Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Bread Adventures: The recipe

Anne asked me for the recipe I used as the base for my herb bread, so I thought I'd share the story as well as the recipe.

It started out with a simple recipe for a basic white loaf. I had found it last year, tried it a couple of times and was very happy with the results. Then one day I wanted to make the bread and had just started, when I realised that I didn't have enough strong flour. It was either very early or very late, with the shops closed, but I'd already crumbled up the yeast into some sugar water, so I couldn't really stop. So I had a rummage in my cupboard, and luckily I still had some left over extrastrong flour (type 1050) and some wholemeal as well. Together they were just enough to make up the required amount of flour. So I mixed all the flours, then kept going with the original recipe, hoping that it would turn out passably.

Well, the result was not just passably, it was pretty nice. A brown bread that tasted like shop-bought brown toast, only better and more... substantial. I had been looking for this kind of recipe but had found it completely by accident.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Rabbit: The Aftermath

The rabbit dinner worked out a treat, despite a few complications due to the size, or lack of size, of my oven.

I wanted to serve the rabbit with oven roasted, herbed potatoes, but couldn't fit the roaster and the potatoes in at the same time, so had to settle for simmering the rabbit over two flames of my hob rather than just sticking it in the oven.

But from the beginning:

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Bread Adventures: Oregano and bacon breads

My brother asked me to make him a batch of bread dough today, because he's off cycling and having a bbq with friends. He plans to wrap the dough around sticks or branches and bake them over the hot coals.

I did this for him last week too, using a basic white loaf recipe from Rachel Allen's Bake, which I have altered slightly by replacing part of the strong flour with extra strong bread flour and wholemeal flour (1 part each of wholemeal, plain, and extra strong) to make a tasty and slightly healthier brown bread.

Then my brother suggested adding some diced bacon to one half of the dough, and some fresh herbs to the other. He wanted to use basil, but I used oregano, as it has a more intense flavour that I think stands up better to the kneading and baking process.

I don't know what he thinks of it yet, but I sneaked a bit of the herby dough for a roll for myself, and must say I'm very pleased. Now I'm tempted to whip up a whole batch of it, some to eat today and the rest for freezing.

The Beginning: Rabbit

Hello and welcome.

After several years of keeping my baking and cooking adventures offline (okay, mostly offline, I've posted the odd recipe and pictures elsewhere before), I finally thought it was time I kept a better record of my kitchen adventures.

You can find a short bio on the side of this blog, but right now I want to get straight to the point, that is, into my kitchen adventures:

This Easter, I'm planning to cook rabbit for the first time. I bought it fresh from the market this morning, and it's currently chilling until I need it tomorrow. The recipe calls for it to be marinaded with herbs (thyme, oregano, sage and rosemary) and citrus zest and juice for a couple of hours (I'll start that tomorrow morning), and then slowly stewed with tomatoes. I'm going to serve it with new potatoes roasted in some olive oil and with the leftovers of the herbs.

I'll see how it goes.