This flatbread has an amazing crust that uses a special trick. And it looks striking and fabulous. Perfect for the holidays. It’s delicious and provides the perfect opportunity for a humble-brag… Shut down the snarks with your prowess and knowledge. And make the perfect accompaniment to a meal. All in one go. Efficiency is key at this time of year. If you’re hosting make a couple of these a few days ahead and refresh them in a hot oven for 10 minutes when they’re thawed. Or turn up at Christmas lunch with a warm fabulous contribution that smells like heaven. The key to the fabulous colour and chewy crust is a roux-like paste called roomal that is spread onto the dough before baking. It will change your life. To make this dough easier to handle and bake at home and still get great results I have reduced the amount of water from the original recipe. Feel free to experiment with adding more water if you are a confident bread baker. To make more loaves just scale up. A little bit of math never hurt anyone…

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Not your Grandmother’s Stollen

 Prep Time : 30 + 20 Minutes | Cook Time : 20 Minutes | Total Time : 4 hours | Difficulty : Fiddly

Hello my lovelies! Bringing the Christmas action today. And putting my twist on it. Natch. We are taking the flavours of a german holiday favourite and making our own thing. Who doesn’t love a cut bun to have for themselves? I recommend making your own marzipan. It’s much cheaper and you can make a big batch to use for your Christmas cakes as well. We’re making fluffy buttery fruit filled rolls snuggled round a marzipan centre. All of the Christmas is in there. Including rum. These buns are an amazing late night snack. And equally delicious on the Christmas breakfast table. This is a sticky enriched dough with butter and eggs and good things. It will feel like it won’t come together but it will. It will take a bit of time to do the first rise. There is a lot of fruit and other things that will slow the yeast down so be patient.

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Chorizo, Bell Pepper + Sweetcorn Scones

 Prep Time : 10 Minutes | Cook Time : 20 Minutes | Total Time : 30 Minutes | Difficulty : Easy

Hello my lovelies! Let’s take a deep breath in the midst of sugar season. We need some things up our sleeve. Palate cleansers. Salty bites to break through the madness. Love it though we do. Scones are great way to give yourself some time out. They come together so quickly and you can go to town with flavours. These babies are packed with salty spicy chorizo and a few veges. And cheese. Always cheese. A bright bit of respite. More Christmas goodness is coming later in the week. For now we can have a snack while we plan our assault on the holiday season.

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Brandy + Ginger Christmas Fruit Mince

 Prep Time : 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 20 Minutes | Total Time : 1 hour | Difficulty : Easy

Hello my lovelies! Just one recipe this week while I recover from my germs and catch up on my other jobs. It’s a good one though. At Christmas you are either on team dried fruit or you’re not. I am clearly on team fruit. I do understand that it’s a polarising food group. But I also think a lot of people have been abused by unimaginative, raisin heavy offerings. Today we are going to make a major improvement on the pre-prepared options for making my beloved Christmas mince pies. They’re pretty ubiquitous here and in the UK. It’s a British colony thing. You should get on board America. No real mince to be seen these days. Just dried fruits and lashings of brandy. So long as you have 650 grams of dried fruits altogether feel free to riff as you see fit. But I totally recommend this version with a generous helping of candied ginger and brandy.

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