You can make your own doughnuts at home? (yes you can!)

Yum yum! Take a look at the video I made on my Henley Bakes site for kneading sweet dough…enjoy!

Henley Bakes

Happy Bank Holiday May Day everyone! I hope that you have lots planned and the sun is shining wherever you are! Are you like me and you wake up on your day off going “what can I bake?” Well how about some doughnuts! I know, I know, you just get them from the shop, but it is not true. They are not too tricky to make, and boy is it lovely having a freshly made doughnut.


  • 210g strong white bread flour
  • 7g packet of fast action yeast (14 if using fresh yeast)
  • 15 caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt (about 2g)
  • 20g butter, at room temp
  • 65ml milk, warmed
  • 45ml tepid water
  • 1 egg (55g without shell)

How to

Get a plastic bowl and put in your flour, salt, sugar and yeast (keep the salt away from the yeast at first as it can ruin it!). Get your butter, water…

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Meringues meringues!

Today I have a lot of marking to do, but I find after a few my brain needs a rest. I have been thinking about a little secret project recently that involves meringues, but teeny tiny ones. So I tried them out today!

100g egg white and 200g of caster sugar – about 350 mini meringues (OK, perhaps a few more…but I ate them…)

Don’t they look cute!

loads of meringues!

loads of meringues!

They're like little sweeties that you could scoop up!

They’re like little sweeties that you could scoop up!

teeny weeny meringues

teeny weeny meringues

perfect with strawberries :)

perfect with strawberries 🙂

20 will fit in a mini bag like this…a nice treat for the kids (or the kids within us!)

bag of 20 meringues

bag of 20 meringues

What are your thoughts? Do you think people want big meringues, medium or dinky? Imagine these in lots of colours, how much fun would that be?!

Bec x

Morning baking – perfecting techniques

Good morning!

I wasn’t able to sleep well last night…a bad back causing me some trouble, so I got up at 6.15am this morning and thought I would do some baking – breads being on the top of my head.

My kneading technique I think for breads is OK, but I thought I would look at the techniques of some professionals. Richard Bertinet, a baker based in Bath at Bertinet Bakery, has a video showing you how to make sweet dough and how to do the whole process of mixing and kneading. Well I followed the instructions to the letter, but really struggled with the sticky-ness of the dough. I kneaded for 20 mins and still sticky. I gave in and left it to rise in a bowl.

Well it turned out rather good, although still sticky. I decided to make some cinnamon swirls with walnuts in, as well as some things called piroshki with apple and raisin filling. They were a bit fiddly to do, but I wanted to do something different. You can find out how to make them from Natasha’s Kitchen

Brushed with egg (oh and I saw a tip to actually sift your beaten egg…sounds a bit of a waste of time, but is really good…give it a try!) and in the oven. It is really nice if you stick them all a bit too close together, then they fill the tray.

risen dough

Dough before it goes in the oven. Brush with a beaten egg…try and cover it all.

Oh my goodness, these have to be the best I have EVER made. They are soft and pillowy. As soon as they were out of the oven they were brushed with water mixed with icing sugar. Yum!

yum yum yum!

yum yum yum!

yum yum yum!

yum yum yum and more yum!

I also tried to go back to basics with normal bread making. There is a cool online magazine called BREAD and I am trying to learn more about bread and this is really useful. I used their recipe in their first magazine. No butter/marg/oil or sugar. Hmmmm. I used Bertinet’s method for mixing again.

Well it rose OK, but I struggled to make it into any nice shape. It is still sticky, so I cheated and used flour. I tried to make a baguette, which I brushed with the egg, and a round (ha!) loaf. It looks OK, but my ‘normal’ loaves look a lot nicer! Anyway, I cut into the baguette and it is fairly dense, but bubbly, but it is too salty. I do always think recipes have too much salt, so I will have to work on that. It is all done by baker’s percentages. This had 2% salt, so perhaps 1% or 1.5% might be better for me.

First ever baguette with a very simple recipe - flour, yeast, water and salt

First ever baguette with a very simple recipe – flour, yeast, water and salt

So what have you been baking today?


Burger cakes!!

Hi Peeps!

The other day I saw these amazing cakes called the ‘Juicy Lucy Burger Cupcake’. Well I had to do them! I didn’t have the magic cake mixture they mention with the white stuff, but I didn’t care…I would do the rest.

I made normal fairy cakes (equal amounts of self raising flour, caster sugar, margarine and eggs), sprinkled seasame seeds on top and bung them in the oven for 15 ish mins at 180°C.

When they are fully cooled, cut them in half and then the fun begins. I made up some chocolate butter icing, added some green food colouring to some coconut, made up some plain butter icing with yellow food colouring and chopped up some strawberry laces! 

