Let’s do brunch!

During December I’ve very much enjoyed hosting the Breakfast Club for Helen at Fuss Free Flavours.

The theme I set was brunch, and we received a surprisingly diverse and incredibly delicious array of not-quite-breakfast-yet-not-quite-lunch dishes, all equally perfect for this festive season when we’re allowed to roll out of bed just that little bit later than normal.

So without further ado, let’s crack on with the round-up…

Helen from Fuss Free Flavours delivered our first dish with these very timely Turkey, Cranberry & Stilton Christmas Brunch Muffins – an absolutely delicious way to use up those Christmas leftovers, and they don’t even require an egg!

Turkey, cranberry and stilton Christmas muffins from Fuss Free Flavours

Turkey, cranberry and Stilton Christmas muffins from Fuss Free Flavours

Next on the menu is this Beet Greens & Red Pepper Frittata from Eleni at On Top of Spaghetti. It’s easy to prepare, healthy and tasty, and ideal for brunch or perhaps a light lunch with a side salad. What’s more, it’s a great way to use those beet greens that many people don’t even realise you can eat.

Beet green and red pepper frittata from On Top of Spaghetti

Beet green and red pepper frittata from On Top of Spaghetti

As Louisa from Chez Foti says herself, these White Chocolate &  Cranberry Christmas Cookies make for a “wickedly good brunch snack with a cup or two of coffee” and are just the ticket during the festive period when sweet treats are de rigeur, even at breakfast!

White chocolate and cranberry Christmas cookies from Chez Foti

White chocolate and cranberry Christmas cookies from Chez Foti

I can’t believe I’ve never thought of combining beans and cheese on toast with a poached egg myself, but that’s exactly what Laura from Credit Munched has done in her Buck Rarebit. The combination sounds just so ‘right’ and perfect for a lazy brunch.

Buck rarebit from Credit Munched

My turn next and my offering was a simple but tasty Courgette and Mushroom Omelette with Garlic and Parsley. It’s ideal for when you crave a cooked breakfast but don’t want to go to too much effort.

Courgette and mushroom omelette with garlic and parsley from Bangers & Mash

Courgette and mushroom omelette with garlic and parsley from Bangers & Mash

Now while these Swiss Scrambled Eggs, Croissants and Shakes from Fabulicious Food might look designed to be a hangover cure, they’re honestly not. Ren came up with this delicious breakfast-brunch to fill her family with much-needed vitamins and goodness to aid recovery from the winter flu bug. I’m sure they were fighting fit in no time…

Swiss scrambled eggs, croissants and shakes from Fabulicious Food

Swiss scrambled eggs, croissants and shakes from Fabulicious Food

Mushrooms on toast, especially using good homemade bread, has to be a top contender for my favourite brunch dish. And these Mushrooms on Rye Toast from The Garden Deli look simply beautiful, don’t you think?

Mushrooms on rye toast from The Garden Deli

Mushrooms on rye toast from The Garden Deli

Sometimes brunch becomes much more like lunch than it is breakfast. And in times like these, wouldn’t you love a Minestrone Soup like this one from Divine Foods Living to set you up for the day?

Minestrone soup from Divine Foods Living

Minestrone soup from Divine Foods Living

These Nduja Potato Cakes from Foodycat make for a hearty, grown up brunch, especially served with a Bloody Mary. I must admit to having to google nduja – it turns out to be a spicy, spreadable sausage made from pork and is a Calabrian variation of salami.

Nduja potato cakes from Foodycat

Nduja potato cakes from Foodycat

Elizabeth from Elizabeth’s Kitchen describes these Christmas Breakfast Muffins as the best tasting muffins she’s ever made, and I have to say they do look incredibly good from her photos. Made from granola, marmalade, orange juice and apricots, they are the perfect breakfast in a cake.

