Sunday, 26 February 2012

A light Pumpernickel loaf

Traditionally Pumpernickel bread is a dark, heavy bread made with coarse dark rye and after a long, slow bake at relatively low temperatures the result is a very dark dense loaf. The darkness is created through the maillard effect of the sugars in the molasses along with the chocolate and coffee. This recipe however is a lighter version and exceptionally delicious, but of course it is all according to personal taste. Try this, I promise you won't be disappointed.

You will need:
  • Dried active yeast (2 tbspn) and 1/2 cup warm water & a pinch of sugar
  • 1/2 cup Molasses (available from health food shops)
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce
  • 4 tbspn unsalted buter
  • 1tbspn of treacle
  • Flours: Wholemeal (1/2 cup), Stoneground Rye (2 cups), White (4 cups) If you want a 'heavier' loaf than just reduce the amount of white in exchange for rye.
  • 1 cup of wheatbran (rich in vit B & folic acids)
  • 2 tbspn caraway seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbspn cocoa powder (you can also use coffee powder)
  • 1 tbspn shallots chopped finely
  • For glaze: 1tbspn cornstarch + 1/2 cup water
tip: whatever ingredient you exchange (ie. cocoa powder instead of coffee powder), just make sure you have the same weight of dry mixture and wet mixture as the recipe states.

1) Start by preparing your yeast, I used dried active. Stir dry yeast into warm water with pinch of sugar and dissolve. Let stand for 10 mins (until frothy).

2) In a small pan heat 2 cups of water, 1/2 cup of molasses, 1/4 cup of apple sauce, 4 tbsp buter,
1 tbspn treacle & set aside.
3) Mix your flours together: 1/2 cup w'meal, 2 cups rye, 4 cups white & set aside.

4) Combine 2 cups of your mixed flour (above) with the bran, seeds, salt,
cocoa powder, shallots.
5) Add your frothy yeast mixture and the warm molasses mixture.

6) Beat for about 3 minutes - until smooth

7) Slowly add the rest of your flour and combine

8) Knead the dough for about 3 minutes on a clean surface. You should be pushing
the dough away from you and shearing the dough with the palm of your hand so
that you work the gluten in the dough. Once the dough feels tighter, roll into a ball. The dough should have a
glossy finish and feel quite firm to touch.

9) Rest your dough for about 1hr in a well greased bowl. By sprinkling flour over the top you will notice the rise as the flour will
crack showing that your loaf has risen.

10) Your dough will be puffed up and risen to double in size. Carefully handle the dough by lifting out
of the bowl and scaling into your chosen tin sizes (I used smallish loaf tins so measured 480g of dough)

11) Shape and mould into your tins. Start with a rectangle shape and then pull over the left and right sides. Then fold over the top (see pic above) and roll neatly and fairly tightly into a roll shape for your tins.

12) Carefully place your rolled dough into your well greased loaf tins and leave to prove
for about 45 minutes.

13) Once risen you can glaze with your cornstarch mixture. Just bring 1 tbspn of cornstarch and 1/2 cup of water to the boil and reduce hear stirring until you get a thick, translucent mixture. Then brush on to your loaves immediately before baking. Slash carefully witha sharp, serrated knife to allow air to escape will baking.

14) Finally, bake in a pre-heated oven at 210 for 20 minutes and then reduce to 190 for 20-25 minutes
This loaf is baked at a moderate heat due to the sugar and seeded content. If baked to high then the loaf may burn and the seeds taste bitter. The final loaf will smell amazing and fill the house with malty, cocoa & caraway smells. A loaf will last you all week - I have enjoyed with smoked salmon & cream cheese in the mornings and a spread of Colston Bassett stilton in the evenings with a drop of red. Delicious.

Monday, 6 February 2012

How to make bread by Emmanuel Hadjiandreou

This truly is a beautiful book. I was lucky to pick one up on my recent visit back to Welbeck and to make it extra special, Emmanuel (my former tutor) signed me a copy.

Saturday night I spent the whole evening reading through each of the recipes (there are more than 60) and savouring over every one of the photographic illustrations. I could literally taste the caramalised crumb as I turned each page. Having spent the last year learning from Emmanuel's skills and passion in bread making, I have a collection of over 2000 photos myself, so I could appreciate the work that has gone into creating this book down to every last crumb!

This book is perfect as an introduction to bread making in your own home. Emmanuel guides you through the process with a step by step approach. No bread machine required. The selection of recipes are brilliant and it is immensely rewarding to share your results with friends and family. A bread lovers must have!

...or even better, take a trip up to The School of Artisan Food on the Welbeck Estate and purchase one from the man himself.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Winter spiced bread

My New Year's breakfast started around eleven in bed with some warm toasted cinnamon and raisin bread and much needed lashings of sweet homemade jams.

This is an easy loaf to make and a good way to use up your leftover ingredients from christmas cakes and puddings and whilst it bakes you can enjoy the spicy chrismassy smells filling the house once more.

When I am only baking one or two real bread loaves, I much prefer to shape the loaves raher than use a tin and fruit bread looks so pretty in a round ring with little dainty slices that are so incredibly moreish. Tip: To keep the middle from closing in during the prove, I used a little jam jar.

