Tag: bread

nutty brown bread

nutty brown bread

Soda type breads are a great way to use up old milk, and don’t need yeast.

This recipe comes from an old book of mine entitled the Irish Baking Book – no sign of it on Amazon or anywhere else, but it has a lot of recipes from my childhood in it. I have no idea why this is called “nutty”, but it is gorgeous nonetheless.

We had it with scrambled eggs, the last of the mushrooms, and bacon for Sunday brunch, and then used what was left for lunch today – I had it with egg mayo, and Pete did something with cheese and a kabanos sossidge. Lets not go there.

50g oats
175g wholewheat flour
75g strong white (bread) flour
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 heaped tsp baking powder
250ml buttermilk (if you don’t have it, just use half and half milk/yogurt)

Put the oatmeal, flours, sugar and baking powder into a bowl and mix together.  Add the buttermilk.  Mix everything with a wooden spoon, and knead slightly (or do what I do – Kitchenaid with a dough hook!)

Place the dough in a small greased loaf tin, and bake at 200C/gas 6 for 30-35 minutes.

The recipe says “eat withiin 24 hours” – you’ll have trouble keeping it that long!

pan gallego

Pan Gallego

This is a Spanish bread from Galicia.  I made it to use up an ounce of fresh yeast left over from the weekend’s foccacia …

350g strong white bread flour
115g wholemeal bread flour
2 tsp salt (I think this was a bit too much myself)
2 tbsp olive oil
20g fresh yeast
275ml lukewarm water
2 tbsp each of pumpkin and sunflower seeds
1 tbsp polenta

Sprinkle a baking sheet with the polenta.

Combine flours and salt in a large bowl.

Mix the yeast with the water, add to the flours with the yeast liquid and the olive oil, mix to a firm dough, then turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes.  (hint: food mixer with dough hook.  You know it makes sense).

Place in an oiled bowl, cover with oiled clingfilm, leave to rise for a couple of hours.

Knock back, turn out onto a floured surface, knead in the seeds, and rest the dough (and yourself) for five minutes.

Form it into a round ball, make a twist in the top to form a cap, and place it on the baking tray.  Cover with a large bowl ( I presume this is to constrain the shape) and leave to rise for 45 minutes or so.

Then, in a pre-heated gas 7 oven, place a roasting tray with about 1/2″ of warm water in it, on the bottom of the oven.  Put the bread in above it, cook for ten minutes and then remove the water.  Cook for a further 20-30 minutes (I found 20 was fine). Cool on a wire rack.

The polenta gives it a really nice crunchiness.


foccacia - after

I’m rarely organised enough to make bread. We do have a bread machine, but it’s in the loft; I don’t particularly like the bread it makes, and we don’t eat much bread anyway. But I fancied some for lunch yesterday – I have a Kitchenaid mixer with a dough hook, there was bread flour in the flour bin, fresh yeast in the freezer, so I consulted the breadmaking books, and the foccacia was born.

In a jug, mix 1oz of fresh yeast with 9.5 fluid oz of warm water, and 2 fluid oz of white wine.

Put 1 1/4lbs of strong white flour in a bowl, and add 2 teaspoons of salt. Mix together, and make a well in the centre. Add the liquid, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Combine, and knead for ten minutes – or use a dough hook for five. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise for an hour or two, until doubled.

Remove from the bowl, knock it back gently, and place in a baking tin, stretching it gently to reach the edges. Cover, and leave for half an hour or so until it’s risen again. Knock holes with your finger tips – carefully, nearly but not quite down to the bottom of the dough, then cover and leave for another half an hour. Then drizzle olive oil into the holes, sprinkle the bread with sea salt, and if you like add some fresh herbs. I used some rosemary from the garden, and some sage that was drying on the pan rack – our herb garden is coming on nicely!

Bake at gas mark 8 for about 25 minutes. We ate it with home made carrot and coriander soup for lunch, and had the remains toasted for breakfast this morning, spread with marmalade.

plantathon 2008 - after
Herb garden – more in it now.

what to do with the leftover asparagus

asparagus omelette and home made soda bread

Make an omelette! Three eggs, some asparagus blanched for about 4 minutes, salt, pepper and some shavings of gruyere. Lovely.

Had it with home made soda bread – this is a useful recipe, as you can use pretty much any combination of bread flour, and it will work. And it has no yeast, so is very quick.

450g plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarb of soda
400ml buttermilk (use plain yogurt if you haven’t got buttermilk)

Preheat oven to 230C/450F/gas 8

Sift flour, salt and bicarb into a bowl.  Make a well, and add buttermilk.

Using one hand, slowly incoporate the flour into the milk to give soft, but not sticky dough. (Or cheat – use a mixer with a dough hook :).

Turn onto a floured board, and knead lightly for 1 minute until smooth.  Shape to a round about 4cm high. Cut a deep cross from one edge to the other.

Place on a floured baking tray and bake for 15 minutes.  Reduce the heat to 200C/400C/Gas 6, and bake for a further 30 minutes.  To test if the bread is cooked, tap the underside of the loaf – if it sounds hollow, it’s cooked.

Cool on a wire rack, eat with good butter.  Gorgeous.

weekend 19/20 april

We didn’t set foot out of the house. Made a batch of bananananana muffins on Friday night, and then we ate far too many of them, and both had a nasty sugar hit overnight. Serves us right.

Saturday, made soda bread for lunch, which we had with the previously mentioned chickie! soup. Supper was pork and pineapple – I went into autopilot while I was making it, and did a load of ginger, which isn’t actually in the recipe. Was still delicious.

Sunday was toasted soda bread for breakfast, and a moussaka for supper, followed – foolishly – by a plum crumble with ice cream. Belch.

I’m going to have to start photographing things, aren’t I ..

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when the going gets tough

The tough get … cooking.

perlmonger has been up to his eyes today configuring servers; that’s not something that I can really help with, so I had a cooking frenzy.

I made

  • Some soda bread for lunch – my Irish grandmother made a loaf of this every morning, and it’s delicious. I actually use a mix of plain flour, strong white, and wholemeal. Fab – I ate mine with some smoked cheddar, and red pepper relish. And now I want to make chutney.
  • I cooked up half a huge gammon – I buy these from Costco, at about £18 a time. Half went in the freezer uncooked, and the other half was cooked up in my splendid new cast iron cauldron (conveyed from Forn Parts by that nice ccomley, cos they’re much cheaper there). It’s so huge we had to rearrange the kitchen to find somewhere to keep it, and I can’t actually lift it when it’s full, but ne’er mind – it is a splendid cooking recepticule. This (half) gammon was cooked with a quartered onion, two star anise and a slosh of maple syrup, and very nice it is too.
  • Next up was a piece of top side, supplied by that nice Mr Rawlings. It was too small to roast, so I did it innapot, very slowly, and it’s nearly ready to eat. I put the potatoes in with it today for a change.
  • Then a huge pot of soup was constructed for next week’s lunches – I chopped carrots, celery, leeks and courgettes, sweated them down in some olive oil, and added lentils and a carton of passata (something no larder should be without). Once the gammon was cooked, I stole most of the ham stock and bunged it in the soup pan. It will be gorgeous. I hope.

P is now requesting bananananana muffins, but I think I might be too tired. I’ll see.

[edit] Oh yes – I took the half of fresh pineapple that was left, liquidised it, and cooked it down with a little sugar and some cornflour. It’s gone in the freezer as a cheesecake topping or summat similar.