Mikedowney.co.uk
What's New
Site Map

Diary
Astronomy
Bits N Bobs
Computing
Food And Drink
Links
Photography
Welcome


Recipe Collections
Recipe A Week 2013
Recipe A Week 2010
A-Z of Regional Cakes
Alphabet of Nations


Selected Entries
Pinhole Photography
Keeping Quail
Coventry
Recipes
A different recipe each week
Friends websites
Oven Temperatures and Measuring Cups


Most popular stories
A Hamster's Home is his C...
Hamster Peanuts
Simple HDR photography wi...
A Tangfastic Mess
Halloween Animal Beds
Decaffeinated Coffee
Garden Fountain
Pizza, Hamsters and Ballo...
Hamster Baby Update
More Squirrel Photos
Not Quite HDR photography


RSS Feeds:
RSS Feed Entire Site.
RSS Feed Diary only.



Powered by Blosxom


Pinhole Photography Ring
pinhole webring logo
powered by RingSurf
Next | Previous
Random Site | List Sites

More Hairy Biker Breads

Story location: Home / food_and_drink /
15/Jan/2014

Even though I have challenged myself to baking different 'Regional Cakes', I am still going to be trying various other new recipes including different breads. In the last week I have made two breads based on recipes in the Hairy Biker's Big Book of Baking.

The first was the 'Rustic Spanish Loaf'. I think this may be the first time I have made a loaf using an overnight starter with baking yeast, instead of sourdough wild yeasts. The resulting bread had a soft texture and a crumpet-like flavour.

The second was the 'Breakfast Bread' from the Austrian section of the book. This was an enriched dough with eggs, milk and oil, but was easier to handle than the brioche dough I made last year.

Breakfast Bread from the Hairy Biker's book

The bread was good and surprisingly quick to make. I left it to prove while we went to the shops and it had risen well by the time we got back.

Breakfast Bread from the Hairy Biker's book

The flavour wasn't as rich as brioche but it did have fewer eggs and didn't contain butter. It might be worth trying again but with a mixture of butter and oil to see what difference that makes.



Week 51: Panettone

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
22/Dec/2013

My Christmas recipes continue with Panettone. I am a couple of days late with this because we didn't finish the stollen until today and I didn't want too many half eaten cakes in the house.

Panettone

The recipe I followed was based on several different ones and was also modified based on the ingredients I had open in the kitchen.

See more ....
The dough was made by sifting 500g of flour, 100g of caster sugar, a teaspoon of yeast and a teaspoon of salt into a bowl (I used 400g of bread flour and 100g of plain flour

200ml of warmed milk, 1 tsp of vanilla essence and 2 medium eggs were beaten together then mixed with the dry ingredients to make a fairly sticky dough. This was left for several hours to rise until it had roughly doubled in size.

It was then time to mix in the butter (215g, a mixture of salted, unsalted and baking margarine) and dried fruits (240g, a mixture of sultanas, dried cherries and mixed fruit and peel).

I lined two round cake tins, with a round disk in the bottom and baking paper up the sides of the tins, standing at least 2 inches taller than the tin itself. This was an improvised panettone paper liner to support the cake as it rose.

I spooned the dough into the cake tins until it was level with the tops of the tins. I did not preheat the oven and put the cakes into the cold oven, on the middle shelf, and left them to rise, undisturbed, for several hours.

When they had started to rise again I turned the oven on to gas mark 7 and left them to bake for 35-45 minutes (the smaller one was ready first). Halfway through cooking, I brushed the tops of the cakes with melted butter and sprinkled some brown sugar on top. I then turned the oven down to gas mark 5 until the cakes were cooked and a skewer came out clean.

Panettone

This recipe was another success. It was trickier to make than the stollen, since lining the cake tins was a bit fiddly and the dough was sticky and difficult to work with, but the flavour and texture of the finished cake was good.



Week 44: Potato Bread and Tinned Fruit Cake

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
31/Oct/2013

This week brings another bread recipe from the Hairy Biker's book. The German Potato Bread was made using equal weights of mashed potato and bread flour, with salt, yeast and a small amount of sugar added. Some of the water the potatoes were boiled in was kept back and used in the mix.

