Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Striped Knitted Blanket

Well my finishing off projects spree continues. I managed to get two done last week which is quite an achievement for me. The first one I'm thinking of as a pram blanket as it's nice and snuggly. It's done using Artesano Hummingbird DK which is really lovely yarn to use. I'm not technically brilliant at knitting but I quite like the finished result so I'm sure it'll get used. I was going for as much texture as possible for squidgy little babies. It's only taken about six months to do which is quite quick compared to some of the others!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Bread baking day!

I've been baking bread today which I don't do as often as I should. Largely because I'm too impatient to wait for the required rising times. However the snow outside was pretty heavy this morning and I didn't fancy the trek to the shop in it, so thought I'd put the effort in to make some. Now I'm no expert. My attempts are largely hit and miss, no doubt due to the lack of practice, but I've made these rolls a couple of times now and they are delish so I thought I'd share. It's a Nigel Slater recipe (who is a food genius) out of The Guardian newspaper. (Recipe also here) I don't add the pumpkin seeds as I never have any in but it doesn't detract from the yumminess in anyway. Enjoy!

Nigel Slater's Poppy and pumpkin seed buns

Sunflower seeds are an option here, as is caraway. Makes 12-15.

apple juice 400ml
honey 2 tbsp
strong white plain flour 400g
rye flour 200g
easy-bake dried yeast 2 tsp
sea salt 1 tsp
poppy seeds and pumpkin seeds

Warm the apple juice and honey in a saucepan. It should be just hot enough to hold your finger in. Put the flours in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle in the yeast and salt. Pour in the warm apple juice and honey and mix thoroughly to a sticky dough.

Knead the dough by hand for a mere 3 or 4 minutes, pushing, pulling and stretching the dough in whatever way suits you. You can use the food mixer fitted with a dough hook if you prefer. Oil or flour the bowl lightly, then return the dough to it and cover with a tea cloth or clingfilm. Set aside in a warm place, free of draughts, for an hour or until the dough has risen to almost twice its original volume.

Set the oven at 220C/gas mark 8. Tear off 12-15 pieces and form into balls. Place these on a baking sheet or pizza stone, then scatter the surface with poppy and pumpkin seeds and cover with a dry tea cloth. Leave in a warm place for about 15-20 minutes until the rolls have risen slightly.

Bake the rolls for about 20 minutes. They should sound hollow when upturned and tapped. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

New Year, New House, New Baby!

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had an enjoyable time. It's been a while since my last post. Lots has been happening. I've now moved house and FINALLY have the internet back. Although even that's not working properly. I had a busy November moving and trying to get the house sorted before Christmas. I'm now trying to get everything ready for our new little baby which is due in March. I've got loads of projects on the go I'm trying to get finished before he turns our lives upside-down. So far I've only managed to complete this little baby blanket, but at least it's something!

I've also realised what a huge stash of fabric and wool I've got so I'm determined to start using some of it up before it overtakes the whole room. We've got much less space in the new house and we are going to have a lot more baby stuff to fit in somewhere! This little blanket is the first to use up some of my wool scraps. It was just something very simple I could sit and do in the evening while I put my feet up. Hopefully more things will be finished off in the coming weeks.