Scalloped Tomatoes (Ina Garten)

This one was chosen by Josie of Pink Parsley Catering for the Barefoot Bloggers. First time making this one, it was a bit like a baked panzanella the problem with recipes like these is that ya can’t stop at one serve. I added some extra mozzarella on top.


  • Good olive oil
  • 2 cups (1/2-inch diced) bread from a French boule, crusts removed
  • 16 plum tomatoes, cut 1/2-inch dice (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup julienned basil leaves, lightly packed
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large (12 inch) saute pan over medium heat. Add the bread cubes and stir to coat with the oil. Cook over medium to medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the cubes are evenly browned.

Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes, garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. When the bread cubes are done, add the tomato mixture and continue to cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the basil.

Pour the tomato mixture into a shallow (6 to 8 cup) baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with the Parmesan cheese and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the top is browned and the tomatoes are bubbly. Serve hot or warm.


Hot Cross Buns


 Makes 12

2 x 7 g sachets dry yeast

½ cup warm water

½ cup sugar

4 cups plain flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon cardamom

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon nutmeg

125g unsalted butter ( chopped )

1 cup water, approx, extra

Paste for the crosses:

¼ cup plain flour

1 teaspoon sugar

3 tablespoons water, approx


2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon gelatine

1 tablespoon water

Place the yeast, 1 teaspoon of the sugar & warm water into a bowl & mix together until sugar has dissolved, set aside until foamy, about 10 mins.

In a large bowl put  the flour, remaining sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, salt & nutmeg & just give it a mix with your hand.

Add the chopped butter to the flour mixture & rub it in until mixture is crumbly.

Make a well in the centre then add the yeast mixture & stir it in, it will be  dry, now add the extra water a little at a time, mixing it in as you go until you get a soft dough, ( if it feels a little sticky don’t add more flour because when you knead it  on your floured surface it will pick  up the extra flour from there).

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface & knead for about about 5 mins or until the dough is smooth.  Place  it into an oiled bowl & leave to rise until doubled in size, mine took 1 ½  hours.

Dump the dough out onto your floured surface & knead again just for a minute or so, cut  into 12 evenish  pieces & roll each piece into a round, place them on a lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap & leave to rise again for 30 mins.

Make the paste for the crosses by placing the flour, sugar & water into a bowl & mixing until you get a smooth paste. When adding the water do it 1 tablespoon at a time mixing it after each addition until you get a double cream type consistency. Put it into a Ziploc bag & snip a little off the corner, then pipe it onto the buns. Bake for 20 mins, remove from oven.  If you wish you can glaze them to give them a nice shiny look.

For the glaze, put the sugar, gelatine & water into a small saucepan & stir over low heat until sugar & gelatine dissolve, brush the buns.

Serve with lashings of butter.

Note:  sultanas are usually added to these buns, but I didn’t add them as some of my family don’t like them in there, but if you want them add about ¾ cup in with the flour & spices mixture or add about 1/4 cup of cocoa powder & chocolate chips for chocolate buns.

Mini Cheeseburgers

This recipe is by Callahan Catering, I found it on the Foodnetwork site. These were great, they are little bit like the brioche rolls recipe but not as buttery, I’ve made these quite a few times in all different sizes.

Prep Time:

35 min

Inactive Prep Time:

1 hr 20 min

Cook Time:

20 min




50 servings


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Basic bread dough, recipe follows
  • Ketchup
  • 14 cherry tomatoes, sliced thinly
  • 1 head lettuce, torn to fit buns
  • 1 (12-ounce) package American cheese, sliced and cut in squares to fit on buns


To make cheeseburgers: In a bowl, mix ground beef, salt and pepper. Shape 1/4-ounce at a time into 1 1/2-inch patties. Broil or grill 30 seconds per side.

To assemble: At serving time, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Slice buns in half. Layer ketchup, tomato and lettuce on each bottom half. Place burgers on baking sheet; top each with a slice of cheese. Bake until cheese melts, 2 to 3 minutes. Place in buns and serve.

Basic Bread Dough:

1 tablespoon active dry yeast

2 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 3/4 cups warm (110 degrees F) water

1 large egg

2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon powdered milk

2 1/2 teaspoons salt

4 1/2 to 4 3/4 cups bread flour

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into small pieces

1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

1/4 cup poppy seeds

Nonstick cooking spray

To make the basic bread dough: In a small bowl, mix yeast, 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and 1/2 cup warm water. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with a paddle, beat remaining 1 1/4 cups warm water, egg, powdered milk, 2 tablespoons sugar, salt and 1 cup flour. Beat until smooth and creamy, about 7 minutes. Add yeast mixture; beat on medium. On medium-low, beat in 3 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough comes together (it will be sticky), about 2 minutes. Switch to dough hook. Gradually add butter; beat until dough is soft and sticks to fingers slightly, about 7 minutes. If dough is too wet, add 1/4 cup flour. On lightly floured surface, knead dough several turns into a ball. Cover dough with plastic. Let stand in warm place until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat convection oven to 350 degrees F.

Coat parchment lined baking sheet with cooking spray. Roll dough into 3/4 inch balls; place 1 1/2 inches apart on baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap lightly coated with cooking spray. Let stand on a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 20 minutes. Brush egg wash over dough; sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes, rotating pan half way through. Cool buns on rack.

Mini Brioche Rolls (Ina Garten)



Another Ina favourite of mine is this brioche recipe, I had tried quite a few with very little success, then I saw Ina make them and it all looked easy,  so I made them and haven’t stopped since. I don’t have the brioche  tins so I used my muffin tin, they are buttery, rich and delicious. I also use this recipe to make croissants and cinnamon rolls.





                           Place dough into greased muffin tin



                           Let rise until doubled in size, brush with egg wash


                                  Bake for 20mins


                           The rolls with some chocolate filled croissants


 2004, Ina Garten, All Rights Reserved

Prep Time:

40 min

Inactive Prep Time:

11 hr 5 min

Cook Time:

20 min

20 rolls


  • 1/2 cup warm water (110 to 120 degrees F)
  • 1 package dried yeast
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 4 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon milk, for egg wash


Combine the water, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (If the bowl is cold, start with warmer water so it’s at least 110 degrees when you add the yeast.) Mix with your hands and allow to stand for 5 minutes until the yeast and sugar dissolve. Add the eggs and beat on medium speed for 1 minute, until well mixed. With the mixer on low speed, add 2 cups of the flour and the salt and mix for 5 minutes. With the mixer still on low, add 2 1/4 more cups of flour and mix for 5 more minutes. Scrape the dough into a large buttered bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

The next day, allow the dough to sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Meanwhile, grease 20 mini brioche tins. Set aside.

Place the dough in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the softened butter in chunks, and mix for 2 minutes, adding additional flour as needed to make a ball. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and divide the dough into 20 (1 3/4-ounce) balls and place them in the tins. Cover the tins with a damp towel and set aside to rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. When the rolls have risen, brush the top of each with the egg wash and bake for 20 minutes, or until the tops spring back and it sounds slightly hollow when tapped. Turn the rolls out onto a wire rack to cool.