Midweek Weekend: Ox Pasture Hall Hotel

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A few weeks ago I was invited to spend a few days at the lovely Ox Pasture Hall Hotel*.  After a tough few weeks in the bakery, a night away from the bustle of Newcastle was just what the doctor ordered.  Being a weekend worker my boyfriend and I decided to head down on Monday morning and enjoy a a couple of quiet days in the Yorkshire countryside.

Deep into November the dark nights were well and truly upon us, despite arriving just after 3pm it was already beginning to come in dark.  After checking in we were shown to our suite by the super friendly staff before heading into the hotel for afternoon tea.  The room was pleasant, clean and relaxing but the wow factor came with the huge modern bathroom. I simply couldn't wait to relax in the giant tub.

After getting settled in we trotted off for our afternoon tea by a roaring fire, not bad for on a icy cold Novembers afternoon.  We filled ourselves full of delicious little cakes, scones and sandwiches before heading back to the room for a long bath and a nap.  We lounged in our robes feeling fully relaxed and content with our full tummies.  

We spend a few hours wandering around the gardens and chilling out in the room while we built up an appetite for our evening meal.  For a normal person this probably would have taken much longer, but being a total food gremlin I was ready for another feed by 8pm.  We fancied ourselves up and strolled along to the lounge where we were treated to a glass of prosecco while we perused the dinner menu.  We were both so impressed by the food on offer, it's no surprise that the Courtyard Restaurant is regarded as the best restaurant in Scarborough, boasting two rosettes for culinary excellence.

Curried parsnip soup appetiser.

Wild mushroom risotto.

Ham terrine with crispy quails egg.

Seared cod with chorizo ratatouille and crispy gnocchi. 

Mini beef fillet and mini beef brisket with mushroom ragu and creamed potato.

Assiette of desserts.
We were blown away by the quality of our meal, every aspect was superb including the service.  Our waiter was the most adorable young man, knowledgeable and just the right amount of banter.   Neither of us could decide on a dessert so we were recommended the assiette, mini versions of all the best elements on the menu.  We were in food heaven!

Well rested and full of a delicious full Yorkshire breakfast we took a little stroll around the gardens.  It was just as lovely in the sunshine as it was during the dusk.  I can highly recommend Ox Pasture Hall Hotel, we had a wonderful time relaxing in the beautiful surroundings and wouldn't hesitate to return, if only for a little more of the amazing food on offer.  

Ox Pasture Hall Country House Hotel
North York Moors National Park
North Yorkshire
YO12 5TD
T: 01723 365 295
@: OxPastureHotel

Maple Bacon Doughnuts


I bloody love doughnuts, to be honest who doesn't?!  These little sweet rings of delight are the treat I always fall back on.  Sad, drown your sorrows in a  doughnut.  Happy, celebrate with a doughnut. Hungover, eat your weight in doughnuts.  There is nothing in my life that can't be improved upon with the addition of doughnuts.  

With all of this in mind, I must admit that I have never actually made a doughnut in my life.  I needed something epic to break my doughy virginity, something truly awesome.  I think these maple bacon doughnuts hit the nail on the head perfectly!

The sweet, smokey maple syrup paired with the salty bacon made the perfect accompaniment to my favorite snack.  I have to admit, owning a deep fryer makes this process a whole lot easier but you can always use a big old heavy pan if you aren't as into kitchen gadgetry as me.  I treated myself to this little bugger a few month ago and have been resisting the urge to deep fry everything since.

You will need:
For the doughnuts:
200ml full fat milk, lukewarm
3tsp dried active yeast
1tsp caster sugar
50g light brown sugar
325g plain flour
3tbsp vegetable fat
1tbsp maple syrup
1/tsp salt
1 large egg
Vegetable oil for frying

For the glaze:
250g icing sugar
60ml pure maple syrup
8 rashers of streaky bacon
50g brown sugar

In a large glass jug mix the warmed milk, caster sugar and dried yeast together.  Leave for around 5 minutes till the mixture begins to look frothy.

In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the remaining doughnut ingredients and mix together on a low speed.  Slowly add the yeast mixture to the bowl and continue mixing until the dough forms.

Coat the inside of a large mixing bowl with vegetable oil and place the dough inside, cover with an oiled sheet of cling film and allow to prove until doubled in size.  This should take around 30-40 minutes.

While your dough is rising, cook your bacon.   Lay the rashers of baking on a prepared baking tray, sprinkle each side of the bacon with the brown sugar and grill until crispy.  Set aside and once cool chop into shards.

Once your dough has risen line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper and set aside.  Lightly flour your work surface and roll out the dough to 1/2 and inch thick.  Using a round cutter (you can choose to make your doughnuts as large or small as you please) cut out rounds and transfer to the prepared baking sheet.  Take a piping nozzle or a small round cutter and cut small circles out of the center of your doughnuts. Re-roll out your remaining dough until you've cut out as many doughnuts as possible, you should get around 10 - 12.

Allow to rise again on the baking sheet for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, heat your oil in a deep fat fryer or in a large heavy bottomed pan until it reaches 175°C, use a candy thermometer for best results. (I use this one)

Fry the doughnuts for 2 minutes on each side, ensuring not to over crowd the pan.  Remove and allow to cool on a tray lined with kitchen roll.  Continue until all your doughnuts are cooked. 

To make the glaze simply mix the maple syrup and icing sugar together in a bowl.  If it's too thick add a little water until it reaches your desired consistency.  Dip the doughnuts in the glaze and sprinkle with shards of bacon. 

Enjoy your epic doughnut!


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