Sourdough Sesame Bagels

This dough is a semi-sourdough, meaning it contains a very small amount of commercial yeast alongside the starter to boost its leavening power. You’ll notice that the mixed dough is very stiff, hence giving it a dense chewy texture that bagels typically have. The poaching step right before baking them in the oven also makes them chewier and gives them a sheen golden crust.

Makes 4 bagels.
Recipe from E5 Bakehouse, London

For the 100% Wheat Levain*:
10g mature starter (100% hydration)
50g water, at 85°F (30°C)
50g whole wheat flour

*Levain is an offshoot of your starter that eventually gets made into bread. We use a pre-fermented dough here to add more flavor to the bagels.

Mix the above ingredients and loosely cover for 8-12 hours at room temperature. The levain should rise, double in volume and smell nice and sour.

Final Dough:
60g wheat levain (mixture above)
135g water, at 89°F (32°C)
1 gram dry yeast (or 2 grams fresh yeast)
270g strong white flour (bread flour)
12g granulated sugar
5g salt
Total weight = 484g
Toppings: Sesame, poppy seed, coarse sea salt

In a medium bowl, dissolve the dry yeast and levain in the warm water. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, sugar and salt then add to the wet ingredients. Mix everything into a smooth dough with no dry patches.
Cover the dough with a damp towel and bulk ferment for 2.5 hours, aiming to complete three stretch and sequences – every 45 minutes – during that time. To stretch and fold the dough take a wet hand and scoop under the dough lifting it up, gently stretching until you feel some resistance then fold it over itself across the center point. You do this at the north, east, south, and west points on the dough. This is one set of stretch and folds.

When the dough is ready to cut, turn out onto the table and divide it into 4 equal pieces (you can weigh them here to make sure they’re the same size). Knockback each piece and tightly roll into a short strip: using the palm of your hand, roll the middle of the strip by applying pressure. Then use both palms of your hands to roll outwards from the center until you have a tube around 10″ (25cm) long. Wrap the tube around your hand, overlapping the ends across your palm. Make a fist to seal the ends, then roll on the table to strengthen the joint.

Place onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper, cover with a slightly damp tea towel and prove for 30 minutes until slightly puffed up a bit. If you’re doing this in the evening, you could refrigerate the dough overnight. If not, preheat the oven to the highest temperature 500°F (260°C) and bring a large of water to a boil (while the bagels are proving for 30 minutes).

When ready, add 1 tablespoon of baking soda to the water and poach the bagels for 30 seconds on each side then place back onto the parchment. Add any toppings you like here such as sesame and Maldon sea salt (as pictured above).

Bake immediately: they should take between 15-20 minutes to turn golden brown. Cool on wire rack.

Marble Cake with Orange Zest

Marble Cake in a pan loaf

An easy and straight forward marble cake recipe with a hint of orange zest. It’s made with ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen!

Makes one 9”x5” (23x12cm) loaf
Recipe adapted from 600 Acres blog

1 cup (226g, 2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1¾ cups (210g) all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons cup yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (200g) sugar
¼ cup (25g) cocoa powder, sifted
56 grams (2oz) semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
Zest of half an orange

Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). Grease a 9″x5” (23x12cm) loaf pan.
Cream together the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time, sour cream, and vanilla and mix to combine well, scraping the bottom of the bowl if needed.
Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix until just combined – don’t overmix.
Pour half of the batter into another bowl. Fold in the sifted cocoa powder, melted chocolate, and orange zest until smooth.
Dollop big spoonfuls of the chocolate and vanilla batter in a checkerboard pattern, alternating and layering to create a marble design. See video here.
Using a knife or skewer, swirl the two batters together in an infinity shape. (don’t over-do it or the marbling won’t look precise).
Bake for about 65-70 minutes—start checking after an hour until a screwer inserted comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then flip it out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

Marble Cake Sliced on a wire rack

Ricotta Plum Muffins with Poppy Seeds

A late spring favorite, the combination of ricotta cheese with lemon zest is absolutely divine! Feel free to substitute the plums with any other fruit such as berries or apples.

2 large eggs, room temperature
200g (1 cup) granulated sugar
225g (1 cup) ricotta cheese
80ml (1/3 cup) olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon zest
130g (1 cup) all-purpose flour
55g (½ cup) almond flour
1½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp poppy seeds (optional)
6 fresh ripe plums, cut in half then sliced thinly

1. Preheat oven temperature to 350°F (180°C). Line a 12 muffin pan with paper.
2. In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, beat the eggs and sugar on medium speed until thick and pale about 5 minutes. In another bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, oil, and lemon zest. Pour the cheese mixture into the whipped eggs and mix until combined.
3. Sift all of the dry ingredients directly over the wet ingredients. Mix with a large spatula gently until just combined, using a folding motion.
4. Pour the batter into the muffin pan and arrange the sliced plum on top.
5. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown, the edges are pulling away from the pan, and a cake tester or toothpick comes out of the cake cleanly. Cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then turn out to finish cooling on a rack.