Christmas breakfast muffins from Elizabeth’s Kitchen

Christmas breakfast muffins from Elizabeth’s Kitchen

It might not look like your usual late breakfast dish, and indeed I did have to persuade Kavey from Kavey Eats to enter her spectacular Speculoos & Mascarpone Pancake Cake into this month’s Breakfast Club, but personally I think this would make a superb, albeit slightly decadent, brunch. I also think I could gladly tuck into this amazing creation at just about any time of day…

Speculoos and mascarpone pancake cake from Kavey Eats

Speculoos and mascarpone pancake cake from Kavey Eats

I adore poppy seeds in any baked goods and they look particularly scrummy in these Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins from Mondomulia, and isn’t the photography simply stunning too? They’re perfect for a festive brunch, but I think they’d be great at any time of year. I might also try baking a batch for my daughters’ lunch boxes in the new year.

Lemon poppy seed muffins from Mondomulia

Lemon poppy seed muffins from Mondomulia

And last, but certainly not least, come these fantastic Brunch Quesadillas from Camilla at Fab Food 4 All. Filled with bacon, mushroom and cheese, these tasty tortillas would make an ideal brunch for New Year’s Day to help sort your head out after that one-too-many-glasses-of-fizz from the night before.

Brunch quesadillas from Fab Food 4 All

Brunch quesadillas from Fab Food 4 All

So there you have it. A particularly fine round-up of brunch recipes, I think you’ll agree. Thanks to Helen at Fuss Free Flavours for inviting me to host December’s Breakfast Club and to all you wonderful bloggers for linking up your yummy recipes.

Christmas pudding ice cream – the perfect way to use up your leftover pud

This is my last festive recipe before I take a short break from blogging for the Christmas holidays. It’s such a quick and easy recipe – quite frankly, it barely qualifies as a recipe at all – and is a great way to use up any left over Christmas pudding.

It isn’t the first time this recipe has featured on Bangers & Mash. It first appeared back in January, but those were very early days for the blog; days when I still thought I could get away with my own doodles instead of photography! But it is such a genius dessert, I think it’s well worth repeating.

I like the idea of Christmas pudding much more than the pudding itself. I love the flavours but the actual pudding is just too dense and stodgy. Mix it with ice cream and alcohol though, and hey presto! You have yourself a much lighter but equally festive dessert. You can use whatever spirit or liquer takes your fancy really. I went with a delicious apple brandy made here in my home county of Somerset. I also made an alcohol-free batch for the kids.

As this pudding features that timeless combination of booze and ice cream, I’m entering it into Kavey Eats’ Bloggers Scream for Ice Cream challenge for December, the theme of which is, of course, booze – well, what else could it be this time of year?

no food waste challenge

I’m also entering it into the No Waste Food Challenge, where the theme is Christmas Dinner leftovers. This challenge is the brainchild of Kate at Turquoise Lemons and this month is hosted by Elizabeth at Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary.

Christmas pudding ice cream

1 small Christmas pudding
2 litres good vanilla ice cream
Slug of brandy (or whatever festive liquer or spirit you have around)

Cook your pud according to the packet instructions and allow to cool. Leave the ice cream at room temperature to soften a little before adding chopped up pieces of the pudding and brandy. Mix well.

Then simply pour into your container of choice and freeze for at least a couple of hours. Enjoy!

Here’s to a merrily delicious Christmas everyone. Peace and love to you and yours.

Spiced orange bread and butter pudding

Here’s my slightly seasonal take on the humble but very delicious bread and butter pudding. What could be a more festive combination than oranges and spices? The orange in this pud comes in the form of marmalade and zest, while the spices are ginger, cinnamon and mixed spice.

I wish I could share with you fond memories of eating this as a child but, to be honest, the first time I ate bread and butter pudding was only a few years ago when I tried Nigella Lawson’s ginger-jam version from her Nigella Bites cookery book. It was a pudding that never really appealed to me when I was younger. It sounds, well, a bit boring really. I mean, bread? In a pudding? And butter. Who’s going to get excited about that?

