Cha- cha cha lla llallah ūüé∂

This is a bit of a through back to last year when I did challah. it was interesting…. the shape had¬†not kept. It was a tasty blob. Dare I say I think my bread skills has been improving since I started this blog.

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Challah has such a deep history that I absolutely love and there is so much variation to the recipe. Safron and other spices can be found in some parts of the world. Not being part of that faith of tradition I still love it. This recipe is quirky as it uses coconut oil, whereas vegetable or olive oil would be more the traditional oils you would find. I love coconut oil vs other types of oil in the kitchen. It has a great advantage over other oils like a high smoke point. For example again super not tradition but for Yorkshire it is amazing. In my Christmas dinner taste test it won against olive and vegetable oil.

Another slightly atypical ingredient is sugar. I think it is more traditional to just use honey. The only reason I have used sugar is that I now have loads of citrus sugar from doing candied sugar. It is really lovely as small little pieces of candied citrus chunks that sometimes pops up in the challah.

I like having challah for breakfast which again ignores its history totally of being a Jewish holiday bread which absolutely intricate to the ceremony of it which really amazing. I love the dictum set to how to cook and company and you can find loads of article on that. It is very much the simpler less gourmandise version of brioche. I love brioche but it can somewhat rich if you are having for breakfast, a bit too much a sugary treat to start your day.

This makes quite a big braided chunk which can be made into delicious french toast.IMG_7874

I pretty much got my recipe from Bk17 Bakery’s challah recipe. The recipe also gives you the option of adding a tahini¬†filling which looks amazing. There is also challah chocolate¬†tahini recipe from 600 acres, which again looks amazing. Traditional middle east spices like cardamon and saffron can also be added. Sourdough home also has an excellent recipe post on sourdough challah with a bit of way traditional challah can’t use milk and a bit more what is kosher which is really interesting. For the ever important braiding, there are loads of youtube tutorials. There is even one with colour coded strands. IMG_7824IMG_7826

Troubleshooting tip- hydration matters. Don’t use flour on your surface when you are braiding as this will dry out the dough too much. If your dough is too dry the braids will crack. If it is too wet it won’t keep it shapes.

Quick note – your starter should have been feed around 4-6 hour prior and should be really active and bubbly.

Ingredients:

  • 280 g sourdough starter, really bubbly and active
  • 175 g water
  • 35g sugar
  • 20 g honey
  • 40 g ¬†coconut oil
  • 2 large eggs + 3 yolks
  • 15 g sea salt
  • 375 g all-purpose flour
  • 375 g white bread flour

EGG WASH:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • Dash of water
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • sesame,¬†poppy, or nigella seeds and/or coarse sugar like palm sugar (optional)

Recipe

  1. In a large bowl mix well starter + water + honey + sugar +oil +eggs + salt.
  2. slowly + flour until a sticky wet ball of dough is formed.
  3. knead in the bowl for about 5 min, it should be a smoother ball of dough.
  4. Lightly oil the ball of dough in the bowl.
  5. Proof until the dough doubles in sizes, about 6 hours.
  6. Now the tricky, choose how many strands you want. I like having 6 braid challah. So separate your dough into 6 equal parts. Form a strand by rolling with your hand. The thinner it is the longer your challah will be and make sure that they are all uniform. Once you have 6 strands braid them.
  7. Place the uncooked challah on a cooking tray for the final proof, about 1 hour.
  8. Preheat your oven to 195C¬ļ
  9. prepare your egg wash by combining +yolk+water+honey.
  10. and gently brush the egg wash on.
  11. Sprinkle your topping of sesame, nigella, palm sugar or whatever you want
  12. Cook for 35-40min until the top of the challah is a deep brown.

Candied citrus peels & ginger and citrus sugar syrup

In an effort to throw out less food, found out that a great use for peels is to candy them (and save a massive amount of money cause candied citrus peel are EX-PEN-SIVE). You can also use them for tea, meat dishes and infuse liquor.  They also keep very well in the freezer. I have been saving citrus peels in a freezer bag over the months. Never throw out your citrus peels. I also have been freezing some cut ginger strips to use in curry recipes and co, and decided to candy that as well. Went a bit candy mad.

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you actually get three things for the price as well – candied peels, sugar syrup and citrus sugar.

