Top 5 Favourites Right Now

Hi everyone!

I thought I’d do a quick round-up of what I have been loving recently. I’m not going to blabber on, just going to get straight into it!

L’OREAL PURE CLAY DETOX MASK

I’ve wanted to try this for so long after hearing so many people rave about it so when I saw it was on sale in Superdrug, I just had to buy it and see what all the fuss was about. My honker of a nose is my main problem area on my face, my pores are blocked and I seem to always have black heads (attractive, I know). I knew this mask wouldn’t get rid of my blackheads but my god, it’s definitely worked a treat on my pores. You can barely seem them the day after I’ve used this mask and that’s before I’ve covered them all up with foundation.

I don’t really use this mask all around my face, I just focus it on my T-Zone and my chin as that’s where I have the most problems with my skin. I absolutely love masks that you can feel working – as soon as you put this mask on, you can feel it getting rid of all the dirt. It tightens the skin so much you can barely talk, keeping in mind I only use it on my T-Zone, I dread to think what it feels like all over your face.

It leaves your skin feeling super soft and extremely clear. I’d definitely say that it’s one of the best masks I’ve ever used and you can really see a difference even after one use. I’d recommend this product to anyone with bad pores and run down skin, it really brightens it up and clears all the impurities.

NO7 ESSENTIALLY NATURAL FOUNDATION

I’ve been wearing No7 foundation for quite some time now and I’m still loving it. As my Beautifully Matte foundation is a bit too much for the hot weather we’ve been having, I’ve changed it up and gone for something that’s a little lighter and less coverage. I spent so long searching for a BB cream but they were all far too orange for me so when I noticed they did a less coverage foundation in No7, I had to give it a go. I had my skin colour matched months ago so I knew what colour I was and luckily they had it in stock.

Essentially Natural is a great foundation for this weather, it’s so light and you barely notice it’s there. It just evens out my blotchy skin and covers any blemishes I have. It’s extremely buildable too so if I’m having one of those blah days and need a little lift, I can build it up and make it a medium coverage instead of a light.

KIKO MILANO FLAWLESS FUSION BRONZER POWDER

I know I spoke about this in my last post but honestly, I can’t get enough of it. I always have so many problems with finding a bronzer that doesn’t make me look dirty and this is the first one I’ve ever found and fallen in love with straight away.

The pigmentation is insane and it’s still so easy to blend into the skin. I love more of a subtle look when it comes to an every day look so I love that I only need the smallest amount to give me a little extra colour but I also love that I can build on it when I want to.

THE BODY SHOP FRESH NUDE FOUNDATION BRUSH

I’ve never bought a make up brush from The Body Shop before as I always thought they were way overpriced for what they were but I had a voucher to use so I thought I’d give them a go and I’m so glad I did. It makes blending your foundation a piece of cake – once you’ve down a few circular motions, its disappeared and your skin is looking flawless.

This brush has two different lengths of bristles, the shorter ones are to put the foundation onto the skin and the longer ones are to buff the foundation into the skin and give it a more natural look. If like me, you’ve never tried a make up brush from The Body Shop, I’d definitely recommend this one as your first purchase.

And the biggest plus? It’s cruelty free!!

WATER

I know this is a bit of a weird one to put into my favourites but honestly, I can’t get enough of water at the moment. At the beginning of the year I promised myself that I would cut down on the amount of fizzy drinks I drank as it wasn’t healthy, I was continuously getting headaches from not drinking enough water and my skin was horrendous. Ever since starting to drink water all day every day, my skin has cleared up so much. I used to always have a couple of spots on my face at all times but now I rarely have one (what’s the betting I’m going to wake up tomorrow morning with a billion spots?)

I’m also loving adding slices of lemon and limes into my bottles of water – it makes it taste that little bit nicer and there are endless health benefits of drinking water with lemon in it so it’s a win win!

Love,
Emily xo

KIKO Milano Haul

Hi everyone,

I know I’ve been quiet over on here recently but I’ve been focusing on my new job and getting my social media up to date.