But oh! Now I’ve tried it, I can safely say it is delicious and now one of my favourites. Crunchy and slightly chewy on top, soft and gooey underneath. It might not have been one of my nursery food memories, but it will be one of my children’s. Plus it’s so simple to make and comes with its own ready-made custard. What’s not to like?

This recipe is loosely based on the one in Nigella Bites.

Spiced orange bread and butter pudding

75g butter
75g sultanas
3 tbsp apple juice
1 tsp ground ginger
10 slices thick white bread
half a jar of orange marmalade
4 egg yolks
1 egg
5 tbsp demerara sugar
1 tsp mixed spice
500ml double cream
200ml milk
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp runny honey

Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5.

Grease a medium-sized pudding dish with some of the butter.

Put the sultanas in a small bowl and mix with the apple juice and ginger. Pop in the microwave and heat on medium power for a minute and then leave to stand. This is Nigella’s trick for plumping up the sultanas. She uses rum but I didn’t think the kids would be too keen on that.

Make up sandwiches with the white bread, spreading the butter and marmalade generously. Cut in quarters into triangles and then arrange in your dish, some pointing up and some pointing downwards. Sprinkle over the sultanas and pour over any remaining gingery apple juice.

Lightly whisk the egg yolks and egg in small bowl and mix in 3 tablespoons of the demerara sugar and mixed spice. Then add the cream and milk and combine. Pour over the marmalade sandwiches and leave for 10 minutes or so to give the custard a chance to soak into the bread.

Dot some butter onto the visible bread. Mix the ground cinnamon with 2 tablespoons of demerara sugar and sprinkle over the top. Finally drizzle the honey over the top too.

Place the dish on a baking tray and cook in the oven for around half an hour until the custard has set and the crusts poking out are browned and caramelised. Leave for 10 minutes before serving. It will be agony waiting that long as it smells so good!

Festive mess with mulled wine berries

The aroma of mulled wine is so evocative of Christmas. When I was thinking of ideas for a festive pud recently, it occurred to me that mulled wine would be the perfect way to transform an otherwise rather summery dessert into something a little more Christmassy.

Eton mess does really have summer written all over it, doesn’t it? Usually a mixture of strawberries, cream and pieces of meringue, it  has traditionally been served at Eton College’s annual cricket game against Harrow since the 19th century.

In this version I have used a mixture of frozen ‘winter berries’ from the supermarket – in this case blackberries, blackcurrants, cherries and grapes – and cooked them gently in a thick mulled wine syrup before combining with the cream and homemade meringue, flavoured with a little ginger. Take it from me, it tastes and smells divine. I was a little worried it might be a bit ‘grown up’ for my two daughters but they both chomped their way through it gleefully, and the oldest even had seconds.

Festive mess with mulled wine berries

For the meringue:

3 egg whites
pinch of salt
175g caster sugar
1tsp corn flour
1tsp ground ginger
½tsp vanilla extract

NB This recipe makes about double the amount of meringue you’ll need for the dish, but I’m sure you’ll find another way to use up the leftover!

For the mulled red wine berries:

150ml red wine
½ stick cinnamon
5 cloves
zest of 1 orange
100g caster sugar
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
300g frozen mixed winter berries

250g whipping cream
2tbsp icing sugar

First of all, make the meringue. If you don’t have an Aga, preheat the oven to 150ºC / gas mark 2.

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites and salt until stiff. Gradually whisk in the caster sugar a teaspoonful at a time, and finally whisk in the corn flour, ground ginger and vanilla. Lay a sheet of silicone paper on a baking tray and spread the meringue mixture out onto the sheet to create a large rectangle.

If you have an Aga, put the baking tray on the floor of the roasting oven for three to four minutes, until the meringue is ever so slightly coloured. Then move down to the floor of the simmering oven for about an hour until the meringue is firm on the outside but gooey in the middle.

If you’re using a conventional oven, bake for an hour and then turn the oven off. Open the door halfway and allow the meringue to cool to remove to room temperature before removing.

Now it’s time to move on to the mulled wine syrup.

