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This next post was supposed to be about a flat bread pizza base i made however, after dh formatted my 'it will get you by until we have more funds' camera, he wrote off the only 2 photos i had. Oh well, another day, another pizza!

So, now, i turn my attention to this little gadget YES it's a..........crumb cleaner! I don't know about you, but part of my cleaning routine is to sweep all accumulated crumbs off tables and worksurfaces onto the floor then vacuum. This battery operated gadget would come in handy if  when i clean up as i go for example: sieve flour into bowl, clean any spilt flour, move onto next baking step.

Gadgets like this i feel are perfect to receive as gifts but you wouldn't necessarily go and buy it yourself, would you?



Sugar Cookies

These beauties are as the name suggests, packed with sugar so be warned! they are also buttery and crisp and go perfect with a glass of milk at breakfast.

Makes: approximately 36
Prep time: 20mins
Bake Time: 15-20mins


370g Granulated vanilla sugar or just granulated sugar
228g Unsalted butter, room temperature
228g Bread flour
1tsp Water
Ā½ tsp Baking powder

  1. Place butter, sugar and water into a bowl - mix until well incorporated either using an electric whisk, stand mixer or by hand.
  2. Sieve flour and baking powder together and then add to the sugar mixture, beat until it just comes together as cookie dough.
  3. Divide the dough into 2 equal size portions around 405g each. Roll each portion into a log around 36cm in length , cut each log into 18 equal slices (2cm per slice) and then roll slices into balls.
  4. Place dough balls on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Flatten slightly using palm of hand or finger tips which I prefer. Allow sufficient space between each cookie because they will melt and spread out that is unless you like the square edge effect some of mine have lol.
  5. Bake at 300F/130C Fan/150C until cookies are a light golden brown (in my case very light because I like the chewiness of under baked cookies), about 15-20mins.

Before i forget, did you know? Betty Crocker never existed!
She was created in 1921 by the Washburn-Crosby Company in Minneapolis after the company ran a national puzzle competition and received thousands of entries. Suprisingly,they were also flooded with requests for baking advice!

The company soon realized they needed a constant person to respond, so the name Betty Crocker was chosen to be this person. Crocker was taken from William G. Crocker, the recently retired director of the company. The name Betty was chosen because it sounded cheery and wholesome and also was popular in the 20's.

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Salam Alaikum wa Rahmatullah,
I have been debating on whether i should post this recipe because strictly it's not baking as it's not inside the oven, but since it's a type of bread i thought why not?
Yesterday i decided for the nth time since i got married, to try and master the 'art' of making this Algerian street food, a paper thin flat bread filled with a rich, spicy tomato and onion dry sauce.
500g fine semolina
1tsp salt
Water (tepid)- no precise measurement as it depends on your climate, the humidity etc
Sunflower oil

1 x 400G tin chopped tomatoes/plum tomatoes or equivalent in fresh, you can leave skin seeds if you don't mind the texture, blend.
1tbsp Tomato puree (optional)
2 onions, finely chopped
Salt & spice blend (usually harissa) to taste
Firstly, the dough is no easy task by hand (if you have a stand mixer, use it because i did too *big grin*) and believe me it's worth because these are delicious.
Place semolina and salt inside a large bowl and mix so the salt is evenly distributed, add enough tepid water until it just forms into a dough, you then have to knead for at least 30mins, every minute or so you should sprinkle the dough with water, this helps the final texture which will be slightly sticky yet soft and easy to stretch.
Coat the dough in a layer of oil, place in a bowl, cover and leave to rest for at least 30 mins.
At this point, sit and relax with a cup of tea and piece of cake because you earnt it, OH wait a minute we forgot something, yes the filling!
Fry onions in 2 tbsp of flavourless oil, until translucent.
add salt, spices, tomato puree and a dash of water to stop the spices from burning, continue to fry for a minute or 2 before adding the blended tomatoes, reduce heat and cook until you get a rich, somewhat dry sauce. Set aside and leave to cool to room temperature (pop in fridge to speed up this process) before continuing.
Oil your hands and work surface very well, this is a must so the dough doesn't stick to the surface or you and well your cooking the flat breads in a dry hot pan so you need that oil (try to convince yourself as much as i do lol)
The amount of dough should make you approximately 8 m'ahadjeb each piece of dough should weigh approximately 100g before shaping.
Now this is where it gets tricky, with no step by step photos as my phone camera is poor, i will explain the best i can and refer you to a sister's blog which has photo illustrations.
Get 1 dough ball, pat and smooth out gently using the heal of your hand into what ressembles a large thin circle, square or rectangle (choice is yours), don't worry if your dough tears in places it won't matter once you start to fold but try and get a consistently thin surface.
Fold the top egde into the middle and then put a tbsp of sauce mixture and spread evenly, only onto the middle section of the dough.
Then, fold up the bottom edge, then the left side over as far as the last line of sauce and then the right.
If you see any sauce spilling out, then try your best to stretch the dough around it over it or using a tiny piece of extra dough, stretch thinly and stick over the spot of sauce spill(that was a tongue twister)
Dab a bit of oil onto the surface of each pan and then carefully lift the M'hadjeb onto a hot (medium to high) dry pan and cook evenly on both sides.
The sauce quantities are a little over what is required for this recipe but simply store the sauce inside a container and place in the fridge /freezer.
I used the leftover sauce today for my calzone.