I thought it was time for me to get back into the blogging world so here I am with a little haul for you. I’ve heard so many good reviews about KIKO Milano so of course when I walked past the shop I had to take a look.

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Flawless Fusion Bronzer Powder – 01 Natural Tan
I have been using this bronzer since the day I got it and I can officially say, I am obsessed with it. Normally I can never find the right shade of bronzer for my skin tone, they either make me look dirty or orange. I went for the colour 01 Natural Tan and if you’re as pale as me in the face, this is the perfect shade for you. Instead of contouring every day, I just swipe the bronzer across where I would normally contour and it just gives me that little extra glow.

Dark Circle Tone Eraser – 01 Yellow
Colour correcting pencils are a huge staple in everyone’s make up bag at the moment but I’ve been using Max Factor’s set for quite a while now and it just doesn’t seem to be the best out there anymore so I thought I’d give myself a little upgrade. Don’t get me wrong, Max Factor’s Colour Correcting Pencils work great but I just wanted to change things up and see if this works better for me.

KIKO’s Tone Eraser is more of a creamy consistency which I think works a lot better as it’s easier to blend in with my foundation. It sinks into my skin once it’s all blended in which means you can still wear it even if you aren’t wearing foundation. I only use the tiniest amount on each eye and it works a treat. I also pair it with my Benefit Erase Paste and they work great together so my huge bags are gone in seconds.

Longeyes Plus Active Mascara
I’m normally a bit more hesitant with buying expensive mascara just because in the past my eyelashes just clump together and I look like I’ve got spiders legs as eyelashes. I don’t use this one every day just because I love my Maybelline Great Lash far too much but honestly, this mascara is a treat. The first time I wore it, I had someone ask if I had lash extensions on so it’s definitely doing the trick.

Stippling Foundation Brush – Face 04
Anyone that knows me, knows I have far too many foundation brushes and not enough faces to use them on but I can never stop myself from buying a new one when I see it. I’ve heard so many things about Stippling Brushes and when I saw this one I thought to myself “why not?”.

Now it’s getting a bit hotter, I don’t like to wear a full face of foundation so I just put some light coverage BB cream on and this brush works amazing with it. It gives such a nice, flawless finish which is just what I want when I’m not wearing a full face. I’d definitely recommend KIKO Brushes because they are such great quality and at such an affordable price compared to other brands out there at the moment.

What have you been buying recently?

Don’t forget to give me a follow over on Instagram and Twitter: @estaylorblog

Love,
Emily xo

Question Time

Hi everyone,

Me and the lovely Jo have been talking recently and we decided it would be great for us to do something together for each of our blogs. We decided on doing a little question time for each other so we could both get to know each other that little bit more.

Here are the questions Jo asked:

1. When did you start blogging?

I started blogging back in October last year but I kept it to myself for quite a while, it was only at the beginning of this year that I actually had to guts to share it with everyone that I knew.

2. Do you think your blog has changed/evolved since then?

The only thing that’s changed about it is the way it looks. I started off with such a different idea of how I wanted to look but I changed my mind after a few months and I definitely think it was for the better. It has come a long way since I started – purely because I now know what I want my blog to look like and what I want to post.

3. Describe your perfect idea of a Friday night

Any normal 22 year old would say that their perfect Friday night is going out, having a few cocktails and going to the clubs – but give me a duvet and a cup of tea any day. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE going out for cocktails with my friends and having a good catch up but after a week at work, I just want to get into bed and watch trashy tv.

4. Tell us about your best friend

Now this is the hard question. I don’t think I can name one best friend because I have so many people I consider to be close friends of mine. Here are photos of the people who really are some of the most amazing people in my life that I love and adore!

5. What is your favourite thing about blogging?

It would have to be getting to meet some amazing people – I never thought I’d be working with another blogger so it’s great that I have the opportunity to do so.

6. What would be your ideal job when you’re older?

Anyone that knows me knows how much I aspire to be an Editorial Assistant in a major magazine but at the moment, that’s just a dream!

