what? bread?

a blog about making bread at home

Archive for the month “June, 2012”

the one about the einkorn

I can’t remember why I bought it but I did buy a pack of Dove’s Farm organic Einkorn flour. As an ‘ex archaeologist’  I sometimes get to thinking that I ought not to be an ‘ex archaeologist’ and put to use some of the skills and knowledge I used to use with some of the ones I have developed more recently. Baking bread makes me very happy and being able to make sourdough bread puts me in mind of our long departed ancestors who didn’t go to Tesco’s bread counter and blag industrial yeast but had to make do with what they had in their natural environment. I haven’t quite got round to building a wood fired bread oven in the garden in River Cottage style but am still making do with the electric oven. Here are two loaves that use all the modern technology but use some ancient style grains.

Dove’s Farm says of their flour –

“Einkorn or triticum monococcum, was the original wheat, developed over 20,000 years ago. We have been growing einkorn on our farm since 2008 and think the flour is perfect for bread baking. It grows on tall stalks which are distinguished by their short, flat, two row seed head which enclose small grains in an inedible husk. After harvest we remove the husk and mill the grain into a soft golden flour on our millstones.

Einkorn Flour makes great rustic style breads and pizza bases either on its own or blended half and half with white bread flour. Add baking powder to einkorn to make artisan style cakes.”

So, while the OH and the offspring were enjoying the delights of Silverstone and I was blogging the last Mellow Baker’s effort I had a couple of loaves of einkorn 50:50 with white flour on the go. The flour is not so coarse as some wholemeals and spelt flours that I have used. At 100% it could be a bit stodgy but at 50:50 it is just lovely. I’ll leave doing the sourdough version for another day.

And here they are. If I eat any more I won’t have any of the deficit left that I worked up by running this morning.

light caraway rye bread

The second of June’s Mellow Bakers recipe from Dan Lepard’ The Handmade Loaf (congratulations on yesterday by the way Mr Lepard and David!) http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/jun/22/coconut-mascarpone-cake-recipe-wedding?newsfeed=true

One where you make a ferment and leave it for a bit, then add the other stuff and make yet another brick!

Ingredients include: sour milk – didn’t have any of that so used sour cream, yeast, rye flour, caraway seeds, white flour, salt more yeast, malt – used the liquid “Roo strengthening medicine” type although I think you’re supposed to use some dried stuff, butter to slap on the top and that’s your lot.

Actually I think I need to get another loaf pan that is between a 1lb and a 2lb length and that might impact on the brickiness of some of these loaves. Output tasted OK and got eaten which is always a good thing. I used heavy rye and have been waiting to try again with light rye but got bored of waiting for an opportunity, so here’s the photos.  Today I have been baking with Einkhorn flour and that’s another story!

amaretto cheesecake

A dinner-time treat to follow down some home-made pizza, the base being Dan’s recipe from Short and Sweet. I like mine thin so make a half quantity for three pizzas and roll them out quite thinly. I also try to use the 00 flour that the recipe calls for. No pictures I’m afraid!

So, cheesecake. From the Hairy Bikers Bakeation in Italy – first make your amaretti biscuits – egg white, sugar, almond extract and ground almonds, then make the cheesecake topping – ricotta cheese, caster sugar, eggs, double cream, lemon zest and amaretto liqueur.

I’d had my eye on this one for a while, partly because it is gluten-free and our niece is that way inclined so if we entertain her we try to include treats she can eat. Normally with cheesecake for her I’d use the GF digestive biscuits from Sainsbury, but this is a way of making a cheesecake without involving any flour. So, equipped with a bottle of amaretto bought this week on offer from that supermarket already named I was ready.

Given that there’s only two adults and our son is mightily suspicious of everything I bake and thinks a wiff of alcohol will make him drunk (one day I’ll remind him about ‘quaffing’ Bucks Fizz at a Christening when he wasn’t out of nappies but not today), I opted to make only a three quarters sized cake on the basis that it ought to do 5 to 7 portions and keep the two of us going over the weekend.

Results – acceptable, a bit on the egg-custard side of cheesecake to be utterly perfect, but as I used the yolk from the egg used for the amaretti biscuits and three whole eggs, that might be why. However, the worst part was that while it was cooling in the oven it leaked out about 50ml of sweet juicy stuff which seemed to contain most of the amaretto. I saved most of this ‘juice’ and used it with some sliced strawberries which I left to marinate in caster sugar while the cake cooled. I don’t expect there to be much of this left by Monday. I have biked about 12 miles today, 7.5 with the offspring on his new road bike, so felt I’d just about earned it. And now I’m equipped with the amaretto, there’s some other recipes in that book that will require my attention.

raisin and cinnamon loaf and some Jubilee nostalgia

A blog with two themes.

Here’s my Mellow Baker’s raisin and cinnamon loaf, from Dan Lepard’s The Handmade Loaf, the first of our June bakes.

Ingredients: strong white flour, rye flour (I used light), wholewheat flour, salt, cinnamon, rye leaven (mine was going a bit crusty so I used half and half white and rye), water, olive oil, yeast, honey and raisins.

Nothing tricky about the instructions, typical Dan Lepard kneading for 10 secs and leave it, three times. Leave to rise for an hour, shape and leave to rise for 2 hours and then slash, spray and bake. I found the suggested baking time would be too long – the book says 50 minutes, mine had just over 30 in the oven and was very dark brown, almost burned. The crumb is thus a little moister than perhaps the book would suggest. However, I think all of this will get eaten.


While the loaf was rising I watched the coverage of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in London on the TV. I was pregnant when the Golden Jubilee happened and couldn’t tell you a thing that was done to celebrate 10 years ago, but I do have memories of the Silver Jubilee in 1977.

Silver Jubilee nostalgia…. being an oldish person now, I was at the end of ‘Middle School’ in 1977. I went to Coston’s Middle School in the London Boroough of Ealing, I actually won the local council’s Jubilee painting competition. I painted a picture of how I imagined the crowd looked on Coronation Day 1953, but it was a pity nobody told me it rained buckets that day. The prize was some vouchers to spend in Ealing and a party at Greenford Hall. I remember I spent the vouchers on a tennis racket (which I still have) , a casette of the Muppets (ma na ma na anyone?) and a book of music from the music shop on New Broadway (as I had pretensions of being musical, despite having a ‘flat ear’). This old photo has a music shop in it I think, maybe it was that one.

Not my memories but you can see how the town I live in now celebrated Coronation Day 1953 on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oskw2AtJwE&feature=relmfu and  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEgjr3FQw4s&feature=relmfu .

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