• Baking, Cooking 15.01.2013 No Comments

    I have been wanting to have a go at making sourdough bread for ages but thought it would be too difficult. I treated my self to Paul Hollywood’s How to Bake book and followed his recipe for the sourdough starter and basic sourdough loaf and I’m glad to report that it was entirely successful. My second batch of loaves are proving as I write and I think they will be even better than the first.

    I’m not going to give the recipe here but just some photos of the work in progress and finished loaves. If you have never made sourdough give it a try; it is immensely satisfying and you get great tasting bread!


    The sourdough starter bubbling away


    A loaf ready for proving


    The finished loaf



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  • Baking, Cooking 09.06.2011 2 Comments

    My son went to France last week on an exchange trip with school and has returned a complete Francophile.

    He now requires French bread for his school lunch so I thought I’d have a go at making my own. I used the French bread dough programme on my bread machine to make the dough.

    500g White bread flour
    1 teaspoon quick yeast
    2 teaspoons salt
    320ml warm water

    The dough took over 3 hours to make. It would have been quicker to use the Kenwood but I wanted to just leave it as I was busy.

    The dough was split into 4 portions. Each was flattened then rolled out to about 4cm x 30cm with plenty of flour.
    Each piece was then rolled into a cylinder shape and the join pinched together. The loaves were left to rise covered with a damp teatowel for half an hour.

    They were put into a hot oven, 200C for 15 minutes. A bowl of hot water was placed on a lower shelf to provide steam.

    The result? Four delicious, crusty loaves to be proud of! They didn’t last long though!


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  • Cooking 22.04.2011 No Comments

    I’m still trying to eat healthily most of the time.

    Needing a quick healthy lunch I decided to make a quick butter bean dip to have with pitta bread and carrot sticks. I used a 400g tin of butter beans but if you have more time you can soak and cook your own. I added the juice of half a lemon, 2 generous tablespoons of low fat creme fraiche, a crushed clove of garlic and a heaped teaspoon of curry powder. I whizzed mine in the food processor attachment of my Kenwood Chef but it can easily be mixed by hand. Make it smooth or chunky depending on your preference. A generous handful of chopped coriander finished it off and it made a delicious lunch with toasted pitta bread, carrot sticks and baby plum tomatoes. Low fat, healthy and delicious, perfect.


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