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Tag Archives: yeast

Hot Cross Buns: Three Great Recipes!

I’m in the throes of making hot cross buns today, Good Friday, 2017. My buns are at the moment in the fridge having their overnight first prove. If you’ve not done this before, a slow fridge prove creates a flavour superior to a short warm prove.

But more of these buns anon when they’re out of the oven!

Here are my three favourite hot cross buns so far in my Easter baking journey, two Jamie Oliver recipes and a Paul Hollywood recipe. I have shown photos of each, with a link to my recipes in previous posts.

Making your own hot cross buns is fun, seasonal and very very satisfying!

No 1. Jamie Oliver Hot Cross Buns from the Jamie Oliver website
https://thequirkandthecool.com/2016/03/26/hot-cross-buns-jamie-oliver-inspired/

No 2. Jamie Oliver Hot Cross Buns from Jamie Magazine
https://thequirkandthecool.com/2014/04/13/jamie-olivers-hot-cross-buns/

No 3. Paul Hollywood’s book “How to Bake” and it’s on his website too.
https://thequirkandthecool.com/2015/04/03/paul-hollywoods-hot-cross-buns/

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Stollen for New Year’s Day

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Friends and family were doing a lot of baking over Christmas and New Year. There were lots of lovely seasonal offerings as  well as well some new innovative dishes. A great Asian inspired duck salad springs to mind from Doctor Rosemary – and will feature soon on this blog.

This blogger is very keen on any form of baking which involves yeast. Bread, brioche, Danish pastries, croissants, I love making them all. I haven’t tried making stollen yet and find the store bought version rather sweet and stodgy.

This festive season friend and colleague Ruth L made stollen for New Year’s Day 2016 and I am very pleased to present her recipe and her lovely photos.

Wikipedia says: ” Stollen is a cake like fruit bread made with yeast, water and flour, and usually with zest added to the dough. Candied orange peel and candied citrus peel, raisins and almonds and different spices such as cardamom and cinnamon are added. Other ingredients, such as milk, sugar, butter, salt, rum, eggs, vanilla, other dried fruits and nuts and marzipan may also be added to the dough. The finished bread is sprinkled with icing sugar.”

Here is Ruth’s Stollen:

Ingredients
200g
 sultanas, currants
110g cherries, and citrus peel
110g
 dried cranberries
125ml
 dark rum

2 x 7g
 sachets dried yeast
75g
 sugar
185ml
 warm milk
350g
 plain wholemeal flour
150g
 plain flour
1½tsp
 ground cinnamon
½ tsp
 ground ginger
1 
 large free-range egg, lightly beaten
200g
 butter
1 orange, zested
1
 lemon, zested
250g homemade marzipan*

100g melted butter
50g icing sugar
50g flaked almonds to decorate

Method

Combine all dried fruits, and rum in a cover bowl to soak for at least 24 hours.

To make dough, combine yeast, 1 tbsp caster sugar and milk in a small bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes or until mixture bubbles.

When ready mix flour, remaining 55 g caster sugar, spices, 200 g butter, egg and the yeast mixture until mixture just starts to come together. This should be knead into a smooth and elastic dough it could take 20 minutes by hand or 7 minutes in a machine with a dough hook. Place in a greased bowl, cover and set aside in a warm place for 1½ hours or until dough doubles in size.

Knock back, stir in the soaked dried fruit(don’t add the left over rum if you think it will make the mixture to wet) as well as the orange and lemon zests into the dough. Knead until just combined. Place back in a greased bowl, cover and set aside in a warm place for a further 1 hour or until dough doubles in size.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into 2. Roll each portion out to a 30cm x 22 cm rectangle. Divide the marzipan in half and roll each piece into a 25cm log. Place each piece in the centre of each rectangle and roll up dough to enclose the marzipan.

Place on an oven tray lined with baking paper, cover and set aside in a warm place for 30 minutes or until slightly risen.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C, bake until loaves are golden brown approx 40 mins. From the oven brush with the 100g of melted butter and cover with icing sugar press in a handful of flaked almonds to each loaf.

