Kathy Paterson loaves
The humblest of baked goods is the most practical and versatile
Warming spices make gingerbread ideal for this time of year. Ensure your ground ginger is nice and fresh.
Makes 2 loaves
115g butter 250g golden syrup 100g caster sugar 1 Tbsp good-quality orange marmalade 2 small eggs
150ml full cream milk 115g self-raising flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground mixed spice ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda 115g wholemeal flour
1 Heat the oven to 170C. Grease and line the base of two 20cm x 10cm x 5cm-deep loaf tins.
2 Place the butter, golden syrup, sugar and marmalade in a saucepan and place over low heat. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
3 Combine the eggs and milk and lightly whisk. Sift together the self-raising flour, ginger, mixed spice and bicarbonate of soda. Mix in the wholemeal flour. 4 Pour the cooled butter mixture and egg mixture into the dry ingredients and mix to a smooth batter, being careful not to over-mix. 5 Divide mixture between the two loaf tins and place in the oven. Bake for 50-60 minutes until springy to the touch. 6 Remove from the oven and leave to cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from tins to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
Savoury cheese and bacon mini loaves
Best eaten warm, but still delicious cold. Pretty good the next day, cut in half lengthwise and toasted.
Makes 8 mini loaves
3-4 rashers streaky rindless bacon
2 cups plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup grated tasty cheddar
cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
1 Tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 ½ cups full cream milk
1 Heat the oven to 220C. Grease 1 x 8-cup mini loaf tin tray.
2 Place the bacon in a shallow baking tray and place in the oven. Cook until lightly browned but not crisp. Remove from the oven and place on kitchen paper to drain and cool. Cut into smallish pieces.
3 Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add the grated cheese, parsley and cooled bacon. 4 In a small bowl, lightly whisk the egg and oil together. Pour into the dry ingredients along with the milk. Fold together without over-mixing (the mixture should be a soft dropping consistency), then spoon into the prepared tins. Sprinkle the extra grated cheese on top of the uncooked mini loaves.
5 Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes until the mini loaves are well puffed and golden brown. 6 Remove from the oven and turn out into a clean tea towel sitting on a wire rack.