Monday, 29 December 2014

Post Christmas Slump

Well that's over for another year then.

We had a great time at Amy and Harry's over the holiday, and managed to leave Nottingham just before it started snowing.


We had so much good food, Harry's Parents brought cake, we took a cheesecake, Saffron Buns and bread,

and Amy provided Turkey, Gammon and a superb Beef Wellington, washed down with plenty of Xmas cheer and all the trimmings.

Elsa was the star of the show, naturally,

Not only that we got to talk to George on Christmas Day as we opened our presents, she had cooked a feast for the staff and customers at the roadhouse, and enjoyed a swim with her pet cow Rachel,

I was given a pasta machine so I'm looking forward to using that in the coming months.

Back home, we wanted a simple meal, I found a half price leg of lamb and decided to slow cook it with garlic.

Basically you heat the oven to max and rub the lamb with olive oil and garlic,

than put it in a casserole and place it in the centre of the oven.Immediately turn the oven down to 160 degrees.
Baste every hour, after five its probably done but check that it falls apart before you stop cooking.

Pull the meat off the bones with a couple of forks and use the juices in your gravy.

I also made some Sourdough, using my Wholemeal starter and White flour, I started them on Saturday evening and baked on Sunday after the Lamb was finished. Maybe not as aerated as the purists would like, but these are for sandwiches so a closer crumb is preferable.

After the Roast Lamb yesterday, we will be having pulled Lamb with Apricots, Almonds and Cous-Cous today, as normality returns.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Festive Products

Amy had asked me to do some festive breads for the Xmas table, I chose Saffron Fruited Teacakes and a Walnut, Cranberry and Pistachio Bread.

So after a five am start, this is what I produced,

Saffron Teacakes

Walnut, Cranberry and Pistachio Bread.

While the oven was warming up I roasted some mixed nuts in Icing sugar and Paprika for a snack nibble.

I also strained my Blackberry infused Vodka,

and started some Rose Petal Infusion with  some more Vodka, that will take a couple of months to get the flavour in it.

It only remains to wish you all a very happy Christmas and good fortune for 2015.

Friday, 19 December 2014


Yvonne has been saying that it's not Christmas without Shortbread, so I just made some.

I use Yvonne's Grandmothers recipe, which substitutes 1oz of the flour for 1oz Semolina, I used coarse ground.

Here it is rolled and ready to go into the oven, 15 minutes later it was done and I re-scored it while it was still warm and flexible.

Now we just need to get the kettle on. Serves 2!!!!

Ciabatta in an Hour

They said that it couldn't be done, and I was one of them. But I'm a convert to the idea now.
We ran out of bread yesterday, and I didn't want  to make a lot more as we would not be here to eat it.
I did have a recipe for quick bread so I thought I would give it a go.

First put the oven on to Max with a dish in the bottom.

Basically its 450g warm water, 500g flour 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons yeast and 1.5 teaspoons salt.

Mix really well, (its very runny) I used my stand mixer for 6 minutes.

Then turn it out onto a well floured board, stretch and fold it for a couple of minutes, it will be a struggle at first but after a few folds it will start to feel stronger and tighter. When it does roughly shape it into two loaves and put them onto silicon paper.

Leave them for 15 minutes, boil the kettle and pour some of the hot water into the dish in the oven. Then put your loaves into the oven for 15-18 minutes until risen and golden.


Job done.

The reason I wanted the bread was to make Garlic Bread to go with our supper.
A couple of cross cut slices were spread with Garlic Paste then butter,

into the oven at 180 degrees for 20 minutes.

Not a bad afternoons work.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Yvonne makes a Crumble

I have been a bit remiss in posting to this blog, sorry about that. Things have been a trifle hectic here, I have had two more injections in my shoulder, under live xray and ultrasound to get them in the right place, and with that and all the other seasonal things, posing has taken a bit of a back seat.
To add to the mix, my computer had given up the ghost, so I have had to resurrect my old laptop, which like me is showing it's age. I thought that I had lost my more recent files, (although some are backed up on Dropbox there are some that are not) but I have taken the hard drive out of the computer and it is undamaged. Relief!!

I do back up weekly (or when I remember), but of course it was the day before it was due and I had just been thinking "I must do that."

So now it's a case of waiting for the sales to get a new one, and the exciting bit of anticipation. I was wondering what to fritter my CPD refund on!! Something for ME.

As the title suggests, Yvonne made a mixed fruit crumble yesterday to go with our Roast Gammon, it had Cherries, Apple and Peaches, and the topping contained Oats, Seeds and Brown Sugar. I made the custard.

Other than that it's been quiet food wise, we are starving ourselves in readiness for the Yule celebrations. (Actually we are not but it sounds better.) I have just been making ordinary White bread,

and trying to cope with not being able to move my shoulder, it's been keeping me awake a lot. And with the central heating breaking down. and all of lifes little troubles in the season of goodwill.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Granola and a loaf.

Here's a copy of the Well Bread! post about Granola, in case you missed it.

We went to Totnes Market on Friday, and I brought a bag of Peanut Granola from the Common Loaf Bakery stall. I've been a huge fan of them for a long time now and their produce is probably the best bread I've ever tasted.
I fancied making my own Granola for a while now, and seeing theirs and trying it gave em the push to have a go for myself.

I found a recipe for the basic mixture online, just Oats, Brown Sugar, and Cinnamon looking around the cupboards I found Pistachio nuts, Walnuts, Cranberries and Chocolate Chips to use for a filling.
My recipe had no indication of the amount of fillings to use but I figured that as long as they were no more than 50% of the total ( 270g of Oats) it should be OK.

Here's the dry mixture, Oats and filling plus Sugar and Cinnamon, just a pinch of salt.

And here's the Canola Oil and Honey, with a dash of Vanilla.

Mixed together we have this, which I spread out on a lined sheet.

I baked it at 140 for 25 minutes and left to cool.

After it had gone hard I broke it into pieces and stored it away.

That's breakfasts sorted for the next few days.

I also made a Soft Wholemeal Sandwich loaf for this week.

And looking out this evening, next door have put their tree up outside.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.