Monthly Archives: April 2017

5 fantastic foreign breads from around the world

24 April, 2017

Here in Britain, we love a good loaf. From the classic white bloomer to the rustic sourdough, bread is staple here in the UK, not to mention a firm favourite. However, despite always having a soft spot for the loaves we know and love, as bakers, we also revel in experimenting with new recipes.

Over the years, we’ve been introduced to more and more varieties of bread, many of which originate from all over the world. Introducing punchy spices, unusual textures and vivid colours into our recipes, these breads provide a whole new taste experience for customers. So, which ones do we think need a little more attention? To help you broaden your baking horizons, we’ve picked out five fantastic foreign breads to experiment with this season.

1. Pão de Queijo – Brazil

 
Pão de Queijo, Brazillian cheese bread

Soft, doughy and bursting with rich, salty cheese, pão de queijo is a must-try for bakers looking to practise a few new techniques. Otherwise known as Brazilian cheese bread, these delicious cheesy puffs are traditionally eaten for breakfast and are a great  savoury snack option.

The best part, however, is that pão de queijo is also incredibly simple to create. Combine tapioca flour with milk, oil and salt, before adding eggs and cheese to form a sticky, stretchy dough. Bake until the dough has puffed and is turning golden brown, then they’re ready to enjoy! We love this pão de queijo recipe by The Kitchn, using parmesan for a delicate cheese flavour.

Best for: Serving as a delicious savoury snack or starter. Why not accompany these moreish cheese balls with a garlic and chive dip for an original appetiser option?

2. Challah – Israel

 
Challah, Jewish ceremonial bread

Traditionally a Jewish ceremonial bread, challah is certainly an impressive loaf. Rich, moist and with eggy hints, challah is sweetened with honey and egg washed to create a brilliant golden crust. It does, however, require a repeated process of kneading, proving and kneading again, so isn’t one to whip up in a hurry!

Challah is usually braided into a neat plait before baking, making it perfect for occasions. Fancy giving yours a modern twist? This thorough challah recipe by Tori Avey suggests adding raisins or chocolate chips into the mix, or topping with poppy seeds to add even more flavour.

Best for: Serving as a whole braided loaf. Perfect as a tear and share table centrepiece, challah is ideal for group events.

3. Pan de Muertos – Mexico

 
Pan de Muertos, Mexico's Bread of the Dead

Now, you’ve probably heard of Mexico’s infamous Day of the Dead festival, but have you heard of the accompanying pan de muertos? Pan de muertos translates as bread of the dead, which we have to admit, doesn’t sound very appetising, but it is in fact absolutely delicious.

This soft, sweet bread is flavoured with orange zest and aniseed, then covered in a sticky orange glaze and doused in granulated sugar. Sounds incredible, right? To make sure your pan de muertos is as authentic as possible however, don’t forget to add your dough shapes on top. Resembling bones and tears, these shapes characterise the bread of the dead. Try out this pan de muertos recipe by The Spruce to give this delectable bread a go yourself!

Best for: An elevenses snack or afternoon treat. This sugary snack has enough flavour to be eaten on its own, but also pairs very well with Nutella for a chocolate orange sensation!

4. Bao – China

 
Bao - Steamed Chinese Meat Buns Baozi in a bowl

Bao, or baozi, doesn’t really look like your typical loaf, and the truth is, it’s not. Originating from China, this Asian delicacy is steamed, hence the miniature buns’ pale colour. However, despite their anaemic exterior, these doughy buns actually have a succulent centre.

Bao typically has a moist, savoury filling, making these buns a surprisingly delicious treat. We’ve opted for this rich char siu bao recipe by The Woks of Life, which is steamed buns stuffed with BBQ pork. Why not put your own spin on this Chinese recipe by introducing some of your favourite fillings to create your own signature bao?

Best for: A delicious appetiser option. Try serving a variety of bao with a number of fillings for a more exciting dish!

5. Paratha – India

 
Indian Paratha Bread

India is renowned for its wide variety of flatbreads, but have you ever tried your hand at paratha? Traditionally made from whole wheat flour and made using a lamination technique, the flat paratha dough is cooked quickly on a skillet before serving.

Although this flatbread is fantastic plain, it also lends itself well to the addition of aromatic spices and punchy flavours. This masala paratha recipe by Spice up the Curry, is a great example, featuring a delicious concoction of turmeric, red chilli, coriander, garam masala, ajawain and cumin seeds!

Best for: Serving as a delicious side dish, or pairing which a tangy chutney for a filling lunch option.

What are your favourite foreign breads? Let us know which ones you love to make via Twitter!

#BritishSandwichWeek: Our 5 favourite sandwiches to serve!

20 April, 2017

A whole seven days dedicated to celebrating the trusted sandwich. British Sandwich Week runs from 14th May to 20th May 2017, and creates an opportunity for professional cooks to capitalise on the popularity of this culinary delight. Interestingly, the sandwich is a British invention, and since its creation in the 18th century, it has become a firm favourite for food lovers everywhere.

Did you know, 11.5 billion sandwiches are consumed in the UK ever year – enough to cover the world approximately 44 times!

Although the first ever sandwich, created by the fourth Earl of Sandwich, John Montagu, was a simple concoction of meat placed in-between two slices of bread, now the sandwich has been transformed into something bigger, better and bursting with all types of filling variations. There are even dessert sandwiches!

To show you the full variety of sandwich types out there, in this blog we’re counting down a selection of gourmet and classic sarnies to serve. Which one will be our favourite?