Cool completely then wrap each stollen in plastic or store in an airtight container for 2 days before eating.

*Marzipan recipe

Ingredients

90g caster sugar
140g icing sugar
220g ground almonds
1 orange
1 free-range egg

Method

Mix the caster sugar, icing sugar and ground almonds together in a large bowl, then stir in the orange zest and beaten egg and mix again until the ingredients are well combined and have come together as a thick paste.

Turn out the paste onto a work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar, then knead until smooth. Roll the marzipan into a ball, then wrap in cling film and chill until needed.

 

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Simple Sourdough

 

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I love bread. It’s one of my favourite foods. Plenty of other people have written about bread, so I’m not bothering with an essay on the subject of bread here.

Because I love to eat it, I have to make it, which I have been doing for a long time. Simple white loaves, multi grain bread, rolls, focaccia, and of late, a lot of pizzas.

I have always wanted to master sourdough, that amazing bread that comes from flour and water, where you create your very own yeast. Getting a sourdough starter going is one thing, getting the starter to rise decent bread is another. Up until now, I’ve had some really disappointing loaves.

But then I found my new baking hero James Morton. James was a finalist in the Great British Bakeoff  2012 series. A Scotsman with a taste for fair isle vests, he impressed me with his traditional recipes and no-nonsense approach to baking.

So – I bought James’ first book Brilliant Bread and I have not looked back. A great, all round common sense book on bread making, and the source of the illusive recipes for a successful sourdough starter and sourdough loaf made with the starter.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Brilliant-Bread-James-Morton/dp/0091955602/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1373838093&sr=8-1&keywords=brilliant+bread

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Getting a sourdough starter going. This is a real labour of love. You have to be dedicated, patient, observant and accurate. A starter needs constant care and vigilance. It needs to be fed regularly, and, unless you hibernate your starter in the fridge, you have to look after it for ever!!! Or be prepared for the news of its demise.

Your sourdough starter needs more care than a pet….

If I go away for the weekend, my cat minder comes daily to feed Possum my beautiful cat. But I need to come back early to feed my starter because I don’t trust anyone else to do it… it’s a big responsibility if you want beautiful bread!

Sourdough Starter

Here is an abbreviated recipe from James’ book. Buy the book to get the full, incredibly helpful story.

1. Take 100g strong flour and 100g tepid water and measure into a glass jar (see through is best so you can see what’s going on).

2. Add your starter aid to kick start the the starter. James recommends raisins – that’s what I used.

3. Cover your jar and leave for 24 hours at room temperature.

4. Whether the starter is bubbling or not, add another 100g flour and 100g water and stir vigorously to combine.

5. Leave for 24-72 hours, or until you notice plenty of bubbles forming through the mixture and that it has definitely increased in volume. Then pour away at least 3/4 of your starter.

6. Give what’s left a good feed of flour and water – make it up to at least the size it was before you poured it away. James recommends not bothering with weighing feeds from now on – always feed your starter  using more flour than you think is already in the jar. James doesn’t mention how much water to add – having added the flour, I carefully add enough water so that the mixture looks roughly the same as it was before you threw stuff away.

7. Feed your starter every day and keep it at room temperature. You can put your starter in the fridge to hibernate if you’re going away or if you’re not baking. You will still need to feed it every week or so. If you want to use it, take it out of the fridge, let it warm up and give it a big feed.

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Some basic points:

Once you are onto the feeding stage, use cheap white flour, as you will be using a lot of it.

Remember, you need to discard at least 3/4 of your starter before you feed it. Of course, if you are using your starter for making bread, you have already taken away some starter so you can feed it at that point.

Your can use your starter when it is full of bubbles and has grown in size in the jar. (It does get noticeably bigger, but I don’t think there is a level of “bigness” that is required).

At this stage the yeasts in your starter are used to being fed  – they are said to be in a “fed state”. This normally 12- 24 hours after a feed and if the starter is fed regularly.