German Potato Bread

The dough was quite sticky to work with since the flour was added a bit at a time until a reasonably firm dough was achieved. The resulting bread had a good soft texture and didn't taste potatoey.

German Potato Bread

The second recipe was a bit of an experiment. I had bought a tin of apricots with the intention of using them in another recipe but I never got around to making it and the tin had been in the cupboard for several months. I decided to have a go at a simple all in one cake where the ingredients just get dumped into a bowl, mixed then poured into a cake tin.

I chopped the apricots and added them, along with the syrup, to a mixing bowl. I added just under a cup of sugar, 1 medium egg and enough self-raising flour to make a reasonable looking cake batter (this turned out to be around 1 and a half cups).

This was poured into a greased and lined cake tin and baked for around 45 minutes at gas mark 4, until a skewer came out looking clean.

Tinned Apricot Cake

The cake is very moist and has a reasonable taste. It takes next to no time to prepare - it would be much faster if a tin of chopped or sliced fruit was used instead. You could also leave out the egg since I've seen some similar recipes which don't include one.



Week 43: Rye Bread and Seasonal Fruit Cake

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
24/Oct/2013

I did two new recipes this week. The first was a Norwegian Rye Bread from the Hairy Biker's book. Their recipe called for caraway seeds but I didn't have any of those. Instead I put some fennel seeds in the milk and strained them out when I added the milk to the flour.

Norwegian Ryebread

The bread was good, with a nice texture and flavour.

The second recipe was from the River Cottage Cake book. It was described as a seasonal Fresh Fruit Cake. It was packed with fruit and nuts: I used apples, plums, dried apricots and sultanas, and grated coconut, and a mixture of ground almonds and chopped mixed nuts. Along with the flour and oats, it's probably close to being a nutritionally complete cake.

Fruit Cake

The photo doesn't really do it justice but the cake did come out looking a strange purple/brown colour. The texture was a bit like a soft flapjack instead of being like a traditional fruit cake. The mixture was enough to make 3 cakes - I kept one out to eat, put one in the freezer and one in the fridge. I think the texture improved on the one which had been in the fridge for a couple of days.



Week 40: A busy week baking

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
04/Oct/2013

I've had quite a busy week baking, doing both breads and cakes. I started off with some olive bread, which I made since I had a large tub of olives which we bought cheap from the supermarket because they were going out of date.

I made a standard wholemeal loaf (50:50 wholemeal flour and plain bread flour), diced a handful of olives and kneaded them into the bread before proving.

Olive Bread

The next recipe was Apple and Oatmeal muffins. These were based on a recipe from a River Cottage book.

Apple Muffins

Finally, a malt loaf. This was based on a recipe from the Paul Hollywood Bread tv series. When it came out of the oven, it didn't look quite right. It was paler than a bought malt loaf and I forgot to add the sultanas. It tasted right though and had the proper soft texture. I'll definitely try it again but next time I'll try to remember to add the fruit.

malt loaf



Week 37: Curly Pies

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
09/Sep/2013

This is another recipe from the Hairy Biker's European baking book. They cooked Curly Pies in the Romania episode and their suggested filling included cheese, ham, chorizo and mushrooms. I went with cheese, chorizo and falafel for mine since our stocks of suitable pie-filling foods were getting a bit low.

The pastry is more like a dough and was made by mixing together 200ml of fizzy water, a pinch of salt, a small glug (approx. 1 tbs) of vegetable oil and 270g of plain flour. This was mixed to make a soft dough which was put in the fridge to rest for half an hour.

The quantities above should make 4 pies but I halved the amounts. I split the dough into 2 and flattened them into disks then spread the filling into the centre, folding the dough over to meet and overlap in the middle.

The original recipe suggested a glaze of 2 eggs and 100ml of yoghurt. We didn't have any yoghurt so I used 1 egg and 50g of a mix of milk and cream cheese (remember I was making half the amount). After brushing a generous amount over the pies, there was a lot of the glaze mixture left over - enough to make an omelette by adding the leftover filling which wouldn't fit in the pies.

Curly Pie

I baked the pies for 35-40 minutes at gas mark 4 on our pizza stone.

