A Bread Roll Recipe And Planting Cordons

For the last few weeks I have been trying to use up all the things that end up getting pushed to the back of my freezer and cupboards.  So this week I decided to do a great big food shop, as my pantry shelves were beginning to look empty.

So armed with a long list of items that I needed, I began shopping.  I don’t just use one shop, but several depending on the offers and cheapest prices for the products that I want.

There are loads of tips to save money on your food shopping here, if anyone is interested.

So my cupboards are full again.

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I then set about batch baking:

I started by making some spaghetti bolognase sauces using a 750 gram pack of minced beef.

I do worry about the amount of fat there is in minced beef, so a tip I was given many moons ago when I attended a Rosemary Conley class, was to put the ‘browned’ mince in a sieve to let the fat drip away and then wipe the pan with a piece of kitchen paper to remove any excess fat in it, before returning the minced beef back into the pan.

In my bolognese I also used onion, garlic and passata (I made the passata in the summer using the tomatoes I grew).  I also padded it out with a carrot, sliced courgettes, curly kale and even broad beans (that I cooked and pureed first before adding to the mix, so my daughters don’t know they are in there).  I added some tomato puree and a couple of beef stock cubes and finally some mixed herbs.

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I managed to get four portions out of the minced beef to freeze.  It makes a really easy meal for another day, as when the sauce is defrosted I just reheat it in the microwave and then add it to pasta…….or sometimes I use it to make a quick lasagne.

A tip I learned in an Italian youth hostel years and years ago, was always make sure that the sauce is added to ALL of the cooked pasta / spaghetti and give it a good mix.  This way the bolognese sauce goes further than when you serve a ‘dollop’ on top of each persons pasta.

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I also made a large pot of chilli with another 750 gram pack of mince beef and again I managed to get four portions out of it, three of which I froze for another day and one we had for tea with jacket potatoes and it was lovely:

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I also decided to make a lemon traybake for the week ahead.  I love traybakes as you get a lot of cake without messing about too much:

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 I will put the recipe on the blog another time for you.

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And finally I made my usual bread rolls.  Regina who regularly leaves lovely comments on my blog, has asked me for the recipe I use to make my bread rolls, so I have written it below.  I don’t use the ‘posh’ brands of yeast or strong white flour, I use the supermarket own brand that is the cheapest at the time I buy it and my rolls always turn out fine.

I use a bread maker to mix my dough (as it gives me more time to do other things), but I have made it using the same recipe without the breadmaker and it turned out well.

My Breadmaker

My Breadmaker

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Bread Rolls Using A Bread Maker:

1 ¼ teaspoons Easy Bake Yeast

550 grams Strong White Flour

2 teaspoons sugar

25 grams margarine (or butter)

½ teaspoon salt (add more if you like it salty)

360 ml water

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I put all the ingredients into my breadmaker in the same order as above and set my breadmaker onto a ‘dough’ setting.  In my breadmaker the dough will be ready in 2 hours and 20 minutes.

(If I am short of time I sometimes put my breadmaker on a ‘pizza’ setting which mixes the dough in 45 minutes, but the rolls do not rise quite so much this way).

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When the dough is ready, take it out of the breadmaker pan and place it on a floured surface and cut into ten equal pieces:

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Make each portion into a ‘roll’ shape.  I use my thumbs to gently ease the edges underneath each portion, turning and repeating until it’s the shape I want.

Put your rolls onto a greased baking sheet in a warm place until they have risen. I cover mine with a clean tea towel and leave to rise for approximately one hour.

After an hour

After an hour

Bake in a preheated oven Gas mark 5 / 190 C / 375F for 16 to 17 minutes and then leave to cool.

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If I am freezing the rolls for packed lunches etc. then I slice the rolls before I freeze them.  This way I don’t have to wait for them to defrost and I can put fillings straight into the frozen rolls and they defrost in sandwich boxes easily by lunchtime.

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My New Kitchen Garden:

This week I was very excited as my new fruit trees arrived.  I ordered three ‘Braeburn’ apple trees grafted onto dwarfing rootstocks (m26) and three ‘Conference’ pear trees grafted onto Quince A rootstocks.  I will be growing the trees as cordons along the fence at the bottom of the garden.

I haven’t got the luxury of space now I have given my allotments up and so by growing my fruit trees as cordons, I can plant the trees a lot closer together and the fruit will be easy to pick.

I have never grown cordons before and so I used a really good RHS guide to order and plant them.  You can find it here.

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The trees were delivered ‘bare rooted’ which just means that they don’t come in a pot and their roots are bare.  At this time of year the trees are dormant, so as long as you don’t allow the roots to dry out, young trees can be dug up and replanted easily.

I unpacked the trees and put them straight into a bucket of water for a couple of hours to ensure the roots were moist:

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I screwed in wire supports along my fence before I planted the trees, as per the RHS guide. I then dug the holes for the trees.

The soil was pretty awful in places, so I added lots of compost and thanked my lucky stars that I brought the rootstocks that I did (Quince A and M26) which should do well in my awful soil.

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Preparing the soil is the same for any type of bare root fruit tree.  I have a guide to planting bare root trees here if anyone is interested.

I planted the trees and gave them support by tying them to a cane, which was already tied to the wire supports.

I then cut back all the side shoots that were no longer than 10cm, to three buds, again as per the RHS guide.

