Welcome to the Shropshire Breakfast Blog
Blueberry buttermilk pancakes have been a firm favourite on the breakfast menu this year. I usually do them with blueberries but sometime
s have a request for plain with blueberries on the side. As we move into Autumn, I’ve added cinnamon apple pancakes to the menu. These taste particularly good with sausage and maple syrup – trust me!
For this pancake recipe, I make a big batch of the dry mix up, keep it in a big kilner jar, and just scoop it out and mix up with the wet ingredients when it’s time for breakfast.
One of the secrets of this pancake recipe is the fluffiness is buttermilk ( it may seem like I have shares in buttermilk, as I use it so much, but it really is a magic ingredient )
Mix all the dry ingredients together in a big jar with a lid and shake really well. The cups are American measuring cups with a volume of about 250 ml.
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1/4 cup caster sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
WET INGREDIENTS ( for 6 big pancakes for 2 people )
- 1 pot of buttermilk ( between 284 & 300 ml depending on the brand)
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 2 eggs
- vanilla extract ( for plain or blueberry pancakes but leave out for cinnamon apple )
Shake the dry ingredients really well, then scoop out 1 measuring cup into a bowl. If you’re making apple cinnamon pancakes add 1 tsp dried cinnamon at this point and mix well.
Mix the wet ingredients well and mix gradually to the dry ingredients. You want quite a thick batter – probably the consistency of very thick Greek Yoghurt. You may not need all of the wet ingredients. Don’t overmix.
If you’re making apple buttermilk pancakes, grate 2 apples into the mix and stir.
Heat a heavy 30cm frying pan over a medium heat. Brush with butter and put in 3 dollops of pancake batter. If you’re making blueberry pancakes add 5 or 6 blueberries into the top of each pancake.
Cook the pancakes for a couple of minutes on one side, making sure they’re not over browning. When bubbles start to appear on the top, flip them and cook them for a couple more minutes.
I’m always overtaken with an uncontrollable urge to bake something for breakfast the morning after watching the Great British Bake Off ( GBBO). Unfortunately most of my B&B guests have filled up on fruit, bircher muesli, toast and full Shropshire breakfast, so don’t touch the baked goods, but when a girl’s got to bake she’s got to bake.
For some reason I’ve been thinking about making blueberry scones for some time. Scones are a big thing for breakfast in America, but they tend to be shorter crispier beast than the traditional English scone.
These scones are a version of the traditional scone we get in the UK, but with the addition of blueberries and lime zest. They are not too sweet and the lime zest isn’t overpowering but somehow enhances them.
You can use fresh or frozen blueberries. I use buttermilk in most of my baking – it really does make a difference. If you don’t have buttermilk you can use milk with a teaspoon of lime ( or lemon juice ) added a few minutes before you use it.
- 225g self raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 40g cold butter diced into small cubes
- 40g caster sugar
- 140 ml buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 50g blueberries
- zest of a lime
Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C or fan 200 degrees.
Place some baking parchment or silicon sheet on a baking tray.
Mix the flour and baking powder together, then rub in the butter till it resembles fine breadcrumbs ( I always do this in my mixer as I’m an incredibly lazy cook ).
Stir the sugar and lime zest into the flour mix then, in a small separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg. Pour the buttermilk mixture gradually into the flour mix, mixing gently together. You’re looking for a soft, not sticky dough, so you may not need all of the liquid. Be careful not to overmix.
Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and fold it in half a few times. Pour the blueberries on top and fold it over a few more times.
I don’t bother with a rolling pin, just press out the dough with my hand till it’s about 3cm thick. Then using a cutter cut out your scones. A round 7 cm cutter will give you about 6 scones. Pull any bits of dough together and press out again so you get the maximum number of scones out of your dough.
Put the scones on the baking tray and brush with leftover buttermilk/egg mix. Put in the oven for about 10 minutes. You’re looking for a nice golden brown top and a well risen scone.
Best eaten warm!
If you live in the Midlands area and watch Midlands Today, the eagle eyed amongst you may have noticed one of my photos of our wildflowers appearing on the weather forecast a couple of weeks ago.
The wildflower meadow has been looking particularly amazing this year. We’ve had masses of the white ox eye daisies and now the beautiful purple knapweed is taking over. Needless to say we aren’t short of bees!
It’s getting to the time of year when we have to start thinking about scything the meadow and cutting back the wildflowers. Cutting it back encourages more flower growth but also means we have fewer flowerheads for the birds. I’ve spotted bullfinches feeding there already this year.
Our solution is to cut back a couple of quarters of the meadow and leave the other half of the wildflowers till later in the year.
To celebrate the launch of our new website we’re offering one of our newsletter readers the opportunity to win a Wiggly Wigglers voucher worth £100!
To be in with a chance of winning the voucher just subscribe to the Hopton House B&B newsletter list. Click here to subscribe. You can unsubscribe at any time. Don’t worry we won’t bombard you with emails and we NEVER pass your details onto anyone else.