Did you know that the reported average price for a sandwich in the UK is £2.07

5. The American: Reuben sandwich

 

reuben-sandwich

Originating in Nebraska, the Reuben sandwich, aptly named after its creator, is an overload of succulent corned beef, covered with Swiss cheese and sauerkraut, and drizzled with Russian dressing. Be sure to grill on deliciously soft rye bread, and top off with a tangy pickle for extra crunch! It tastes amazing.

4. The veggie classic: Halloumi, sun-dried tomato and rocket sandwich

 

halloumi-sandwich

Salty, grilled halloumi coupled with sharp sun-dried tomatoes, and finished with crispy rocket; this veggie sandwich is full of contrasting flavours that complement each other perfectly. Add mayonnaise, black pepper for extra seasoning, and serve on two chunky slices of tiger bread!

Why not serve as an open sandwich and top off with more halloumi?

3. The sweet: Ice cream sandwich

 

ice-cream-sandwich

So, it turns out, a sandwich can be anything placed in-between two foods, as we’ve recently discovered thanks to the latest phenomenon – ice cream sandwiches. Perfect as temperatures rise, the staple ice-cream sandwich is made up of flavoursome ice cream, sandwiched between two chunky cookies. Already, however, we’ve seen an array of incredible variations, from scoops of sundae packed within crunchy s’mores, and even ice cream layered between two heavenly doughnuts!

2. The unusual: Picnic loaf

 

Picnic loaf

Want a showstopper of a sandwich to amaze your customers? Taking a little more time to prepare but guaranteeing attention, the eye-catching picnic loaf is a sandwich created within a loaf of bread. An ideal snack for a picnic, this alternative sandwich suggestion locks in flavour, offers easy transportation, and is synonymous with summer, thanks to its go-to fillings. The picnic loaf’s trademark is the hollowed-out loaf, filled typically with roasted vegetables, mozzarella, and Italian meats. Serve by the slice and with a side!

1. The favourite: Smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel

 

salmon-cream-cheese

And our favourite sandwich, although we’re now privy to all of the above, remains the classic smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel! Dress the smoked salmon with lemon juice, soften the delectable cream cheese, and place on a toasted bagel. What we love about this is its simplicity: it’s easy to throw together, uses few ingredients yet is bursting with flavour and texture! We love it.

What’s your favourite sandwich to make for your customers? Share your suggestions with us via Twitter, and hashtag #BritishSandwichWeek.

4 mouth-watering ways to include Crème Eggs in your baking this Easter

13 April, 2017

As Easter creeps up, there’s one sweet treat on the minds of professional bakers everywhere. We are, of course, talking about Crème Eggs. With their thick chocolate outer-layer and gooey fondant centre, it’s no wonder these tasty sweet eggs have got chocolate fans pining for them all year round. For professional bakers, Crème Eggs bring with them the opportunity to create desserts that are even more indulgent, mouth-watering and tempting to customers.

As many bakers turn to the staple Crème Egg brownies to bake this Easter, it got us thinking about alternative ways to include this rich chocolatey egg in our baking. There’s a variety of Crème Egg desserts to experiment with that not only taste delicious, but look amazing!

In this blog, we’re showcasing four delectable Crème Egg creations.

1. Scotch Crème Eggs

 

Crème Egg Ice Cream

Traditional Scotch eggs have received an indulgent and oh-so-naughty makeover in this recipe by Amuse your Bouche! Soft, sphere-shaped and exceptionally filling, Scotch Crème Eggs will give your customers their much-needed chocolate fix this Easter. The secret to creating these delicious treats is combining the lusciousness of brownies with Crème Eggs, to form the traditional layers of a Scotch egg. A Crème Egg centre is surrounded by cooked brownie, and finished off with a layer of chocolate sprinkles.

2. Crème Egg ice cream

 

Crème Egg Ice Cream

Simple yet extremely satisfying, why not make this deliciously velvety ice cream that is, of course, speckled with our favourite gooey chocolate egg? All you need is condensed milk, Crème Eggs and double cream to create them, and voila, you’ve got your own creamy Crème Egg dessert! You don’t even need an ice cream maker for this recipe, by Fuss Free Flavours!

Why not serve your Crème Egg ice cream alongside a simple dessert, such as cheesecake or brownies?

3. Crème Egg no bake cheesecake

 

Crème Egg Cheesecake

With oven-use not necessary, you can whip up this appetising Crème Egg cheesecake in no time, while preparing your other menu choices for a busy Easter weekend. Simple yet scrumptious, this recipe creates a plain vanilla cheesecake with its trademark crunchy biscuit base, topped off with baked, halved Crème Eggs. Slice through the indulgent layers of fondant, chocolate, cheesecake and biscuit for a sweet yet modest taste.

For a bigger Easter chocolate fix, experiment with a variety of favourable Easter confectionary, including Maltesers MaltEaster bunnies and Mini Eggs!

4. Crème Egg Millionaire’s Shortbread

 

Creme Egg Millionaire’s Shortbread

Imagine carving through a chunk of biscuit to see distinctive (and striking!) Crème Egg layers. Swapping the caramel centre of a classic Millionaire’s Shortbread with homemade white and yellow fondant creates your very own exceptionally sweet biscuit delight! They’re very rich and satisfying, offering your customers the sugar fix they desire! Here’s the full recipe. Serve as a delightful takeaway snack or part of a hot drink and cake deal.

Want to make your Crème Egg Millionaire’s Shortbread stand out? Add different food colourings to your fondant to create a brighter layered bake!

Do you have any alternative desserts that feature Crème Eggs? Tweet us with your suggestions!