400g White strong flour
100g Light Rye
 10g fresh yeast (or 5 grams of dry / or 1 tsp)
 10g salt
350g water
250g raisins / mixed peel / nuts (whatever you have)
1 generous tspn cinnamon

1) Mix together to form the dough
2) No knead method means folding every 20 minutes x 4
3) Check gluten window by lightly stretching the dough until you can see through but it does not break easily.
4) Leave to ferment for 1 hour
5) Shape & mould into a round. Use your elbow to press down the centre of the round to make a ring shape. Place your little glass jar inside to hold the shape.
6) Prove for 1-2hrs or until doubled in size
7) Bake for at least 45 mins at 210 (fruit breads don't need such a high heat)

This loaf will keep all week and is excellent toasted.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

The perfect crusty roll

We had great fun last night at the Chorleywood Christmas Evening raising money for WellChild. We all wore silly hats, my brother dressed as Santa and together with the dynamic duo Don & Darren at J&J May Grocery in Chorleywood we gave out delicious and warming homemade soup with a freshly baked roll.

This recipe makes around 24 rolls

800g shipton mill strong white
200g light rye
20g fresh yeast (or 10g of dried yeast)
20g salt
700g water

Tip 1:  Flour the surface so rolls don't stick.
Tip 2: When resting cover them with an (oiled)  plastic sheet/bag so they
don't form a skin
1) Mix together to form your dough
2) Fold every 10 minutes x 4 (Dan Lepard method allows you to get on with other things)
3) Rest for an hour
4) Scale into 70g & rest on side under plastic
5) Mould into round balls and prove for 30 mins until risen
6) Just before baking brush each roll with a little salty water (1/2 tsp salt to 1/2 cup water)
7) Bake at 210 for 20 minutes with steam (fill tray at bottom of oven with a mug of water)

Brushing of salty water before baking gives you a really nice crust and is an alternative to adding sugar to your recipe, which will also give you a  crusty/darker finish.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Dan Lepard's christmas cake recipe

The house smells of warm treacle, brown sugar, mixed spices and all things chrismassy...cakes are just cooling on the side. This means three weeks to feed with brandy before the big day.

I am spending Christmas down on the farm in Devon with my boyfriends family so I wanted something extra special. I decided on the legendary Dan Lepard's Christmas cake recipe. No tweaks needed just straight from the gospel

a heavenly mixture of warm treacle, honey, golden syrup,
brown sugar, double cream, spices & lots of fruit

a traditional blessing with each turn

with all that rich ingredients one can become a little indecisive
over whether the cakes are done or not. I split the recipe volume
across three cakes and so baked for 1hour 50 mins starting on 170
and then dropping to 160 and covering with foil.
Thanks to Dan Lepard for sharing his recipe on BBC food and the useful video footage to get you started.

Happy baking x

Sunday, 27 November 2011

A winter warmer - ham hock & pea soup with light rye bread

With the house to myself this morning and as an alternative to sunday roast I thought I would make some ham hock soup with freshly baked rye bread.

Bring ham hock to boil in large pan of water & simmer for about 1.5hrs
then add your vegetables and bring to boil then simmer for a further 1hr

Take ham hock out and leave to cool for about 10mins
then cut off all the meat

Meanwhile bring your veg back up to boil and add your peas
 (i used frozen as all i had) if your using split peas then you need to add
them early on
Shred the meat with a knife & fork

Before adding the meat, use a stick blender for a few seconds to
thicken the soup a little but so you still have some chunky veg left.
Mix together the yeast & water first then the dry to form a dough
400g strong white
100g rye flour
10 g fresh yeast
10 g salt
350g water
Knead & work the gluten until you have a small smooth ball
Cover your ball with a plastic bowl and rest for 1 hour
Once rested gently knock back the dough by folding and moulding
into a log shaped. Then gently place into your greased tin.
Prove for about 1hour until risen by double in size

Slash the top and bake for around 30-35 mins on 230
Enjoy with your ham hock & pea soup

Thursday, 10 November 2011

An artisan lunch for the boardroom

I was invited to provide an artisan lunch for the MD meeting hosted by ANT telecom and I am pleased to report it was a great success. As I presented through all the goodies that I had made I found the room full of MDs and CEOs of local companies literally wide eyed at the platter that lay before them. I was proud as punch.

Artisan Breads using Shipton Mill Organic Flour

Focaccia with rosemary & rock Salt
Light Rye Walnut Bread
Pain de Campagne made with natural sourdough starter
Olive & Feta bread wrapped in golden linseed and crushed pine nuts

Light Rye with walnuts

Pain de Campagne / Olive & Feta
with Golden Linseed & Pine Nuts
Seasonal Salads
Red, golden & candy roasted beetroots with goats cheese & toasted sunflower seeds
Warm runner beans, fennel, walnuts & apples
Organic cucumber with poppy seed and sweet peppers

Charcuterie board with figs, rocket & cornichons

Italian Parma ham
Polish Kebanos
Hungarian Mangilika Sausages
German Peppered Salami

Cheese Board 

Wookey Hole Cave Aged Cheddar (thanks to Lee-Anna my seriously cheesey expert for the recommendations!)
Blue Stilton from Melton Mowbray


Apple, Cinnamon & walnut tea cake
Victoria sponge with homemade raspberry jam and fresh whipped cream
Winter berry sweet pastry tartlets with mascerpone & creme fraiche filling
Apple, Cinnamon & Walnut
tea cake
Winter berry tartlets with
mascerpone & creme fraiche