Pour the wine into a saucepan and place over a medium heat. Add the cinnamon, cloves, orange, sugar and nutmeg and stir well. Allow to simmer for around 10 to 15 minutes until the wine has reduced a little and has more of a sticky syrup consistency. The smell in your kitchen by now will be amazing!

Next add in the frozen fruit, stirring gently, and cook on a low heat until the fruit has defrosted and cooked down a little. But don’t cook so long it turns into a mush; it’s good to have some texture and bite in the fruit. Once the fruit is cooked, leave to one side to cool.

In a large bowl, whip the cream until it forms soft peaks and gently stir in the icing sugar.

When the mulled wine berries have cooled, stir these into the whipped cream (reserving a little of the syrup), along with broken pieces of meringue. Serve immediately and finish off with a little drizzle of the mulled wine syrup. Enjoy your delicious bowlful of festive cheer!

Courgette and mushroom omelette with garlic and parsley

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know I’ve only discovered my cooking mojo in the last few years. I spent a long time feeling out-0f-place in the kitchen. But I do believe I’ve arrived and earned my right to wear a pinny (although I generally forget to until it’s too late). Don’t get me wrong, I’ll never be a great cook and I won’t be entering Masterchef anytime soon, but I think I might be turning into a good cook. Indeed, in a restaurant the other evening, my husband told me he thought my cooking was better. I was ever so slightly on the chuffed side.

Omelettes were always one of those dishes I had trouble with. Well, rather I assumed I would if I actually plucked up the courage to try making one. Yes I know they’re quick and simple, but only if you’re a proper cook. Or so I thought. In recent months, I’ve made myself learn how to make a good omelette because I realise they are the ultimate fast food. After one or two duds along the way, I’ve worked out they’re not all that difficult after all. It’s all about trial and error and not being afraid to make a few mistakes. If you don’t make mistakes, how can you find out what works and what doesn’t?

We now eat a fair few omelettes in our house. Our life can get pretty manic, what with school and work and all the various out-of-school clubs and activities, not to mention some attempt at a social life; so it’s good to have a speedy and adaptable supper up your sleeve. They also make the perfect brunch dish, when you fancy something warm and tasty but don’t want to go to too much effort.

Now that I’m turning into a bit of an omelette fanatic, I was rather pleased when Littlewoods sent me a set of Russell Hobbs pans to test out – a frying pan and an omelette pan*. After many years, the non-stick coating on our old pan had given up the ghost, and omelettes aren’t so great when you don’t have a non-stick pan. At just £27 for the pair, they do seem a bit of a bargain. At first, when the pans arrived, I thought they were a little on the lightweight side, but having used them a few times now, I can confirm they are pretty decent pans. How long they’ll remain non-stick with the amount of wear and tear they’ll get in my kitchen remains to be seen, but for now they certainly turn out a good omelette.

I enjoy trying out new fillings for my omelettes. This latest concoction was simply a way of using up a few bits and bobs in the fridge. It worked out rather well so I think I’ll be adding it to my tried-and-test list.

Courgette and mushroom omelette with garlic and parsley

Serves 2

olive oil, a couple of glugs
1 courgette, halved lengthways and sliced
handful of chestnut mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
knob of butter
4 eggs, lightly beaten and seasoned with pepper

Heat a glug of olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and gently fry the courgette until softened. Throw in the mushrooms and soften these too before adding in the garlic and parsley. When the garlic is golden, take off the heat and keep warm to one side.

In your omelette pan, heat another glug of olive oil with the knob of butter over a fairly high heat. Pour in the beaten egg and leave for a few seconds to give it time to ‘catch’.

Then using an implement that won’t scratch your lovely non-stick pan (my weapon of choice is a rubber spatula!), start dragging the edges of the eggy mixture into the middle, going round and round, and letting the runny egg fill in the gaps you are leaving. As the omelette starts to firm up, tilt the pan to encourage the uncooked egg to flow into the spaces.