Chocolate Rye Brownies with Sea Salt

My favorite type of brownie has a fudgy yet chewy texture with a crinkly top, and this recipe delivers just that! The addition of rye flour in the batter brings a delicate nutty taste to the brownies and pairs perfectly with bittersweet/dark chocolate. Don’t skip the flaky sea salt at the end, it adds an unexpected layer of crunchiness and balances out the sweetness of the brownie.

Recipe adapted from theboywhobakes

175g Bob’s Red Mill rye flour
50g natural cocoa powder 
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
200g unsalted butter, diced
300g dark chocolate (65-75% cocoa solids)
125g caster sugar
200g light brown sugar
4 large eggs, cold
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan). Lightly grease a 9×13 inch (23x33cm) pan with butter then and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper, allowing overhangs for easier transfer in step 6.
2. In a large bowl sieve together the rye flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder to remove lumps of cocoa. The bran from the rye flour left at the end can be added back into the dry ingredients.
3. Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water. Heat the mixture while stirring occasionally until fully melted. Remove and set aside to cool.
4. Place the eggs, sugars, and vanilla into a large bowl and using an electric mixer whisk together for 5 minutes on medium speed until the eggs have increased in volume and the mixture is pale and fluffy. This whisking action helps to give the finished brownie a shiny crackly crust.
5. With the mixer still running pour in the cooled butter and chocolate mixture, whisking until fully combined. Switching to a spatula fold in the dry ingredients until everything is just combined.
5. Scrape the batter into the prepared brownie pan and spread into an even layer using an offset spatula. Sprinkle the top with Maldon flaked sea salt (optional).
6. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes (do not overbake!). The finished brownies will be puffed up a little but still gooey inside. Allow to cool at room temperature for an hour before transferring to the fridge for a couple of hours to cool completely. Lift the brownies from the pan using the parchment paper overhang and use a sharp knife to cut into squares.
7. The brownies will keep for 3-4 days in a sealed container and freeze beautifully for up to a month. 

Ricotta Sheet Cake with Raspberry Crumble

This heavenly ricotta fruit cake was my obsession this summer. It’s light, airy, moist with a strong raspberry flavor.

Inspired by Anna Olsen’s recipe.

250 g (1 cup) full-fat ricotta cheese
150g (¾ cup) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
55g (¼ cup) unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2 Tbsp lemon juice
240g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
1½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
3 cups fresh or thawed, frozen raspberries
A handful of sliced almonds

120g (½ cup) all-purpose flour
50g (⅓ cup) granulated sugar
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
3 Tbsp (¼ cup) unsalted butter, melted

1. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C) and grease a 9-x-13 inch (23x33cm) rectangular pan.
2. Whisk the ricotta, sugar, eggs, melted butter, vanilla, lemon zest, and juice together really well.
3. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift over ricotta mixture and stir with a spatula just until blended. Spread this in the prepared pan.
4. Sprinkle the raspberries over the ricotta cake (if using thawed frozen berries, drain excess juices and toss the berries with 2 Tbsp of flour) and top the cake.
5. For the streusel, stir the flour, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon together and then stir in the butter until the mixture is evenly combined. Sprinkle over the fruit. Then top it off with sliced almonds. Bake the cake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan, and sift powdered sugar before serving.
6. The cake will keep, wrapped and unrefrigerated, for 3 days.

Muhallabieh (Lebanese Milk Pudding)

A quick and easy Lebanese milk pudding dessert that’s so quick to whip up. I love making this for breakfast, a brunch get-together, or an afternoon dessert.

1 Liter (4 cups) whole milk
50g (6 Tablespoons) cornstarch
110g (½ cup) granulated sugar
2 Tbsp orange blossom water
Strawberries, blueberries, crushed pistachio or any other nut for decoration

1. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with a little milk to form a loose paste. Pour the remaining milk into a heavy-based pan and stir in the sugar. Bring the milk to barely a simmer, stirring continuously until the sugar has dissolved.
2. Reduce the heat and stir a spoonful of the hot milk into the cornstarch paste, then tip the mixture back into the pan. Keep whisking constantly to prevent the flour from forming lumps. Bring the milk to the boil again. Take the pot off the heat when the pudding is thick and coats the back of the spoon. Stir in the orange blossom water.
4. Pour the muhallabieh into a large 9″ (23cm) glass dish or small bowls. serving bowl and let it cool, allowing a skin to form on top. When cool, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Decorate with fruits and sprinkle with pistachios right before serving.