Sunday, 29 April 2012

Flakey Buttery Buns

Sunday breakfast of coffee and croissant - today coffee and Flakey Buttery Bun. 

I've finally got around to baking the third Mellow Bakers challenge for April. Some adaptation was required otherwise it would have to be on the lunch menu rather than breakfast. So I followed the recipe up to the point of the second rise and then popped the buns in the refrigerator overnight

This morning I warmed them up a bit before popping them in the oven.  The "warming them up a bit" was probably a mistake because the butter ran out of the rolls in the process!  Next time I would only bring them up to room temperature before baking.

Risen dough (with butter leeching out)
 The results were strongly reminiscent of Aberdeen "rowies" even in shape.

Baked product
To be honest I kneaded the initial dough a lot more. I also skimped on the butter (even before it leeched out). I just can't bring myself to add that much butter. Even then my mouth feels coated with butter all Sunday morning  just like rowies, although they are made with lard! So there were a few adaptations. If I made this again I would reduce the fat and be more controlling of the temperature.

A pale reflection

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Mal's Sourdough After Apent Bakeri

Here are the pictures I promised in my last post:

The dough is wet!  and nice and bubbly after an overnight fermentation

Good bread requires good ingredients. Here's my home grown sage picked this morning:

chopped and with black olives

That dough is kinda elastic

with additives (just the sage and olives)

folded and shaped

and baked to a golden brown.

Now that's what I call a web.

this is going to be a repeat recipe.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Sourdough In Action

Great news!  The BBC have sent two cooks on a tour of European bakeries.  Tinged only by the fact that the two cooks are the Hairy Bikers I watched the first programme Norway on iplayer a week ago and have been fixated with recreating the following recipe.

Apent Bakeri

Sadly the website for Apent Bakeri is in Norwegian, as is the tantalising "Brod" book. So instead of following a recipe I have watched the video over and over...  and if I have to listen to Si King's sycophantic eulogising of the bakers one more time I will go nuts!!!

But this is a great confidence booster for the home sourdough baker to see. It can be done in your own home and don't worry about a wet dough!

Only thing is wet dough and cameras don't go well together - so no home pictures to date.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Crumpet - or Muffin?

I've been on a white sourdough kick since seeing the Hairy Bikers' vist to Oslo's Apent Bakeri. More about that later. 

While you are experimenting with long ferment doughs it's a welcome relief to cook something really quick. By syphoning off some of the sourdough and diluting it you have an instant crumpet batter.

Bubbling Under
First it's off with the ring, then that moment of decision: How do you tell when it's the right moment to flip your crumpet?

Look - No Ring!

Crumpet or Muffin?
It's a real treat in no time at all. Whatever you call it!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Cherry Bomb

After only one mellow bake there is rebellion in our house. "I don't care if it's the Dan Lepard Challenge I don't want cherries in my bread".  Answer: divide the mix in two and only put cherries in half. Dan even suggests dividing the loaf in two (although with hindsight there's really only just enough for one loaf if you go by his weights and measures.)

And hey, wasn't I proud that hounded down those ingredients.

Rye berries - I have wheat and oat berries in stock but I'm not buying a third variety yet so it's wheat berries for me.

Cherries - They just happend to have these babies in the supermarket. Not my normal bag being soaked in sweetened oil but ... the challenge made me do it.

Poppy Seeds:  Black or Blue?  White???  Oh well its a lunchtime visit to the Indian grocers.


Dan's Loaf

My Loaf
Conclusion: I have some way to go!  Here's an honest shot. A bit flat and a bit stodgey. For the second time running I've suspected that the second proving at the temperature I use (in the unheated upper oven/grill above the heated main oven) is far too long and my dough is past it's peak and even relaxing. I toyed with using my baguette tray for the second rise, but in the interest of the challenge I thought I would restrict my adaptation to a minimum. I thought the cherry and fennel seed combination was great, but this is a tea bread needing just some butter. (I'm a recent convert to fennel seeds via my taralli experiments.)

The verdict from the non cherry consumers surprisingly positive too!

Monday, 9 April 2012

Hello Mellow Bakers - Dan Lepard's "Quick White Loaf"

I've joined in a challenge hosted by Paul at mellowbakers to bake our way through the recipes in Dan Lepard's book "The Handamade Loaf" first published in 2004 (but only acquired by me as a Christmas present in 2011). I've already been baking recipes from the book fairly intensively as I bake a loaf most days. But as it happens Paul has chosen three recipes that I haven't yet tried to begin with so I'm happy to be prompted by the challenge.

First things first.

I am an amateur. My day job is a 9-5 office job. Bread is my antidote. My opinions are my own (and very strongly felt). I have been baking bread at home on and off (mostly off) since 1979 when I bought a copy of Floss and Stan Dworkin's "Bake Your Own Bread - And Feel Healthier"

Dan Lepard is a professional with a whole career in baking culminating in his column for The Guardian newspaper.  He has done a lot to promote bread baking in Britain and beyond. Through his column his books and his website Dan has shared the tricks of the trade that he learned through bitter experience with his readership.   I think Dan is great!

I have grown my own experiences, shortcomings , shortcuts and instincts.

So I tried the first Challenge recipe today:

The ingredients are what you would expect for bread: flour,water, salt and yeast. The 'extras' in this recipe are milk and millet flour

Rather than baking just a freestanding loaf I thought I would try a pan loaf too, as the recipe is for two loaves:

Here they are after their second prove (which I stopped after 1hr instead of 90mins)

The free stansing loaf is a bit trickier as it needs to be tipped out of it's muslin lined basket onto a baking tray  dusted with rice flour

slashed and then slid onto a hot ceramic baking or pizza "stone".

The results were not at all bad


Even the pan loaf turned out a most acceptable light brick:

One loaf disappeared at first sitting!

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Back on song - My Rye

Happy to say, despite my 100% Rye  problems my hybrid 75% Rye still works

from one end...

or the other.

And with Good Friday looming large here is the traditional recipe for our house - Thanks Shamreen!