what? bread?

a blog about making bread at home

Archive for the month “February, 2013”

Wessex Mill Six Seed bread flour

A couple of weeks ago we were in Stony Stratford and I bought a bag of Wessex Mill Six Seed bread flour in a deli there. The first loaf I made was just using a white bread recipe and it was rather sadly to be classed alongside the Mesopotamian mud bricks that I sometimes make, so I didn’t show it off on here. It was edible and we ate it, the flour is rather tasty – it contains Wheat Flour, Linseed, poppy-seed, Sesame-seed, Millet, Sunflower Seed, Kibbled Wheat, but the loaf was rather shallow and thick. So before using any more of this lovely stuff I had a little think about how to make it into something that was edible. And today I came up with using Dan Lepard’s wholemeal recipe from Short and Sweet – which is a bit like this but uses entirely wholemeal flour and only 1 teaspoon of salt.

The result was a loaf that was going places in a hurry (a good thing in my cold kitchen), which had great oven spring and is nice and soft and spongy inside. So before I eat it all, here’s the pictures and I commend both Wessex Mill and Dan to you as usual.

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they don’t make Wagon Wheels as big as they used to

Haven’t we all said that and apparently although Burton’s say it is to do with the size of our hands getting bigger, not their snacks getting smaller. As with many snack foods the apparently the sizes vary in different countries – my how we laughed when we encountered a six-finger Kit-Kat in the USA a few years ago.

But it’s my husband’s birthday, so as a special treat I have hunted down a recipe for do-it-yourself Wagon Wheels – thank you to Kitsch in the kitchen for a recipe. And supersized them by using the largest round biscuit cutter we had. I used Galaxy chocolate for the coating and some home-made raspberry jam in the middle with the marshmallows. The bit with the marshmallows went a bit sticky, so there’s no pictures of the making, just the finished results. Picture below shows one ginormous biscuit, a ‘real’ Burton’s biscuit for comparison – you can almost see through the chocolate flavour coating on that one and a few small ones that I made.

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chocolate custard muffins – and bikes

As part of my New Year’s resolution to explore further bits of cookery books I already own, this afternoon I hit upon Dan Lepard’s chocolate custard muffins. The recipe is available online here. Unusually for any sort of cake recipe you start by making a chocolate ‘custard’ with water, cornflour, cocoa and sugar. When it’s nice a thick you add butter and chocolate, then when that’s melted in the rest of the ingredients, finishing with flour and raising agents. Which all goes totally against everything I know about making cake, but hey I’m open to ideas.

???????????????????????????????I made 12 muffin sized and 8 smaller ‘fairy cake’ sized cakes. Dan says to put icing on the top but that could be a bit much, so I may leave them plain.

Earlier this week I made some chocolate and orange muffins from a muffin recipe book – sorry they went so fast I couldn’t even photograph them and to me that recipe has a tang of the raising agent. These don’t and are rather lovely and squidgy.

And the bikes … I have a place in the inaugural Prudential London-Surrey 100 mile ride in August this year, so the next 6 months will be all about the bike, but I’ll need plenty of fuel on the way. Let’s see how the Olympic legacy works!

sometimes less is more

Sometimes I think I think too much about baking. However, I do think that bakers should think a bit about what goes into their bakes and what it contributes to the diet (in the old-fashioned regime sense of the word rather than the current emphasis on weight loss) of the person or people eating it. Sweet stuff is of course a treat and should not be a staple part of any regime, although sometimes I argue that cake is one of the major food groups along with protein, fruit and veg, carbs and fats but it really should only be the thin slice on that food plate the health people would have us use.

Readers of previous ramblings will know that I often cook with older cookbooks that have a bit of a wholefood spin to them. And on balance, that’s pretty much where I like my cakes and breads and stuff to be, full of interesting tastes and textures and hopefully not doing too much damage to anyone. Now I know I’m swimming against the tide here most days because yet again popular new books are all about the ‘look’ and not about the contents and what that contributes to the diet. I will admit to making too many rather worthy chewy efforts in the past, and I try to look for the more inspiring ones these days. However, you probably won’t find cup cakes here unless they have something special about them not just a fancy topping.

So this week I have baked the caramel layer cake from Great British Bake Off’s latest book. I halved the quantities because it is a mighty thing.  You can find the whole recipe on the web here (but please come back if you go there!) and we did manage to eat half of it before I caught it for a photo.

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So, that’s all well and good but it is a lot of butter and sugar all in one place and while it does taste lovely it is a lot of ’empty calories’ that I’d rather not eat myself. I thought about having something a bit more nutritious about the house too. A recent census of the kitchen cupboards revealed a pack of dried figs I’d forgotten about so I cast about for a recipe to use them up and found a Dan Lepard cake, cinnamon honey fruit cake which luckily for everyone is available online for free as well as in his book “Short and Sweet“. What a difference in the ingredients – raisins, apricots from Daily Bread, figs, not much butter, honey, brown sugar and treacle! Dan suggests a tray bake so I did that baked it for about 45 mins and it made 16 lovely solid slices of goodness.  That’s a lot for me to eat if the others here don’t like it but I’ve also put some in the freezer for another day.

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What ever your favourite is, remember cake is a treat not a staple food group.

Writing this while ‘enjoying’ Terry Leahy on Desert Island Discs, sadly his taste in music so so apt for Tesco, middle of the road and cheap! Must remember to put a link up when it’s available! Listen again.

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