7. What would you consider to be one of your biggest achievements to date?

It would have to be passing my driving test last year. I started learning to drive as soon as I turned 17 but because I was still in college and wasn’t earning enough, I couldn’t afford to carry on with lessons. I eventually got back into lessons as soon as I got a full time job back in 2015 but annoyingly, I still had to do my theory and that was a mission on its own. As soon as I passed my theory, I booked my driving test to get it out the way. Unfortunately I failed the first time for THE most ridiculous reason but thankfully I was able to book another one for a couple of months down the line and finally passed.

8. What would be your advice to a new blogger?

Don’t give up and don’t be afraid of doing something you love. For so long I was scared of showing people because I thought they would just laugh in my face and think I was stupid but everyone has been so supportive and it’s made me realise that I had nothing to be scared of in the first place.

9. What is your favourite thing about yourself?

It’s got to be not caring about what other people think. You spend so much time worrying about what others think of you but you get to the point where you just think “why on earth does it matter what everyone else thinks – just do what makes you happy”.

10. Describe a day that you remember being really happy

It would have to be the day that we picked up our little puppy 12 years ago. You do not understand the love a dog can bring until you have one in your life. I am literally obsessed with her and she’s the cutest little fluff ball you’ll ever meet. IMG_0736.JPG

Go over to Jo‘s blog and see what questions I asked her!

Love,
Emily xo

Social Media

Hi everyone!

Some of you may have noticed that I’ve been quiet on here recently but I’ve been busy with work and I’ve also been focusing on getting my social media sites up and running.

If you want to see what I get up to when I’m not posting on here, give me a follow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

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I’ve got a lot of exciting posts planned for the coming weeks so stay tuned!

Love,
Emily xo

Primark’s Make-Up Remover Cloth

I’ve seen a couple of reviews about the W7 Make Up Remover Cloth and everyone has praised it but I don’t think I can justify spending £8 on a cloth. I was having a browse in Primark the other week and I noticed that they were also selling a Make Up Remover Cloth but at the much cheaper price of £1.50 so I thought it was worth a shot.

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I only got round to using it last night because to be honest, I kept forgetting that I had even bought it and just kept using my usual routine for removing my make up.

As soon as I got it out of the packet, I chucked it in the wash to make sure it was nice and clean for my first time of using it. With flannels, I normally find them very harsh on my skin and leave me looking like a tomato after using them but with this cloth, it was incredibly soft and left my skin feeling a lot smoother than normal.

I’m not entirely sure whether it was made to be able to remove mascara but it did an amazing job – got rid of every last bit but of course this meant it was sitting on the cloth. I tried to rub the leftover mascara off but it wouldn’t budge, so it looks like I am going to have to wash it after every single time I use it – I mean, who’s got time for that? I know some people might think I’m stupid for thinking that it would just be able to wash off after a couple of scrubs, but I was expecting this to be something that I could use for a couple of days before having to wash it.

Don’t get me wrong, the quality of it is amazing for the price and it definitely did the job but I am just not someone who is happy to wash something every day just to get rid of a few mascara marks so I think I’ll be sticking to my normal routine.

Love,
Emily xo

Enjoying the London Sun

I’m in utter disbelief that another weekend has passed and we are back to work tomorrow for another week – thankfully it’s a short one because of Easter Bank Holiday next weekend.

On Saturday, me and two friends, Sophie and Hannah, took a trip up to London to visit our friend Lauren. We most definitely picked the right day for it because the weather was beautiful – which of course meant ciders and glasses of prosecco in the sun.

We first headed to Borough Market so we could all grab something to eat. There was so much to choose from, I had never seen so many food stalls and it was completely overwhelming. Me and Sophie spotted a Pad Thai stall and we made a bee-line for the queue. We also found a nice juice stall which had a variety of different juices and smoothies, so we decided to pick one up to counter balance with all the alcohol and food we were going to be consuming the rest of the day.

