Category Archives: Breads

these bagels. they are everything…

HEY! hi. I’m still here.

What’s happening? How are yas?

Yeah, I’m good. Thanks.

So, the last couple weeks have been super fun! Super Duper! We’ve been sippin’ wine, and dressing like fools, and camping! CAMPING! More on that to come. 🙂 Oh also, if you are interested… I launched a website. A photography one. How ’bout that? I am based in Sydney, as you may know, and am taking bookings for portraits & events. Take a gander. 😉 Baby/toddler portraits are my specialty! www.chicksphotography.com

This weekend though… this weekend my jazzy lady friend, Sam, & I made Bagels.

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DSC_8765Get. Excited. Lord knows I was.

I have never made anything that brought me so much joy when it worked out. Oh my good god this was exciting.

DSC_8775These were Montreal Style bagels, boiled in honey sweetened water and baked to perfection. And I do mean that. They were perfect.

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Montreal Style Bagels

Ingredients
1 1/2 c. warm water
1 packet active dry yeast
1 tsp granulated sugar
2 tsp salt
3 tsp vegetable oil
1/4 c. honey
2 c. unbleached all purpose flour
2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. extra flour for kneading

For boiling:
1 tbsp baking soda
1/3 cup honey

Toppings:
What ever you like, I usedCaraway seeds, garlic flakes, sesame seeds, poppy seeds & salt for my everything bagels.
I also made some with just poppy seeds.

In a large bowl, stir together the warm water and the packet of yeast. Cover and allow to sit for about 5 minutes while the yeast activates. Add the sugar, salt, & oil into the yeast mixture and whisk until combined.

Now add 1 c. of flour into the mixture and stir until combined. Slowly add the reamining cups of flour and mix until mostly combined. The mixture might not be holding together too well, but that is a-ok.

Dump the dough onto a floured surface and start kneading for 10 minutes. The dough should feel start to feel elastic and smooth. Allow the dough to rise for thiry minutes, covered.

NOW! Slice the dough into 16-18 equal parts and roll each to create lengths of about 6-8 inches. Form each length into a cirle and squeeze the dough together to secure. Set each circle aside and allow them to rise for another 20 minutes. While they are rising, bring a large pot of water to a boil and dissolve your honey and baking soda. After the mixture is boiling, reduce it to a simmer. You should probably preheat the oven at this time to 475*F.

Add the bagels to the water two at a time and let them cook for 1 minute per side. Now, you can drop each bagel in your bowl of toppings and coat one side. Place each coated bagel on a baking sheet.

Once you have boiled each bagel, bake them at 475*F for 10 minutes and then flip them and bake for 5 more minutes. The colour should be very rich and golden. Careful not to let the seeds burn.

No need to let them cool (much). Eat them warm… they are amazing.DSC_8782If I was home right now in Canada, I would probably make these for Father’s Day. Since my Dad is so Rad.

It rhymes and therefore it is true.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY, DADDIO!

Now here are some pics of when my parents were in Australia. This first one just makes me laugh cause it’s a selfie which I think is awesome. And I mean… how many of us have taken the accidentally zoomed in selfie? Everyone, don’t lie. Priceless.

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This second one is us havin a fam-din at Jamie’s Italian! aka the best place to eat EVA.

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And this gem is of me and my dad! 🙂

IMG_1398Have a lovely day all you Dads.

Much love to my Grandpa too.

Can’t forget Watson.

xxx

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Breads, Breakfast

ch.ch.ch.ch.ch.ch.ch.ch.cherry bomb

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I just googled “random facts” because I was having trouble getting started on this blog post. Sometimes random facts are inspiring.

Like this one:
Every second Americans collectively eat one hundred pounds of chocolate.

What?! is that a thing? How is this stuff even measured? What about at night time? Who are all the lonely hearts eating 100 pounds of chocolate a second between midnight and 6am.

This is an interesting fact that I have a feeling may not have much truth to it. But I’m gunna roll with it, I may not be American, but this makes me feel better about the 3 oversized chocolate bars a consumed last week.

Aside from my chocolate cravings which are ongoing and unavoidable… I am craving muchos carbohydrates lately. Muffins are delightful. Scones are perfect. Cherry Banana bread is amaze-balls. I didn’t think of it prior… but chocolate would be a GREAT addition.

