Homemade Lebanese Bread

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So here’s the deal. I went for my walk this morning with the idea of stopping off at the shops afterwards and picking up a couple of things for tonight’s dinner. Sounds reasonable right? I thought it was.

Three different shops I stopped at didn’t have fresh Lebanese bread though they usually do.

Home I trudge with the things I did manage to purchase and the thought that I’d just have to go back out later to the bakery two suburbs over and buy my bread. The thing is I got lazy so instead decided to make my own. That’s right….I’m never too lazy to bake.

Well I found myself a recipe and am now very pleased with myself.

What you’ll need:-

2 cups bakers flour

1 1/2 tsp dried yeast

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp sugar

1 3/4 cup warm water (not hot)

What to do with the the above ingredients:-

Put them all into a big bowl (if you’re not sure your yeast is good, blend it with the water, salt and sugar and leave it for 10 minutes until it is frothy. If it isn’t frothy, my friend, you need to buy yeast). Mix all together then knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.

Put in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm draft free place to prove for 1 1/2 – 2 hours. (I use the oven)

After the dough has doubled in size cut into 4 or 6 equal portions (depending on if you prefer big or small bread) and shape into balls. Drape the plastic wrap over the portions and leave to rest 20 minutes more.

Turn the oven on to the hottest it will go and make sure one of the shelves is in the middle.

Take one portion of dough at a time and roll out very thinly, 0.5mm. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 3 minutes, turn over cook 1 minute more.Image

I cooked one at a time but if you have a bigger oven than I do (which wouldn’t be hard) do more.

The best part is watching the dough puff up. Maybe that’s just me…

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Anyway… I’m very happy with how they came out. I think even mum would be…

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By the way dinner was Koussa ma’hshi, which I posted a recipe for a few months ago. Take another look.

Enjoy…

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Oven Roasted Spiced Chicken

So many recipes, so few days in the month.

With over 800 recipes to choose from, Charmaine Solomons – The Complete Asian Cookbook – is proving to be quite the challenge as  The Cookbook Guru book of the month.

Lucky for me, a friend tagged a few of her favourite recipes. Thanks Sue S.  This was definitely a fine recipe to tag.

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A simple yet amazingly tasty meal to prepare.

I ended up using a whole chicken instead of pieces. Just cut out the backbone and flatted the bird by pushing down on the breast. It cooks faster and more evenly  than leaving it whole.

I added a couple of other ingredients too.

Oven Roasted Spiced Chicken.

1 free range whole chicken (or 1.5 kg chicken pieces)

3 cloves garlic – minced

2 tsp grated fresh ginger

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

4tsp five spice powder

1 red chilli – finely chopped (optional, we love chilli)

4 Tblsp light soy sauce

3 Tblsp peanut oil

1 Tblsp dry sherry

2 large potatoes cut into slices 5mm thick (optional but delicious)

In a bowl mix together the garlic, ginger, salt, pepper, five spice, chilli, soy sauce, peanut oil and sherry. Pour over your chicken and leave to marinade in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

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Spread the potato slices in a roasting dish (which I cover with foil or baking paper for easy cleaning). Lift the chicken out of the marinade and lay it, skin side down, on top of the potatoes. Pour the marinade over the chicken.

Roast in a pre heated 180 c oven for 30 minutes, turn the chicken over (skin side up) and cook for another 30 minutes.

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The skin will be crispy and the potatoes will have soaked in all the delicious juices and be cooked to perfection.

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Indonesian Sticky Beef Spareribs

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This months The Cookbook Guru is the brilliant Sharmaine Solomon’s The Complete Asian Cookbook.

I own of copy of Charmaines Thai Cookbook and it got quite a workout in its time. She makes cooking Asian food easy.

Once again little bits of paper are sticking out from between the pages of this book. A friend even bookmarked a few of her and her family’s favourite recipes for me to try. I’m hoping I’ll get to all of them during this month.

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First off  I’ve started with cooking something I’ve wanted to cook for long time – Sticky Beef Spareribs. I did actually make three  recipes as a full meal – Beef Ribs, Squid Sambal and Green Bean Sambal, but the ribs were the star of the show. So sticky and full of flavour and ridiculously easy to make. 

For two people (with another dish and rice), you’ll need:-

500g beef spareribs

3 cloves of garlic – grated or crushed

1tsp grated ginger

salt and pepper

1 Tblsp peanut oil

2 Tblsp dark soy sauce

1/4 cup water

1 Tblsp dry sherry

1/2 tsp chinese five spice powder

1 Tblsp palm sugar (or brown sugar)

Cut the spareribs into individual ribs for easy cooking and serving. Season with salt and pepper.  Heat the oil in a wok or saucepan and brown the ribs all over. Add the garlic and ginger and continue to cook for a couple more minutes stirring them all around.

Next add the soy sauce, water, sherry and five spice. Give it a good stir, turn the heat down to low, cover and let it simmer gently for about two hours or until the meat is tender. Be sure to give it a stir every now again so it doesn’t stick.

Add the sugar and stir it in until it melts.

The sauce should be thick and sticky, if it isn’t just lift the meat out onto a plate and turn the heat up under the sauce and let it reduce a little.

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These were amazingly delicious. Unfortunately the photos don’t do it justice. Maybe you should try making it and post a photo.

Enjoy…

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Only if you’ve been really good Super Rich Chocolate Biscuits

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It’s Dads birthday today. Hip, hip, hooray.

Dads birthday cake is a huge pavlova.

However, with a huge pavlova there is bound to be some egg yolks sitting in a bowl. As I had 8 egg whites in the freezer I needed two more so that meant I had to find something to do with 2 yolks.

Dads also partial to any thing chocolate, so I made him some Super Rich Chocolate Biscuits.

(You’re allowed lots of sugar on your birthday, I’m sure of it.)

You’ll need:-

125g butter, chopped

250g brown sugar

2tsp vanilla essence

2 egg yolks

185g plain flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

35g cocoa powder

200g choc chips (I made it up with caramel chips, white chocolate chips and dark chocolate chips. Use whatever.)

And because I love cranberries 60g whole dried cranberries, but you can replace with currants or nuts or nothing.

Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add the egg yolks and mix in. Stir in the rest of the stuff and until it’s all well combined.

Drop tablespoons of the mix 5 cm apart onto a baking paper lined baking sheet and bake at 180oC for 12 – 15 minutes, or until firm.

Cool on the trays.

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This made about 30 biscuits.

Cripsy on the outside, gooey on the inside with the occasional bite into a tart cranberry. These are pretty good.

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Happy Happy Birthday Dad.

Enjoy…

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