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After we finished eating, we took a walk to see if we could find any nice pubs to have a drink in before we went off to the next place. We came across a really cool bar that had swings as seats – which I can confirm that it is extremely difficult to drink a glass of prosecco whilst swinging around.  As you can tell from the photo, me and Sophie were having a whale of a time. IMG_1642.JPG

I’ve always wanted to go to One New Change just because I’ve heard so many great reviews about the views you get of St Paul’s – and we were definitely not disappointed. As a group of four, we really wanted to get a group photo in front of St Paul’s but obviously, it wouldn’t have worked so thankfully Lauren had the balls to go up to someone and ask if they’d take a photo of us. This is what we got….

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Can anyone guess what’s missing in the background? Yepp you got it, St Paul’s…We went all the way up to the top to get a great photo and the numpty we asked didn’t feel the need to get the great big monument in the picture! So of course, we had to ask someone else to take a photo and this time it was Hannah’s turn. Thankfully, we got a much better shot this time around.

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Our next stop was Embankment, we hopped onto a stand-still boat and grabbed ourselves a couple of drinks. We luckily got a table in the sun pretty quickly thanks to Sophie’s eagle eyes and we set up camp for a couple of hours. It was honestly so nice being able to sit there and just take it all in – the weather, the company and the atmosphere. London is an amazing place and it’s crazy to think that just a few days ago, it was under attack.

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We then headed to Covent Garden for our final stop for drinks before heading to grab some dinner. We found nice little pizza restaurant (I can’t remember what it’s called now – sorry) and it was delicious. I ordered a Texas pizza – just like I do every single time I order Dominoes. It was extremely yummy but there was far too much rosemary for my liking. IMG_1639.JPG

After dinner, me, Hannah and Sophie headed back to Waterloo to get the train home. Annoyingly, we missed the train by 2 minutes but it did mean that we had time to grab a cuppa before hopping onto the next train.

I honestly had such a great day and I cannot wait to see them all next weekend for more sun, giggles and prosecco.

What did you get up to this weekend?

Have a great week everyone!

Love,
Emily xo

Easter Bakes

I know Easter is still a couple of weeks away but I thought I’d get into the spirit a bit early and make some festive cupcakes – it also helped that it was Sean’s birthday a few weeks ago so that was a good enough excuse to make something jam-packed with calories for his birthday present.

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The recipe for the Cupcakes is one by Mary Berry and everyone knows how much I love her so of course I had to try it out.

Ingredients

For the Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 4tbsp of boiling water
  • 40g Cocoa Powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 175g Butter (unsalted) softened
  • 165g Unrefined golden caster sugar – I used normal caster sugar.
  • 115g Self-raising white flour
  • 1tsp Baking powder

For the Chocolate Icing

  • 60g Butter (unsalted)
  • 30g Cocoa powder
  • 3tbsp Milk (whole) – I used semi skimmed.
  • 250g Unrefined golden icing sugar – I used normal icing sugar.

I tested out the recipe for the Chocolate Icing but I didn’t like the way it turned out, so I just used a simple butter cream icing recipe that I’ve been using for years.

Method

  1. Line a muffin tin with paper cases. Sift the cocoa powder into a bowl, pour in the boiling water and mix into a thick paste. Add the remaining cake ingredients and mix with an electric whisk (or beat with a wooden spoon).
  2. Divide the mixture equally between the 14 paper cases. Bake in a preheated oven at 200c, 400F, Gas Mark 6 for about 12-15 minutes until well risen and springy to touch. Cool in cases on a wire rack.
  3. To make the chocolate icing, melt the butter and pour into a bowl. Sift in the cocoa powder and stir in the icing sugar a little at a time to make a glossy and spreadable icing. If the icing is too thick, gradually add the milk until it reaches the desired consistency. Pipe over the cupcakes.

For the decorations, I decided to make little nests with Creme Eggs and Malteser Bunnies sitting on top. I had never made these as a decoration for a cake before so I wasn’t sure how it would turn out because I thought they might be a bit too heavy and squash the icing altogether – but thankfully, they turned out really well and I was extremely happy with myself. I came across some miniature cake cases in Waitrose and I thought they’d be great for making the nests.

