The perfect focaccia recipe

posted on January 7th, 2015 by Nikki Phillips

If your New Year’s resolution was to try your hand at bread making then you’re in luck, if not it’s fine, we’ll still let you have a go!

Our friends at the River Cottage Cookery School have kindly shared their lovely focaccia recipe with us. It’s an excellent sharing bread, perfect for serving with supper when your friends come round. And the best bit? It’s really easy to make.

Fancy winning a 2-day cookery break at River Cottage? Enter our competition here.

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Makes 1 focaccia

You will need:

500 g strong white bread flour

5 g powdered dried yeast

10 g fine salt

325 ml warm water

About 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for coating

To finish

A generous drizzle of olive oil

A sprinkle of flaky sea salt

A couple of rosemary sprigs, leaves stripped and finely chopped


Method

To knead by hand: mix the flour, yeast, salt and water in a bowl to form a sticky dough. Add the oil, mix it in, then turn the dough out on to a clean work surface. Knead until smooth and silky, about 10 minutes.

Or, to use a food mixer: fit the dough hook and add the flour, yeast, salt and water to the mixer bowl. Mix on low speed until evenly combined, then add the oil and leave to knead for about 10 minutes, until smooth and silky.

Shape the dough into a round and coat with a little extra oil. Leave to rise in a clean bowl, covered with a plastic bag. When it has doubled in size, tip it on to the work surface and press into a rough rectangle. Place in a lightly oiled shallow baking tray, measuring about 26 x 36cm. Press the dough in with your fingers, right into the corners. Now leave to rise, covered, for about half an hour.

Preheat your oven to 250°C/Gas Mark 10, or as high as it will go. When the bread looks puffed up and airy, use your fingertips to poke deep holes across the whole surface, almost to the bottom. Drizzle the top generously (but not swimmingly) with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and rosemary. Bake for about 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to about 200°C/Gas Mark 6 and bake for a further 10 minutes.

Focaccia is best eaten warm, but not hot; leave to cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before serving, or leave to cool completely.

This recipe features in the “River Cottage Bread Handbook”, published by Bloomsbury Publishing plc, and available from rivercottage.net.

 

 

The Icing On The Cake

posted on December 17th, 2014 by Laura Ellis

You’ve made your cake and have been patiently feeding it. Now it’s time to ice it…

It was just as we had predicted – the penguins prevailed in the fight to top the Marketing team Christmas cake.

These little critters are really easy to make, and a fun way to get the family involved.

  1. Roll two balls of black icing, a large one for the body and a smaller one for the head.
  2. Flatten a ball of white icing and smooth it onto the body, and add the head on top (top tip: if you find the head doesn’t stay put run a toothpick through the centre of the body and fix the head on top)
  3. Roll out a sausage of black icing, squash and cut in two – these are the wings of the penguin. Drape them around the shoulders of your penguin. You can adjust their placement and angle to suit its character!
  4. Add an orange triangle for its beak, and two flattened triangles for the feet.
  5. Make two really small balls of black icing, and flatten onto two small circles of white icing, these will be the eyes of your penguin.
  6. Gently press the eyes on to your penguin, and hey presto, a little flightless bird is born!

We added some edible sparkly, white balls and created a fun, snowball scene. The best bit about making your own cake toppers is that you can have a little fun with them. Why not give your penguin a hat and scarf, or perhaps a sledge. Get your family to each create a different penguin, or item for the cake and see the different characteristics shine through.

 

How to make a beautiful driftwood wreath

posted on December 16th, 2014 by Nikki Phillips

It’s not long until Christmas Day now and front doors across the land will be adorned with beautiful garlands capturing the spirit of the festive season. Making your own wreath is a great way of incorporating a bit of craft into your Christmas prep and we think our driftwood version would look stunning on any door. You could even spread some festive cheer and make your friends and family one.

You will need:

Different shapes and sizes of driftwood
Small pieces of rope
Large piece of rope
Selection of sea glass
Selection of small shells
Foam board or cardboard
Scalpel knife
Glue gun and glue sticks
Pencil and compass

Begin by using your compass to draw a 12 inch/30 cm circle onto your foam board or cardboard. Extend your compass by 1 inch/2.5 cm to draw a larger circle. Using your scalpel carefully cut out following your two lines, so you are left with a ring. Then piece by piece, using your hot glue gun secure your driftwood randomly, making sure you keep them close together. Gradually work your way around the entire circle.

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Select some pieces of sea glass and small shells and again secure with hot glue.

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Pick a few small pieces of rope to wrap around the front and glue on the back.

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Using your larger piece of rope, tie a bow at the top.

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Once the bow is secure your wreath is ready to hang on your door.

How to Gift Wrap Seasalt Style

posted on December 4th, 2014 by Laura Ellis

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We love choosing the perfect presents for our loved ones, but wrapping the dream gift brings an added challenge. You want the package to look exciting, to look like you’ve taken great care over it and to definitely not look like it’s been done at the local chip shop!

Since we discovered the art of Furoshiki we haven’t looked back. This traditional Japanese method of using cloth to wrap things is centuries old, and is starting to become popular again. It’s also a fail safe way of inducing feelings of awe over your neatly wrapped gift! Our Seasalt neckerchiefs are ideal for wrapping your presents in, and, as a bonus, the lucky recipient also gets a lovely neckerchief too!

Follow our simple, step-by-step guide for a very effective Furoshiki wrap, and make your Christmas gifts the best wrapped presents around:

Lay the handkerchief flat and put your gift in the middle.