Just doin my part to contribute to the random facts of the world.

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Let’s get into it.

Cherry Banana Bread
Adapted from this recipe

3 ripe bananas
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 c. unsweetened apple sauce
1/4 c. raw sugar or brown sugar
1 chia egg
2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. oats
3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. frozen cherries
1/2 c. walnuts

First, grease a bread pan and set aside. Preheat your oven to 350*F.

In a large bowl, mash the banana until very mushy. Combine with the sugar, lemon juice, chia egg & apple sauce. Add the cherries and fold through.

In a separate bowl combine all the dry ingredients, including the nuts. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined. Pour the batter into the bread pan and spread evenly. You can top it with some more cherries and walnuts for good measure.

Bake for about 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Eat it and be merry.

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I also just read that in 1879 Belgians tried to train cats to deliver mail. Not surprisingly… it did not work.

Mail cats. pft.

xxx

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Breads, Breakfast

sunday morning bread

I’m obsessed with reading food blogs. I spend all hours pursuing the internet. Healthy living? Decadent desserts? Useful information? I want it all. I stumble on so many gems and yet I don’t have enough free time in the kitchen to replicate them all.

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This one was brought to my attention by a friend of mine. She made it last weekend and gave me a taste. I went home that night and immediately baked it up. It lasted only a couple days, so here I am again, in my kitchen baking this for second time this week. So delicious and wholesome!

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The thing is, this is easy as can be! Mix, set, bake. It’s really not rocket science and you can easily do it all in one bowl! Minimal clean up and a delightful Sunday morning breakfast.

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The recipe is from My New Roots. A fellow Canadian lady, blogging from across the world. At least I think she is Canadian… She went to school in Toronto anyway. I admire her immensely. She makes me want to take more pictures and learn everything there is too learn about Holistic Nutrition.

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She nailed it with this loaf. It totally is life changing and oh.my.god. soooo delicious.

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Go check out her blog if you haven’t already and make this loaf. It’s totally a good thing. (I’m channeling martha stewart here.)

xxx

 

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Filed under Breads, Breakfast

the walnut and the fig

Are the things in life that are more delicious than warm-out-of-the-oven bread? Are there?! Because I have yet to find them.

And speaking of bread… why does everyone think sliced bread is the coolest? I don’t think it is. I’d much prefer a huge hunk, maybe sliced thick or perhaps ripped off the loaf.

Mmm, I think the best way to make this all happen is to bake your own bread. It’s BYOB… yo. Let’s get into it.

Easy enough for me to say, but for years I have been avoiding the bread making process. I’m just gunna say it. I’m afraid of yeast. It’s alive and that’s weird.

But that’s also the problem… cause usually it’s not alive at all… it’s dead. I am the worst ever at keeping yeast alive, so my past forays into the bread making business have been… less than successful.

And similarily, sometimes when the yeast IS alive, I fail to let it rise properly.

Who knew there were sometimes 2 or even 3 rises? Not I. Not. I.

So I tell ya, no one was more surprised than me when this bread was a hit.

Granted, I have no idea how to knead.

Nor do I own a scale… and yeah, the measurements are in grams. So needless to say my google history looked something like this

uhhuh… I spelled cups “gups.” But google knew what was up. Google is alll OVER that.

It’s a miracle this bread even baked.

But it did. And I’m sure it will. Again and again and again. But I will buy a scale. I will. When I find a cool fancy retro one in mint green. ok?

Anyhoo, you can refer to the almighty Masterchef Australia website for this bad boy. I won’t take any credit here.

Fig and Walnut bread!

And hey, how sweet is this photo of the steam in my tea? I love you afternoon light. You make my sundays so warm and lazy.

and I totes downed that bottle of scotch too. Maybe that’s why I was so warm and lazy.
(not really. we used empty scotch bottles for cold water. scotchy infusion!)

xxx

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Breads

happy one year

Autumn is here! The cool, windy weather is making me giddy and has me itching to buy scarves and wooly sweaters. Although this autumn will never turn into a proper winter… not here in Sydney anyway. I’m still excited and sort of surprised to look at the ground and see fallen leaves in hues of burnt orange and red. I didn’t think that happened in this country. So ill informed, I am.

