Bake with Michelle Darmody: Long lazy weekend breakfasts

I love a long, lazy weekend morning, pottering in the kitchen, with the back door open to the breeze and music on. 

I like to prepare a tableful of food and spend the late morning grazing, preferably with friends sitting around the table. It is a real indulgence.

The recipes here are a few of the things that I like to eat on mornings like these.

The scones I made recently, and served with some Toonsbridge ricotta spread on top.

They were deliciously warm and the creamy ricotta worked wonderfully with the slight aniseed taste of the fennel.

The pancakes and French toast are quite rich and heavy for an everyday breakfast, but as I said these recipes are about an indulgent lazy day.

I love French toast and it is a great way to use up leftover bread.

It can be a inconvenience to make when people are calling over, as it takes time to fry each slice individually.

This recipe makes that easier.

It is a variation on bread and butter pudding that I serve as if it were French toast.

I always have it with a few smoked streaky rashers.

The saltiness is great with the maple, pecans and chilli.

A classic combination that really works.

The carrot pancakes are also good served with bacon on the side.

They allow that sweet savoury crossover to work very well with the carrot, spices and honey.

These take a little longer than a traditional pancake to cook as the batter is quite dense.

Heat the pan well before ladling in the first scoop of batter and make sure they are cooked through before serving.

Some blueberry compote is also a nice accompaniment.

Enjoy.

Fennel and pumpkin seed scones

  • 300g of plain flour
  • 300g of whole-meal flour - I use Macroom stone ground flour
  • 1 tsp of bread soda
  • 1 level tsp of sea salt
  • 1 tsp of fennel seeds
  • a handful of pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tsp of cracked black pepper
  • 400 mls of buttermilk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees and line a baking tray with parchment.

Put both flours, the bread soda, salt, fennel seeds, pumpkin seeds and pepper into a mixing bowl and stir together until they are completely combined.

Add the buttermilk and two thirds of the egg and bring everything together. The dough should be soft but not too wet.

Roll the dough to an inch in thickness and cut with your chosen cutter. I usually use a 2.5in circular cutter. The dough should be handled as little as possible for the best tasting scones.

Brush the top of each scone with the remaining egg.

Bake for 15 minutes until golden on top and hollow sounding to tap.

Carrot and walnut pancakes

  • 300g spelt flour
  • 110g of chopped walnuts
  • 90g of demerara sugar
  • 15g of baking powder
  • 3 g of cinnamon powder
  • a generous pinch of sea salt
  • ¼ tsp of ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp of ground ginger
  • 360g of almond milk
  • 1 tsp of vanilla essence
  • 8 g of sunflower oil
  • 4 small eggs, lightly beaten
  • 550g of grated carrots
  • 2 tsp of honey

Mix the spelt flour, nuts, sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and ginger together in a large bowl.

Mix the milk, vanilla, oil, eggs, carrots and honey in another bowl.

I tend to weigh the liquids as it is quicker and you get an accurate result.

Fold the two mixtures together until they are completely combined.

Heat either oil or butter in a flat pan and place a ladleful of the batter onto the pan.

Cook the pancakes until they are golden underneath and then flip and the cook until golden on the other side.

Baked French toast with chilli and maple syrup

  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 100mls of cream
  • 250 mls of milk
  • 1 tbs of maple syrup
  • 2 tsp of vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 8 think slices of bread
  • a handful of pecan nuts
  • 1 tsp of cayenne pepper or mild chilli powder

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.

Mix the eggs, cream, milk, maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon together.

Lay the slices of bread into an ovenproof dish.

Pour the liquid over the bread and allow it to soak in completely.

The bread should become very soggy.

Sprinkle with the pecan nuts and chilli powder.

Bake for 25 minutes until golden on top.



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