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Bring corner B up and over the gift, tucking the corner underneath.

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Bring corner D up and tuck in so that there’s a neat fold along the centre line of the top of the gift

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Tie corners A and C into a neat knot and voila, you’re perfectly wrapped present is complete.

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How to Make Your Own Christmas Robin

posted on December 4th, 2014 by Laura Ellis

Over the years robins have become synonymous with Christmas. Whether they’re on postage stamps, taking centre stage of a snowy Christmas card scene or reporting back to Santa, these little birds have taken a starring role in the festive season. So why not make your own Christmas Robin to hang on your tree.

 You will need:
Brown felt
Red patterned or plain fabric
Hot glue gun or super glue
Toy stuffing
Two small black beads
Sewing needle
Brown cotton
Scissors

Begin by drawing the outline of a robin onto some card, then cut out the area you want to be red. From the brown felt, cut out two top pieces  using your templates, then cut two from your patterned fabric for the bottom part.  (Top tip: don’t forget to flip your template for one of the sides so your pattern is on the outside.)

Cut out some little legs from the brown felt and glue these into position. Also glue the top brown part of your robin to the bottom patterned part by overlapping a little.

Now using blanket stitch or simple running stitch, sew around your little robin.

Remember to leave a gap to stuff then finish sewing up.

Using your hot glue gun or superglue secure an eye to each side. Add a small loop with thread to hang him on your Christmas tree.

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How to Make a Driftwood Boat

posted on November 6th, 2014 by Laura Ellis

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas at Seasalt without a few nautical decorations. Here’s a step by step guide to making a driftwood boat you can hang on your tree.

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How to make Cornish Yarg

posted on May 27th, 2014 by Laura Ellis
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Photo courtesy of Lynher Dairy

Nettles can be found in abundance around our Cornish coast, but there is more to them than just a sting. Cornwall is famous for it’s Cornish Yarg, a cheese that uses nettles as a key ingredient.

Our friends at the Lynher Dairy near Truro (recently visited by Mary Berry for her TV programme Mary Berry Cooks) specialise in making their own Cornish Yarg. One of the most notable features of this cheese is its wrapping made from wild Cornish nettles which adds a light mushroom like flavour to the cheese.

Nettles are a super food: As well as being known for possessing antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, they are also a surprisingly nutritious plant. Nettles are rich in lots of vitamins and minerals including vitamins A and C, so despite their prickly reputation they’re very good for you!

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Photo courtesy of Lynher Dairy

There’s a particular process to making Cornish Yarg. Firstly, the curd is pressed and brined before it is covered in its famous wrapping. The wild nettles are foraged from the Cornish countryside and are usually at their best for picking between the months of May and September.  Once picked, the nettles are stripped of their leaves and these are then rinsed and steamed.

When ready, the nettle leaves are painted onto the cheese very carefully using a brush, arranged in a pattern of concentric circles to attract natural moulds. The cheese is then left to mature for around 3-5 weeks before it’s ready to eat, having developed a unique coating on the wrapping with its distinct lacy white pattern.

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Photo courtesy of Lynher Dairy

Enjoy with fresh crusty bread, melted in a quiche or add a Cornish twist to a pasta dish!

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Photo courtesy of Lynher Dairy

Easter hot cross buns recipe

posted on April 18th, 2014 by Emma Raczkowski

Seasalt Easter Hot Cross Buns recipe

If you like a traditional Easter hot cross bun, we’ve got a great recipe for you! These buns are delicious warm with some butter.

Ingredients for the buns:

For the buns:

1.3lb strong white flour

1tsp salt

2tsp ground mixed spice

1tsp ground cinnamon

1tsp ground nutmeg

1.5oz unsalted butter

30z golden caster sugar

1.5 tsp dried yeast

1 egg

275ml milk

2oz mixed dried peel

2oz currents

 

For the topping:

2tbsp plain flour

1tbsp golden syrup

 

  1. Put flour, salt and spices into a mixing bowl and rub the butter into the flour. Make a well in the centre and add the sugar and yeast.
  2. Beat the egg and add to the flour with the milk. Mix to form a dough.
  3. Carefully mix in the dried fruit and the knead for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  4. Put the dough into a warm, greased bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for 1 hour
  5. Turn out the dough, knock it back and then pop it back into the bowl to prove again for 30 minutes.
  6. Turn it out and divide into 12 equal pieces, roll them into balls and place on a baking tray. Pop the tray into a large polythene bag, tie the end of the bag and leave to prove for 40 minutes.
  7. Mix the plain flour to a smooth paste with 2 tablespoons of cold water and use a piping bag to pipe crosses on the buns.
  8. Pop in the oven at 200c for 12-15 minutes until they are golden brown.
  9. As soon as you remove the buns from the oven brush them with warmed golden syrup.

Get baking with our Easter Cookies recipe!

posted on April 16th, 2014 by Emma Raczkowski

Seasalt Easter Cookies recipe

Fancy a different sweet treat this Easter? These Easter cookies aren’t too chocolaty, and you can make them as plain or as fancy as you like.  They make a lovely light biscuit to have with a cup of tea, and they’re very fun to decorate!

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How to wear a Seasalt neckerchief!

posted on April 11th, 2014 by Emma Raczkowski

How to wear a Seasalt neckerchief scarf

We think Seasalt neckerchiefs add the perfect touch to any outfit. They can be worn in lots of different ways and have even been spotted as alternative gift wrap and being used as a pet accessory!

We’ve put together our guide showing how we like to wear ours but would love to know how you wear yours!

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