You need two ingredients to make the nests – chocolate and Weetabix. All you have to do is melt the chocolate down in a bowl over boiling water. Once it has melted, you need to add the Weetabix and ensure it’s covered completely. Once everything is covered, you need to put the mixture into the cupcakes and then place the Creme Egg or Malteser Bunny on top. I made these a couple of hours before I iced the cakes so I could decorate them straight away.

Why don’t you give it a go? Leave a photo in the comments if you do!

Love,
Emily xo

Weekend in Plymouth

My boyfriend and I always make sure that we travel down to Plymouth to see my brother and his fiance as often as we can because we always have such a great time and it’s nice to get away. As the wedding is fast approaching, I’ll be travelling down a lot more and I can’t wait!

On Saturday, the weather was beautiful so we hopped on a boat and took a trip to the wedding venue. I had only visited the venue once before and it was a windy, cold and dull day so it didn’t do it any justice at all. I was completely amazed at how beautiful it was in the sunshine and I couldn’t help but imagine how amazing it would look on the day of the wedding.

The Orangery

Annoyingly, they were preparing for a wedding so we couldn’t go inside and grab a bite to eat but thankfully there was somewhere else we could go which was about 15 minutes walk away – little did Thomas mention that it was up a ginormous hill.

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After lunch, we decided to head home and pick some bits up on the way so we could make cocktails and spend the rest of the afternoon sitting in the sun. I had come across a recipe for a Pink Lemonade Cocktail but we didn’t have any pink lemonade and raspberry vodka so we had to improvise.

Pink Lemonade Cocktail:

  • Pink Lemonade – We used J20 Spritz in the flavour of Pear & Raspberry.
  • Raspberry Absolut Vodka – I can’t remember what we used instead of this but it was something extremely similar so anything will work. Cocktail
  • Prosecco
  • Frozen Raspberries
  • Lime

Me and my brother were the only ones to actually like this cocktail and we bought enough to make two big jugs so as you can guess, we were feeling the effects later on in the evening.

Unfortunately, Sean was working all day so he couldn’t enjoy much of the sunshine but we all got to spend a couple of hours together before we had to get ready to meet two of Thomas and Sean’s friends and grab something to eat.

As you should all know by now, I love Greek food so I was extremely happy to find that my brother had booked a table at a local Greek restaurant. Of course I ordered my favourite dish – Beef Stifado and it was delicious.

After dinner, we went to a nice little bar called The Dairy which we had been meaning to go to for years but we never got round to it. I loved that the cocktails were served in pint size milk bottles, I thought it added that little extra something and made it different to other bars. We drunkenly decided to try out some of the shots they had advertised, I went for an After Eight one which I was imagining to be disgusting but it was surprisingly nice – especially because I got a free After Eight chocolate with it.

The morning after wasn’t so great for everyone. I had to drive home so I thankfully woke up feeling fresh but Thomas definitely did not – he was definitely being punished for the amount he drank.

Our trips to Plymouth always include plenty of giggles and A LOT of prosecco. I can’t wait for our next one!

Love,
Emily xo

Must Haves This Spring

Hi everyone!

It’s officially Spring, I can’t believe how fast this year is going! I thought I’d do a little round-up of things I am wanting and loving this season.

As we all know, the British weather isn’t the most reliable so even when it’s sunny, we still have to be prepared for the heavens to open. I’m obsessed with denim at the moment and I am really desperate to buy a denim jacket but every time I find one I like, they don’t have any in my size.


The first one I love is from Asos but annoyingly, they don’t seem to be restocking any of their sizes. I’ve been checking the website daily and nothing is changing so I think it’s time to set my eyes on something else. I’m loving the style of “girlfriend” jackets at the moment, they’re just that little bit bigger than normal which I think looks a lot better than a tight denim jacket. It’ll look great over a simple black dress or a plain top with black jeans.

