Is it me or is finding something new and exciting to do to celebrate the mother figures in your life becoming almost impossible?
In a way, I am sort of relieved that I won’t be spending Mother’s Day with my mother and grandmother again this year because I feel like I have exhausted all my options.
Mother’s Day, birthdays and Christmas really out me to the test and I usually end up giving them money or gift vouchers. Lazy, I know.
But recently, I came across an Instagram page, uBaked, that had beautiful bread and pastries. I immediately thought how both mum and gogo would have loved this bread.
I know we suggest cooking every year, but have you ever thought about baking your mother figure beautiful breads and pastries that they would so enjoy with their afternoon tea?
Carey-Anne Robson founded uBaked in August last year. Remember how we were all baking up a storm and trying new recipes? She saw how many of us were struggling with measurements and came up with uBaked.
“I left my corporate job in 2017 to pursue baking full time, and I fell pregnant with my son, so I ended up waiting longer than anticipated.
“I have always baked and always loved it. Ideally, I have always wanted to have my own little patisserie, but I’m enjoying working from home and look forward to doing some teaching in the future,” she said.
uBaked is a bake-in-a-box concept. They pre-measure all the ingredients you need and you just add eggs, butter and water.
So we hit up Carey-Anne Robson, founder of uBaked about making special bread and other baking tips for mother’s day.
So many of us are running out of ways to gift and show gratitude to our mothers. So why is baking the best way to celebrate her?
I have always believed that baking is an act of love. To take the time and care to make something special for someone is to show them that you love them. So baking for mom is a great way to celebrate her.
Most of us baked up a storm last year and may find it irritating or a schlep this year. How then do we bring back that excitement of baking something special for our mother figures?
Try looking for new recipes based on themes or special ingredients. A few years ago, I needed to bake something special for a Gatsby themed birthday party and did quite a lot of research into new recipes. I was looking for ingredients such as Bourbon whisky and special fruits, and as a result, I found two amazing new cake recipes that I now have requests for all the time.
How do we make what we have baked even more special?
Any baked item can easily have a special touch added. Whether it’s a few flowers from the garden to decorate the plate, or some fresh herbs for a lovely bread. We have just introduced a celebration box with some lovely toppings for a celebration cake.
There is salted caramel popcorn, wafer sticks and Perspex toppers. It’s also lovely to put your baked items in a box tied with a lovely bright ribbon and a card for someone special. Who doesn’t love receiving delicious baked goods?
What were some of the recipes your mother taught you?
My mum taught me how to make pancakes and we made them all the time. From there we moved onto more advanced things like sponge cakes and scones.
I’ll never forget telling my home- economics teacher at school when we made scones, that my mom said we had to keep them close together on the baking tray and she gave me such a dirty look, but mom was right! It makes the scones rise so much better.
Is there a special bread you make that is your go-to-bake?
Yes! Our plaited honey bread is my favourite and I make it at least once a month for family lunch. It’s so easy and quick and makes two enormous loaves. Perfect for Mother’s Day lunch!
Here are some of our favourite bread recipes IOL Food has produced over the years
EASY BROWN LOAF
500ml cake flour
500ml wholewheat flour
10g sachet of instant yeast
80g butter, melted
300 – 400ml warm water
Beaten egg for glazing
Combine the flours, salt, sugar and yeast in a bowl and mix well.
Add the melted butter and enough warm water to make a dough that is soft, but not sticky.
Knead the dough well until smooth and elastic. This can be done in an electric mixer using a dough hook attachment or by hand.
Place the dough into an oiled plastic bag and set aside somewhere warm to let the dough rise until doubled in size.
Remove the dough from the bag and knead it gently. Divide the dough in half for two medium loaves. Shape into an oval and place the loaves on to a greased baking tray.
Cover lightly and set aside somewhere warm to rise for 30 minutes. Make three slashes diagonally in the dough. Brush the loaves with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake at 180°C for 25 – 30 minutes or until the loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
Intensely Chocolatey Pumpkin Bread (Makes 1 Loaf)
A pumpkin classic gets packed with seasonal spices and lots of chocolate. Try it with salted butter for breakfast, or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert.
2/3 cup (120ml) vegetable oil, plus more for greasing the pan
1 1/2 cups (270g) semisweet or dark chocolate chips
3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (85g) lightly packed light brown sugar, or more as needed
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (220g) pumpkin purée
Generous 1 3/4 cups (225g) flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or more as needed
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Preheat the oven to 180ºC with the rack in the middle. Grease a 23 x 13-cm loaf pan with vegetable oil.
Chop about 1/3 of the chocolate chips into small bits, then return them to the remaining chocolate.
With a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a flat beater attachment, combine the granulated and brown sugars, eggs and vanilla. Mix on low speed until smooth, about 1 minute.
Add the pumpkin purée and 2/3 cup of oil and mix on low until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger, allspice and cloves until combined.
Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix on medium-low speed until just incorporated and no bits of flour mixture remain. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into the loaf pan and smooth out the top. Sprinkle extra brown sugar and cinnamon on top, if desired.
Bake for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until the top of the bread is firm to the touch and springs back when lightly pressed with your finger, and a cake tester or wooden pick produces only chocolate when inserted into the bread.
Transfer the loaf pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.
To unmould, run a knife around the perimeter of the loaf pan and invert the pan. Slice the bread and serve at room temperature.
Asparagus & trout loaf (Serves 6-8)
5ml baking powder
5 small courgettes, grated
1 bunch of spring onions, chopped
250ml grated mature cheddar
grated rind of 1 lemon
60ml chopped dill
100g smoked trout, chopped
250g thin asparagus spears, blanched
5 eggs, beaten
Extra smoked trout to serve
Cream cheese to serve
Put the flour into a mixing bowl.
Add the baking powder.
Mix in the courgettes, spring onions, cheese, lemon rind, dill, smoked trout and most of the asparagus spears, chopped.
Reserve about 5 whole ones for the top.
Add in the beaten eggs.
Spoon the mixture into a 18 x 10cm loaf pan which has been greased and base lined.
Arrange the spears on top.
Bake at 180°C for 30 – 40 minutes until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the loaf comes out clean.
Remove and cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
Serve with cream cheese and slices of extra trout.