Soft White Rolls

April 12, 2011

 So as I said yesterday I made our burger baps for the BBQ on Sunday, and I am so happy I gave it a go as they turned out to be so good!

I made double just in case something went wrong, as I was doing the first batch I made a little mistake so thought it wise to make more.

I used a River Cottage recipe. This makes 6 rolls.

You need:
300 ml water
500g white bread flour
5g yeast
10g salt
35g butter

1. Mix water with flour, bring together into a rough mixture. Add yeast, salt and butter and work into a dough.

2. Knead for 5-10 mins. If it’s too sticky add a little bit more flour. As you work it the stickiness starts to disappear, then it becomes more elastic.

I thought it had all gone wrong here, the instructions are a bit vague and don’t tell you how the dough should look or how to knead but I remembered my bread making lesson with John and what we had done there.

The dough was not smooth like it was that night though, so I was worried.

3. Leave to prove in an oiled bowl for an hour and a half in a warm place.

I left mine in the sunshine, with a bag over it with air in (something I learnt from John)

4. Tip out onto a very lightly floured surface, knock back, then shape. Cut in half, then cut each half into 3 to make 6 balls of dough. Stamp out with your fingers then make it into a ball shape. Roll it around to make it into a nice smooth shape.

5. Put on a greased baking sheet, fairly widely spaced apart. Sprinkle flour on top. Leave to rise somewhere warm for 30 minutes.

6. Put in the oven – 15-20 mins at 210-215°C.

So easy! Don’t worry too much basically, this recipe is fine and everything turned out great.

In the end I actually made too many and we are eating them for lunch this week, I think they might actually be getting better as the days go on!

Real Bread

March 22, 2011

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, we were fortunate enough to be given homemade real bread for our first supper.

I wanted to dedicate a post to this bread, partly because it was so good so to say thank you to John but also to talk about real bread.

A few words from our baker;

This Sourdough has just three added ingredients, organic flour (from Shipton Mill Gloucestershire), water and Cornish Sea Salt.  Made with a 55 year old rye starter. Naturally occurring yeast from the air and within the flour raises this loaf which is then made over three days to allow maximum flavour and fermentation. The bread is then proved in cane baskets to give it its distinctive shape.”

John moonlights as a baker – baking evenings and early mornings around a desk job in his domestic kitchen – but hopes to be able to give it up and launch an artisan bakery in Bristol over the next few months. (How amazing would this be, another independent bakery in Bristol!)

We used John’s sourdough to make toast to eat with the parfait and for the ricotta toast, mushroom and quail egg vegetarian starter.

Meanwhile I munched some in the kitchen to keep me going serving all the lovely food, with a nice layer of butter. YUM!

It is only really this year that I have really developed a passion for ‘real bread’ and I actually cannot go back to the bread I used to eat from the supermarket now.

The difference I notice physically is that real bread is really fresh the day you get it and gets progressively harder. After the first couple of days it is purely bread for toasting. But this is not a bad thing, it just makes me wonder what the hell goes into the bread I would normally buy that never goes hard, just mouldy.

The biggest difference is in the taste, and how filling real bread is. You only need one slice with your eggs in the morning, any more and you’ll struggle to eat it all!

 I always try to get some at the weekend, and when I do hardly ever eat lunch. Just a proper breakfast and dinner.

My local bakery is Mark’s Bread which I have mentioned many many times! They make about 10 different types of bread, plus croissants, Danish pastries and they have cakes too. They spent weeks perfecting their croissant, and really they could be French, again filling, real and fill you up. Sound like a croissant you can get in the supermarket? Nope!

Others to note in and around Bristol are Harts Bakery in Cotham, The Bertinet Kitchen in Bath and Hobbs House in Chipping Sodbury (available all over Bristol, I get mine at the Sourdough Cafe in St Nicks Market.

If you have more recommendations please let me know!

Try real bread and you won’t go back, I cannot bear to eat the plastic bread anymore.

I will be going to Johns kitchen bakery very soon and making some bread with him, bread that we can all make at home. Very excited about that blog post!


Make your own Hummous

June 11, 2010

Once you have made your own you’ll realise just how rubbish shop-bought versions are! If you have done it before this is a slightly different version from the norm…

This is another great snack to have ready when you have people over for dinner… you should always have something for people to nibble on while they wait, just in case they are super hungry.

This is not a hummous made from chickpeas so is slightly different, it’s lighter and I prefer it.

200g/7oz canned cannellini beans
1 large garlic clove, peeled and crushed
2 tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste)
½ lemon, juice only
5ml/½ tsp ground cumin
salt and freshly ground black pepper
150ml/1/4 pint olive oil

Drain the cannellini beans and place in the liquidiser or food processor with all the remaining ingredients except the oil.

Blend to a smooth paste, adding a little oil at a time to make the smooth paste like consistency.

Taste, adding a little more salt, garlic or lemon juice if required. This is best prepared overnight and chilled.

To serve, sprinkle a little chopped parsley, optional. Drizzle with a little more olive oil over the top.

I served with plenty of black pepper and lemon zest, some chopped olives or tomatoes would be nice as well. The last time I made it we had some bread from the farmers market but crudities would be a lighter less filling option.