Apple Tea Bread and slurps of hot chai

apple tea bread 02 || cityhippyfarmgirl

Not super sweet, uses your favourite seasonal apples and is a little different to the regular cake like Apple Tea Loaf of times before. These apple baked goodies were eaten 77 times quicker than what it took to make them (or something like that anyway.)

Baked goods have long been a regular in my kitchen (and blog pages) with a steady stream of hungry bellies constantly on the look out for something else to eat, these were made to fill that role. If only momentarily. Something slightly different to my usual retort of…well if you are hungry, go eat an apple.

Or today, eat an apple tea bread!

Now, the traditional Apple Tea Loaf is something that conjures up imagery of proper tea cups, rainy afternoons and a little polite conversation.

Never one for convention, I thought I’d shake that up a bit. With waiting mugs, slurps of hot chai, coffee and cold milk. A warm sunny morning, celebrating another birthday gone by for a loved one. Snatched noisy conversations were had between mouthfuls of Apple Tea Bread, (this is more how we roll round these parts anyway.)

apple tea bread 01 || cityhippyfarmgirl

Apple Tea Bread

300g sourdough starter (*add an extra teaspoon of dried yeast if you aren’t using sourdough)

1 tsp dried yeast

4 1/2 (675g) cups strong bakers flour

375mls water (approximate)

100g softened butter

100g (1/2 cup) raw sugar

1 tsp salt

Middle Part

about four apples thinly sliced

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tblsp raw sugar

approx 50g extra butter into 16 small cubes

Add all ingredients together except softened butter and salt- either by hand or mixer. If using a mixer, do so for about ten minutes. You want that dough really worked before adding the butter in, the gluten needs to be well-developed.

Gradually add your cubed softened butter into the dough, also adding the salt. Continue to mix for a further ten minutes. If doing by hand, work it in well.

Dough should look smooth and coming together off the sides of the bowl.

Place a damp tea towel or plastic shopping bag over the top of the bowl. This creates a gentle humid environment for your bread to rise. Leave it for an hour or so.

On to a really lightly floured surface, give your dough a brief three-way fold or knock back. Back into the bowl for another hour or so.

Divide your dough into 32 equal portions, (this recipe makes roughly 16 apple tea breads.) Rolling 16 of them into balls, which are then flattened and rolled into round discs, placing them on to your baking trays.

Divide the other 16 portions in half again, creating 32, and roll each portion into long sausage type shapes. Gently twist the two snakes around each other, in a rope like fashion placing them around the edge of the round dough disc.

Place finely sliced apple in the middle and allow to prove for roughly another hour or so, (this really depends on the season, if it’s hot, it’s quicker!)

Place a tiny cube of cold butter within the circle of the dough and sprinkle with a little extra sugar and cinnamon.* Bake at 200C for approximately 20 minutes.

* If you would like to have these for breakfast, just make them up the night before, pop them on a tray, cover them, and leave them overnight in the fridge. All ready to be baked in the morning.

apple tea bread || cityhippyfarmgirl






Trickster Bread Tips #1

Trickster Bread Tips #1 || cityhippyfarmgirl

This is a fancy bread demystifying post. Got some bread dough? Got scissors?

Ok, lets make fancy pants trickster bread.

cinnamon roll dough || cityhippyfarmgirl

For this first one, I had made up a cinnamon bun dough. Easy to do and recipe can be found here.

First up, on your tray roll up the dough.  The cinnamon sugar butter mixture is rolled up within it. Now get your scissors and cut equal parts along. (Depending on what type of bread you are using, you might like to do it on baking paper so it’s easy to move around or to catch extra drippy bits like the sugar butter here).

With the scissors, cutting three quarters through the log, so the bottom is still attached.

Next, on one side cut through a little of the attached bottom. Alternate rolls, push to the side. And that’s it. Too easy right?

trickster bread tips #1 || cityhippyfarmgirl

trickster bread tips #1 || cityhippyfarmgirlTaste test at earliest availability, and then try again with the same technique in a slightly different way. It looks fancy, but really is dead easy.

