Week Eighty Six – Mary Berry’s Mushroom & Garlic Stuffed Picnic Loaf & Cheese Straws

Week eighty six and I thought I would be a little adventurous this week and attempt something with yeast! I delved into Mary Berry’s Baking Bible and found the mushroom and garlic stuffed picnic loaf and to complete the savoury theme, cheese straws to compliment.

I made the bread dough as per Mary’s instructions and left it to rise or prove for two hour. With the lovely weather we have been having, this wasn’t an issue for me this time! I read the recipe carefully and Mary suggests either making one whole loaf that is stuffed or rolls so I opted for rolls as they are shared more easily.

Mary Berry's Mushroom & Garlic stuffed picnic loaf

The only issue I had was following the instructions for filling and folding the dough which proved to be tricky as it isn’t a sealed loaf. I added the filling and molded, coaxed, prodded and poked the dough until it resembled a roll rather than a wreck and left them to prove for a while longer. Then finally they went into the oven for about 15 minutes. When they came out, I had to brush them with some of the mushroom oil from the recipe and leave them to cool.

Kim's mushroom & garlic stuffed picnic loaf

The second recipe was for cheese straws. This was an easy dough to put together and then wrap in clingfilm for half an hour. Time ran out and the dough wasn’t used until the following day and needed to be worked a bit as it was a solid block!

Mary Berry's Cheese Straws

I rolled it out and cut the dough into straws and brushed them with egg and sprinkled with fresh Parmesan cheese. Into the oven they went for a short while until golden and brown.

Kim's cheese straws.

I have been trying to catch up with the Celebrity Master Chef – the episodes are currently stacked up ready to watch but I was pleasantly surprised to see how well Wayne Sleep did and how much he learned in such a short space of time.

I treated my kitchen this week too. I have seen some wall signs where the words are transferred directly onto the wall and found a lovely kitchen sign that reflected my love of baking! It was a bit of a pain to put up but worth it and I love it!

Kim's kitchen sign

Week Eighty Two – Mary Berry’s Little Gems & Oat & Sunflower Squares

Week 82 and time flies when you are having such fun! I delved into Mary Berry’s Baking Bible and found the little gems and oat & sunflower squares. The first recipe of the little gems was really simple, it’s one of Mary’s throw all the ingredients in the bowl and mix.

Mary Berry's Little Gems

Then put roughly a teaspoon of the mix into tiny cases and bake! Once cooked, the cakes become risen and golden. Allow them to cool on a rack and when cool, mix some lemon juice with some icing sugar and top the cakes with a little icing and a sweet to decorate.

Kim's Little Gems

The second recipe of oat & sunflower squares was not all that difficult either. Mary asks you to heat the butter and golden syrup together and add the large oats and sunflower seeds and mix well.

Mary Berry's Oat & Sunflower Squares

Mary suggests using a 7″ square tin but I found that my mix wouldn’t even cover half the bottom of this so I put mine in a smaller tin which was better.

Kim's Oat & Sunflower Squares

The squares are very crumbly and I would suggest keeping them in the fridge as in this warm weather , they just fall apart.

I was pleased to read a news article this week about Mary Berry being awarded the Freedom of Bath. Bath city officials said she had “always been an exemplary ambassador” and was a deserving recipient of the the city’s highest and most prestigious award. I was really pleased for her as she was born and raised in Bath so a lovely honour for her.

I have missed The Great British Bake Off so imagine my surprise when I found a repeat of I think the very first series on free view which I hadn’t seen before, and no bake off tent in site. It looked a little different then. It was the final and the contestants were asked to bake for an English tea party for family, friends and former contestants who had been knocked out earlier. They each had to bake white and brown bread, make 40 finger sandwiched with these, bake 40 scones, 40 tarts and 40 choux pastries- no mean feat! I was gobsmacked at the pressure they were under and did so well.

I am pleased that Celebrity Master Chef is on tonight, I am especially looking forward to seeing if Todd Carty can bake better than he can ice skate!