What I now recognise to be a mighty close cousin of the British classic lemon drizzle cake, went by the more modest name of lemon bread round ours.
Christmas baking aside, lemon bread was my hands-down favourite out of everything mum baked. I particularly adored the way the lemon syrup crystallised on the crust before seeping down to creating that thin layer of sticky citrusy goodness. Continue reading
I grew up eating cornbread, but it’s not that common in the UK. The girls were pretty skeptical the first time I made it. “I don’t know what it is!” Lyra complained. “Is it a bread or a cake?”
Cornbread does edge towards cake territory, with its slight sweetness and moist crumb. This recipe makes loads, which is fine by me as cornbread makes a great leftover. Continue reading
Soda bread and I have never got on… My go-to quick bread has always been baking powder biscuits – I could throw together a batch with my eyes closed, and they would turn out light as air, fluffy and delightful.
Soda bread is another story. Whatever I do, it turns out heavy as rock, dense and… undelightful. I still remember making it for the first time in Home Ec. The ugly brown lump that emerged from my oven had a crust like rhinosaurus hide and a sullen, pastelike interior. It had somehow doubled in weight– though not in size – and could have been used as a weapon in close combat.
So when the Great British Bake-off contestants were tasked with producing a signature quick bread, my first thought was to make something based on biscuit dough. That would have been the easy way to go… Continue reading
The distinctive taste of Angostura bitters sets this Antiguan pineapple bread apart from the other quick breads and loaf cakes I make.
I’m sure it would work nicely with vanilla as well, but given the last bottle of Angostura bitters I finished was “by appointment to his majesty King George VI” I’m very happy to stick to the original recipe. Continue reading
This zucchini bread recipe comes from my high school cookbook – which is quite the period piece now, with its marshmallow Waldorf salad, Waikiki meatballs, ham and rice ring and “sex in the pan”.
The original recipe calls for raisins, but after substituting chocolate chips once, I’ve never switched back. It also makes two loaves. Sometimes I’ve halved the recipe by beating the three eggs together and only using half, but usually stick the second loaf in the freezer for later. Continue reading
My mother used to say, “use a new word ten times and it’s yours”. She applied the same method to teaching me to cook. When I was eight years old, she had me make baking powder biscuits ten times over a couple of weeks, until I mastered them.
Many years later, I still remember the recipe and adapt it to all sorts of things. I make them larger and smaller, thicker and thinner. I sometimes add cheese or herbs to the dough (cheddar and dill biscuits are particularly nice). I always save any bacon fat or chicken fat in the fridge, and it makes a delicious biscuit when swapped for the margarine. Continue reading
We’ve been making these muffins pretty much every weekend since I included them in Fern’s Food more than ten years ago.These are known as Margo muffins around here – after the family friend who provided the original recipe.
The fruit varies with what’s in the house. Banana walnut with a slug of maple syrup is good, as is grated apple and cinnamon, chopped pear and ground ginger, or even a couple of handfuls of raisins.
We make a serious dent in them the morning they’re baked, then add any that are left over to packed lunches over the week. Continue reading