Ingredients Special Utensils

125g plain white flour* Baking tray lined with baking paper
125g wholemeal flour* Fork
7g bicarbonate of soda (1 teaspoon)
5g salt (1 teaspoon)
250g buttermilk
55g sunflower seeds
55g Feta cheese
55g sundried tomatoes in oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano

Plus a handful of extra flour shaping the dough

1. Set oven to 220c FAN 200c GAS 7

2. Place the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a Mixing Bowl and
mix gently with your fingertips

3. Cut the Feta cheese and tomatoes into tiny dice and add to the bowl together with the sunflower seeds and oregano. Mix again.

4. Put a handful of dry flour on the worktop ready to turn the dough out
onto it.

5. Pour the buttermilk into the mixing bowl (all in one go!) and mix quickly
and gently with a Fork.

6. Finish mixing the dough by hand in the bowl (DON’T KNEAD). Scoop
it out and roll it around in the flour to make it easier to handle. Be careful not to work the dry flour into the dough.

7. Form into a rough disc and place on the baking tray. Cut into 4 (almost
down to the tray)

8. Bake immediately! It will take about 20 minutes.

* You don’t have to use strong “bread” flour.

Buttermilk substitutes

Buttermilk is sometimes hard to come by
Alternative (1) Sour milk
Alternative (2) 50% plain yoghurt and 50% milk (full fat is always best)
Alternative (3) Fresh milk soured with 1 teaspoon lemon juice (you will also need 1 teaspoon crème of tartar added to the dry mix – this is essential, so don’t skip it!)

The reason for the cross

Folklore has it that it releases the fairies but actually it just helps the bread to cook right through

To make buttermilk
Fill a clean jar with milk, almost to the top. Stir in the dregs of your last lot of buttermilk. Leave at room temperature until it has slightly solidified. Then pop in fridge. Should last about 10 days before smelling sharp. Refresh the culture once a week to keep it fresh.


Qualification BTEC Level 1 Award in Home Cooking Skills
Unit number and title Unit 1: Home Cooking Skills (level 1)
Start date Friday 4th May 2012
Name of Assessor Gaye Whitwam

Assignment Dinner for 4 people
The aim of the assignment
1. Be able to use cooking skills to prepare home-cooked meals that do not use prepared, ready-cooked food.
2. To understand the value of passing on information about home cooking

Your parents have invited two friends for dinner. You are to cook a two-course meal. Either a starter and main course or main course and dessert. The food must be prepared from scratch, using fresh, raw ingredients.

You write up about the dinner on your Cookery Blog. You mention the skills that you have learnt and the advantages of learning to cook. You ask the dinner guests and parents to make comments on the Blog entry.
Task 1
Write an email to your guests inviting them to dinner on a specific day and time. Ask them if they have any special dietary requirements or if there are any food that they dislike. Send a copy of your email and their reply to your Assessor.
Task 2
Plan and prepare the meal. Produce a menu, recipe, shopping list and time-plan. This needs to be given to your Assessor before the assessment date.

The meal needs to be cooked within the 2 hour class. Photographic evidence will be taken as you cook.

The main course needs to be balanced nutritionally (Eatwell Plate) and suitable for reheating at home. The starter or dessert does not need to be cooked.

You need to indicate what needs to be done to store and prepare the food safely (good food hygiene)
Task 3
You write an email to a friend telling them about the course you are on and what you have learnt. Ask them to look at your Cookery Blog and to sign up as a “Follower”.

Boris Johnson and Seb Coe were at the Sutton Community Farm on Thursday. They were there to promote the Big Dig Volunteering weekend on Saturday 17th March. The farm is London’s only community farm and one of the biggest food spaces in the capital.

The farm is a successful social enterprise selling its produce to local people and giving local volunteers – 400 so far – the opportunity to gain growing skills. Boris particularly stressed the importance of getting young people interested in growing.

As a member of the Real Bread Campaign I bake bread each week to be included in the farm’s Vegetable Bags. Knowing that there were two important guests coming along I made an extra couple of loaves which I was able to give personally to Seb and Boris.

The Sticky Mitts & Wallington High School for Girls Community Kitchen runs every Saturday morning. So, on the 17th March, we shall be making picnic food and taking this along to the farm for lunch. We can then help with the Big Dig in the afternoon.

If you would like to buy fresh local vegetables and handmade, slowly fermented, additive-free bread visit

Congratulations to Namita Kohli, a member of our Community Kitchen, for winning the first round of the Sainsburys Big Bake Off with this fantastic looking dish. Best of luck with the semi-final Namita!

A busy morning today with 7 families and the volunteer from the Real Bread Campaign. Very grateful to Mari to give up her Saturday morning and show us how to make delicious apple bread. It just goes to show how refined bread making can be. Glad to see so many of our younger members working independently now and congratulations to Hugh, our youngest member, for entering the Junior Bake Off competition. He hasn’t yet been selected of course, but even if he just gets a chance to show them what he can do – it will be a fantastic experience!