When the only runny egg left is on the surface, leave it for 30 seconds or so to continue cooking, and then it’s time to add your filling.

Pour the mushroom and courgette mixture over one half of the omelette and carefully fold over the other half. Cut in half and slide out onto warmed plates. Enjoy!

As a good omelette is a perfect lazy brunch dish, I’m entering this recipe into December’s Breakfast Club, a blogger challenge created by Fuss Free Flavours and which this month is being hosted by – oh yes, it’s me! If you’d like to enter a dish you can find out more here.
And because it features lots of lovely fresh parsley, I’m also linking up with Herbs on Saturday hosted by Lavender & Lovage.
* Disclosure: I was provided with two complimentary Russell Hobbs pans for review purposes and no money exchanged hands.

Magic chicken korma from The Good Stuff

Since becoming a food blogger, my family and I have been eating a much more varied and interesting diet. It’s partly due to wanting to try out new things to keep the blog fresh, but also because I’m reading so many other food blogs and being inspired to test out their offerings. It’s this sharing aspect I think I enjoy most about becoming part of a food blogging community.

And this ethos of sharing good food is what I like so much about a new blog I’ve recently discovered called The Good Stuff. Written by two dads with young children, Matt and Corpy describe their blog as “a swap shop for new parents with a passion for good, healthy food”. It’s great too to hear some male voices out there amongst the cacophony of us mummy bloggers, plus they’re both from the West Country – my favourite part of the country. As well as posting their own scrummy recipes – take a look at this pair of risottos, for example, for kids and for dads – they also share tasty recipes offered by others. I was very chuffed when they recently featured my simple fish pie recipe.

Now I’m very excited to be able to return the favour. Here is a guest post from The Good Stuff’s Corpy for his Magic Chicken Korma, which I know my family are going to love when I try it out on them very soon. Over to Corpy!

Magic Chicken Korma

Way back when we first started telling friends that we were expecting a baby, a really wise friend of mine called Oli said “one of the great things about becoming a parent is that you get to experience all the stuff about being a kid that you forget when you get older”.  He doesn’t have kids, as it happens, but he was so right.  In many ways it is exactly this sharing a journey with our kids as they discover food that got us into writing The Good Stuff to start with.

Now we’ve progressed to a stage where our baby is a toddler – old enough to get involved with stirring, mixing, tasting and generally enjoying being in the kitchen – a new insight has emerged.  Witnessing how he gets a thrill out of dough coming together or solid veg turning puree has shone a massive light on what it is I love about cooking.  When you see it through a toddler’s eyes cookery is base magic, nothing short of alchemy.  Raw ingredients, herbs and spices spell cast together into tasty meals.  Although I’d long forgotten it – it’s this wizardry that explains why cooking continues to make me smile.

So what – you might well ask – has all that got to do with the good old fashioned Chicken Korma?   Well in short there is real magic in them, there spices.

The ingredients list (although full of cupboard staples) reads like a witches brew – stick of cinnamon, cardamom pods, milk of coconut – and the way it comes together into a rich, tasty wholeness is worthy of Hogwarts.  But like all good spells, its easy if you know how…

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 150ml single cream
  • 160ml coconut milk
  • 2 carrots
  • handful of frozen peas
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 handful of fresh coriander
  • 1 glug of vegetable oil
  • 125ml vegetable stock

This is going to make about four adult portions and is perfectly freezable.