Trickster Bread Tips #1 || cityhippyfarmgirl


See here for how to make Fancy Pants Flower Bread.


Cinnamon Bun Day

cinnamon buns recipe || cityhippyfarmgirl This year I was organised. This year I had planned to bake, and bake oh yes I would. I would bake these delicious cinnamon bready bundles of goodness and I would know I did it on the right day. Cinnamon Bun Day, which was yesterday, the 4th of October. Not quite with me? Let me explain for those that are new to my scandi obsession. the summer book || cityhippyfarmgirl I’m a lover of anything Scandinavian. Viking history, Vikings to watch (this awesome bloody show), this beautiful book, given to me from my favourite Norwegian friend and blogger. I eat knekkebrod with gusto, mix bread with an Assistent, wear Danish boots with pride, think Figgjo retro kitchenware is the bees knees and come the 4th of October, well I’m baking buns… Cinnamon Buns. For these little bundles of Scandinavian dough goodness I used my recipe from last year. Untweaked and left alone surprisingly. Common sense told me I shouldn’t be bothering  messing about with a recipe that worked. For once I listened to myself. For more posts on all things Nordic, see here and here, where you’ll find all things knekkebrod, last years buns (which were twisted), and other Scandinavian obsessions that I may have had in recent times.


Do you have any particular country obsessions? 

cinnamon buns || cityhippyfarmgirl

Cinnamon Buns

250g  sourdough starter

1 tsp commercial yeast

675g strong bread flour

250mls milk

200mls water

100g sugar

100g softened butter

1 tsp cardamon

1 tsp salt

Cinnamon mixture

100g softened butter

100g raw sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

Add all dough ingredients together, mix well and then knead until dough is elastic on a lightly floured surface (I use my mixer.) Dough should be well incorporated and feeling smooth. Pop the dough back into the mixing bowl and leave to prove for a couple of hours, with a fold or two in between, (or covered and over night.) On a lightly floured bench, roll the dough out to a rough rectangle, add cinnamon mixture and cut into portions. Line on a tray and bake at 200C for approximately 15-20 minutes (depending on the sizes.)

sweeping the flour off

the 'flour' after it had been swept...

I’m just sweeping the flour off mama.

It’s a line like that, that stops a girl in her tracks. Stops her right dead in her tracks. Eyebrows fly up and mouth forms a perfectly formed silent O.

Ohh…really little one? Hoping that my first thought after hearing that one little line was wrong… really wrong.

He clarified it for me, by repeating the gesture. See, mama… this how I sweep off allll the flour.

The dirty old house broom gets raised once again, to sweep off the icing sugar delicately dusted over my newly baked Pan de Mallorca.

Nooo!!… Startled and quite surprised he’s the one that now stops dead in his tracks.

I think that’s fine little one, oh, yes…quite enough sweeping I think. Gently prising the broom handle from his Little Monkey paws.

I was only gone five minutes. That three year old is a quick one to tidy.

'flourless' pan de mallorca

I made these last weekend, and again this weekend. I wanted something easy, Monkey friendly and something I could whack in the freezer, ready to be pulled out for standby Monkey Boy school lunches and Little Monkey at home lunches when things were looking just a bit too crazy in the mornings for much else. They both loved them, which is lucky as the crazy mornings happened quite a bit last week.

Pan De Mallorca

(adapted from SBS Feast Magazine March edition)

(and very similar to the Pan de Leche that I’ve made before)

1 tsp dried yeast

100g melted butter

1/4 cup (55g) sugar

3 egg yolks

1/2 cup (125mls) milk

3 cups (450g) flour

3/4 tsp salt

100-150g sourdough starter *

extra brown sugar and cinnamon (or a cooked up diced apple tastes great too.)

