02.12.2021

These were the most Googled recipes of 2020, so how many have you mastered?

Google just released its Year in Search for 2020 – including the top recipes searches in the UK and the results are unsurprising. Comfort food was king, as was anything bread related.

Trumping the lot was a simple ‘Bread recipe’, closely followed by those looking to create a hearty, warming pot of beef bourguignon.

If 2020 has been anything, it’s been the year of the home cook. As the pandemic took hold in March, many of us took solace in the form of our kitchens, looking for ways to enjoy the home comforts of whipping up something homemade.

As we spent more and more time in our own company, some of us got more ambitious with our creations, looking to recreate our favourite restaurant dishes at home while they were shut during lockdown. Instagram flooded with triumphant snaps of banana bread and strange looking jars of sourdough starter, while the baking section of supermarket shelves were stripped bare, yeast and flour harder to snap up than a Hermès Kelly handbag.

With parents stuck home-schooling their kids, it’s little wonder the third most Googled recipe of 2020 was for ‘school cake’ – yes, those simple but eye-catching sponge tray bakes covered in bright icing and sprinkles that are reminiscent of our school lunch days.

The ‘KFC recipe’ followed, when fast food fans were keen to try their hand at the classic fried chicken while the chain was closed during the spring. Other recipes that made the top 10 list include the Wagamama katsu curry recipe and the IKEA meatball recipe.

Here, in order, are the top 10 most Googled recipes in 2020. Plus, we’ve helpfully given you a top recipe for each just in case you fancy having a go.

Happy cooking!

Bread Recipe

Ingredients:

500 grams strong white bread flour plus more for dusting
2½ teaspoons (7g) or 1 x 7g/¼oz sachet fast-action dried yeast
2 teaspoons (8g) caster sugar
2 teaspoons (12g) fine sea salt
125 millilitres spoilt milk (or sour cream) straight from the fridge
150 millilitres cold water
100 millilitres hot water from a just-boiled kettle
3 x 15ml tablespoons (45g) soft unsalted butter (omit if using sour cream, plus more for greasing tin)
vegetable oil for kneading

Method

  • Mix the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
  • Pour the spoilt milk (or sour cream) into a measuring jug, add the cold water (which will take you to the 275ml / 1½ cups mark) then the boiling water (and I’m presuming you don’t need me to say that it should now read 375ml).
  • Stir the soft butter into the jug; it won’t melt entirely, but that’s fine.
  • Pour the jug of wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients, stirring as you go, either with a wooden spoon, a Danish dough whisk or – and these are my tools of choice here – hands.
  • Stir until all the flour – apart from a little that’s clinging to the sides of the bowl – is absorbed into the dough; if this takes a minute I’d be surprised. Form into a rough ball, cover the bowl with food wrap or a shower cap, and leave for 10 minutes.
  • Pour a little oil onto the kitchen counter and spread it with your hand to give a light sheen to an area big enough to knead on.
  • Take the dough out of its bowl and duly knead it for 10 seconds.
  • How you knead is very personal: we all have our different styles; I push the dough away with the heel of my hand and bring it back with my fingers. Form the dough back into a ball, return it to its bowl, cover it again, and leave for 10 minutes.
  • Repeat this process twice, and after the third 10-second knead, form the dough into a ball again, put it back in the bowl, cover, and leave for an hour.
  • Line the bottom of a 2lb/900g loaf tin and very lightly grease the sides; I use an old butter wrapper for this.
  • Take the plumptiously risen dough out of its bowl, and pat it out on your oiled surface so that you have a soft, puffy mattress about 2cm thick, with one edge about 4cm shorter than the length of your tin.
  • Starting with this edge, and using both hands, tightly roll the dough into a scroll – or Swiss roll, if that helps you visualise it better – and tenderly place it seam side down in your prepared tin; you may have to press the short sides gently to fit it in, as the scroll can get longer as you roll.
  • Leave to rise for 1–1½ hours, until it’s peeking out just above the top of the tin.
  • Turn the oven on when it looks like it’s nearly there.
  • So, heat the oven to 200℃/180℃ Fan/400°F.
  • Dust the top of the dough with flour and bake for 45 minutes, by which time the bread will be risen, with a rounded and deep biscuity-gold top. Unless your oven is misfiring, it will definitely be done.
  • Armed with oven gloves, quickly take the bread out of the tin, and place it on a wire rack to cool before slicing into it.
  • To keep the loaf fresh for as long as possible, store in a bread bin. The next best method is to wrap it in a tea towel.
Beef Bourguignon Recipe

Ingredients:

