• Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy to moderate
  • Print

I’ve been experimenting with different breads lately, you just can’t beat that fresh bready smell as it comes out of the oven to make you feel like a domestic goddess. I was inspired to make baguettes after yet another Bake Off session! This is based on Paul Hollywood’s method. The recipe makes four baguettes but some of them disappeared before I could take a picture!


500g strong white bread flour

10g salt

10g dry yeast

370ml cool water

Olive oil for greasing


Lightly oil a bowl or container with olive oil. Paul recommends using a square plastic container (2.25L)  as it helps with shaping the dough later.

Put the yeast, flour and salt (in that order) in the thermomix. Add 370 ml water. Mix for 5 seconds speed 5 and then knead for 6 minutes on interval setting. Place dough in bowl, cover and leave to prove for about an hour or until at least doubled in size. If you don’t have a thermie then this can also be made in a freestanding mixer or by hand….

Lightly dust the work surface with flour. Gently tip out the dough onto the surface. You want to try and keep as much air as possible in the dough. Divide the dough into four pieces. Shape each piece into an oblong by flattening out slightly and folding the sides into the middle. Roll into a sausage and gently roll with your hands further until about 30 cm long. I have a baguette pan and place the baguettes into it to let them rise again.  You can use a couche made of linen or cotton if you don’t have a special pan. The sides of the baguettes need to be supported or they will just spread sideways and be flat baguettes! Cover and leave to rise for another hour until doubled or until they spring back quickly when lightly prodded with a finger.

Preheat the oven to 220C/gas mk 9 and place a roasting tray in the bottom of the oven to warm.

When risen slash each baguette four times on the diagonal and dust with a little flour if you like.

Pour 750ml of cold water into the roasting pan to create steam and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Cool on a wire rack.

Nashi Pear Tea Cake

Nashi Pear Tea Cake

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Print

This is a recipe I adapted from Not Quite Nigella. Her recipes are so tasty, well worth a look….. This cake goes down a treat in our house, never lasts very long but keeps well if it does!


1 1/2 cups self raising flour

3/4 cup caster sugar

1 egg

125g melted butter

1tsp vanilla extract

400g diced nashi pear (you can use apples or pears instead, no need to peel, just core and chop!)

Brown sugar to sprinkle (about 2 tablespoons)


Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line a 20cm springform tin.

Mix the butter, flour, sugar, egg and vanilla in a bowl. Press 3/4 of the mix into the tin and save the remaining quarter.

Put the chopped nashi pears on top of the mixture, spreading evenly.

Add the rest of the buttery dough mixture in pieces over the top of the nashi pears so that not all of them are covered.

Sprinkle the top with a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar.

Bake in the oven for about 40-45 minutes. Dust with icing sugar and enjoy hot or cold, with custard or ice cream or just on its own…… Yum!