May 162011

Sourdough breakfast bread

This is a wonderfully moist, tasty and nutritious start for your day full of fruit, nuts & spices. It’s also a great mid-afternoon snack for when your energy levels are dipping.

First thing to say is that the original idea was not mine. This recipe is a sourdough adaptation of Ed & Marieke’s yeasted muesli bread which you can find on their beautiful blog. Their recipe is lovely and will be useful to you if you are in more of a hurry to produce the breads. Obviously, there’s differences in the taste.

Fancy finding out how to make it?
Read on… Continue reading »

May 072011

Finished baconThe best thing about this is how easy it is. I’ll admit to being a bit cautious about doing this. Visions of strange moulds and smelly, inedible meat went through my mind. Well I found out that, as long as you’re careful about your food hygiene, it’s not a complicated process at all.

You get a triple bonus:
  • a sense of achievement from your home made charcuterie
  • the taste is just great
  • you’re not paying premium prices

The story started when we received half of a Gloucester Old Spot pig as part of a barter. Here’s what arrived:

Pork carcass

I butchered it into various joints & cuts for the freezer. I saved some so we could make:
  • a pancetta like bacon
  • some chorizo
If you’d like to know how we made the bacon, read on… Continue reading »
 Posted by at 11:24
May 012011

Rye and linseed sourdough breadI’m lucky to have a number of truly inspirational people in my ‘internet family’. This bread happened due to the inspiration of two people: the talented & generous Joanna at Zeb Bakes & baking guru & good guy, Dan Lepard.

Joanna posted some beautiful pictures of a flax (linseed) & rye loaf. As you’ll see I contributed with information about the mucilage the linseed produces when hydrated. So I was thinking about making a bread with linseeds and the rye seemed interesting too.

Matt the Miller at Bacheldre Mill had been kind enough to specially mill me a batch of chopped rye. Not as fine as flour and not the whole berry either.

Rye chopsI’d been looking for a chance to use them and this seemed like an ideal opportunity. This is where Dan Lepard’s inspiration came in. In his beautiful book, The Handmade Loaf, he has a recipe for a Sour 100% rye bread. In this, he uses a gelatinized rye mix to give the loaf elasticity.

Finally, I’ve been making a lot of bread lately with seed or grain ‘soakers’. Here you take your chosen seeds or grains and pre-soak them prior to adding to the dough mix. The presoaking means that they are fully hydrated and so do not take water from the flour grains.

So I thought the mucilage from the linseed and the gelatinized rye would make a tasty and moist sourdough if I used them like a ‘soaker’. And that’s what I did. If there are any of my readers who are pro-bakers who can improve on my recipe, I’d love the feedback…

If you want to know how to make the loaf, read on… Continue reading »

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