what? bread?

a blog about making bread at home

Archive for the tag “walnuts”

Great British Bake Off Apricot Couronne

It was sweet bread week on GBBO last Tuesday. There’s not much I like more than sweet, fruity buns and breads so this was one of my favourite programmes in the series so far.

The technical challenge was a Paul Hollywood recipe – the apricot couronne, which just means ‘crown’ in French apparently. The recipe can be found on the BBC Food website here.

Regular readers will know that I don’t much like all the salt that Paul Hollywood puts in his breads, so the first change I’ve made is to reduce the salt by half, just a half a teaspoon of salt flakes for me please, ground in my pestle and mortar.

I also use fresh yeast, so that’s 14g of that, and this time I’ve mixed it with the milk and egg before adding to the dry goods.

???????????????????????????????

I’ve also not got in there and got sticky, I’ve gone the Dan Lepard way, so it was mixed,

???????????????????????????????

left for 10 mins, kneaded briefly

???????????????????????????????

and then left another 10 minutes, kneaded briefly,

???????????????????????????????

left and, then in a change from the normal Dan way, kneaded until smooth while I listened to the Archers,

???????????????????????????????

before putting back in the bowl for the rise.

???????????????????????????????

I’ve also used the milk and egg straight out of the fridge so it was pretty chilly and I hope the extra handling at the third knead has put some warmth into the dough. Next time, I’m going to try and remember to use the milk and egg from ambient as we’re heading into winter and my kitchen is not the warmest.

The filling consists of butter, sugar, apricots, plain flour, raisins, walnuts and orange zest. I have tried the recipe before and forgot to put in the flour because I was in a bit of a rush, the result was edible but a lot of the butter ‘fell’ out of the crown while it was baking and made a gooey mess on the baking paper with some of the sugar, which burned. So lesson learned, I measured out all the ingredients while the dough was resting, remembered the flour and I hope the butter doesn’t fall out this time. It is unusual to see flour in the filling paste, usually there’s some spices but this recipe doesn’t seem to have any.

In another diversion from the recommended ingredients I have slightly reduced the apricots because the bags of pre-soaked apricots contain 200g, so I’ve used half a bag of those, 100g instead of the listed 120g. I didn’t have quite enough raisins either, so I’ve made up the quantity of fruit with dried cherries. There’s another recipe on the BBC site that also contains marzipan, that could be nice nearer Christmas I think.

I needn’t have worried about the temperature, the first rise went off quite nicely. Then I spread the dough by hand,

???????????????????????????????

filled it, rolled it up, cut it down the middle

???????????????????????????????

and then did the twisting.

???????????????????????????????

Paul Hollywood liked the ones on the show that were open and where you could see the filling, so I tried to get the layers open. Getting the beast on the tray is a bit of a wrestle, as it is all quite soft. The second rise in the plastic bag was for about half an hour or so, then it went into the top oven as I was roasting chicken in the big one.

???????????????????????????????

30 minutes later and there we are,

???????????????????????????????

a few burnt bits of fruit round the edge, but the butter and sugar pretty much all stayed in, then on to the cooling rack, some apricot jam and icing drizzled on it, topped off with nuts. I can’t wait ’til tea time.

???????????????????????????????

Advertisements

Rocky Road Rock Cakes

I think my scales are on the blink! Had a bit of a ‘mare with these, because the scales were being freaky and not weighing properly, this is the second time they’ve been a bit off, so I have condemned them to the bin. But despite some gross inaccuracies on the measuring front I have emerged with something edible and promise to make them properly next time.

A very quick and easy Dan Lepard recipe available over here or in Short and Sweet. Easy cakey/biscuity munchies that can be made if you don’t have eggs and are mostly stuff you’ve got in the cupboard. Flour, baking powder, cocoa, chocolate, nuts, condensed milk (and you get to use a whole tin or so), butter, and a spoon of cinnamon. The topping is more chocolate, butter, condensed milk, boiling water and marshmallows.

I ran out of dark chocolate so used some cheap milk chocolate that was in the cupboard and surprisingly it all worked OK. I think it would be nice to play about with some sour cherries, big raisins, apricots and whatnot in the mix too.

???????????????????????????????

Fruit and nut gingerbread

Another weekend quicky here, again from Pat Ring’s charity book . Done while I was half doing other things and watching Red Nose Day Bake-Off so nothing to complicated to do. Got to admire the celebs that stand up and do this and loved Jo Brand having a sit down part way through.

Basically a one pot recipe. Into a saucepan go butter, muscovado sugar, treacle and golden syrup. When melted we add plain flour, ground ginger, bicarbonate of soda, one egg, a grated pear and apple, and some chopped walnuts. All nice and gloopy and into the oven for about 40 minutes (I made it 50), and topped off with lemon icing. Next time I’d probably add some more spices, but the result is a very moist cake and quite sticky on the top if you don’t like icing.

I am a lazy person so I really like using cake tin liners as they making getting larger cakes out in one piece very easy.

gingerfrt

 

New Year’s Resolution and Chocolate Coconut Chunks

My NY resolution for 2013 is not to buy any more cookery books, but to explore further the ones I already have and to revisit older favourite recipes that I may not have made for a while. Now the last bit of slightly stale Panettone and hardened Christmas cake has been eaten I can start 2013 baking. Yipee! Much as I love seasonal baking, I do like making things regularly and I haven’t baked anything except bread since before Christmas Eve.

To kick off 2013 today I made Chocolate Coconut Chunks from Pat Ring’s Cake, which was the last cookery book I bought towards the end of 2012. This is an excellent recipe for using up relatively small quantities of a large number of ingredients you may have lurking in your cupboards, plus a bit of butter, an egg and some milk in the topping. Without giving away quantities, you’ll have to get the book if you want to make this, there is: butter, walnuts, plain flour, baking powder, soft brown sugar, dessicated coconut, cocoa, sultanas, Weetabix (the secret ingredient), egg, vanilla extract. The topping is meant to be milk chocolate, butter, milk and icing sugar, sprinkled with more coconut. I didn’t have any milk chocolate (well the child wouldn’t sacrifice some of his bar) so made do with plain (which I generally prefer to Cadbury’s any day). I used an 8 inch square tin to bake it and that was fine, and cut it into 16 pieces. Using MyFitnessPal‘s data I calculated each piece contains about 260 calories.

choc coco chunks

As you can see from the picture, this bake has a slightly chunky texture, a bit like flapjack. The nuts and fruit makes for a treat that you can’t just swallow down without chewing. Yes, I have had cake that you don’t need to chew and there’s a time and place for everything and early in the year when we’re getting over Christmas excess by reducing calories I think you need to chew everything thoroughly and make sure you get every bit of flavour and texture out of your food. We can get to cake you don’t need to chew later in the year!

Post Navigation