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Bread Rolls

Bread is probably the one food eaten by people of every race, culture and religion and did you know, it takes 9 seconds for a combine to harvest enough wheat to make 70 loaves! just some interesting facts i thought i would share.
These simple bread rolls are not only tasty but they leave your home smelling like your local bakery, i don't know what could be more homely.

Makes: 8
Prep: 10mins
Total Rise:2hours
Bake: 12-15mins

  • 500G White Bread Flour
  • 7g = 1 sachet easy blend/fastt action yest
  • 1 1/2tsp Salt

  • 1tpsp Olive Oil

  • 325ml (maybe a bit more or less depending on the climate/humidity) warm water

  1. Place flour & salt into a bowl, give it a stir to evenly distribute the salt. make a well then add yeast, oil and water mix until a dough forms and then place either on a oiled work surface or in your stand mixer knead for 5-10mins until the dough is smooth and it springs back when you prod your thumb/finger into it. Cover bowl and leave to rise at room temperature(no need to put in a warm place, just ensure there is no draft) for 1hour.
  2. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead/knock back on a lightly floured surface for a few seconds. Divide dough into 8 equal portions they should be around 100g each. Leave to rest for 10mins, this will make it easier when shaping.
  3. Take each ball of dough, flatten and then fold into the middle this will create a 'spine' which will help the roll keep it shape inside the oven and cook evenly, turn over so the seam is underneath. Create a cage with your fingers around the dough and then move your hand in a circular motion - this will shape the roll. Put rolls onto a floured baking tray or bakers peel, cover and leave to rise for 40mins. If you want to bake your rolls on a pizza stone, place in the oven and then pre-heat to 220DC /200DCFAN/Gas Mark 6 you can also put an old roasting tin at the bottom of the oven and fill with kettle water.
  4. Carefully slide your rolls onto the pizza stone or just place your baking tray inside the oven for 12-15mins, remove roasting tin with water after 8mins. To ensure the rolls are baked enough, flip one over and tap the base, it should produce a hollow sound, yes i don't know what 1 of those are either!

If your anything like me you won't be able to resist having one So whilst they are warm spread with butter, strawberry jam and serve with a good ol' cup of tea!

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Midi Doughnuts

Asalamu Alaikom,

After my small family scoffed the lot of doughnuts i made yesterday mashAllah, i said to myself, why not try another doughnut recipe tomorrow but this time using less yeast, so whilst searching i came across this recipe by Gordon Ramsay for mini doughnuts.

Mine are midi doughnuts not mini purely because i was supposed to get approximately 25 out of Gordon's recipe (i halved the recipe quantities which says you can make app 50!) but still only ended up with 13, each weighing 23g which looked ever so tiny, before deep frying where they rose considerably.

Here is my variation of Gordon's recipe.

Ingredients for Poolish (starter)

2g fast action dried yeast
50g plain flour
50ml plus abit more if you need it warm water

125g plain flour
27g caster sugar , plus more for rolling the doughnuts in
2g fast action dry yeast
2 egg yolks , beaten
12g butter , melted and cooled

oil for frying

Jam Filling
3 heaped tbsp strawberry jam (try to buy or make one that uses more fruit than sugar), only just melt, pass through a fine sieve then add:-
1 cardamom or to taste (First discard the green pod and grind seeds in pestle and mortar)

1.To make the poolish (starter), dissolve the yeast in the warm water and mix in the flour. Leave to rest in a warm place for about 15 minutes. It should start to bubble.
2. Mix the flour, sugar, yeast and 1/2 tsp salt(omit if using salted butter) together. Add the egg yolks, poolish and butter and stir to a soft dough - add a splash of water if you need to. Knead for 7-10mins. Tip the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave for a 1 and half hours or until doubled in size (mine still looked pretty flat to be honest), Knead the dough lightly on a floured surface for a few seconds,then roll into 13 small rounds, each 1 should be approximately 23g. Leave for about 10 minutes before frying. Whilst doughnuts are resting carefully fill a small piping bag fitted with the wilton (or any other brand) cupcake/eclair filling tip with the cardamom spiced strawberry jam.
3. Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer (150.160 degC) or deep saucepan (don't fill it too deep) until a cube of bread added to the oil browns in 1 minute. Slip the doughnuts in a few at a time; they will sink and then rise to the surface of the oil. Wait for them to brown - splash some of the hot oil over the tops so they cook evenly. Drain on kitchen paper, fill with jam and then roll while still warm in sugar with a little extra cardamom mixed in if you like.

