Banana muffins

This recipe is perfect for using up those slightly sweeter, over ripe, bananas.

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 280g plain flour (sieved)
  • 1 tsp bicarb
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 large bananas (mashed)
  • 125g honey
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 80ml mead
  • 40ml olive oil
  • 40g linseed
  • Pumpkin seeds (to top)

Method:

In a large bowl mix the bananas, honey, eggs, oil & mead.

Add the flour, bicarb, and salt, and mix well. It should still be quite lumpy. Add the linseeds and stir through.

Divide the mix into cupcake cases and sprinkle a few pumpkin seeds onto each one.

Put in the centre if a pre heated oven for 20-25 minutes at 180 degrees celsius

Garlic baguettes

DSC_0238This recipe started off as an experiment and due to an error, turned out really good, and now I always make it this way.
The error is the large amount of yeast. This creates big holes in the baguettes, a lot like in a sourdough.

 

Makes 2 small baguettes

Ingredients:

  • 500g white bread flour (sifted)
  • 10g salt
  • 20g dried bread yeast
  • 300ml warm water (give or take)
  • 4 garlic cloves (grated)

Method:

Put the flour and salt into a large bowl and mix together.

Add the yeast and garlic, then slowly add the water and mix together to form a dough. You can add more or less water depending on how your dough feels. I find it varies slightly every time.

Tip out onto your worktop and knead for 10 minutes. I don’t bother to flour or oil the worktop, I never really found it necessary.

Here is a short video of how I like to kneed my dough. Stretch it out, then roll it back in and give it a 90 degree turn, before stretching it out again. This works quite well for a slightly sticky dough.

Put your dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover loosely with a plastic bag to stop it drying out. Place somewhere warm, I usually put it near our wood-burner or in the conservatory on a warm day.

Leave to prove for about 2 hours until the dough has roughly doubled in size.

Tip your dough back out onto your work surface and carefully deflate it by poking it with your fingers.

Divide the dough into 2 and shape into baguettes.

Place the baguettes into a lightly greased baguette baking tray.

Heat your oven to its highest temperature and boil the kettle.

Place some water in a baking tray at the bottom of the oven, this will help to create a good crust on your baguettes.

Add a little olive oil to the tops of the baguettes and slash the tops with a sharp, serrated knife. Put your baguette tray in the centre of the oven.

Put your loaf in the centre of the oven for 10 minutes before dropping the temperature to 200 degrees if the crust is looking pale, 180 degrees if the crust is noticeably browning, and 170 if it seems to be browning quickly. Cook for a further 30 mins.

Remove from the oven and serve whilst still warm.

Bread pudding

_20170501_125837I grew up eating this, when I could get some. Its really popular in our house, even now. My Nan used to make a big bread pudding and cut it in half for my grandad and dad but they never liked to share it; Now I make the pudding, and we share a slice, over a cup of tea.
This is great for using up stale bread. Store small amounts of bread in the freezer until you have enough for a pudding.

Traditionally the ‘liquid’ would be milk, but due to my wife’s dairy allergy, I usually use a fruity wine, but you could use almond milk. To be honest, any liquid should work. I have used beer, and have heard of people using whisky.

Ingredients:

  • 800g bread (torn into pieces)
  • 1kg mixed dried fruit
  • 2 tablespoons of ground mixed spice
  • ½ a teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ½ a teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 600ml liquid
  • 2 large eggs
  • 250g demerara sugar
  • zest and juice of a lemon
  • 100g vegetable spread. I use Stork (melted)

Method:

Put everything except the spread into a large bowl and scrunch it up, to completely break up the bread and mix it up well.IMG_20170413_215431_640

Add the melted spread and mix well again.

Grease and line a large baking dish and pour in the mixture. Sprinkle with a little sugar. Cover with foil or baking paper to prevent it from burning.

Place in the centre of a pre-heated oven at 170 degrees Celsius for about an hour and a half until firm and golden. Remove the foil/paper for the last 15 mins to allow the top to brown a little.

Chocolate rye bread

FB_IMG_1493493951173Rye flour grows in colder climates. It makes quite dense bread, due to a lack of gluten. This makes kneading it a waste of time, as you can’t stretch out the proteins.

In Denmark, Rye bread is really popular and bakeries make different kinds including a version of this chocolate rye.

It requires the starter recipe, found here, which takes about a week to establish, but once going is ready to use any time.

Making this bread is more like making a cake than a bread, so it’s a great beginners loaf and will give you the confidence you need to move on to making other breads.

You can also use this recipe to make a normal rye bread by leaving out the chocolate and dates.

Ingredients:

  • 300g rye flour
  • 100g white bread flour (sifted)
  • 100g sourdough starter
  • 10g salt
  • Tsp of olive oil + a little extra
  • 300ml warm water (give or take)
  • 120g dates
  • 50g pumpkin seeds
  • 50g linseed’s
  • 100g dark chocolate (chopped)
  • Makes a 2lb loaf

 

Method:

Put the flour and salt into a large bowl and mix together.