The second one is from New Look. I used to love New Look and buy everything from there but nowadays it’s a bit hit and miss. Sometimes they will have amazing clothes but other times, I just think it looks a bit cheap. I thought I’d take a chance and have a browse online and luckily, I found this one and it’s in my size!! (hooray). The only thing I would change about this product is the colour. I wish it was that little bit lighter, just like the first one. They do a light blue version, but it’s basically white and it’ll get dirty far too quickly.

Denim SkirtDenim skirts are a staple in my wardrobe this spring. They’ll look great with a pair of low denier black tights but it’ll also look just as great with my pasty legs on show. I’m in love with this one from Asos but I just think it’s a bit too short so I’ll be a bit paranoid if I wore it without tights. I love the raw hemline, I think it adds that little bit of detail to a perfectly simple piece of clothing. It’ll look great with a baggy jumper tucked in or just a simple t-shirt.

Just one more item and then I’ll shut up talking about denim. A few weeks ago I bought my first pair of Mom Jeans and I have been obsessed with them ever since. I never thought I’d be able to pull them off but I was pleasantly surprised. I love the style of high-waisted jeans, not because it means you can hide your food baby but also because I love the look of jumpers or tops tucked into jeans.

Okay that’s it, no more talk about denim.

Now let’s get onto tops.

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I’ve been wanting this top ever since I saw Zoella’s Instagram post a couple of months back. Every time I look at it, it just screams Spring and Summer to me so of course I had to buy it. It’ll look so cute with a pair of skinny jeans or even tucked into my Mom jeans. If I was brave enough, I’d buy a pair of dungarees because I think it’ll look so nice underneath but I just don’t have the courage.

I’m loving black and white striped tops at the moment. I’ve recently bought one in the Zara sale but annoyingly, I can’t find it on the website and it hasn’t arrived yet so I can’t take a picture. Once again, it’ll look great tucked into my Mom jeans.

I’ve been needing a new pair of trainers for so long, my current favourites are ripping at the sides because I always wear them when I’m driving. I am really liking the nude colour trainers that are out at the moment, especially the new Van and Converse range. I’ve wanted a pair of Adidas Gazelle’s for months now but I still can’t find a justifiable reason to spend £75 on a pair of trainers.

Last but no means least, let’s talk about Beauty. If you’ve read my Mini Body Shop Haul, you’ll know about the products I purchased at the beginning of the month. I thought I’d give you a little update on how I was finding them as I know many of you were interested in purchasing the items. They are working an absolute treat! I use the Mattifying Toner every single day and it’s making my skin feel amazing. My skin is still a little bit oily but I wasn’t expecting it to disappear completely. I tend to use the Skin Clearing Clay Mask twice a week and my skin is noticeably clearer.

Anyone that knows me knows how long I have struggled to find the perfect foundation and finally, my prayers have been answered. My friend recommended No7 but I’ve always been a bit hesitant because I’ve heard so many stories about when they colour match your skin, the colour comes out too dark so you’re left with a colour that is no where near your skin tone. I decided to go into my local Boots store and I bravely decided to get my skin colour matched and thankfully, it came out the perfect shade for me. I even tried it on in store so I knew that it wouldn’t make me look like an oompa loompa. I went for Beautifully Matte Light Foundation in the colour Calico and it is fantastic. This stays on in perfect condition for more than 12 hours and I don’t have to do any touch ups at all. With other foundations, I’ve had trouble with it not wanting to stay in certain places – especially my nose but I seriously cannot fault this product at all.

What trends are you loving this Spring?

Love,
Emily xo

Parmesan and Prosciutto Ciabatta

I’ve wanted to make bread for a while now but I’ve always been put off because of how long it takes and also because I don’t have a stand mixer so I would have to do it all by hand.

I received the Great British Bake Off – Perfect Cakes & Bakes To Make At Home book for my birthday last year and I’ve been wanting to try some of the recipes out for some time now. I came across the recipe for Parmesan and Prosciutto Ciabatta and I thought I’d give it a go seeing as it included two of my favourite things.

