Blueberry Pull-Apart Bread (Vegan)

After a few months with no food appearing on this blog I think it is time I share this amazing recipe with you. And just in time for Easter!

Sweet breads are popular here at any time of year, but especially around Eastertime, and this one beats cake as far as I am concerned. (Yes, it’s that good! 😉 )

You will need a 30 cm/12 inch loaf pan and, for the dough:

  • 500 g (4 cups) strong (bread) flour
  • 1 packet (1 tbsp) of instant yeast
  • 45 g (4 tbsps) sugar
  • 125 g (1 stick) margarine, cut into small pieces
  • 250 ml (1 cup) soya milk, warmed
  • pinch of salt

… and for the filling:

  • 75 g margarine (2/3 stick), melted (and a little extra for greasing your pan)
  • 125 g (2/3 cup) sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 200 g (2 cups) blueberries (I used frozen)

 Sift flour into a large bowl and make a well in the middle. Add the yeast, 1 teaspoon of the sugar and all the warmed soya milk and mix a little of the flour into the well. Leave to stand in a warm place for 10 minutes.

Now go back to your dough and add the rest of the sugar, the pinch of salt and the margarine. Now comes the fun part – mix with your hands until it all comes together into a nice soft dough. On a floured surface knead it for about 5 minutes. Then place in a clean bowl, cover, and leave it to rise in a warm spot for an hour or so.

In the meantime, scrape the seeds out of your vanilla bean and mix them with the 125 g sugar, grease your pan well, melt your margarine, and pre-heat your oven to 180°C/350°F.

When your dough has risen, punch it to release some of the air and then roll it out to about 40 x 35 cm (16 x 14 inches). Brush with almost all of the melted margarine. Sprinkle all but 2 tablespoons of the vanilla sugar evenly on top. Now cut into 8 x 10 cm (3 x 4 inch) squares and stack 4 or 5 of them at a time to make it easier to put them into your pan. Press a few blueberries in between each layer as you go, and then squash the layers up nicely in the pan. Finally, brush with the remaining margarine and sprinkle over the last of the vanilla sugar.

Bake for about 45 minutes. If it starts turning too brown during the end of the cooking time, cover with a bit of foil.

Leave to cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes before easing out and placing on a wire rack to cool completely.

My tip: this tastes wonderful served still slightly warm. 😉 Oh yummy!

I hope this has inspired you! Go on, try it!

Will you be baking anything for Easter?

In a Vase on Monday: January Sparkle

It was a real joy to see Cathy’s golden Narcissi this morning. And then Christina’s tulips to follow! I was in need of something cheerful on this grey and icy day and was almost considering myself defeated in terms of a vase this week, but Cathy and Christina inspired me to make an effort and find some January sparkle of my own.


The recycled Hydrangea head, still looking pink, is starting to lose its petals. But the iris and coneflower seed heads are in still intact.


I will be looking through the other vase posts later on this evening too, which will certainly also raise my spirits.

Hope you find some sparkle this week too!

The Tuesday View: 25th October 2016

This will be the last regular photo of my Tuesday view for the year 2016, as it will soon be so dreary and bare that I will get depressed contemplating it. If it snows this winter I will definitely show a shot of it though! 😉 Here it is, around 3.30pm today…


The Perovskia will be trimmed quite low this week, and the red leaves of the acer in the background are starting to drop. There is, however, still the magical Persicaria ‘Firetail’…


… as well as the Golden Euonymus (which I tend to overlook as it is there all year round), providing cheerful colour on days such as this…


Slowly the rocks in the rockery are becoming visible once again – I will have to show a picture of them later in the year. I would like to thank those of you who have joined me, observing a single view of your gardens through the seasons. I have very much enjoyed seeing the changes – both dramatic and slight – in your weekly photos. It has certainly been a useful exercise for me once again, and I hope for you as well.

And, of course, also many thanks to the rest of you for visiting!


In a Vase on Monday: Diversity

The word “diversity” pops up in all sorts of contexts these days, but as I picked the flowers for my vase this morning I was very aware of the diversity of shapes and textures as well as the origins of my plants. The dictionary definition included the following: “the quality or state of having many different forms, types, etc….. different cultures in a group…”. Very appropriate, as I look at the native wild Teucrium, Japanese anemones, Hydrangeas and mint, to name but a few…


I shall try and list all the flowers and foliage I included – I did go a bit overboard, but wanted something big this week!

Silver birch foliage, Japanese anemone, Buddleia alternifolia stem, Buddleia buds, Hydrangeas (deep red and pale pink), Heuchera, Apple mint, Perovskia, various grasses, Teucrium (wild T. chamaedrys and T. hircanicum), Zinnias, a white Cleome, a sedum bud, Geranium phaeum, and a pink antirrhinum.


The Cleome certainly looks exotic, with its spidery petals, and yet the Anemones are so familiar it is hard to imagine European gardens without them. All these foreigners crowding into gardens do create greater diversity indeed.


I wonder how many plants in my garden are actually of German/ Central European origin!


… something for me to ponder over during the summer.

Thanks as always to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting this meme.


In a Vase on Monday: Poppity Pop!


After saving the first poppy to open from a downpour a couple of weeks ago it was put in a vase and I was pleased to see it lasted several days. So now that the poppies are at their peak I decided to make them the focus of this week’s vase for Cathy’s meme at Rambling in the Garden.


As you can see in the picture below the ferns really accentuate their colour in the rockery, which gave me the idea to combine them in a vase.


I added Lady’s Mantle…


… which is another plant with lime green foliage, and it looks particularly pretty just before the flowers open too.


I am so glad I cut these on Sunday, as Sunday evening we had a big thunderstorm with absolutely torrential rain and they are now looking rather bedraggled…

These poppies all came from one packet of seeds, sown out many years ago (I just looked it up – 2006!) in a container in early summer and planted out in the following autumn. From just a few plants I now have quite a display, so if you are hesitating in trying out Papaver orientale I can only sing their praise and have never had any problems, except for them getting too vigorous at times and seeding themselves out in the wrong place!


Thanks to Cathy for hosting, and have a good week!


In a Vase on Monday: Loveliness

Mondays are often busy, but today I had time to wander around the garden and choose some flowers for a vase, so that I could join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden with her lovely meme again.

However, when I have a fixed idea of what I want to create, it never turns out as I planned, so I ended up with two vases today, and both of them are simply “lovely”. Hence the title!

The first one features my lovely deep red peony. This is always the second to flower and doesn’t get quite as tall as the later ones, standing up well to rain or wind. With purpley-blue Aquilegias and a single blue Centaurea it  looks absolutely lovely.


(Note the poppies flowering in the background… the one I used in my vase last week lasted a good 3-4 days.)


A match made in heaven…


The second vase uses lots of Moon Daisies, grasses and paler Aquilegias.


I added one of the Siberian irises, just opening, and some deep purple and some white Geranium phaeum, which has proved to last extremely well as a cut flower.


Some blue Veronica and Omphalodes verna, and a couple of Pulsatilla seed heads completed the airy effect. The white Aquilegia below is, I think, called Green Apples.

On a grey day there is nothing better than bringing the garden indoors. Do take a look at Cathy’s creation this week, and all the others who have linked in with floral loveliness.


P.S. Thanks to my lovely commenters last week my mystery plant was identified as a type of Celosia.


The rigid petals are quite fascinating!