Cheese and Falafel Curly Pie

The pies were good but the pastry was a little on the chewy side. The CO2 from the fizzy water had helped the dough rise a bit during cooking so the mix might work well for an emergency pizza base.



Week 30: Onion Muffins

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
26/Jul/2013

This weeks recipe was based on one from the Hairy Bikers European Baking book and was a savoury onion muffin. The originals were topped with poppy seeds but I didn't have any of those so I made a few variations, topping some with onion seeds, some with grated cheese, and others weren't topped but had some chilli cheese mixed into the muffin batter before cooking.

Onion Muffins

I used red onions and one thing I noticed was that they turned green after cooking. The recipe contained baking soda, which is alkaline, so it is likely that this reacted with the anthocyanins in the onion to turn them green.

Onion Muffins



Week 29: Brioche

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
19/Jul/2013

This year has been largely dominated by baking and bread, mainly because my newest cookbooks are all baking based, mostly cakes, bread and pies. I regularly make normal 'everyday' loaves using either traditional yeast or sourdough without consulting any recipes, but every now and again I feel the need to try something a bit more adventurous. I had intended to try a brioche for a while and finally got around to doing it today, partly because we had 4 eggs in the kitchen which were getting a bit old and needed using up (they weren't off but the whites had gone a bit runny). The recipe I intended to try (from the River Cottage bread book) needed 4 eggs so that seemed to be a good way of using them up.

This recipe is 'all in one' where the flour, sugar, milk, butter and eggs are all mixed together, instead of more traditional ones where a dough gets made first and the butter is mixed in afterwards. I used our electric mixer with the dough hooks but the mix remained very sticky and refused to form a ball. I had to add a bit more flour and knead by hand before it became more manageable and was ready for the initial proving. After a couple of hours in the fridge, the dough had gone nice and firm and was then ready to be put in the tins for the second rising.

I decided to do a standard loaf and a more adventurous spiral shaped bun. I have been meaning to do more shaped loaves and I thought brioche might be a good one to start with.

Brioche

Brioche

I think I slightly over-baked them because the crust was a bit darker than I would have liked. The actual bread had a very good texture and tasted very buttery, possibly a bit too rich even! I can normally eat quite a lot of bread in one sitting but probably won't be able to with this. A very rich brioche like this would work very well with fruit or chocolate, to make a cake. A slightly less rich version would be more suitable to use as a normal bread, albeit a special treat bread.



Week 26: Parsnip Bread

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
23/Jun/2013

My first attempt at making a parsnip based bread was from a recipe by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. I had bought a cheap bag of parsnips which were going out of date and needed to use some up since I didn't really want to fill the freezer with parsnip wedges (which would probably have meant I would be eating roast parsnip for several months).

I followed HFW's recipe very closely but used finely chopped rosemary instead of thyme. The substitution worked well. There was one slight problem, which was probably my fault: the dough was a bit too wet and the resulting bread was slightly soggy in the middle. The actual flavour was good and the bread toasted well, which had the advantage of slightly drying out the bread a bit.

My second attempt was a sweet potato and parsnip bread. I started off with the vegetables mashed and left to cool before I added bread flour, yeast and a little water, and mixed to a soft dough. I think the dough was roughly 50% vegetable by weight. I baked the bread in a moderately hot oven until it was brown and crusty on top. The bread was slightly sweet and had a chewy texture but worked really well in a cheese toastie.



Week 21: Sourdough Pancakes and Pesto Bread

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
24/May/2013

I had planned to make a loaf of sourdough bread this week so I had my starter out in the kitchen and had been feeding it regularly (the starter usually lives in the fridge and I feed it a couple of times a week). I ended up with more starter than I needed so I thought I would have a go at making some Sourdough pancakes.

First thing this morning I stirred some milk, some more flour and a teaspoon of sugar into the starter and left it for a few hours. By lunchtime it was bubbling well again. I beat two eggs and added an teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda then stirred that into the starter, adding a bit more milk to get a pourable batter.

I poured a ladle of the batter into a small frying pan and cooked it on one side until the top was bubbling nicely. I then lifted the pancake out and put it face down into a second, larger, pan while I started the next pancake in the first pan. The second pan was big enough to hold two pancakes so they could be finished off and folded over with the cheesy filling.