Simple Sourdough

This is basically James’ recipe. But as with the starter, the book is really helpful for more details.

Ingredients

400g Strong White Flour

10g Salt

200g White Sourdough Starter

275g Cold Water

Method

In a large bowl, weigh the flour and then rub in the salt until combined. Add the starter and water and mix until it has come together into a very wet dough. Cover and autolyse for 30 minutes. (This is resting of the dough, letting the yeast get a lot of the work done for you, so that when you knead, your dough will come together more easily).

Knead the dough for 10 minutes.

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Cover and rest the dough for approximately 4-6 hours at room temperature, or, alternatively, after a couple of hours, put it in the fridge overnight or during the day. This is an important stage, so the dough should be noticeably risen, if not quite doubled in size.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface *and carefully transfer to a proving basket or a floured tea towel inside a bowl (this what I use, although I think I will invest in a proving basket). Leave to prove for 3-4 hours at room temperature until springy and noticeably larger again. Or you can put your dough in the fridge to prove after an hour or two overnight or during the day. I left my dough to prove overnight.

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Preheat the oven to 240 degrees C at least 30 minutes before you intend to bake, and heat your baking surface (the thing you place your dough on or in). I used a loaf tin on a baking tray.

Turn out your proved dough onto a board lined with flour or semolina. Turn down the oven to 210 degrees C, slide the dough onto or into the baking surface and score your loaf as desired. (I roughly shaped my loaf at this point and gently lowered it into the tin, then scored the top). Bake for 40-50 minutes, adding a tray of water to the bottom of the oven to create steam.

Remove from the oven, and let rest for 1/2 hour, or so they say… I can’t resist cutting and eating hot bread straight out of the oven, but apparently that’s wrong!

I served my sourdough with my home-made Strawberry Jam and Rozelle Sunrise Ruby Grapefruit and Tangelo Marmalade. Yum!

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* At this point James says to shape your loaf, but I think it’s easier to prove first and then gently shape or place in a tin when it’s time to go into the oven.

 

 

 

Crumpets Revisited

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I love home made crumpets and I haven’t made them in ages so I cooked up a batch on the weekend. A previous post in 2013 used a recipe involving both bicarbonate of soda and soda water:

https://thequirkandthecool.com/2013/05/05/home-made-crumpets-3/

The recipe that follows is based on one from Gourmet Traveller and omits the soda water and uses more milk. The results were similar although I think the soda water version was a little lighter.

Ingredients
400 mls milk
20 gms butter, plus extra, softened, for greasing and cooking
1 tsp caster sugar
4 gms dried yeast
250 gms plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Method
Heat milk and butter over a low heat until butter melts, then stand until lukewarm.Combine sugar and yeast in a small bowl, add 100ml milk mixture, stir to dissolve then stand in a warm place until foamy (4-5 minutes).
Combine flour and a pinch of salt in a large bowl, make a well in the centre and add yeast mixture, stirring to incorporate a little flour.
Add remaining milk mixture, stir until smooth and combined, cover and stand in a warm place until very foamy (1-1½ hours).
Dissolve bicarbonate of soda in 25 mls warm water, add to batter, beat to combine.
Cover and stand until bubbling (25-30 minutes).
Heat a frying pan over low-medium heat. Add a little butter, then place buttered crumpet rings in the frying pan and fill each two-thirds full with batter.
Cook until mixture bubbles and small holes form on the surface  (4-5 minutes).
Remove rings, turn crumpets and cook until light golden (1 minute).

Serve warm immediately or serve toasted the following day. I ate them with butter and jam and I also tried golden syrup and fresh berries and yoghurt.  This quantity makes about 10 crumpets.

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Pear, Artichoke and Blue Cheese Grilled Pizza With Rosé and Cranberry Dressing

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Making pizza on the barbecue is really easy as I discovered when I made one for the first  time. I make lots of pizzas – home made is always nicest – but I was delighted with how quick and easy grilling the dough on the barbecue is!