We are huge fans of Wiggly Wigglers at Hopton House. They have everything you need for composting, caring for your garden wildlife and garden, and goat socks too! We have a regular subscribe and save delivery of their Wiggly bird seed which means we never run out. To find out more about Wiggly Wigglers – click here
We’re not big on rules but here are some terms and conditions you need to be aware of….
- Entry to the competitions is restricted to one entry per person please.
- Entrants must be aged 16 and over
- Multiple entries will be disqualified.
- Automated entries, bulk entries or third party entries will be disqualified!
- If you’re already a newsletter subscriber then you will be automatically entered into the drawer
- Competition is open to UK residents only
- The prize can only be sent to a valid UK address
- Winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
- Winner will be contacted via email
- The Judges decision is final and no correspondence will be entered in to.
- The competition will run from 25th June 2015 until 12th July 2015
- The prize will be posted to the winner within 5 working days of them providing us with a valid UK address
- Our policy is such that we will not pass on your details to any third party
- The competition is run by Hopton House B&B, not Wiggly Wigglers
We welcomed wild ducks onto our pond for the first time this year. We were very excited when a few weeks after their arrival they were joined by 11 ducklings. Unfortunately the ducklings didn’t make it – we suspect crows. However the ducks have stuck around and are now a permanent feature in the garden.
With so little rain the pond has dried up, so the ducks are performing their daily ablutions in the chicken water trough. Mrs Duck is also laying again – lets hope for better luck this time!
I’m a huge porridge fan and eat it everyday for breakfast during the cooler months. We’re lucky to have the most amazing organic porridge oats here in Shropshire. Even better news these days, the latest research ( for now ) says we should all be eating full fat dairy produce. So I make our porridge with full fat milk from one of our Shropshire dairy farms.
However in the summer we prefer bircher muesli. There are loads of bircher muesli recipes out there but this one is our favourite. I’ve blogged a bircher muesli recipe before but, as is my way, I’ve been tinkering with it. Most of my guests have never had tasted it before, but try it on the breakfast buffet table and invariably ask me for the recipe.
The great thing about bircher muesli is that you can make it the night before and it gets better over a few days. If you really don’t have time to eat it out of the fridge in the morning. Put it in a container and take it with you. Whenever Mr B&B is working away, he takes a couple of jars with him in a cool bag and pops them in the fridge.
You can tinker with the recipe to taste. I’m trying to cut down on the sugar I add to food so now use 1/2 water and 1/2 apple juice. You can do it with all apple juice or all water. My daughter soaks hers in almond milk.
- 1 cup of rolled oats
- 1/2 cup of apple juice
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup of full fat greek yoghurt
- 1 grated apple – granny smiths are perfect.
The night before ( but it works fine if you only do it an hour before ) put the oats in a bowl and add the water and apple juice and stir well. Add in the greek yoghurt and grated apple.
I like mine with a huge bowl of strawberries and blueberries. Mr B&B prefers his with some mixed chopped nuts.
Well it’s taken me a while but my new website is finally here! I’ve been resisting getting a new website as I always get such great feedback on the old, but technology has moved on. I do hope you like it.
The next step is for me to learn how to update it myself. Watch this space.
Meanwhile at the B&B, we’re just back from our family holiday to Washington DC and Virginia. We only went for a week but had a great time. Virginia is really an American Shropshire/Wales. Even the view from our B&B bedroom had a familiar feel to it…..though no groundhogs or bears here in Shropshire.
In the garden we have 3 Friesian Fowl chicks that we ( when I say we I mean Midge the slightly eccentric hen ) raised from some eggs we bought off eBay. They’re 5 weeks old and have had their first outing to the wildflower meadow today. The lack of bears in Shropshire seems quite appealing at this point.
We have 2 wild ducks that have become resident in the garden. They are domesticating themselves, feeding with the hens and swimming around in the water trough.
Right that’s it for now, if you’re reading this I’ve mastered blog posting!
I have had a couple of telling offs from repeat guests just recently for not updating my blog enough. And rightly so. I blame my terribly slow laptop and an internet powered by a rather elderly hamster ( or so it feels ). High speed broadband is imminent – 31st March apparently…..
It’s been a brilliant year for birds at Hopton House. The last lot of swallows have just left the nest and are doing practice flights round the house and the wildflower meadow. We’ve had lots of blackbirds nesting and the sparrows have managed 3 broods per pair. The robin built a nest in pots in my greenhouse, then in an old pot under the apple tree. I also spotted a young chiff chaff the other day.
We’re very lucky here at our South Shropshire Bed and Breakfast to be surrounded by great places to eat. I always recommend the Jolly Frog and The Lion to guests to eat in the evening. Both are about 3 miles away from us here at Hopton House. Log fires in the winter and a deck with the most spectacular views in the summer ( The Frog ) or a beautiful setting by the river ( The Lion ).