Showing posts from 2014

My New Year BREAD-o-lution

Its that time of the year when we start making up plans for the future and write down New Year resolutions. I am pretty bad with sticking to any resolutions, and in fact I’ve given up even making any for a number of years.

This year I’ve decided to share my New Year resolution with all you lovely people, so if I start straying from the path you can yank me back on the straight and narrow.

So, the plan is to bake a new bread every month – something traditional – from as many countries as possible, something familiar and a bit unusual at the same time, something I haven’t baked before.<

Here is the plan, but I reserve the right to change it as I please :)

Please, join me in my baking – I would love to see your photos

January - English Cottage Bread. This is a good old traditional recipe, and I really like the fun shape of it. A nice and easy recipe to start the year.

February - Pain de Campagne. Again, a very traditional French bread – I’ve read a recipe for that pain de champa…

Trade Secrets of Messy Baker

I took a few months break from sourdough as its been quite busy with new job and lots of house work. But this weekend I decided that I’ve had enough of shop-bough break and went to wake up my starter to make some decent bread. The bread I ended up making is a simple Miller Loaf, but as I was making it I realized that I’ve learned a few bread tricks in the last few years and wanted to share them with you lovely folks. Grab a cup of tea and make yourself comfortable, knowing me, it will go on for a while :
-Keep just one or two starters When I first started making sourdough I had about four or five different starters in the fridge, every possible flour combinations. They all had their own names and their own tempers – at the end it was a full time job just to keep them all fed and watered, so inevitably I ended up killing most of them :) Right now I only keep one starter in the fridge – my mother starter – it’s a 100% hydration (1:1 water to flour ratio in grams) white flour, and I convert…

Queen of pancakes

This is not strictly a baking post, but I haven't made sourdough for a while, so I thought I'd amuse you with some pancake stories. Pancake challenge (nothing to do with the ridiculous ice bucket challenge doing the rounds at the moment) is a challenge I set for myself - to make the fluffiest and also the easiest pancakes ever known to man kind. I want them fluffy - think American style rather than French crepes, and I want them easy - Ms Rantlet aged nearly three and Rant-a-Baby at 11 month don't leave much time or effort for elaborate pancake-making.
We recently went to a wedding in Kent - BuxtedPark hotel is highly recommended if you are after a bit of luxury by the way. Post wedding breakfast included made to order pancakes, and thats what Ms Rantlet went for - honestly, she would eat pancakes for breakfast lunch and dinner if I let her. When they arrived, it was a heaven on a plate - a stack of super fluffy golden-brown pancakes drizzled with maple syrup and topped with…

Speedy Fougasse

I have been thinking about making fougasse for a long-long time, at least a couple of years, ever since I saw Richard Bertinet’ “Dough” book - I just knew I HAD to make it!! I don’t actually own the book, but I have rented it from a library so many times that I am sure that they think I own it :)

Seriously, photos in the book are just amazing, and recipes… well, what can I say about recipes – as far as I am concerned Richard is an absolute Bread God!! I am an absolute convert after watching his mixing and kneading video – and I am telling you its either some higher magic or some sort of voodoo! His technique of turning what seems like a mess of flour and water into a smooth ball of dough is nothing short of a miracle.
So as you are guessing I am a fan, a FUGE fan of Richard and his recipes, and I finally decided to give fougasse a go. I looked up a recipe online, and normally I wouldn’t mess with Richard’s recipe, but I was a bit tired and a bit short of time, so I decided to do a speed…

White Loaf Perfection (and a few other variations)

I have been a bit quite of late, due to a number of things, but mainly down to two small babies to run after and a lot of DIY work at home. I am blaming DIY for the murder of my starter – the number of times I have forgot to refresh it cause I fell asleep from physical exhaustion! Warm weather and a tired baker does not bode well, I tell you that! I still have some mother starter in the fridge, so not all is lost. However I decided to take a break from sourdough breads an started looking to a quick and easy every day loaf recipe that I can do in a couple of hours in-between looking after babies and house work.

I came across “John Whaite Bakes at Home” book and I found loaf perfection!! John is the winner of The Great British Bake Off a couple of years back and I have been following him and his recipes for a while. I was super happy when Mr Ranty bought me John’s book as a present – its a beautiful book to look at, nice layout and tempting photos, also John’s writing style is incredibl…