So, you bought your weight's worth in flour? It seemed everyone did as flour flew off supermarket shelves during the coronavirus panic buying that occupied much of March's headlines. Now you've got enough to feed a small village, here's what you can do with it.
First of all, if you did buy more than you truly needed, consider handing some away to people who might have missed out and could use a bag or two. But if your haul is more modest, there are a number of tasty treats you can set yourself to make with ease.
These recipes, from much more accomplished bakers and chefs than I, have been chosen based on their simplicity, common and minimal ingredients required as well as their overall time.
Enjoy the curation below.
Bake some banana bread
Since we're all home right now and probably have a couple of overly ripe bananas sitting around, it's time to put them to good use instead of trashing them in the bin.
This recipe comes from Allrecipes.com and has been rated more than a thousand times so you know it's made some people happy. It'll take you an hour and 15 minutes, including baking time, and will make up to 10 servings.
- 3 ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat oven to 165 degrees Celsius. Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan.
- Combine bananas, sugar, egg, and butter together in a bowl. Mix flour and baking soda together in a separate bowl; stir into banana mixture until batter is just mixed. Stir salt into batter. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan.
- Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean, about 1 hour.
Pancakes to wake you up
If banana bread contains too many steps, consider making pancakes more often. Pancake mixes are quite possibly the simplest thing you can do with your haul of flour so here's an easy-to-follow recipe to get you started.
This one's from BBC Good Food and will give you a thin crepe type more common in Europe than the fluffy options found in the United States.
- 100g plain flour
- 2 large eggs
- 300ml milk
- 1 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil, plus a little extra for frying (oil can be substituted for butter)
- lemon wedges, to serve (optional)
- caster sugar, to serve (optional)
- maple syrup, to serve (optional)
How to make it:
- Put 100g plain flour, 2 large eggs, 300ml milk, 1 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil and a pinch of salt into a bowl or large jug, then whisk to a smooth batter.
- Set aside for 30 mins to rest if you have time, or start cooking straight away.
- Set a medium frying pan or crêpe pan over a medium heat and carefully wipe it with some oiled kitchen paper.
- When hot, cook your pancakes for 1 min on each side until golden, keeping them warm in a low oven as you go.
- Serve with lemon wedges and caster sugar, or your favourite filling. Once cold, you can layer the pancakes between baking parchment, then wrap in cling film and freeze for up to 2 months.
Try making pasta from scratch
Making your own pasta is a bit of a romantic idea for many but a hassle to ever bother with seriously. Thankfully, this one from Allrecipes.com is relatively simple and will take you around 20 minutes to prepare and just under 1.5 hours to have ready in total. That definitely doesn't sound too laborious for fresh pasta.
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (125g) plain flour
- 1-2 tablespoons water
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine flour and salt. Make a well in the flour, add the slightly beaten egg and mix together. The mixture should form a stiff dough. If needed, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons water. Wrap the dough in cling wrap and let rest for 1 hour.
- On a lightly floured surface, knead dough for about 3 to 4 minutes or until smooth and elastic. With a pasta machine or by hand roll dough out to desired thinness. Use the machine or knife to cut into strips of desired width.
- Cook fresh home made pasta in plenty lightly salted boiling water. Stir gently with a wooden spoon and let it come back to the boil. The pasta will rise to the surface when cooked. Drain in a colander and handle gently as it is more fragile than cooked dry pasta
It's time for cookies
We live in distressing times and a good way to counteract them is by comfort eating. For some of us, that means cookies. This three-ingredient recipe from Bigger Bolder Baking will allegedly deliver you some delicious shortbread cookies in under 30 minutes, which sounds like a miracle.
- 1 cup (240g) butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (60g) icing sugar, sifted
- 2 cups (300g) all purpose flour
- Preheat your oven to 180C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, cream together the soft butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
- Add in the flour and mix until the dough just comes together.
- Turn the dough out onto a counter dusted with icing sugar and gently roll the dough into a long two by two inch log.
- Wrap the log of cookie dough in plastic wrap and allow to firm up in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Once the dough is firm, slice the cookies into 3/4 inch thick rounds. Place each round on your baking trey and bake for 16-18 minutes or until just golden.
- Allow to cool slightly before transferring to a cooling rack.
- Once they've cooled down, the cookies can be stored in an air tight container for up to 3 days.
Make some empanadas
While flour is great for making sweet snacks, savoury options should be also be on your list. The empanada, South America's answer to the calzone or meat pie, is a delicious pocket of flavour and can be filled with anything from minced beef to cheese to dulce de leche (caramel).
There are a number of regional varieties but this recipe from Laylita's Recipes offers you something simple and quick to make, which ticks off our requirements.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 170 unsalted butter
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of water or milk, adjust as needed to obtain a soft and smooth dough
- Mix the flour and salt in a food processor.
- Add the butter and pulse
- Add the egg and the water or milk (in small increments) and continue pulsing until a clumpy dough forms.
- To make the empanada dough by hand, follow the same instructions but use your hands to mix the ingredients together.
- Split the dough into 2 large ball, flatten slightly into the shape of disks. The dough can be used immediately or refrigerated until ready to use (1-2 days max).
- Roll out the dough into a thin sheet and cut out round disc shapes for empanadas (use round molds or a small plate). You can also make small individual balls with the dough and roll out each individual ball to a round shape (doesn't need to be perfectly round) - if you have a tortilla press you can use it to flatten the dough balls.
- Use immediately, or store in the refrigerator/freezer to use later.
Luckily, there's also a video tutorial to help you through the process.
Making pasta for dinner is a common go-to for many Australians. While it can be an easy and fulfilling meal, there are some tips and tricks that can enhance the quality of your creations even further. Let's dig in.