Burger cake 1

Sesame fairy cake – cut in half, chocolate butter icing for burger, green coconut for lettuce!

Burger 2

Strawberry laces for ketchup, yellow butter icing for mustard, the final burger complete!

These were loved by my step daughters and husband…unfortunately none for me as they are chocolate, but I did giggle lots when making them!

What ‘real’ looking food have you made that is cake or biscuit like?

Finished burger

Close up of burger cake!

Happy St. George’s Day! Piquanté pepper and bacon baps!

 Well I thought I best do something a little different today seen as it is St George’s Day!

I am trying to get good at bread now, so I am reading these magazine issues: The editions are free from 2012, and then look a reasonable price for 2013 and current editions. I am literally reading the first.

I haven’t tried the old sourdough thing yet which seems very popular at the moment, and in all these books and websites I am looking at, so just have fast action yeast from a packet. It has always done me well. I’ve tried the fresh stuff, but never got much of a difference…I am sure I’ll be learning more about it soon. The recipe was as follows:

  • 12oz of strong white bread flour
  • 4 oz of granary flour
  • About 2tsp salt and 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 sachet of yeast
  • Water to make it up – I’m afraid I never measure it out, I just pour it in and mix until it is about right! 


I made the dough and when it was ready, I knocked it back, rolled it out and put chopped up piquanté peppers and cooked bacon on top, and kneaded it all in. Oh yum! I think 2 rashers of bacon and about 4 peppers…but I wasn’t really paying attention, just adding what looked right!

I made them into 3oz rolls (I’ve started weighing them as I am useless at getting them all the same size!) and left them to rise again whilst the oven was hotting up!

in the oven!

I made up some plain flour, water and red food colouring and whacked it in a piping bag and piped on crosses! A brush with some egg and then in the oven for about 20 mins.




I think that they turned out pretty well, and with a bit of cheese and butter…oh yum!

So what do you think? I would love to know your opinions as I am trying to get top notch at this stuff.


Thanks so much for taking the time to read!

the finished bread!


Oh yummy!



Bread making today!

After all those goodies and cakes over Easter, I thought it was time to get on with some bread making instead! Something needed (run out) and something a little more healthy!

I make a standard bread mix (3/4 white, 1/4 brown) which I can make 3 loaves out of:

1lb 8oz strong white flour

8oz  strong brown flour

4 tsp salt, 4 tsp sugar

4oz margarine (melted and cooled)

3 sachets of yeast

water…how much? Well enough for making 3 loaves! I never measure it really, I just get a jug and mix up water until it is about 37°C and pour it in until I have mixed it enough. 2 parts cold from the tap, 1 part boiling water is about right, but I do use a thermometer to make sure (never used to, but it can make a huge difference…too cold, it doesn’t help the yeast and too hot it can kill it off…neither good).

When I have made it, I let it rise until double the size and then make into 3 loaves. I weigh these to get them all the same size. I didn’t used to, but my guessing isn’t great and I could make one huge and two small! Now I get them just about exactly the same. I left one as plain, one with some dried apricots and one with rosemary, walnuts and raisins…yum!

I also made some granary rolls. 8oz granary mix (you apparently can just use just this (a hovis bag of flour) but it seemed too much and that it wouldn’t rise) and 8oz strong white.

I have also been thinking about what to call a business for baking…do you think that I should include ‘Henley’ in the title (where I live). I thought that it might make it sound more professional. Thoughts?

here is the bread…rolls to go with dinner tonight 🙂

Bread bread bread

Bread bread bread!

Happy Easter!

Well I think I might have eaten just a bit too much today…and I can’t even eat chocolate! I went on a 10.6 mile bike ride in the morning, my best yet (had a bike about 3 weeks now!) so I guess I can eat a little more. However I am definitely going to go back to my healthy eating routine tomorrow!

So yesterday I made cupcakes with hidden in rainbow balls. They were rather cool, so I added some to a cake. I tried to also ice it properly with some marshmallow fondant icing (yes…you heard that correctly, icing made with marshmallows!) but it didn’t quite work. It tasted nice, but I made it too thick, so I couldn’t roll it properly, and it actually looked like a big marshmallow!

I signed up to some of the classes on Craftsy – Clean and Simple Cake Design by Jessica Harris. I really recommend them. You can find out more from her blog: I am still working through the first one, and I need to practice a lot, but was so pleased that I had a reasonably good looking cake!

Looks like a big marshmallow!

Looks like a big marshmallow!

I am trying to work out how I could practice more without having to eat it all…I wondered about asking friends and local parents if they wanted me to bake for parties and just charge for the ingredients. What do you think? Let me know your ideas in the comments!

Hidden surprise!

Hidden surprise!