desperance: (Default)
Tragically, I don't in fact bake every day; but I'm aiming at twice a week. One regular sourdough country loaf, the one I love, and one batch of Something Else, because otherwise I'll only ever bake the same thing and it's a shame to be a rut.

Today's new thing is purely because yesterday was yogi day, and people came, and I made pork stewed in cider with mushrooms and shallots, and braised savoy cabbage, and champ; and there was just exactly enough champ left over to build a bread around, because I have been reading for years about how a dollop of mashed potato will soften a loaf but I've never had a dollop spare when I've been baking, and I wasn't going to make mash just for the sake of a dollop. Other recipes speak of potato flour, which I do not have; and we will not speak of those that advocate for instant granules.

But anyway: potato achievement unlocked; let baking begin. I am making (up) a sourdough potato rosemary bread, where the sourdough starter is more for flavour than lift, because I've used regular yeast as well. At the moment it is rising into two boules, which I shall shortly slash and bake. I thought I'd report in now, in case it all goes horribly wrong at the last minute...

In other news, dinner tonight will be giant mushrooms stuffed with devilled pork. Spicy kale and potatoes on the side. And, hopefully, rosemary potato bread.
desperance: (Default)
They're too big, but I did kind of like how these came out - fresh yesterday, toasted today - so I thought I'd just record here what I actually did, as it was a bit of a hybrid:


1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 cup water
A pinch of dried yeast

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup wholewheat flour
1/2 cup water
3 tbs olive oil
2 tsps salt
1 - 2 tsps yeast

Make a biga yesterday night, by mixing the first three ingredients in a bowl and leaving it out, covered but not refrigerated. (Note: if your yeast is instant, just mix it all in together; if it’s dry active yeast, dissolve it in the warmish water and give it ten minutes to wake up before mixing in the flour.)

Today, mix the biga with all the other ingredients. If your yeast is instant, you probably only need one teaspoonful; if it’s dry active, use two and dissolve it in the water first. If you have an electric mixer, use the mixing blade and give it eight or ten minutes, until you have a softish, slightly sticky dough. If not, knead together by hand for ten minutes ditto ditto. Then dribble another teaspoonful of oil into the bowl, turn the dough over in that until it’s coated, and leave it covered for an hour or so, until it’s very puffy.

Flour a baking tray and a work surface. Turn out the dough, deflate it and shape it into a flat rectangle. Cut into eight or a dozen squarish rolls and space them out (floury side up) on the tray. Cover, and leave for an hour or so.

Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, till golden. Cool on a rack.
desperance: (Default)
Okay, so this is what I did. With occasional illustrations!

First, I mixed 150g of an active sourdough starter with the same of tepid water and the same again of plain flour. Covered that over and sat it in a corner and ignored it for a few hours, until it was all risen and excited.

Then I creamed 100g of grated butter (because I had forgotten to take it out of the fridge and let it soften) and mixed that with a couple of eggs and a squirt of honey and a splash of vanilla extract. Then 100g of milk went in, and then the starter-mixture; and finally 350g of flour and 10g of salt.

Which all makes a really icky dough; Karen has never been so close to coming home to an unexpected present (KitchenAid mixers, at $150? It's a steal. I'd rather have a Kenwood Chef - the motors are much more powerful, the machines are much more flexible - but they don't seem to be available over here. And besides, $150...). But it's sourdough, and it doesn't really need much more than time to work; so I beat it about until my arm was tired, covered it and left it alone for a couple of hours, and beat it again, and by evening it was nicely risen and I could move on.

I had meanwhile made the filling: 100g of butter melted with 50g double cream and 150g dark sugar and a splash of vanilla extract. And the cinnamon! A couple of grams, I think. You could use more.

Set that aside to cool, and then flour a board and work your dough into a rectangle. Spread the filling over, roll it up and cut into slices. Like this:

cinnamon buns (process 01)

cinnamon buns (process 02)

Then lay the slices on a floured baking tray, like this:

cinnamon buns (process 04)

cinnamon buns (process 03)

You may make yours prettier and neater than mine, if you like. That'll be fine.

Cover the tray and leave it overnight. In the morning, you should have a trayful of risen doughy bunshapes.

Heat your oven to a medium/hot hotness (gas 6, or thereabouts; 400/200 in various electrickeries) and slide the tray into the middle thereof. Have a look after twenty minutes; give it twenty-five, and you should have golden buns. Take 'em out, pour melted butter all over 'em and begin to devour.

cinnamon bun


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November 2017

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