This recipe was inspired by Bobby Flay’s recipe from his Barbecue Addiction television program: http://m.foodnetwork.com/recipes/551582

You make a normal pizza yeast dough – then grill it for a minute each side on the bars of a very hot barbecue. Then dress the grilled pizza with your toppings of choice, place on a baking tray and heat on the barbecue on medium heat, with the hood down to simulate an oven.

Fresh, hot, grilled pizza made right in front of your friends! You could even do “make your toppings” with everyone customizing their own pizza!

Ingredients
Dough

2 ¼ tsp dry yeast
1 cup warm water (40.5 – 46 degrees C)
2 to 2 ½ cups Tipo 00 flour, plus more for dusting
1 tsp sea salt
Extra-virgin olive oil

Toppings

1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 spring onions finely chopped
1 pear, sliced
2 -3 artichoke hearts, sliced
A handful of crumbled blue cheese (to taste)
Rosemary sprigs

Method
Pizza
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water in a large bowl and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in most of the flour and the salt, stirring until smooth. Continue adding the flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring until the dough comes away from the bowl but is still sticky.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead with lightly floured hands. Knead the dough until it is smooth, elastic and soft, but a little sticky, about 10 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and transfer to bowl lightly oiled with extra virgin olive oil, turn to coat. Cover with cling wrap and let rise in a warm place until it doubles in volume, about 2-3 hours. Press it with your finger to see if it’s done; an indent should remain.

Remove the dough from the bowl, divide in half and shape each half into a ball. This quantity makes 2 small pizzas. Or leave as 1 ball for 1 large pizza.

Brush with more oil and set aside for 30 minutes.

Heat your barbecue to very high.

Stretch and shape the ball/s of dough into a rectangle or round – or any rustic shape! Brush the top/s with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let rest for 15 minutes. Place on the grill directly on the bars, oiled side down, and grill until lightly golden brown, about 1 minute. Flip over and grill for 1 minute longer.

Place the pizza/s on a baking tray and apply your toppings:

Scatter over cheddar cheese, spring onions, sliced pear, sliced artichoke hearts and crumbled blue cheese.

Return to the barbecue, turn down the heat  to medium, close the cover and cook until the cheese has melted and the pears are heated through, about 5 minutes.

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Remove from the barbecue and drizzle with the rosé and cranberry dressing and garnish with rosemary sprigs. Cut and serve immediately.

Rosé and Cranberry Dressing
Combine ¼ glass of rosé with a splash of caramelized balsamic, 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil, 2 tsp of cranberry sauce and sea salt and black pepper to taste. You can vary these proportions to achieve the desired taste.

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Home-Made Crumpets

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A lazy Sunday brunch, perfect for home-made crumpets

This recipe makes fabulous crumpets! They are incredibly moorish and definitely beat the bought version! The recipe comes from the website of ABC Radio 702:

http://www.abc.net.au/local/recipes/2010/11/09/3061303.htm

Ingredients

300 grams plain flour
1 teaspoon caster sugar
7g sachet dried yeast
175ml milk, room temperature
175ml soda water, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon salt
Vegetable oil or non-stick cooking spray
Butter, honey or jam to serve.

Method

Sift the flour, caster sugar and yeast into a large bowl.
Stir in the milk, then add the soda water and whisk until smooth.

 Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest for about 1-1/2 hours, or until doubled in volume.
Beat in the bicarb and salt.
Heat a heavy-bottomed frying pan or the griddle plate on your barbecue until medium-hot.
Oil or spray the inside of the crumpet rings, as well as the pan or barbecue plate.
Place the rings on the cooking surface, making sure they’re evenly flat.

 Spoon 3-3 1/2 teaspoons of batter into each ring and gently cook for 6-7 minutes, or until the batter is set and covered with little holes.

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Turn the crumpets over and cook for another 2 minutes.
The bottom should be golden brown and the top only slightly coloured.

 Remove the rings and serve the crumpets straight away with lashings of butter, honey or your favourite jam (mine is homemade strawberry!)

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