And now I am keeping my fingers crossed that they grow:

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A bit of good news this week is I spotted my rhubarb growing.  These are two bits that I split from the my allotment rhubarb to bring home before I gave my plots up.  I just bunged the two pieces in the soil, without adding any organic matter as time was short, but I can top dress it with compost another time.

The place they are growing gets no sun what so ever in the winter and it is in partial shade in the summer…..so I will have to wait to find out if it crops well in this position.  I won’t be harvesting any this year to allow the roots to establish and next year I will only pick a small amount for the same reason…providing it grows ok in this position.

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Judy – (Our Problem Dog) – A Quick Update:

I know a lot of people reading my blog are interested in our rescue dog called Judy, so I thought I would give you a quick update (you can read about the problems we are having here if you are interested).

We have been giving Judy the tablets the vet prescribed (Selgian) to help with her excessive anxious behaviour for 2 ½ weeks now and I can honestly say there has been no change in her whatsoever.  However, I have read that it takes 4-6 weeks for the tablets to take effect so I will let you know how we get on.

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We have had another session with our behaviourist and she has suggested that we walk her just twice a week for a ten minute walk, as her stress level is so high at the moment – so this is what we are doing.

Last week I had yet another person shout at me over my dogs behaviour (barking and lunging) and that totals eight people since we brought her home in October, so walking her twice a week will give my nerves a break too.

I so wish people would realise that my dog barks and lunges because she is scared and it is the only way she knows how to show this emotion….I am really hoping that one day I will be able to teach her differently, as when she isn’t scared she is an adoreable, loving dog.

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I hope you all have a good weekend and I will be back next Friday as usual.

Thank you for reading my blog today.

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17 thoughts on “A Bread Roll Recipe And Planting Cordons

  1. Its a great idea to batch bake, i must eat through my freezer its packed to the door and then i can start a fresh, a good idea for next weeks meals! Love the lemon traybake and shall look out for the recipe. What a shame Judy is so anxious still i do really hope something works for her soon. The apple trees will look so pretty with the blossom on at the bottom of your garden. Do have a good week.
    Sue

  2. Wow there is so much information in this post I am bookmarking it so I can come back and have a read later (when there is a little peace and no little people jumping on my knee!!) I really enjoy reading you posts they are always so full of useful information and a very happy read. I do hope things improve for your little dog soon. Back in a bit 🙂

  3. We use Morrisons match and More which was sceptical about at first. They price match all the supermarkets including Aldi and Lidl and also match price own brands and special offers, So far we have had £30 back since November and additional money vouchers posted out.

    Do you have a friend with a dog that can help you socialise Judy?

    • Hi Sue, I am really sorry your comment went into my spam box and I haven’t a clue why (I haven’y checked it for ages). That’s good to know about Morrisons, thanks.

      I wish I did have a friend with a dog to help out, but unfortunately any friends I have with dogs walk their dogs quickly between work, so I don’t like to ask them as I know it would take a lot of time and sessions to train her. Thanks for the idea though

  4. hello,
    thank you for the recipe. You makes me very happy! you are the best!!!! I will it definitive try.
    thanks for the cooking inspiration. my freezer is full. next week i will made jelly with the red currant.
    your lemon cake look very good. i love traybaking, too.
    i wish you luck with your new trees.
    wish you a wonderful week my friend,
    hugs regina

  5. It’s lovely to plant new fruit trees isn’t it. Not something that you get to do every year. I planted a couple of new apple trees this winter, I’m so looking forward to those first few buds. You’re doing so well with your little dog, being patient and kind, I’m sure it will all pay off in the end. I’m sure you’re soil will end up really good as well, after a few years of attention. CJ xx

  6. I’m just catching up with your blog and sorry to hear about Judy. It’s a long hard process, our dog has behavioural (aggression sometimes) issues and I know how you feel to be at the end of your tether so when times are tough, take comfort that we got through those times and I am sure you will too.

    As we speak, my bread dough is in the BM ready to make as you do and slice pre freezer. Great tip. I too will be bookmarking to post for future reference. Thank you x

  7. Hi excellent bread roll recipe just made some . Have you got a good bread mix for the bread machine mine are totally rubbish. I’ve been reading your blog since I took on my allotment in October .please keep up all the great advice it’s been really helpful. It’s a real shame you gave up your allotments. Sorry to hear about all the problems you have had with Judy she looks so sweet . I have a husky he barks at other dogs because he wants to play but nobody understands that, people normally avoid us .try to be more confident when walking as your nerves feed back to Judy .

    • Hi Kat and thanks for your comment. The same recipe for the rolls can be used to make a loaf in the breadmaker….when I make a loaf in my breadmaker I find the crust is always too crusty even though I set my breadmaker to a ‘light crust’. I have found that if I switch my breadmaker off when it is finished and just leave the loaf inside it until it is cold, then it softens the crust up lovely.

      How is your allotment going?

  8. Thanks will give that a try.its going well at the moment except for some half eaten winter cabbages . The onions and garlic are doing fine . Broccoli and broad beans are doing ok after battling with the birds and mice.we put all the fruit trees in November .just trying to make some paths.the soil is pretty bad at the moment it’s too wet impossible to dig. We are going to put up a poly tunnel soon which will be a big help for starting seeds off .

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