And here we are. It’s been a year. A year since I started writing this little blog and a year since I moved to Australia. (In fact I just checked and tomorrow marks exactly one year since I first posted here. It’s somewhat of an anniversary I suppose…)

It seems odd to me, that it’s been that long. Even as I write this, it seems wrong. Where has the year gone? Has it really been that long since I’ve been home? Since I’ve seen my puppy? Since I’ve slept in my own bed? I suppose it has. Sometimes It feels like eons ago and sometimes not so much. Either way, I have mixed emotions. I’m very happy at this moment in time, in this lifestyle. I get to live in a beautiful country with a beautiful man. I get to sip delicious coffee and eat delicious food, and I get to gallivant about Sydney. And there are Palm trees. PALM TREES everywhere! But I do miss my Canadian home, my friends and my family. Some days are harder than others…

I won’t be gone forever… but I think that somewhere in the back of my mind, I thought that I might be back for a visit around now. Well, life is life. And it would seem that I won’t be visiting home just yet. Still, the weather is making me nostalgic for Canada. I am half expecting some winter winds and frosty mornings.

Now before I start tearing up over my keyboard (ooops, too late) let’s move on to a sweeter subject. Banana Bread! Cause who doesn’t need a little comfort food when the cold weather hits (bringing with it just a dash of reality…)

so dense and delicious

Well, I sure needed it this week. And I might need a little more right now. In fact, as I sit here typing this, there is a second loaf of bread baking in the oven. Yes, cause the loaf I made last night is nearly gone. (this recipe is REALLY yummy)

raspberries look sooo sophisticated when cooked.

I think it’s kind of fitting that I post a Banana-bread on the one year anniversary of this blog. When I first arrived in Australia Bananas were a whopping $14 a kilo… all I wanted in the world was to bake with them. Haha… Well this week I stumbled upon a bounty of bananas for just 99cents! So as fate would have it:

Raspberry-Banana Bread
to soothe your soul

1.5 c. whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 c. raw sugar

2 tbsp. ground flax (+ 1/4 c. water)

2-3 bananas (mushed up)

1/2 c. rice milk

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c. chopped walnuts

3/4 c. raspberries (fresh or frozen)

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. whisk the flax seed with the water and allow to sit and thicken for about five minutes. Mix the wet ingredients and add in the flax seeds, then add the wet mixture to the dry and mix until just combined. Now fold in the walnuts and raspberries. Pour into a loaf pan(greased or lined) and baked at 350* for about an hour.

Eat warm, eat cool, eat at the coffee shop with a delicious cold coffee. Eat after it has been smushed in your bag by your ginormous camera, because honestly… it’s still good.

I guess a lot has happened in a year. I mean just browse through this little ditty. This here marks my 45th post. Almost one a week. Not too shabby Hicks.

For now I will just have to keep baking, it calms any storms a’brewing in my mind and reminds me of home. And to ease the pain of being away from my puppy, I snuggle up with this little guy.

Odin

He’s no dog.dog.DOG… but he’s as close as I’m going to get for a couple more months. And he is pretty cute.

hello adorable.

xxx

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Breads

all the answers to life in one small serving of flour and sugar

Life is weird. Obviously.

Have you even had those moments where your brain stops for a second… and it says ‘Wait a tick… what the hell is this?’

And ‘this’ is not referring to any specific activity, or event. It’s not an object, or a feeling… it’s just life. What the hell is it? Honestly.

I have those moments. Riding the subway to school, walking along a street in the sunshine, sitting on my couch writing a blog.

I look at my hands and I think they look so weird.

Everything looks weird.

What’s the point of all… this?

I think about my stress and it seems so inconsequential.

What is it? What does it alllllll mean… why am I worried about my job? Why is it necessary for me to do the laundry right now? Why do I have these extremities? How did I get on a piece of machinery that somehow propelled itself into the air and carried me across the planet? Why do I sometimes scratch an itch… and then feel it in another part of my body? And for the love of god, why does scratching an itch feel sooo good?

It just makes no sense to me. Why?

I don’t mean to get deep and philosophical. I have no intentions of figuring it all out… but it makes ya wonder. It’s makes ya wonder and then in makes you feel a bit queasy.

So that’s when I make scones. When I feel like there is nothing else to do, cause honestly, what’s better than making scones?

