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Monday, May 21, 2012

Pumpkin and Carrot Loaf

A lovely moist combination of pumpkin and carrots to enjoy especially right now while pumpkin is in season.


1 ½ cups s/r flour, sifted
1 teas dutch cinnamon
½ cup chopped walnuts
1 cup mashed pumpkin
1 cup grated carrot
125g unsalted butter melted with 1 cup brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
¼ cup sultanas, optional


1.                  Preheat oven at 180oC.  Grease and line a small loaf pan.
2.                  In a large bowl mix together flour, cinnamon and pecan nuts. 
3.                  Add the pumpkin, carrot, butter mixed with brown sugar and the beaten egg.
4.                  Mix all together until just combined.
5.                  Bake in preheated oven for ½ hour or until cooked through.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Amira's Koulourakia (Greek Sesame Biscuits)

Here is my version of these delicious biscuits.  I add grated orange zest for a nice change from the traditional biscuits.  The recipe below makes a large quantity, so you may prefer to half the recipe.


500g unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
2 teas vanilla essence
6 eggs
Zest of 1 large orange
6 cups plain flour
6 teas baking powder
½ teas ground cinnamon
Traditional optional topping:
1 egg
Sesame seeds


1.                  Preheat oven at 180oC (170oC fan forced).
2.                  Cream butter and sugar until light, fluffy and creamy.
3.                  Beat eggs and add to butter mixture along with the vanilla essence and the orange zest.  Continue to beat until well combined.
4.                  Sift in dry ingredients and mix with a large wooden spoon.  Then mix by hand and knead dough until it all comes together smooth and non sticky.  If still sticky add more plain sifted flour.
5.                  Form small balls of dough the size of golf balls and roll out individually into long shape. 
6.                  Form the long shape into a twist and place on a baking pan lined with baking paper.   
7.                  Bake the biscuits at 180oC (170oC fan forced) for about 20 minutes or until cooked through and underside in brown.
8.                  Allow to cool on wire rack and then store in air tight container.
9.                  You can also do the following before baking these biscuits:  Brush the biscuits with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds before baking.

Amira's Pizza Dough (updated)

I have updated this recipe to include the amount of hot to warm water to use.  Basically, it's 1 cup warm water for every 2 1/2 cups of plain flour.  You might find you will need more water but just play around with it and start with these measurements as a guide.  The water shouldn't be too hot to touch, just like having a hot shower.

Here is my recipe for my version of pizza dough, I have included a smaller version also.  Try also using spelt flour or wholemeal instead of plain white flour.  

Ingredients - makes 6 x 35cm pizzas

8 cups plain flour
3 tab dry yeast
2 tab sugar
2 teas salt
3 tab olive oil
approx 3 1/2 cups of warm water to make a soft, non sticky, pliable dough


Ingredients - makes 3 x 35cm pizzas

5 cups plain flour
1 1/2 tab dry yeast
1 tab sugar
1 teas salt
1 1/2 teas olive oil
approx 2 cups of warm water to make a soft, non sticky, pliable dough 

1.                  Sift the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Add the water, a cup at a time and then add oil.
2.         Mix the dry ingredients with the water until it comes together.
3.         Knead the dough onto a floured surface for about 5 minutes.  This produces the gluten to give the dough a lovely soft and spongy texture when cooked.
4.                  Allow to rest in the bowl in a warm place, to allow to rise to double the size, about 1 hour.
5.                  Remove from the bowl and knead again.  Roll out to fit into each pizza pan (lightly oiled).
6.                  Add topping of your choice.  We usually do the following simple topping:
Passata, sliced salami, olives, grated tasty cheese, drizzle with olive oil and then sprinkle with dried oregano.

Cook in a hot oven (210C) until puffed and cooked through.  ENJOY.