At the weekend I made some rocket pesto, using ground mixed seeds, grated cheese and soft cheese. There was some left over which had been sitting in the fridge for a few days so I thought I'd see how it would go baked into a bread.

I made a standard loaf using a mixture of 50:50 bread flour and wholemeal flour and mixed the pesto in after all the other ingredients had been added. The dough had a slightly green appearance but the final baked loaf looked more normal, with some green herby flecks in. The actual bread was quite nice with a slightly cheesy taste.



Week 20: Bananabread and Butter Pudding

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
17/May/2013

A few weeks ago I made a couple of loaves of banana bread and froze one. This week I defrosted the second loaf and when I ate some it was a bit dry. I thought I would have a go at a bread and butter pudding.

Bananabread and Butter Pudding

I didn't butter the slices first but simply placed them in the dish and poured over a custard made from cream, milk, vanilla, a tablespoon of sugar and a couple of eggs. I cooked it for about three quarters of an hour at gas mark 4, until the custard had set.



Banana Bread revisited.

Story location: Home / food_and_drink /
29/Apr/2013

I still have several tubs of mashed banana in the freezer, from when I bought a bag of over-ripe and/or bruised bananas for 8p a couple of months ago. The sourdough baking booklet has a recipe for banana bread which is made using a sourdough batter with added baking soda for extra rising. I decided to use half the amount of sugar they suggested because I was adding dried fruit instead of chopped nuts and I didn't want the bread to be too sweet.

The resulting loaf was good, very similar to the River Cottage recipe I used previously.



Week 16: Hot Cross Buns

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
14/Apr/2013

This week's new recipe is yet another from the River Cottage Bread book. I followed their recipe as closely as possible. When it came to making the cross on top, I mixed the flour and water using the given quantities but it was far too runny and impossible to use in the piping bag without it all immediately running out of the nozzle. I mixed in some extra flour to make it a bit thicker and it worker better.

Hot Cross Buns

The hot cross buns were very good when eaten fresh. When they were a couple of days old, they had started to go a bit hard and dry and needed to be toasted, but they proved to be very good that way, with a bit of butter melted into them.



Week 15: Soda Bread and Scottish Oatcakes

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
09/Apr/2013

A couple of quick recipes this week, both coming from the River Cottage books (which I seem to be using rather a lot these days). One was more successful than the other. The first is soda bread. This is incredibly quick and easy to make. I didn't have buttermilk but used watered down full fat milk instead. The great thing about soda bread is that you only knead it for long enough to make sure it is fully mixed together.

The resulting bread tasted as good as a bought bread and we ate it within about an hour of starting it, with a bit of butter.

The second recipe was scottish oatcakes. Unlike the staffordshire oatcake, which is more like a pancake, these are hard dry biscuits. I made them using a mixture of plain flour, porridge oats and pinhead oatmeal. I didn't follow the recipe exactly and the biscuits came out a bit crumbly so I might try again but follow the original recipe a bit more closely.



Week 13: River Cottage Sourdough

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
24/Mar/2013

There are going to be 2 new recipes this week. The first is a sourdough loaf, made following a recipe in the River Cottage 'Bread' handbook. As usual with sourdough breads, this one took 2 days to make.

Last night I made the sponge by mixing sourdough starter with water (300ml) and flour, (250g) stirring together and leaving overnight to ferment.

This morning I added a teaspoon of salt, about a tablespoon of olive oil and the rest of the flour (300g) and mixed everything together, kneading for about 10 minutes. This was quite tricky to do because the dough was very sticky but the mix does need to be quite wet for this recipe.

The next 4 hours were repeated cycles of knocking back and reshaping the dough every hour which left it very soft and elastic. After that I shaped it into 2 loaves and left them to rise. I baked the loaves on our pizza stone, starting off at gas mark 9 then turning down to gas mark 3 after 10 minutes.

River Cottage Sourdough

The resulting bread has a firm crust with a soft inside with lots of air bubbles. The bread had a slightly crumpet-like texture flavour, which I liked.