  1. Start by prepping everything.  Cut the chicken and carrots into small cubes, peel & grate the ginger, finely chop the onion and garlic.
  2. Heat a dry frying pan (with high-ish sides) over a medium heat and when it is hot add the cumin seeds.  Cook them in the dry pan for a couple of minutes – they’ll smell lovely and pungent.  If you have a pestle and mortar pour the seeds in there and smash with the other ground spices until a fine-ish powder.  If you don’t use a flat surface and a heavy rolling pin.  Next smash the cardamom pods and add them to the spice mix.
  3. Put the pan back on the hob and heat the oil.  Once hot add the garlic, onion and ginger and soften a little before stirring in the spice mix and cinnamon stick. Keep the heat moderate, try not to burn the onion or garlic, and stir into a nice paste.
  4. Add the chicken and carrots.  Cook until the chicken is browned and the carrots softened a little then add the stock, coconut milk and bay leaf,  bringing it all to the boil.
  5. Simmer for 20 minutes until the liquid has reduced down, the chicken is cooked through and the carrots are soft.  Add the frozen peas and cook for another few minutes until they are soft and tasty.
  6. Add the cream and fresh coriander, stirring all the while and trying not to let it boil too much.  Take it off the heat and carefully remove the bay leaf, cinnamon stick and cardamom without burning your fingers!

Serve warm with rice or freeze for later.

Guests for dinner

I’ve had the honour of being asked to write guest posts for a number of other food blogs recently. So I thought you might like to see what I’ve been up to and to take a look around their excellent blogs at the same time.

At the end of October, the insanely talented Thinly Spread featured my Thyme for Soup guest post. I shared a car with Chris from Thinly Spread to get to the MAD Blog Awards in September, and I used those hours to pick her poor brain raw on anything and everything about blogging. If there’s anything you want to know about blogging, Chris is your woman!

I love Thinly Spread. It’s a lovely collection of delicious vegetarian recipes the whole family will love, ingenious arts and craft activities, as well as gardening projects and advice, all of which Chris posts when she’s not got her hands full with her four gorgeous children.

Last month my Simple Fish Pie was featured on a fabulous family food blog I’ve only recently discovered called The Good Stuff.

The Good Stuff is written by two dads, Matt and Corpy, who like me live in the wonderful West Country. The blog charts their cooking adventures with their young kids, which they describe as a “swap shop for new parents with a passion for good, healthy food” – the blog that is, not their kids!

And finally, my Cooking with the Kids post was one of the first to feature on the new Appliances Online blog, which aims to build a community of people interested in all things interior, crafty, family orientated, foodie and  fun. In this post I give some tips on how to involve your children in the kitchen so that you hopefully don’t lose your mind in the process, as cooking with children can sometimes be a rather stressful affair! Or is that just me and my kids?

So there you go. I’ll be back soon with a recipe on my own blog and in the meantime, if you’re on Facebook, perhaps you might want to head over to my new(ish) page for Bangers & Mash? See you soon!

What brunch dish will you bring to the Breakfast Club?

Breakfast Club: because breakfast should be more interesting than tea & toast or coffee & cereal.

During December, I am delighted to be hosting Breakfast Club, a bloggers challenge created by the very talented Helen at Fuss Free Flavours to encourage more creativity in the kitchen for that all important first meal of the day. I really hope you’ll join in the fun by entering a dish or two.

Let’s do brunch!

The theme for Breakfast Club this month is Brunch. According to Marge Simpson’s charming Casanova of a bowling instructor, the über smooth Jacques, brunch is…

…not quite breakfast, it’s not quite lunch, but it comes with a slice of cantaloupe at the end. You don’t get completely what you would at breakfast, but you get a good meal!

Brunch is my idea of a perfect breakfast. The kind of lazy breakfast you cook and eat at leisure on a relaxed Sunday, when you’re not in a rush to get to work or school. The kind of laid back breakfast you take your time over with a large pot of coffee and a selection of papers.

So no, not the kind of breakfast I get to eat all that often, but I always make sure I indulge when the opportunity presents itself. And a very good idea to have a stock of good brunch recipes up your sleeve for when it does.

It’s very easy to enter a brunch dish into this month’s Breakfast Club:

  • Email me with the URL for your brunch recipe blog post
  • Mention in your post you are entering your dish into Breakfast Club, include the logo above, and add links back to both this post and the Breakfast Club page at Fuss Free Flavours
  • Entries can be submitted to other events
  • You are welcome to enter old posts/recipes but they must be republished with the logo and links above
  • If you use Twitter please use #blogbreakfastclub and tweet your entry, and I’ll retweet everyone I see
  • The closing date is Friday 28 December 2012.