2 lb (900 g) braising steak, cut into 2 inch (5 cm) squares
2 x 130 g packs cubetti pancetta or 225 g smoked or unsmoked streaky bacon, bought in one piece, then cut into cubes
4 oz (110 g) dark-gilled mushrooms, cut into chunks
salt and freshly milled black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
15 fl oz (425 ml) red Burgundy (or other red wine or dry cider)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
12 oz (350 g) shallots

Method

  • Bring 1¼ tablespoons of the oil to sizzling point in the casserole or pan and sear the beef, a few pieces at a time, to a rich, dark brown on all sides.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a plate as it browns.
  • Next add the sliced onion to the casserole and brown that a little too. Now return the meat to the casserole or pan and sprinkle in the flour, stirring round to soak up all the juices.
  • Then gradually pour in the Burgundy, again stirring all the time. Add the chopped garlic, herbs and seasoning, put the lid on and cook very gently on top of the stove (if the heat is not low enough, use a diffuser). Or transfer to the oven – either way it will take 2 hours.
  • Then, using a bit more olive oil, fry the shallots and bacon in a small frying pan to colour them lightly.
  • Add to the casserole, together with the mushrooms, then put the lid on and cook for a further hour.
  • The French accompaniment of potatoes boulangères and green salad would be good with this, or else tiny new potatoes and ratatouille.
School Cake Recipe

Ingredients

280g margarine (at room temperature)
280g caster sugar
5 free-range eggs (at room temperature)
280g self-raising flour
300g icing sugar
Few teaspoons of boiling water
Sprinkles to decorate (optional)

Method

  • Pre-heat your oven to 180°c (160°c for fan assisted oven or Gas Mark 4) and a 9″x12″ inch baking tin with greaseproof paper. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at time, ensuring each is mixed through before adding the next.
  • Sift in the flour and gently fold to create a batter.
  • Transfer the batter to your pre-lined tin and bake in your pre-heated oven for 50-60 minutes until risen, golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Once your cake has cooled completely; in a bowl, mix the icing sugar with a few teaspoons of boiling water, adding a little water at time until you have a thick pouring consistency.
  • Pour the icing onto your cake, using a spoon to guide it to the edges.
  • Finish with some rainbow sprinkles.
KFC Recipe

Ingredients:

600g plain flour
4 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp white pepper
2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tbsp mustard powder
1 tbsp celery
1tbsp salt
1 tbsp ground black pepper
½ tbsp of oregano
½ tbsp thyme

Method

  • Mix the flour and seasonings together in a bowl – Dan uses three parts of this mix to one part self-raising flour
  • Add the chicken – which should be at room temperature – to the dry mix
  • Make an egg wash – egg whites and milk – add the chicken to it
  • Put the chicken back into the seasoning and coat well
  • Fry it in hot oil – 162.5C for the perfect crispy chicken pieces – for five to six minutes
  • If you have a warming oven turn this on to 80C whilst you fry your chicken
  • Pop in here to keep warm if you’re cooking them in batches
  • And give them a final 90-second fry before serving.
White Bread Recipe

Ingredients

500g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp salt
7g sachet fast-action yeast
3 tbsp olive oil
300ml water

Method

  • Mix 500g strong white flour, 2 tsp salt and a 7g sachet of fast-action yeast in a large bowl.
  • Make a well in the centre, then add 3 tbsp olive oil and 300ml water, and mix well. If the dough seems a little stiff, add another 1-2 tbsp water and mix well.
  • Tip onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for around 10 mins.
  • Once the dough is satin-smooth, place it in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to rise for 1 hour until doubled in size or place in the fridge overnight.
  • Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Knock back the dough (punch the air out and pull the dough in on itself) then gently mould the dough into a ball.
  • Place it on the baking parchment to prove for a further hour until doubled in size.
  • Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7.
  • Dust the loaf with some extra flour and cut a cross about 6cm long into the top of the loaf with a sharp knife.
  • Bake for 25-30 mins until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped underneath.
  • Cool on a wire rack
American Pancakes Recipe

Ingredients

350ml milk
2 eggs
200g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
vegetable oil, for frying

Method

  • Whisk the milk and eggs in a jug, then set aside. Sieve the flour and the baking powder into a bowl, add a pinch of salt, the sugar and combine. Make a well in the centre and gradually pour in the milk and egg mixture. Beat well.
  • Brush a nonstick frying pan with a little vegetable oil and place over a medium heat. When the pan is hot, pour half a ladle of batter into the pan to form a pancake that is approx 10cm in diameter.
  • Cook until bubbles start to form, then flip the pancake over and cook the other side until golden.
  • Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup, if you like.
Wagamama katsu curry recipe

Ingredients:

For The Katsu Sauce:
2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2.3 piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1 teaspoon tumeric
2 tablespoons mild curry powder
1 tablespoon plain flour
300ml chicken or vegetable stock
100ml coconut milk
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar, to taste
Ingredients