Making Ciabatta at home involves a lot of waiting around whilst it proves for hours and hours. I was so close to giving up and just going up to the local shop and buying one but I knew it would all be worth it. Honestly, it was one of the most rewarding things I have ever made. It felt amazing knowing that I had actually been able to make my first loaf of bread and it tasted great.

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Here’s the recipe if you want to give it a go:

Ingredients

For the ‘biga’

  • 200g strong white bread flour
  • 50g plain white flour
  • 1 teaspoon fast-action dried yeast (from a 7g sachet)
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 200ml lukewarm water

To finish the dough

  • 350ml lukewarm water
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 400g strong white bread flour
  • 100g plain white flour
  • 1 x 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • 8g fine sea salt
  • 85g prosciutto, in a thick slice
  • 60g parmesan cheese

Method

  1. First make the ‘biga’. Put both of the flours, the yeast and sugar into a very large mixing bowl. Mix well with your hand, then pour in the lukewarm water and mix it in to make a fairly sticky dough. Beat this dough with your hand, slapping it against the sides of the bowl for 2 minutes. Cover the bowl tightly with clingfilm and leave to ferment at normal room temperature for 8-12 hours – the dough will rise and then collapse. I did this the night before so I could carry on with the process in the morning.
  2. Next day, to finish the dough, uncover the bowl and pour in the lukewarm water and olive oil. Work the liquids into the dough with your hand by squeezing it through your fingers and beating with your hand until you have a smooth batter.
  3. In another bowl, mix the bread flour with the plain flour, then tip half into a third bowl. Add the yeast to the flour in one bowl, and the salt to the flour in the other bowl.
  4. Add the flour with the yeast to the bowl containing the biga and mix with your hand to make a thick, sticky batter-like dough. Beat this dough in the bowl with your hand, slapping it up and down for about 5 minutes until it has been thoroughly stretched and becomes very elastic. Cover the bowl tightly with clingfilm and leave in a warm spot to rise for 1 1/2-2 hours until the dough is about 2 1/2 times its original size. I put the bowl in my airing cupboard because that’s the warmest place I could think of.
  5. Meanwhile, cut away any rind from the prosciutto, then chop in a food processor to make small gravel-like chunks. Repeat with the cheese. Set the prosciutto and cheese aside on the worktop to come to room temperature. I hand cut the prosciutto because I bought thinner slices than recommended and if I had used a food processor, it would have gone to a paste.
  6. Uncover the dough and add the flour/salt mixture. Work in with your hand to make a soft, sticky dough. Work the dough in the bowl for a couple of minutes until you can turn it out on to the unfloured worktop.
  7. Knead the dough thoroughly by gathering it up and slapping or throwing it back down on to the worktop. Do this energetically for a good 10 minutes until the dough feels silky smooth and is extremely elastic. It will still be soft and sticky, though firmer than before.
  8. Scatter the chopped prosciutto and cheese over the dough and work in until evenly distributed. Shape into a ball. Return the dough to the bowl, cover again and leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour until doubled in size. Towards the end of this time, gently warm the baking sheets and then line them with baking paper, dust generously with cornmeal or polenta – I just used plain flour.
  9. Using a dough scraper, carefully ease the risen dough out on to the lightly floured worktop – don’t punch down or deflate the dough but treat it very delicately. Using the well-floured dough scraper or a knife, divide the mass of dough into 3 roughly equal strips. With the help of the scraper, carefully transfer the strips of dough to the warmed lined baking sheets – 2 on one sheet, spaced well apart. Use your fingers to gently stretch, not press, each strip of dough into the characteristic slipper-like shape.
  10. Sprinkle lightly with flour; then slip the sheets into a large plastic bag, inflate it so the plastic won’t stick to the rising dough, and close the ends tightly. Leave in a warm place for 30 minutes until almost doubled in size.
  11. Towards the end of the rising time, heat the over to 230C/450F/Gas 8.
  12. Uncover the loaves and bake in the heated oven for about 20 minutes until puffed and golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Eat warm or the same day.

Can you see what I mean now? It takes a lot of time and effort but so worth it at the end!

Let me know if you give it a go!

Love,
Emily xo