Baking in January

Everyone hypes up the beginning of a new year, welcoming it with open arms whilst popping the champers & dancing until their feet physically can’t take anymore (if by that point you aren’t so drunk that you’ve passed out). What everyone forgets to mention is that after all the chaos of Christmas (& birthdays in my case) your pounds have turned into pennies & they are dwindling! Januarys payday arrives so far in advance (Mid December. Conveniently just before Christmas) that you simply can’t help yourself but dip in here & there. January comes, you’re so excited about starting the new year, the middle of the month approaches, you realise any money you have left is almost non existent, the food cupboards are nearly empty & you’re panicking! Well that was us this month! (Okay put that slightly down to terrible budgeting on our behalf, BUT it was Christmas!!) 

So today i’m going to get my bake on & share with you a few tried and tested recipes that are super easy, really delicious & only use ingredients that most of us already have in the house!!! (Essential back of the cupboard type ingredients like flour, sugar, eggs…) See how I turned that negative into a positive!?

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First recipe i’m sharing with you is literally made up of just 3 ingredients, they are a classic Scottish treat & a big fave of mine

SHORTBREAD

What you’ll need

– 4oz Butter

– 2oz Caster Sugar

– 6oz Plain Flour

What to do

– Heat your oven to 190 degrees (170 on fan)/Gas mark 5 (Gas mark 4)

– Get a wooden or silicone spatular and cream together the butter & sugar

– Sift in the flour & bring it all together (the warmer it is the easier it’ll come together so keep working it in your hands!) Transfer to your worktop & roll out to your desired thickness ready for cutting

– Once cut you can add extra sugar to top. Now cool the shortbreads in the fridge for around 20 minutes

– Bake for 15-20 mins (or until they start to form a golden brown biscuit tan) 

– Leave to cool & enjoy!!

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See, super fast & easy! Barely any work & you’ll reap all the yummy benefits! The next recipe I want to share with you is another classic from the UK

 FLAPJACKS

What you’ll need 

– 330g Porridge Oats

– 200g Unsalted Butter

– 6tbsp Golden Syrup

What to do

– Preheat your oven to 180 degrees (160 on fan)/Gas mark 5 (Gas mark 4) 

– Measure the golden syrup and butter & place in a saucepan on a medium heat

– Once they have both melted and are mixed together pour over porridge oats, mix well & place in your oven tin.

– Bake for 25 minutes, cut into squares whilst still in the tin & leave on the cooling rack (do not remove them from the tin until cool)

– Tuck in!

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Next up is another favourite & thats right, you guest it, yet another classic! A staple when it comes to good old traditional afternoon tea

SCONES

(Both sweet & savoury).

What you’ll need

– 8oz Self Raising Flour

– 2oz Butter

– 100ml Milk (or 150ml if you’re making Cheese scones) 

– A pinch of salt (for both sweet or savoury) 

– Only for cheese scones – 1oz Grated Chedder Cheese (you can get more creative with cheeses once you get use to the recipe) 

– Only for sweet scones – 1oz Caster Sugar & 1 Pinch Baking Powder

What to do 

– You’ll need to preheat your oven to 220 degrees (200 with fan)/Gas mark 7 (Gas mark 6)

– Start by mixing the flour salt and butter (it should end up looking similar to a crumble topping) 

– If you’re making sweet scones, stir the sugar into the mix & add the milk

– If you’re making savoury scones, stir in the cheese & add the milk

– This is where things get messy! Bring everything together in your bowl & remove to a powdered work top

– Knead a little but not too much (around 1 minute)

– Cut into your desired shapes (traditionally round) & place on your baking tray with baking paper

– Brush a little milk to top (for cheese scones brush with milk & add cheese)

– Bake for 8-12 minutes or until brown & thank me later!

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Finally last on my list is a tea lovers dream, a recipe frequently used in my own household, a traditional Welsh fruit loaf/tea cake

BARA BRITH

What you’ll need

– 225g Wholemeal Self Raising Flour

– 225g White Self Raising Flour

– 225g Dark Brown Sugar (alternatively we use caster sugar or anything we have in!)

– 450ml Hot Black Tea (made with 3 teabags)

– 350g (or as close to that as you can) Dried Fruit (alternatively we use just raisins)

– 1 lightly beaten egg

– 1 heaped tsp Allspice

– 1 heaped tsp Cinnamon

What to do 

– Preheat oven to 180 degrees (160 on fan) /gas mark 5 (gas mark 4) 

– Pour your dried fruit into the hot tea to soak (its usually recommended to soak overnight but when in a hurry we soak for an hour or a little less and it still does the job)

– Mix the flours, sugar & spices, stir in the dried fruit & tea and the egg

– Pop the mix into your loaf tin & bake for 45 mins (check halfway through that its not browning too much, if so cover with foil & continue to bake)

– Remove from tin and leave to cool on your rack

– Enjoy with a bit of butter & a cup of tea!

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And there you go, four really simple, really tasty recipes that cost near to nothing because you’ll probably have most (if not all) of the ingredients already! Enjoy & let me know if you try a recipe.

xox

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