Thank you Melissa over at west coast hijabi for the cardamom idea

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Cinnamon Doughnuts

Salam Alaikom,

Cinnamon Doughnuts remind me of trips to the seaside when i was a child, these would be my mother's treat whilst my twin and i would be on a sugar high from all those sticks of rock

Here is the recipe (not mine!) Don't be alarmed by the huge quantity of yeast like i was, chef knows best or so they say. 1 day i will try these as a dessert with the ice cream and chocolate sauce as per James recipe, inshaAllah

Adjustment(s)made to this recipe are;
1. I used granulated sugar instead of caster/superfine sugar both for the dough and cinnamon sugar, simply because i didn't have any to hand.I did consider whizzing some sugar in the food processer but common sense kicked it lol
2. There is a tiny mistake in the instructions on the recipe linked above, for the cinnamon sugar it says remaining 1tbsp when infact it's 1tsp.

Note to all** Please forgive the photo quality, i'm slowly saving so i can buy a better camera.
Note to self *** Ask DH to please remove that old fashioned, ugly woodchip wallpaper.

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Chamomile & Vanilla Cloud Cupcakes

Chamomile - known for it's soothing medicinal properties, especially for the gut and lets face it paired with all that sugary fluffiness it's got to be 'good' somewhere.
Makes 10
1 1/4 cups - all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons - baking powder
1/4 cup - Milk preferably Whole/Full Fat
3/4 cup (1 1/2 stick) salted butter,
5 tablespoons = 5 sachets- Pukka chamomile & vanilla tea
3/4 cup vanilla sugar (coarse or fine not powdered)
2 large eggs
Zest of lemon/orange (for use at the end)
1. Melt the butter over a low heat & add contents of the tea bags, remove from heat and let steep for 5min. Strain the mixture through a sieve, you will notice some tea leaves are still present in the butter not to worry it adds flavour!, if you want a clear butter use a extra fine sieve. Let the butter get back upto room temperature before continuing,
**it will remain liquid
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C/Fan160 degrees C/ Put an old roasting tray or oven proof dish on the lower rack of your oven and boil the kettle. Line your cupcake tin(s)
3. In a small bowl, sieve together flour, baking powder, set aside. In a stand mixer or equivalent cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5mins. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. Turn the mixer to low, carefully add half of the dry mixture, then the milk and remaining dry mixture until just incorporated. DO NOT OVER MIX.
5. Using an ice cream scoop or equivalent, divide mixture equally between the 10 cupcake cases, smooth the surfaces slightly with a palette knife, this will help get an even rise inshAllah. CAREFULLY, half fill your roasting/baking dish with kettle water from earlier, let the oven get back upto the correct temp before baking cupcakes for 12-15mins or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from tins and leave to cool.
6. Now, here is the recipe for the Italian Meringue , Pipe onto cupcakes using any large tip and then place under grill/broiler for a few minutes, eye ball it, if you have one to hand a blow torch would do the job. Lastly, zest a lemon or half a large orange and sprinkle over the meringue topped cupcakes.
ENJOY. Chamomile

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Algerian Tcherek

Cherek2, Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Salam Alikom,
Tcherek or Kaab el Ghazal as it is better known, is a sweet, perfumed (no not chanel no.5) almond stuffed, crescent shaped pastry from North Africa and is traditionally served during the nights of Ramadan and also Eid.
Check out the recipe and method over at Henia's blog http://simplicitybythesea.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/tcherek-msaker.
** The recipe uses either honey or sugar as a sweetner, i chose sugar purely because that was all i had to hand. One other adjustment i made because i don't like this traditional sweet dipped in syrup then a coating of icing sugar, i simply dusted with icing sugar.

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Apron on

Asalamu Alaikom & Hello Blog world,
So here I am finally blogging about my favourite passion, baking (smiles)
I plan inshaAllah (God willing) for this blog to mainly be a display of my baking photos with recipes, yet I will still find a moment or two to share a little more of my personality with posts such as this.


I don't often wear an apron whilst baking, but if I had one like this it might help me clean up my act, as i'm rather clumsy and flour just wouldn't do on this pretty little thing.