Thursday, 19 September 2013

Last Post

And so to my last post. Thank you to the small numbers who have read and supported this blog. I am staying in Berwick- upon- Tweed for our annual two week holiday. Above is a malted sourdough I have made, without the assistance of weighing scales and using a dodgy electric oven. Tastes great! I always bring a bit of starter away from me. I made a sponge yesterday morning then proved it overnight in the fridge before baking this morning. Not a perfect loaf but a successful nonetheless. 

Whilst my blogging has tailed off I have consistently baked my sourdough bread each weekend and shared a loaf with my work colleagues. I start a new job next month in primary care, working alongside GPs helping people with anxiety and depression, with a focus on practical and psychological support. My running has been steady with a 10 km race penned in for December. Life is good.

I will be looking for a new venture to join, something akin to the Mellow Bakers project. 

All the best!

Saturday, 20 July 2013


Last weekend I baked a cake. What's so special about that? Well, I don't do cakes. I bake bread regularly, and despite the absence of blog posts I have been baking sourdough each weekend over the summer from a limited repertoire of white, spelt, granary and Dan Lepard's 60-40 Mill loaf. But last weekend I spied this recipe in the Guardian and was tempted to give it a go. Sue is the baking queen in our household - she was surprised that I had so little experience of baking cakes. It's true, I can recalled making a vegan celebration cake - a rich fruit cake that was surprisingly good and a worthy carrot cake, but that's it.

So Sunday, alongside two granary sourdoughs, and under strict supervision from Sue, I baked this raspberry almond streusel cake and it was gorgeous! 

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Nice bit of crumpet

Crumpets! Who knew that they were so easy to make? There are lots of recipes on the Internet but I used the one in my River Cottage bread book which is similar to one posted on The Guardian site The secret it seems is to get the batter consistency just right. too thick and you won't get the nice bubbles - too thin and the batter will leak from the crumpet rings.

These were fun to make and I will look forward to practising to get the batter just right. Sourdough was off the menu last weekend due to my poor scheduling but these simple tea cakes made amends.This weekend has produced a couple of granary sourdoughs and a personal best in s a 10km road race.......l

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Spring time

                   Spring)and everyone’s
in love and flowers pick themselves

ee cummings

It's Spring. Time for lighter Mediterranean-inspired dishes for these sunny evenings....

Not quite. Winter returned with a vengeance  yesterday. We had planned to go to Chesterfield but after standing at the bus stop being passed by smirking 4x4s we realised the bus service had been suspended. Never mind, we did some food shopping and took a few photographs before having lunch in a local pub with a decent pint of a Cornish ale "Proper Job". On the way home I spotted a patch of wild garlic that was not covered by the snow. Ruth had written about wild garlic recently. I usually forget about it until it is passed its best but this year I was more vigilant.

I love wild garlic and as we were planning a pizza night I thought I would pick a bunch to make a pesto accompaniment.

I followed a recipe I had seen in the paper recently by Hugh FW

I love making my own pestos. There's a lot of root veg in my veg box at the moment and the addition of pesto is like a spoonful of sunshine.

We made pizza with last night's home made tomato source and a River Cottage base. Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese completed the topping.

May be we were just hungry but this pizza tasted better than many we have had out.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

the light...

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Whissendine Windmill White Sourdough

When it comes to flour I tend to use what is available. My local supermarket stocks Bacheldre mill flour - rye and wholemeal - and Dove Farm's Malthouse flour. However I have to go to Chesterfield to find a good white stone-ground flour. I have been using this Whissendine Mill flour on and off for the past year and it makes a tasty bread.

Sunday morning and folding my dough for a white loaf which I intended to bake in my newly acquired enameled cast iron pot.

I used my trusty River Cottage sponge method but when it came to baking I turned the loaves out on to baking parchment and lowered them into the preheated pan and placed in the oven turned up high. I baked for about 30 minutes with the lid on, then 25 mins with it off. I did not slash the dough which may have been a mistake, as I was following the sugestion in Ken Forkish's book to allow the loaves to split in a rustic fashion (but not using his recipe which was a higher hydration!)

The breads came out well, not as dark as I expected considering I baked them longer and at a high temp. The crust was nice but not spectacular. However, I liked using the pot and plan to try some of the recipes in Forkish's book. I like the simplicity of his flour, water, yeast and salt recipes. And I would like to understand more about the science of baking a loaf.

The bread tastes great!

Monday, 11 March 2013

Rother valley

We walked to Rother Valley Country Park this morning dodging snow flurries. Not too many people about but this lone runner braved the elements!