Showing posts from July, 2011

Super-Lemon Cake

A whole week of not baking, I am itching to get back to the kitchen now.

Went to Moscow for a quick holiday, believe it or not, it was super hot, 30C every day and so humid!! Cold ice-cream for me and cold beer for Mr Ranty every day – the only way to deal with it.

I put my starter to sleep in the fridge while I was away, took it out on Monday and started feeding it 30g water and 30g rye flour every morning and evening. It was looking reasonably active this morning, so might try baking tonight, that is if this cold London weather doesn’t kill it.

While I am waiting for my starter to come alive, I’ve decided to make a cake out of the "Hummingbird Bakery" book again. A recipe I’ve tried out and tweaked a number of times, a favourite in my household. Mr Ranty is a big fan on lemon, and this particular lemon cake always doesn’t down really well.

Super-Lemon Cake
Adapted from “Hummingbird Bakery” cookbook

3 eggs
260 g sugar
zest of 2 lemons
400 g flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Sticking to it - Brioche

After experimenting with a few recipes and making things up, I’ve decided to stick to a recipe and see how I get on. This time I went for Nancy Silverton’s Brioche bread, from her La Brea Bakery book.
I’ve tried this recipe about six months ago, and got one of the best praises ever – “its just like what I buy in Paris”, from a guy who only just got back from France – you can’t get better than that, can you?

I don’t think I can publish the actual recipe, cause I think that might be breaching book’s copyright, but I can tell you about the experience and get a chance to show off all the lovely photos :)

The recipe uses starter as well as yeast, and I am thinking about testing out again soon, but without the yeast, then I will post the actual recipe, as it won’t be Nancy’s exact recipe any more, but my version of it – I think that would work.

So, it’s classified as a three day bread, but don’t let it scare you, the actual hands on effort is very minimal, and you can easily fit it into your wo…

Cherry Berry Pie

Got a BBQ to go to today, and thought that the best way to contribute is to bring something home-make, something like a pie, a cherry pie. Oh, who am I kidding, I’ve been thinking about making a cherry pie for over a week now and been looking for an excuse to make it.
Tesco got big boxes of cherries on sale, so it seems like a perfect time to try my hamd at pie making.

I’ve googled “cherry pie recipe” and got a number of recipes, from really complicated ones to some really odd ones : “buy one pack of pastry and two cans of cherry pie filling, make a pie”. Lots of American recipes mention tapioca, I don’t actually know what it is and was too ashamed to ask my local Tesco whether they have it – if I don’t know what it is, how can I describe it?

After reading a few recipes, I’ve decided that I have enough of a general idea, and this is what I came up with :

Cherry Berry Pie

Pastry :
300 g white flour
150 g unsalted butter (cold, cubed)
75 g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
A pinch of salt
Zest of half an or…

Perry “Teary” Bread

I saw this video on dmsnyder's blog and been obsessing about this new shaping technique. My usual shaping is very simple – shaping dough into a ball and then adjusting shape to fit my banneton, I will get around to video-ing it at some stage.
But I really like the shape this video creates, and Mr Ranty has been asking me to try it out.
Instead of sticking to a tried and true recipe and changing the shape, I’ve decided to try out a new recipe too – what the hell :)

I bought a bottle of perry – pear cider – and thought it would add a nice flavour to my bread, not gonna add any extra fancy ingredients, want to see what that does to the texture and flavour.

Perry “Teary” Bread

220 g white starter (100% hydration)
220 g pear cider, “perry”
70 g water
350 g white flour
100 g wholemeal flour
50 g light rye flour
1 ½ tsp salt

Mix everything but the salt in a mixer for 6 minutes on speed one, cover with a tea towel and leave to autolise for 20 minutes. Add salt and mix for two more minutes on speed 2.…

Old Wheat Favourite - revisited

A few months back I’ve came across a wonderful e-book – “Discovering Sourdough” by Teresa L Hosier Greenway. A book in three parts, starting with basic recipes and progressing to more advanced ones. Part two has been my favourite so far, but I should venture out into the other parts too, plus the book has a lot of useful information on starter, mixing and shaping.
I printed out Part II and for about a month or so I baked exclusively from there – today is the day to go back to it again and look for an inspiration.
I’ve had great success with “Western Wheat Sourdough”, but al always I’ve decided to see if I can play around with the recipe a little bit, and here is the result of it.

Wheat Sourdough
Adapted from “Discovering Sourdough”

170 g white starter (100% hydration)
200 g water
2 Tbsp milk
16 g oil
½ - 1 Tbsp barley malt extract syrup
½ - 1 Tbsp molasses
30 g rye flour
120 g wholewheat flour
280 g white flour
2 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients bar salt in a mixer for 6 minutes on speed 1, cover with a…