At Cookery School we teach to empower so that everyone has the confidence to replicate recipes again and again at home. We also teach by principle – if you can understand how to make one quick bread, you can make a whole range of different quick breads using the same principle.
During our time at home, in isolation, these principles have never been more pertinent, when we all need to cook a lot more. We will be sharing simple, home-cooked weekly recipes with you, so that your experience of cooking during Covid-19 is a positive one, with new recipes learnt and delicious dishes enjoyed.
Quick Breads: basic principles
• A basic mixture of
300g /11 oz flour,
3 teaspoons baking powder
a pinch of salt
forms the basis of all the quick breads that we do at Cookery School. It is only the varying amounts of liquid – milk, eggs and oil – that make the various mixtures different and account for their different textures – eg scones, muffins and pancakes.
• As soon as the baking powder comes into contact with the liquid, the acid in the baking powder reacts with the liquid to produce carbon dioxide and the rising action starts straight away, trapping bubbles of air in the mixture. The acid in the baking powder is usually in the form of a cream of tartar and bicarbonate of soda mixture: it just needs to be triggered off by the addition of moisture (milk, eggs, oil, etc.).
• This means you have to work quickly once you have added the wet and dry ingredients together and put the mixture into the oven as soon as possible before the gas starts to dissipate.
• When mixing, it is very important to keep a light touch and not over-mix – this way you ensure a quick bread with a light, airy texture rather than a tough scone, muffin or pancake.
• Once in the oven, the heat causes the mixture to rise even more.
• Don’t be tempted to add more baking powder than a recipe suggests, as too much can cause the mixture to taste soapy. It can also cause the mixture to rise too rapidly so that the air bubbles grow too large and the mixture has an overly ‘spongy’ texture.
• When making cornbread simply substitute half of the flour with cornmeal and increase the liquid a bit as cornmeal absorbs more liquid than flour does.
Feeds 9 / Freezer Friendly
1 cup/5.5ozs/150g flour
1 cup/5.5ozs/150g cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder (3 rounded teaspoons)
1 cup/8ozs/250ml milk or buttermilk
3 tablespoons rapeseed oil
2 eggs beaten
1. Mix dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and add buttermilk and oil to them. Beat until well mixed.
3. Pour egg mixture into dry ingredients and, using a large spoon, mix together swiftly. Make sure that there are no lumps of cornflour hanging about. Do not overmix.
4. Pour batter into greased brownie baking tin, a 1 pound/500g loaf tin or a 7”/18cm round tin can be used if preferred.
5. Bake in oven 200C/400F for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. When a skewer is inserted into the cornbread it comes out clean.
6. Serve warm with butter.
Cornbread can be varied by adding any of the following to the dry ingredients before mixing :
- ½ cup finely chopped dried tomatoes in olive oil – drain off olive oil and a dash of chilli oil
- ½ cup finely grated parmesan or cheddar cheese and 3 tablespoons chopped chives
- ½ cup of sweetcorn from a tin or fresh or frozen sweetcorn that has been boiled and allowed to cool
Cooking during Covid-19
We have a wealth of experience to share in these unprecedented times if you need help cooking during Coronavirus. We’ll be giving you tips and recipes on using store cupboard ingredients, preserving, pickling & above all making the most of your valuable ingredients & not wasting food. PLEASE let us have YOUR questions and SHARE on Facebook or Instagram what you’ve been cooking & our founder Rosalind will be able to get back to you with answers so we can all learn from each other.