We used to stay in Barcelona quite often and the hotel where we stayed always gave little bowls of candied nuts with our drinks. I have loved these ever since and they are so simple to make. In fact, if I had realised how simple they are to make I'd have made them ages ago.
350g Almonds (skins on)
2 cups of caster sugar
splash of water
½ tsp ground cinnamon
In a heavy bottomed saucepan pour in a splash of water, cinnamon and the caster sugar. Heat until it's bubbling and all of the sugar has dissolved. Bubble for a minute and then add the nuts. Now (with a wooden spoon) stir until the sugar has crystallised arounds the almonds. Turn out onto a silicone mat or a non-stick baking sheet and separate into single pieces. Once cold pop into an airtight jar.
I love trying out new ideas and this is an adaptation of a picture of a ring loaf that I'd seen on-line somewhere. I love how the bits you snip get all gnarled and darker than the rest of the loaf and it has a really fab crust.
400g strong white bread flour, plus extra for kneading
7g sachet easy-blend/fast-action yeast
8g sea salt
10g caster sugar
300ml warm water
25g unsalted softened butter
You will need a baking tray
Mix together the flour, yeast and salt in a free-standing machine fitted with a bread hook or in a large bowl with a wooden spoon or spatula and make a well in the centre.
Mix the water and butter together and combine with the dry ingredients with the machine running on a slow to medium speed until the mix comes together to form a dough. Continue to knead in the machine for 6 minutes or by hand for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place to prove for about 60 mins or until doubled in size.
Tip out the dough onto a lightly floured worksurface and knead for a further 30 seconds to knock back the air. Mould it into a sausage, make into a ring and place onto a bread stone or a baking sheet, leave to prove for 30 mins then dust with flour. Now with some sharp scissors snip cuts on an angle in the dough (see below) at 1 inch intervals. Then snip 15mm ones between the larger snips.
Bake at 210 for 20-25mins or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the underside. If baked on a baking tray transfer onto a wire rack to cool.