Making bread

The blob

I decided to make a loaf today. Its just gone in the oven for half an hour, gas mark eight. Today’s loaf is half a packet of ready mixed linseed oil bread and half strong white flower. To make sure I had the right amount of flour I tipped flour from the big bag of strong flour into the small half full one till it was filled (I don’t have scales). Then as the strong flour didn’t have yeast I added a level teaspoon of dried yeast. I mixed it with about half a pint of luke warm water and a teaspoon of honey. I should perhaps have added a bit of oil and salt, but I decided not to.

The photo is the dough after it had risen, doubling on size, then it was knocked back and allowed to rise again. I’m happy with how much it has expanded. I hope the loaf that comes out will be light and fluffy… We will see. X

Bread and butter pudding, again!

A friend posted two recipes on making bread and butter pudding. Here they are :

I used to make this 2 different ways:
1: buttered leftover bread cut into triangles and put overlapping into a dish with sides.
Sprinkle with raisins and sugar/sweetener.
Beat an egg into about 3/4 of a pint of milk and a pinch of salt, and pour over the bread.
Make sure it’s properly soaked.
Dot with butter and bake in a moderate oven until golden and crispy on top- probably about 30mins.

2: The posh version:
Use a brioche loaf.
Slice but don’t butter
Place overlapping slices in a dish with sides.
Sprinkle with chocolate chips or raisins and a little sugar or sweetener
Beat an egg into a mixture of single cream and milk with a pinch of salt.
Leave to soak. Dot with butter.
Bake in a moderate oven until golden and crispy on top- probably about 30mins

Bread and butter pudding?

How do you make it? Raisins and currents between slices of bread with a mixture of egg and milk and nutmeg and sugar somehow added to it? The outcome is a sticky, stiff, yummy lump of slightly crispy pudding.

Problem 1, I have no currents or raisins or even sultanas..

2, I have no sliced bread

3, I don’t eat sugar because of diabetes.

4. I have no recipe to work from and don’t know what temperature to cook it on.

Solution…just make it up as I go. So I sliced some slightly stale brown bread. Buttered it and placed it butter side down into a pyrex glass shallow oblong tray. Added a layer of sliced banana and some sliced pear. Then a few more bits of bread and dots of butter. Finally more banana and pear and a bit of a crust of bread on top. I then whisked up six eggs?! With milk, sugar substitute and a bit of cinnamon (I don’t have nutmeg).

Poured the liquid over the bread slowly so it soaked in.

What heat? I chose gas mark 5 (medium heat) and set the oven for forty minutes. It might be horrible. It might be OK. For future reference does anyone know a recipe?

Banana and pear in bread?

Hubby’s made a loaf today. Linseed and oat. It was a ready mixed flour with added yeast.

He likes experimenting with bread so he diced up a small pear and banana and added them to the mix with water to moisten the dough.

Let it rise, knock it back and let it rise again, then into a baking tray and on gas mark eight (high heat) for thirty minutes. It was a tasty result. I had a slice with butter and a banana. Delicious.

Learning new song

Learning a new song, 40 working horses about them and baker boys. It’s about when bakers delivered the bread by horse and cart. We were learning the song and I tried to draw a horse with the harness (although I don’t know exactly how it works), 40 X stands for the number in the song.

I do love drawing horses, when I was about ten I remember drawing a dappled grey horse and selling it to a friend for sixpence! (Old British money) X

Keeping warm

Almost too bright to look at, our small halogen heater is in the living room combating the cold of our old terraced house. Rather than putting the central heating on, or switching on the gas fire. I don’t know whether it is cost effective. Would running a blow heater be less expensive. I wish I knew where there was a comparison site to check on?

For instance, for baked potato’s I now part cook them in the microwave then bake the outside of them in the oven. But is this fuel efficient or should I just microwave them?

One pproblem is that the previous owner had the two reception rooms turned into a through lounge, plenty of space but more difficult to heat. As climate change increases and a move from fossil fuels is instigated what will be the new means of heating?

Home made sausage rolls

If you don’t eat meat or wheat read no further (or substitute gluten free and meat free).

I wanted to use up some shop bought short crust pastry and some small sausages.

I baked four small sausages in the oven, gas mark 6 about 15 minutes. I let them cool slightly and got the left over pastry out the fridge. I pressed lots of off cuts of pastry togethef with a larger piece so that I ended up with a large-ish oblong. Then I placed two sausages together onto the pastry at one end and the other two at the other end. I folder the pastry over and sealed it by pressing it together. I used a bit of milk to glaze the top. There was a small bit of pastry left over so I wrapped that around some bits of cheddar cheese.

I cooked the sausage rolls for twenty minutes on gas mark 6. The rolls had started to brown. I put them back on for another five minutes.

When I took them out they were cooked on top but a bit soft underneath. I think this was because there was still a bit of fat coming out of the sausages?

The resulting rolls were tasty but I wish I had used shop bought flakey pastry instead.

Too much fat in my pear cake

Tasty but a bit too greasy.

I decided to make a pear cake with a couple of large pears off the tree. I didn’t have a recipe to hand so followed the one on the back of my bag of self raising flour.

The ingredients were:

150 grams each of self raising flour, butter and sugar.

Three medium eggs

A small amount of water

This was to make a Victoria sponge. I decided I would add raw sliced pears into the base of my glass flan dish (I don’t have a cake tin or grease proof paper).

Method. It said cream butter and sugar together till its light and fluffy, then add the eggs and a bit of water. Then gently fold the self raising flower in.

Problem. I can’t eat sugar. So I used sweetener that you can bake with. The amounts were questionable. 150 grams when you don’t have scales. So I guessed the amounts and I think I put about 200 grams in. The sweetener said 200 grams was five tablespoons, so I used four instead. Then the eggs? I used three, but they were large. Finally I guessed a mug full of flour would be about right….

I creamed the butter and sweetener together and made it softish and fluffy. Then I slowly added the eggs. The mix started to curdle. I tried adding a bit of flour and it started to look like undercooked scrambled eggs! I got my hand whisk out and tried to beat some of the lumps out. Then I folded in the flour, I made a batter, but still saw flecks of butter in the mix.

So I spooned the mix over the pears in a well greased Pyrex flan dish. I put the cake in the oven on gas mark 4 (medium heat) initially for thirty minutes. When I checked it, there were bubbles of gas coming out of it and it was still pale. So I put it on for another twenty minutes. The bubbles were still happening but the surface felt fim and was golden brown. When I tapped it, it sounded hollow, and when I pricked it with a knife that came out clean.

I eased the cake out of its case. Some of it broke up because it had stuck in the dish. It was greasy, but I cut a section out and it held its shape.

It tasted eggy but nice. The pears had cooked through.

Next time I might start making it with flour, then rubbing the butter into that till its like breadcrumbs, adding sweetener, then making a hole in the flour before adding the eggs. I wish I’d remembered that before I made this cake.

X

Hubby making apple bread?

An explosion in the kitchen? No hubby making apple bread. There was flour over the draining board, the crockery drainer, in the sink, on the floor. He got me to scrape the dough off his hands it was so sticky. He had added oats and rye flour to a bag of breadmaking flour which had added yeast. It wasn’t rising very well but he added cooking apples to the loaves.

Now they are in the oven, cooking, I wonder how they will turn out? In half an hour I will know.