Another deep and philosophical question. The difference here is that I know the answer to this one. Nothing. There is nothing better than making scones. And when you think about it, in the GRAND scheme of this ridiculous ‘life’ caper we have going on… aren’t scones just about as important as anything else?

so so delish

And just to clarify, making scones implies you eat them also.

Boom.

cranberries!

Lemon-cranberry Scones

My usual is date scones, but sometimes life (or my mom) just begs for a little something lighter. And tangier.

3 c. flour

2 tbsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 c. -1/2 c. raw sugar

1/3 c. coconut oil

1 1/4 c. non-dairy milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 c. frozen cranberries

zest of 1 lemon

lemon sugar

Mix the lemon zest with the raw sugar to infuse it with lemony goodness. I think this helps to spread the lemon flavour.

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Create a well for the wet ingredients and pour them in. mix gently until just combined and fold in the cranberries. Scoop 1/4 c. of batter onto a baking sheet per scone.

Bake for 15ish minutes on 400*C.

Eat them and then forget about all of life’s unanswered questions. And stop looking at your hands, because apart from all those hangnails… they are perfectly un-weird.

xxx

perfection

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Breads, Muffins

Zucchini-Apple bread… with toasted walnuts

Last weekend the boy and I got to go on another wine tour. We’re pretty much experts now.

While swirling his glass, ‘I’m definitely picking up notes of… grapes. Yes. definitely grapes.’

Swoon. He’s such a high society man. However, I won’t bore you with the details of more boozy afternoons.

It’s Spring here… and feeling like almost summer. The mornings are getting much much lighter, so much so that I am able to run at 6am. The only other people out at that time are other morning joggers. I never realized what a nice time of day it is. The light is so perfect, and the sunrise is beautiful. I kinda wish I could run with my camera… but that might be pushing it.

I’ve got heaps of extra time now at lunch and after work. So what better way to fill that time… than to drool over baked goods on foodgawker and then promptly march home to make them.

I’ve noticed that zucchini cakes are really bursting onto the scene lately… and I’d call it fate, since I had numerous zucchinis in my fridge.

On a mid-week grocery shop last Wednesday I happened to walk into Woolies at the exact moment when a stock boy was putting out crates and crates of discounted fruits and vegetables. Without even thinking twice, I grabbed a bag and stuffed it full with TWO bananas… (the last two) 3 zucchinis, 4 tomatoes, 1 lime and a cucumber. The total cost? TWO DOLLARS. Man o man. I was buzzing. It takes a certain personality to get this excited over discounted food. But combine my love of a sale, with my low potassium and my budget-savy mind… and I tell ya. There was so much reason to celebrate. I mean come on! Two bananas ALONE woulda been a deal. Though I must point out that my beloved bananas have recently dropped from 14.99/kilo to just 10.99! Summmmmer’s a-comin!

Anyhow, the point of the story was the zucchinis and how I had an abundance of them. The only logical thing to do would be to bake a zucchini bread. So I did.

It was delicious. By far, the most deliciously healthy bread eva. Check out the ingredient list… its amazing. No dairy, no refined sugar… no white flour. AND an entire fruit and a vegetable. Innncredible.

Zucchini Apple Bread

Adapted from this recipe

1 1/2 c. whole wheat spelt flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. all spice

 

3/4 c. grated zucchini

3/4 c. grated apple

1/2 c. roasted walnuts

 

1 tbsp. chia seeds with 3 tbsp. water (chia egg)

1/2 c. maple syrup

1/4 c. coconut oil

Sift the dry ingredients together and set aside.

In a large bowl mix the wet ingredients. Partially combine the dry and the wet before stirring in the grated zucchini and apple and walnuts.* Mix until just combined, and then pour into a loaf pan lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes to start, however mine took closer to an hour.

*I’ve made this bread twice now, once without straining the zucchini and apple. It was extremely moist. So much so that when I stuck a knife in, it came out with what looked like raw dough on it. However, even after leaving it in the oven for an extra 15 minutes, the middle didn’t completely bake. It was still delicious, just very moist in the center. The second time I baked it, I strained about 1/2 c. of liquid from the zucchini and apple and the bread was still VERY moist. In my oven, it still took at extra 15 minutes to bake. I’m not sure, but it was still amazing, so unless you hate really moist or dense breads… this is still a must bake!

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Breads