Add the starter and the olive oil and slowly add the water and mix together to form quite a sticky dough that is more like a cake mix than a bread dough. You can add more or less water depending on how your dough feels. I find it varies slightly every time.

Add the seeds, dates and chocolate and mix well. There is no point kneading this bread.

Place the dough in a lightly greased loaf tin. Cover loosely with a plastic bag and leave for a few hours, ideally overnight. It won’t rise very much due to the low gluten of the rye flour.

Heat your oven to its highest temperature and boil the kettle. Place some water in a baking tray at the bottom of the oven, this will help to create a good crust on your loaf.

Put your loaf in the centre of the oven for 10 minutes before dropping the temperature to 200 degrees Celsius if the crust is looking pale, 180 degrees Celsius if the crust is noticeably browning, and 170 degrees Celsius if it seems to be browning quickly. Cook for a further 40 mins. I like to take it out of the tin for the last 10 minutes, but this is optional and you may find it is stuck in the tin.

Remove from the tin. The loaf should sound hollow when you tap it on the bottom.

Leave to cool fully before cutting.

Sourdough

IMG_20170304_172707_726Sourdough is great tasting, but rather expensive to buy. Its relatively easy to make and doesn’t take up much time, but does need extra time to prove.

It requires the starter recipe, which you can find here and takes about a week to establish, but once going is ready to use any time.

You could try adding extras to the recipe, like garlic or rosemary works really well.

This fills a 2 lb loaf tin, or 500g proving basket.

Ingredients:
500g white bread flour (sifted)
10g salt
160g sourdough starter
25g honey
Tsp of olive oil + a little extra
300ml warm water (give or take)
A small amount of rye flour for coating

Method:
Put the flour and salt into a large bowl and mix together.

Add the starter, honey and olive oil and slowly add the water and mix together to form a slightly sticky dough.

It needs to be workable, but slightly wetter will make a better loaf. You can add more or less water depending on how your dough feels. I find it varies slightly every time.

Tip out onto your worktop and knead for 10 minutes. I don’t bother to flour or oil the worktop, I never really found it necessary.

There are various ways to knead your dough I like to stretch it out, then roll it back in and give it a 90 degree turn, before stretching it out again.

Put your dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover loosely with a plastic bag to stop it drying out. Place somewhere warm, I usually put it near our wood-burner or in the conservatory on a warm day.

Leave to prove for several hours until the dough has roughly doubled in size. Sourdough takes longer to develop than bread made with shop bought yeast, but benefits from the extra time, as it develops a better flavour.

Tip your dough back out onto your work surface and carefully deflate it by poking it with your fingers. Reshape and coat with rye flour.

IMG_20170318_101553_681Place it in a lightly greased loaf tin for a square sandwich loaf, or into a heavily floured proving basket, if you have one, for a more traditional loaf. Cover loosely with a plastic bag and leave for another hour or more to prove again. If using a tin, it should rise to the top.

Heat your oven to its highest temperature and boil the kettle. If using the proving basket option also place an oven tray in too heat.

Place some water in a baking tray at the bottom of the oven, this will help to create a good crust on your loaf.

If using the proving basket, tip your bread out onto the hot oven tray and get it in the oven and shut the door, as quick as possible, to avoid heat loss. If using a loaf tin, put your loaf tin in the centre of the oven.IMG_20170501_190458_720

Cook for 10 minutes before dropping the temperature to 200 degrees if the crust is looking pale, 180 degrees if the crust is noticeably browning, and 170 if it seems to be browning quickly. Cook for a further 40 mins.

Remove from the oven, the loaf should sound hollow when you tap it on the bottom.

Leave to cool fully before cutting.

 

Sourdough starter

FB_IMG_1493494357475A sourdough starter is a simple way of making bread without using shop bought yeast, instead you rely on naturally occurring yeasts.

This is great for making Rye bread and Sourdough. It gives an amazing flavour to the bread.

You can use any flour to make your starter, I have found Rye flour to be the most reliable. I made several failed starters that have gone bad, and even one that went moldy after I left it alone for several days, forgotten, whilst I took my wife to hospital to give birth to our daughter.

One way to get a starter is to acquire a bit from somebody you know that already has some and just maintain the feeding cycle.

Its easy to make your own starter, using naturally occurring yeast from the air in your Kitchen.

You will need a large container, I use a container designed for holding a bag of flour, but have also used large kilner jars.

You will also need flour and warm water. I don’t tend to measure what I add but you are looking for a batter type of mixture, so around 50/50 works well. Give it a good whisk, cover loosely and set it aside – Don’t forget it is going to be fermenting so don’t clip your lid on!

