Aubergine & Feta Flatbread

by Chris on April 13, 2014

FlatbreadsI have a long history of spectacular bread making failures. There was the one where I was inspired to make my own sourdough starter, by the cool kids at E5 Bakehouse, only to have it explode all over my kitchen. Then the was the time I first used spelt, which looked amazing, but required hacksaw to cut a slice. But this hasn’t stopped me from trying again, and I’m happy about that, because it lead me to being a bit more comfortable in baking. Well sort of.

The one thing I lack in abundance in the kitchen is patience. If I have to rest something for 60 minutes, I’m more likely to poke it with a fork at 40 minutes. A ‘do not stir’ instruction certainly means I’ll be giving it a stir. You get the idea. It’s also April and that means it’s spring. So I fancied making something that tasted a little bit fresher than the stodgy winter food I’ve been consuming of late. Plus a recipe that allows me to poke, prod and not have to worry about doing too much, or too little.

Flatbread Dough

Burnt Aubergine & Feta Flatbread (makes 6)
For the dough;
250g strong, white flour
5g instant yeast
5g flaked salt
15g butter
150ml tepid water

For the filling;
1 medium sized aubergine
olive oil
75g Greek Feta
Sprigs of thyme (optional)

Burnt Aubergine

Take a mixing bowl and add the salt, flour and the dried yeast. Then add the butter and the water.  Mix with your hands to bring the mixture together. Gradually add the remaining water until all the flour is mixed in. Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes. When the dough feels smooth and silky, place it back in the mixing bowl, cover it with a warm tea towel and leave it in a warm place to double in size while you get on with the filling.

Cut the aubergine length ways in half. Slash a criss-cross of cuts into the flesh, reaching almost down to the skin. Place skin side down in a baking tray. Brush over a little olive oil then bake at 200°C for 25 minutes or until completely soft. Remove from the oven and scrape the flesh out into a mixing bowl. Crumble in the feta and stir in the chopped thyme leaves. Season to taste.

Flatbread DoughPressed Stuffed Flatbread Feta Pinched Flatbread

Tip the dough on to a floured surface, fold repeatedly until all the air is knocked out of it, then tear it into 6 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Make an small hollow in the middle of each ball of dough and put a heaped teaspoon of the aubergine mixture into the hollow. Pinch the dough over to seal. Do the same process again with the remaining 6 dough balls

Lightly flour your work surface and flatten a dough ball with a rolling pin into a disc about 16cm in diameter. Place the flatbreads onto a baking sheet in a warm place for 10 – 15 minutes. Now I know what you’re thinking “Hey, you said no waiting!”. Well it’s technically not waiting. You’ll need to look for your heavy-based frying pan, rub it very lightly with a little olive oil and bring up to a medium heat. That takes 15 minutes right!?

Flatbreads Many

Place two or three flatbreads into the pan or straight onto a BBQ at a time and cook them for 3-4 minutes. Once they have started to brown, turn them over and cook the other side. Eat immediately.

{ 0 comments }

Power Muffin

by Chris on March 2, 2014

Power MuffinOn Monday I went foraging. Well, when I say foraging, what I really mean is I went poking around the health food shop. If you been here before you’ll know this isn’t my normal hunting ground. I’m more at home around the glazed treats in our local patisserie or the aged meat section of the butcher. Not that my butcher (Hi Pete!) has a special section for old bits of meat, but you get the idea….anyway, back to the story.

So the reason I was in a health shop is because I’ve been running a bucket load lately. Which is great right? Well yes, but I’ve never been more hungry in all my life. I mean really hungry. Sadly this hunger monster isn’t brilliant at waiting around until lunch time, which means I’m eating rubbish just to keep the monster at bay. Don’t get me wrong, I have a hearty breakfast, but it’s the period between breakfast and lunch that I’m more likely to tuck into a bag of whatever’s in the vending machine. It’s got so bad I keep all my change so I can go to the vending machine. Skips are currently my top choice. Something needed to change. I needed some slow burning grains that would keep this hunger monster at bay.

Mashed Banana Goji Berry & Pecan Mix

So here I am, walking around the health store, trying not to make eye contact with the lady who clearly has dry skin issues. Why don’t people in health stores look like supermodels, I think before stumbling onto bran and some Nu3 goji berries. Bran is good right? Sure it’s boring, but it’s a good slow burner to keep me from binge eating. Then there’s goji berries. They’re supposed to be a superfood, but they look dry and chewy. I thought to bake them into a something so they plump up again and it worked out pretty well. So here it is, my hunger monster ‘Power Muffin’ recipe

Dry Mix

What you need (makes 10)
2 eggs
90ml sunflower oil
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
1 ripe banana, mashed
3 tablespoons golden syrup
3 tablespoons apple sauce
4 tablespoons bran/ oat mix
200g wholemeal flour
6 tablespoons demerara sugar
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
handful of chopped pecans and Nu3 goji berries

Muffin Batter

Preheat your oven to 180° and line your baking tray with folded baking paper. Whisk your eggs in a large bowl, then slowly beat in the apple sauce, mashed banana, vanilla paste and golden syrup.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, sugar, bicarbonate soda, baking powder, bran mix and cinnamon. Then tip that into your wet mixture and mix well. Finally stir in the pecans and goji berries. Sprinkle some extra bran on top, but avoid sprinkling goji berries as they’ll just burn. Better to have them in the mix where they can soak and become more raisin like. Then spoon out your mixture into the paper muffin cases and bake for 30 minutes.

Muffin Mix

{ 0 comments }

Meat & Two Veg

Okay, I’m just going to come out and say it. Actually I think I’ll whisper it instead. I’ve been eating less meat recently. Yes that’s right less meat. You see, I’ve become a little addicted to documentaries on Netflix and more often than not they’re about how bad everything is for you. I hear you shout […]

Read the full article →

It’s been a while…

They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Well I think the past 8-9 months have definitely proved this to be the case. Back in April when Chris and I moved into our dream ‘fixer upper’ home, I fanatically wondered over the many projects that we would undertake to build what would be our […]

Read the full article →