Hopefully, that all makes sense but if you do have any questions, please comment below. I can’t wait to see your entries!

Oh and before I forget, Helen at Fuss Free Flavours is always on the look out for new guest hosts for the Breakfast Club, and last month’s round up is here.

To get things started, I thought I’d give you my brunch recipe. I found it hard to choose which one as I have so many brunch favourites. I love pancakes and did think about entering these indulgent lemon and ricotta pancakes.

Or how about a more virtuous start to the day with some homemade granola?

But then I do also find it hard to resist a good fry up, but really – who needs a recipe for that? And so I’ve decided on…

The full English pizza

I know it sounds a little crazy. Or maybe a lot crazy. But this is a perfect and fun weekend brunch, particularly when you’ve had a few drinks the night before and need some stodge to sort you out. It’s essentially all the usual suspects you’d find in a cooked English breakfast but on top of a pizza. Gorgeous. And you probably won’t need to eat for the rest of the day.

I get up early to make the pizza dough. Then go back to bed for a bit with a cup of tea while the dough rises. But if that sounds to you like too much of a palaver, then ready-made pizza bases would make life a little easier.

Makes 4 pizzas

For the dough:

400g strong white bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 x 7g sachet fast action dried yeast
2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
250ml luke warm water
1 tbsp olive oil

For the topping:

200g spinach
knob of butter
passata, about half a jar
4 pork sausages, grilled and sliced
4 rashers bacon, grilled and chopped
mozzarella, 2 x 250g balls
4 free range eggs

To make the pizza dough, put the flour, salt, dried yeast and oregano into a large mixing bowl and mix well.

Make a well in the middle and pour in the lukewarm water and oil. Gradually work the flour into the liquid, making a soft dough. If it’s too dry, add a drop more water. If it’s too sticky, add a little more flour.

Flour your surface before tipping the dough onto it. Knead the dough by stretching it away from you, then pulling back into a ball. Do this for five minutes or so, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Return the dough to the mixing bowl, cover loosely with cling film and put in a warm place for about an hour, until the dough has doubled in size. This is when I retire back to bed for a while.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6 or use the middle of the top oven of an Aga.

Uncover the risen dough and punch it back down. Flour the surface again and divide the dough into four balls. Stretch or roll out each ball until you have a thin circle about 22cm across. Place the pizzas onto slightly oiled baking sheets.

Melt the butter in a frying pan. Add the spinach and cook gently until wilted.

Pour a couple of tablespoons of passata onto each pizza, smoothing out with the back of the spoon. Spread some spinach over each base (squeeze out any excess butter), followed by the pieces of sausage and bacon, and finish with torn pieces of mozzarella. Be careful not to overload the centre of the pizza, where you’ll be cooking your egg later.

Bake the pizzas in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully break an egg into the middle of each pizza. Return to the oven for 3 to 4 minutes until the white is just cooked but the yolk is still soft. Enjoy at your leisure!

December’s entries for Breakfast Club:

  1. Turkey, Cranberry & Stilton Christmas Brunch Muffins from Fuss Free Flavours
  2. Beet Greens & Red Pepper Frittata from On Top of Spaghetti
  3. White Chocolate &  Cranberry Christmas Cookies from Chez Foti
  4. Buck Rarebit from Credit Munched
  5. Courgette and Mushroom Omelette with Garlic and Parsley from Bangers & Mash
  6. Swiss Scrambled Eggs, Croissants and Shakes from Fabulicious Food
  7. Mushrooms on Rye Toast from The Garden Deli
  8. Minestrone Soup from Divine Foods Living
  9. Nduja Potato Cakes from Foodycat
  10. Christmas Breakfast Muffins from Elizabeth’s Kitchen
  11. Speculoos & Mascarpone Pancake Cake from Kavey Eats
  12. Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins from Mondomulia
  13. Brunch Quesadillas – Fab Food 4 All