After a couple of days you should see signs of fermentation, tiny bubbles, like the image at the top of the page. If you smell it, it should be taking on a sharp, almost vinegary smell. Add some more flour and water, whisk and set it aside again.

Remember that your starter is now a living thing, so, like you, it needs feeding and watering regularly, I do it every couple of days. You can remove some of your starter, as you wish, which makes a great opportunity to bake some bread with it!

Wait a week to 10 days for the starter to establish properly before trying to bake with it.

If you are unable to feed your starter for a period of time, stick it in the fridge. It should keep without being fed for about a week.

Garlic flatbread

FB_IMG_1493543549564These taste great with curries. They don’t take much effort, but will need making a little in advance.

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 200g white bread flour (sifted) + a little extra
  • 5g salt
  • 100g sourdough starter
  • Tsp of olive oil + a little extra for frying
  • 180 ml warm water (give or take)
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves, grated (to taste)


Method:

Put the flour and salt into a large bowl and mix together.

Add the starter and olive oil and slowly add the water and mix together to form a dough. It needs to be workable, but slightly wetter will make a better loaf. You can add more or less water depending on how your dough feels. I find it varies slightly every time.

Tip out onto your worktop and knead for 5 minutes. I don’t bother to flour or oil the worktop, I never really found it necessary. There are various ways to knead your dough I like to stretch it out, then roll it back in and give it a 90 degree turn, before stretching it out again.

Put your dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover loosely with a plastic bag to stop it drying out. Place somewhere warm, I usually put it near our wood-burner or in the conservatory on a warm day.

Leave to prove for several hours until the dough has roughly doubled in size. Sourdough takes longer to develop than bread made with shop bought yeast, but benefits from the extra time, as it develops a better flavour.

Flour your work surface and break your dough into 4 portions. Cover each portion with a coat of flour and squash to around 3 or 4 mm thick.

Heat some olive oil in a frying pan and cook each flatbread for 3 or 4 minutes on each side

Black bread


FB_IMG_1493543260127This recipe contains blood. If you are a fan of black pudding its worth a go. Its not the sort of thing you’d eat every day, but goes really well with soups and stews.

I first tried black bread at Midgardsblot festival in Norway. Its an interesting flavour. Originally found in an early viking age grave in Sweden, it was baked using yeast from the same family as brewing today, pointing to brewing waste being used to rise the bread.

This version is made from a basic sourdough recipe, but cooked using blood.

This fills a 2 lb loaf tin, or 500g proving basket.

Ingredients:

  • 250g white bread flour (sifted)
  • 250g wholemeal flour
  • 10g salt
  • 160g sourdough starter
  • Tsp of olive oil
  • 300ml warm water (give or take)
  • 40 ml dried blood
  • A small amount of rye flour for coating

Method:

Mix the dried blood with the water and whisk to a smooth consistency.

Put the flour and salt into a large bowl and mix together.

Add the starter and olive oil and slowly add the blood solution and mix together to form a slightly sticky dough. It needs to be workable, but slightly wetter will make a better loaf. You can add more or less water depending on how your dough feels. I find it varies slightly every time.

Tip out onto your worktop and knead for 10 minutes. I don’t bother to flour or oil the worktop, I never really found it necessary.

There are various ways to knead your dough I like to stretch it out, then roll it back in and give it a 90 degree turn, before stretching it out again.

Put your dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover loosely with a plastic bag to stop it drying out. Place somewhere warm, I usually put it near our wood-burner or in the conservatory on a warm day.

Leave to prove for several hours until the dough has roughly doubled in size. Sourdough takes longer to develop than bread made with shop bought yeast, but benefits from the extra time, as it develops a better flavour.

Tip your dough back out onto your work surface and carefully deflate it by poking it with your fingers. Reshape and coat with rye flour

Place it in a lightly greased loaf tin for a square sandwich loaf, or into a heavily floured proving basket, if you have one, for a more traditional loaf. Cover loosely with a plastic bag and leave for another hour or more to prove again. If using a tin, it should rise to the top.

Heat your oven to its highest temperature and boil the kettle. If using the proving basket option also place an oven tray in too heat.

Place some water in a baking tray at the bottom of the oven, this will help to create a good crust on your loaf.

If using the proving basket, tip your bread out onto the hot oven tray and get it in the oven and shut the door, as quick as possible, to avoid heat loss. If using a loaf tin, put your loaf tin in the centre of the oven.

Cook for 10 minutes before dropping the temperature to 200 degrees Celsius if the crust is looking pale, 180 degrees Celsius if the crust is noticeably browning, and 170 degrees Celsius if it seems to be browning quickly. Cook for a further 40 mins.

When using a loaf tin, I like to take it out of the tin for the last 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven, the loaf should sound hollow when you tap it on the bottom.

Leave to cool fully before cutting.