The Christening Cake by Alice Bryant – 29th May 2011

For my cousin’s christening I made a two tiered cake, it was concealed in a layer of butter cream and baby pink sugar paste and then decorated with white stars.

The christening was on Sunday morning and I knew that the cake would take a long time to cook and decorate, so on Friday night, after Sticky Mitts, I went home to prepare an 18 egg sponge mixture! Split into 4 cake tins. The mixture took a long time to cook (over 4 hours in total!) and while baking one sponge I mistakably opened the oven too early and it dipped down, however, with the help of a carving knife & a careful hand it became level again! After baking them and cooling them overnight, I began the long process of fitting them together and decorating them.

The first stage was to fill them with a mixture of butter cream and strawberry conserve. Once filled they had to be sandwiched together and covered with more butter cream – giving them a smooth finish to work with. Once the butter cream had hardened, I rolled out the sugar paste to approx 3mm thick and placed it on top of each of the two, two tiered cakes, using my hands to help it take shape and then cake smoothers to give it a professional finish. After both cakes had been covered I cut out about 100 white stars to decorate and placed them on with edible glue. The cake looked nearly complete – just a few finishing touches of placing Dowling rods into the cakes and placing the model and flying stars into position on top. With a finishing touch of ribbon, I placed the cake into the centre of the table and it was complete. The result was amazing – the cake looked and tasted great and was well worth the effort. This cake is not an easy starting point and has many components to it , but it is such an achievement and will stay with me forever.

Today we made another version of a chicken pie using chicken breast, fresh tarragon, shallots and puff pastry. Will, Jenny and Jess made the whole dish with virtually no help which was fantastic. They are also getting really good at clearing away. They wrote up their evaluations for the Jamie Oliver Home Cooking Course.

The youngest member of our group, Hugh, is really getting into the bread making. He has a real feel for it and made a lovely walnut loaf.
We were recently approached by a film company asking if any of our students aged 9-12 years would like to take part in a Junior Bake-Off production. Hugh is going to enter and demonstrate his new found bread skills!

No many photos this week – it was busy and I just forgot!

To celebrate the beginning of the half-term holiday we devoted the morning to baking. We made our usual crusty white loaf and I am pleased to say that everyone, including the youngest member of the group, is getting the hang of the “kneading” now.

We watched a tutorial from the Rouxbe online cookery school and learnt the professional way to make chocolate chip cookies. This is certainly the best recipe I have come across so far. One of our group is intolerant to wheat so substituted spelt for wheat flour. This worked very well. Spelt adds a faintly nutty taste to baked goods.

Some of us then made a Victoria sponge cake sandwiched with buttercream and the others a Chocolate Fudge Cake. Indulgent but popular treats for the holiday.

Kevin delivered our usual box of vegetables from the Community Farm but there wasn’t enough time to cook with them so everyone took something home with them instead.

Finally the younger members of the group completed a Rouxbe online quiz about wheat and scored 100%.

Click on the “photos” link on the right-hand side to see photos of the session.

Our new class for years 5-7 is now established. A delightful group of children (a mixture of boys and girls) who are all enthusiastic and keen to learn. So far we have made chocolate brownies, a loaf of bread and vegetable soup.

Our joint project with Wallington High School for Girls has got off to a flying start. Most of our families have booked in for the majority of the sessions which means that we have now settled into a good and sociable routine. As well as the dish of the day we bake bread and something to eat during the session. So far we have made biscuits, apple cake, crepes and chocolate american pancakes with chocolate sauce to keep the young people happy!

Kevin, from the new Sutton Community Farm, brings us a veg box each Saturday. Many of the vegetables were picked that morning so you cannot get fresher than that! This gives the younger members of our group the opportunity to prepare and cook vegetables that they may or may not be familiar with. The Farm is being funded at the moment but needs to be self-sufficient within a year. Four of our families have now signed up for a regular box in addition to the one for the Community Kitchen – so it is a start!

Sticky Mitts is now offering its older students (14-16 year olds) the opportunity to follow the new Jamie Oliver Home Cooking Skills course. There is an excellent website with lots of fact sheets, recipes and technique videos

Our students are now putting together a portfolio of evidence to support the dishes that they cook at home and in class. We are looking into the possibility of linking with an accredited training provider so that our students, if they wish, can be assessed and gain a Btec or 1/2 GCSE. Assessment is based on their portfolio and cooking a two course meal under exam conditions.

Irrespective of the final qualification, the course itself is excellent and is a worthwhile addition to C.V.s.

Finally, I would like to stress that the Community Kitchen can go in whatever direction our members wish so please keep giving me feedback. So far we have talked about a professional cupcake session (the real fancy stuff, not my simple buttercream offerings!), a visit by a butcher and fishmonger and possibly a Christmas outing to a local restaurant.

All in all a really enjoyable experience for everyone involved.


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