For the dish:
120g rice (any type)
Katsu carry sauce (see above)
2 skinless chicken breasts
50g plain flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
100g panko breadcrumbs
75ml vegetable oil, for deep frying
40g mixed salad leaves

Method

  • For the sauce, start to soften the onions, garlic and ginger. Then add curry powder, turmeric. Allow to sit on a low to medium heat.
  • Add the flour, cook for 1 minute with the spices.
  • Add the chicken stock slowly, followed by the 100ml coconut milk. Add pinch of sugar, salt and dash of soy sauce.
  • Split chicken fillets in half and coat in flour.
  • Soak each one in egg, then dip into breadcrumbs. Make sure all sides of the chicken are covered, then put into the pan. Cook fillets until golden brown.
  • Strain curry sauce through a sieve, a little bit at a time.
  • Slice the chicken into lengths and plate up next to the rice.
  • Add salad, or wok-fried greens to the plate alongside, then drench in curry sauce.
  • Serve hot and enjoy!
Sourdough Starter Recipe

Ingredients:

50g strong white bread flour, preferably organic or stoneground

Method:

  • To begin your starter, mix 50g flour with 50g tepid water in a jar or, better still, a plastic container. Make sure all the flour is incorporated and leave, semi-uncovered, at room temperature for 24 hrs.
  • Mix 50g flour with 50g tepid water and stir into yesterday’s mixture. Make sure all the flour is incorporated and leave, semi-uncovered, at room temperature for another 24 hrs.
  • Mix 50g flour with 50g tepid water and stir into yesterday’s mixture. Make sure all the flour is incorporated and leave, semi-uncovered, at room temperature for another 24 hrs.
  • You should start to see some activity in the mixture now; there should be some bubbles forming and bubbling on top. Mix 50g flour with 50g tepid water and stir into yesterday’s mixture. Make sure all the flour is incorporated and leave, semi-uncovered, at room temperature for another 24 hrs.
  • The mixture should be very active now and ready for making your levain (starter). If it’s not bubbling, continue to feed it on a daily basis until it does. When it’s ready, it should smell like yogurt.
  • You now have a starter, which is the base to the bread. You’ll need to look after it, but naming is optional! Keep it in the fridge (it will stay dormant) and 24 hrs before you want to use it, pour half of it off and feed it with 100g flour and 100g water.
  • Leave it at room temperature and it should become active again. The longer the starter has been dormant, the more times it will need to be refreshed – the process of pouring off half the starter and replacing it with new flour and water – to reactivate.
  • If your starter is ready to use, a teaspoonful of the mixture should float in warm water.
IKEA Meatball Recipe

Ingredients

For the meatballs:
250g minced beef
250g minced pork
1 egg
2–3 dl cream (or milk) and water
2½ tbsp fine chopped onion
½ dl unsweetened rusk flour
2 boiled potatoes cold
4–5 tbsp butter, margarine or oil
Salt
White pepper
Allspice (optional)

For the sauce:
1 dl double cream
2 dl water or beef stock
Soy salt
White pepper
1 tbsp white flour

Method

  • Heat the onion until golden
  • Add in a couple of tablespoons of lightly browned butter. Mash the potatoes and moisten the rusk flour in a little water.
  • Mix all the ingredients into a smooth farce and flavour generously with salt, white pepper and (optional) fine crushed allspice.
  • Shape the farce into round balls and transfer to a floured chopping board, then fry them quite slowly in plenty of butter.
  • Swirl out the pan with a couple of decilitres of boiling water or meat stock.
  • Strain the pan juices and dilute with cream.
  • Thicken with white flour if preferred.
  • Season well, and serve this and the meatballs with freshly boiled potatoes, lingonberry jam, a green salad and salted or pickled gherkins.
Soda Bread Recipe

Ingredients:
500g plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp fine sea salt
Approx 400ml buttermilk or live yoghurt
A little milk, if necessary

Method

  • Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl and stir in the salt.
  • Make a well in the centre and pour in the buttermilk, stirring as you go. If necessary, add a tablespoon or two of milk to bring the mixture together; it should form a soft dough, just this side of sticky.
  • Tip it out on to a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly for about a minute, just long enough to pull it together into a loose ball but no longer – you need to get it into the oven while the bicarb is still doing its stuff. You’re not looking for the kind of smooth, elastic dough you’d get with a yeast-based bread.
  • Put the round of dough on a lightly floured baking sheet and dust generously with flour.
  • Mark a deep cross in it with a sharp, serrated knife, cutting about two-thirds of the way through the loaf.
  • Put it in an oven preheated to 200°C/gas mark 6 and bake for 40-45 minutes, until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped underneath.
  • Cool on a wire rack if you like a crunchy crust, or wrap in a clean tea towel if you prefer a soft crust.

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