Monthly Archives: July 2014

Summer

2014-07-27 13.11.40

summer – where you can get away with practically no cooking

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Apricot lavender galette

An impromptu visit by some friends for tea and I scrambled to make the fruit galette I itch to make come summer. Luckily there were some not-that-sweet apricots that could be parlayed into a tart. And summer means I can just cross the backyard—barefoot (!! No socks!! for once!)—to pick any herb I fancy.

Galette pastry with some cornmeal
170g            mixture of T55 and T65 flour
30g             Rough cornmeal
100g            Butter
1                  Large egg
1 TBS          Sugar
pinch of salt

I had some leftover cornmeal which I just wanted to finish so I threw it in: it added an appreciable crunch. Perhaps because of the cornmeal, to my surprise, I found I didn’t need to add any water at all. The dough came together very easily and held up well. I didn’t have at the time to chill the dough after rolling it out and filling it, but highly recommended. Note to self: don’t forget a bit of cornstarch (and sugar if necessary) for the fruit!

 

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Dan Lepard’s sweet potato cinnamon buns

 

I wanted very much to like this, but something was not right here. I’ve wanted to make these for the longest time. Adding some potato for a tender loaf is something I’ve done before, so I was quite sure this would work. But the dough turned out dry and the grated sweet potato bits stayed intact .

When the recipe calls for the addition of potato, I’ve always popped them into the oven while something is baking, then adding the puree into the dough. This is what I had intended to do but plain forgot to pop the sweet potato in arrghh. Could it be why?? the sweet potato not ‘dissolving’ into the dough and thus not contributing moisture?? I have seen other recipes calling for spuds to be grated in, but perhaps not quite a large qty and significant portion of the total ingredients??

Anyway, bench notes should I want to attempt these again:
– puree not grate the sweet potato
– I skipped the pecan but added 1tsp of extra cinnamon. Could do with a bit more (I love cinnamon).
– cover early enough, not just when it’s browning. The buns were slightly burnt in spots on both the bottom and top.

A pity about these buns because it’s not every day that I make cinnamon buns, and I was so looking forward to these. Meanwhile there are so many other recipes to try! So many and no time/occasion sigh…

Basic sourdough loaf & baking with water kefir

I wanted to
1. test a new T80 (semi-wholewheat) flour sourced from a local miller.
2. test out my last ‘findings’ that substituting water kefir for water makes for a very slightly sweeter and moist crumb.Until I try creating a starter from the kefir itself, using kefir helps me to use up the kefir.
My basic sourdough
350g T80 flour
50g Whole rye flour
150g Levain 100%
300g Water
6g Salt

I prepared two loaves side by side, one with water kefir, the other with water. I felt that the water loaf came together more easily and was stronger. Also the kefir dough had a slightly ‘gassy’ smell after mixing, and throughout the proofing. This is the first time I’ve encountered this, and could have something to do with the fact that the water kefir was rather fermented. (I fed it only ONCE after more than a week in the fridge.) Baked on the day instead.

Baked under the same conditions, the kefir loaf (on top) had a thinner crust and was almost similar in taste, but just that little bit softer in the crumb department. Bob, whom I annoyed by asking repeatedly, are you sure? very, very sure?? do they taste alike to you? are you just saying this because I told you?? shook his head at such inanity.