In a bowl, add dried yeast, sugar, sourdough starter and 60mls tepid water. Stir to dissolve and set aside for 5 minutes until mixture begins to bubble. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Turn out on to a lightly floured surface for a quick knead. Mixture should look smooth and elastic.

Pop back in the bowl and cover, leaving to prove for about an hour. Turn out on to lightly floured surface again, rolling dough out into a rectangle shape. Sprinkle several spoonfuls of brown sugar and a little cinnamon onto dough and roll up, (from the long side.) Cut dough into circles and place on a tray. Cover and prove again for about 30-60 mins, bake at 180C for 25 minutes.

Dust with ‘flour’, (icing sugar)

* If you don’t have a sourdough starter, using just the dried yeast is fine, take out half a cup of the flour from the mixture to adjust the recipe.

(This post submitted to yeastspotting)

cherry plum and almond wreath

cherry plum and almond

A baking challenge?

You bet.

How could I not. It looked delicious. The taste possibilities were endless, and it looked like just the thing to tickle The Monkeys taste buds.

Make it with local seasonal fruit, even better.

peach and blueberry

For how to make one of these wreaths, pop over to Discovering Sourdough.

I’ve written down the changes I’ve made, but it will make more sense if you check out the original recipe first.

Cherry Plum and Almond Wreath

200mls milk

3 tbls sour cream

50g butter

50g sugar

Warm ingredients gently and then cool a little and add

210mls water

Set aside.

450g starter  (100%)

650g strong bakers flour

Mix together with liquid mixture and let autolyse for an hour.

2 tsp salt

Add the salt, mixing well with dough hooks.

200g strong bakers flour

Then out on to a well floured board and incorporate the extra 200g of flour. Slowly and over about 10 plus minutes.

Prove for 3 hours

Cherry Plum and Almond Mixture

6 blood plums cut up

large handful of fresh cherries, pips out

3/4 cup of sugar

Cooked up for a few minutes until soft, draining any excess juice off and stir through a large handful of blitzed almonds, (or almond meal if you already have it.)

Peach and Blueberry

Peach Punch Jam

fresh farmers market blueberries

This post submitted to yeastspotting.

Almond Coffee Cluster

Night starvation…It doesn’t sound very good does it? All my life, my grandfather has used the words ‘night starvation’. I thought it was just his way off getting in a few more biscuits before bed time. “Better have a little more, you don’t want any night starvation”…Don’t mind if I do Grandpa, biscuit number 43 should do it. I always thought it was just Grandpa’s way of looking out for me, and being lovely.

It turns out, that yes, he was looking out for me as there really was something called the dreaded ‘night starvation’. Horlicks invented it back in the 1930’s as a selling slogan. A cure of those terrible hunger pains that you may be prone to if you didn’t drink their lovely malted drink before bed time. So there you go…

So what’s that got to do with my Almond Coffee Cluster? This is my prevention of night starvation. I have a habit of being just a little peckish around 9pm, not one for hot malted drinks, the cluster is an easy one to pop in the freezer and break off a segment when I need to.

Night starvation prevented once more.

Almond Coffee Cluster

200mls luke warm milk

2 tps dry yeast

1 tps vanilla

1 egg

100gms softened butter

1/3 cup raw sugar

1 cup almond meal

1/4 cup espresso coffee

450gms flour (3 cups)

3 tbs olive oil

1 tps salt

almond flakes

Mix yeast in luke warm milk and set aside for 10 minutes. Mix remaining ingredients together and then also adding milk. Once mixed together, knead well until smooth and elastic. Cover and leave until doubled in size. Divide dough into 8 even balls. Placing in greased large springform pan. Scatter some almond flakes on top. Bake at 190C for approx 30-40 minutes.

After being generously given some chestnut flour from Celia, I thought I would give Chestnut Coffee Cluster a go as well. Tastes remarkably similar, a little darker in colour, the subtle tones of the coffee added to the nuttiness of the chestnut. Same recipe just substituting the almond meal for chestnut flour.

Night Starvation prevented yet again.

* This post submitted to Yeastspotting.