Lesson learned – I think it does need a bit of forethought¬†to what you are planning to do with them so you can cut them to the appropriate size. For example, thin strips if you want to make chocolate candied orange strips¬†or add them to cakes. I had mix use for this one and just left it in big strips. Although I wish I had cut them into smaller thinner strips, I have a feeling it would have been quicker and easier to candy. Some of it is going to go to friends and family but my main reason was for mince¬†meat for the Christmas¬†mince pie. You can never prepare too soon for mince pie season as the longer you leave the mincemeat to soak up that brandy goodness the better it is apparently. In terms of cooking, I think I wider is better than a deeper pan to candy the peels in. Another great product that you get from candying your citrus is sugar syrup which is great for cocktails.¬†Another note – I tend to use natural cane, not white sugar. So¬†in this case (cane caster and damara) did slightly affect the colour of the syrup making it brownish. The candied fruits also look like they’ve¬†been¬†a bit too long in the sun and have a nice deep tan. I think to get a bit of nicer colour, especially for the sugar syrup, use white sugars. IMG_7794

The basic idea is super simple. The basic premise is boiling the peels in 1 part sugar 1 part water.

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Some other variation to try for next time is adding different flavour components. For example, The Telegraph adds black peppercorn and cardamons. Will dig out my flavour thesaurus next time and see how I can spice it up (that’s right spice it up! get it?).

Ingredients

  • water
  • citrus peel, ginger and whatever¬†else you want to candy
  • sugar (caster and damara)

recipe

  1.  All your peels in a pot boiling water for 10 minutes.
  2. Drain, rinse and drain.
  3. Bring 4 cups damara sugar and 4 cups water and bring up to boil. It should just cover the peels so add less/more of water/sugar depending on how much you have. while stirring to dissolve sugar.
  4. + peel. Return to boil.
  5. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook peels until very soft turning slightly translucent. For me, that was about 1 hour. Do not stir! it will crystallise your sugar syrup. Instead, move the pan in a circular motion.
  6. Drain peels saving that delicious sugar syrup.
  7. Let the peels cool a little and then toss peels in some sugar.
  8. Put some caster sugar on a baking sheet and transfer the peels on to the baking sheet. Drizzle some more sugar on the peels.
  9. Leave the peel to further air dry for 1 day to 2 days. So that the sugar crystallises Swat anybody trying to eat them.

Quinoa sourdough no knead

I found a new game for my leftover cooked grains called “does it sourdough?” and yes, quinoa is lovely in sourdough.

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Next stop is going to be couscous I think, alway cook too much of the stuff. Ohh with maybe tahini?…. Anyways.

Recipe notes – I also been adding a bit of milk with the dough for the last couple of loaves. A couple people that I know don’t like sourdough because they feel it is too “chewy”. I slightly understand what they mean. Sourdough compared to supermarket normal sliced white loaves can have a bit more chew to them. I have observed though adding a bit of milk really soften the crumb of the bread. This loaf recipe is also on the more liquid side, which at the moment I am favouring. As you can see below. It is a bit harder for it to properly shape it just slightly slumps.
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Adding thyme would have been a nice touch but I killed my thyme plant within a week of buying one. But still hopeful it is just in very deep hibernation will miraculously resurect (after all Easter Monday is coming up). But anyways no thyme at the moment.

And finally I made one huge Bannaton, so if you are making two medium boules adjust the baking time.

Ingredients

  • 350g water
  • 22g salt
  • 160g starter
  • 500g white bread flour
  • 250g wholemeal bread flour
  • 70g milk
  • 250g cooked quinoa

Recipe

  1. In a small cup add 22g of hot water and dissolve the salt. Leave to cool.
  2. In a large bowl add water + milk+ the starter and mix to dissolve.
  3. + add all the flour + quinoa+ the now tepid 22g salt water 
  4. Mix until combined
  5. Cover with a plastic freezer bag and leave in the fridge for 20 hours.
  6. Scoop out your dough on a clean floured surface and shape your dough and put it in a bread proofing basket.
  7. ¬†And leave the dough at¬†room temperature for another 2 hours. Preheat the¬†oven at 260Cňö¬†with the Dutch Oven¬†inside. Leave the dutch oven for a least 30 min at 260Cňö.
  8. Slash the top and Bake at 260Cňö¬†for about 45mins¬†with the lid on. Take off the lid and lower the temperature to¬†230Cňö¬†for another¬†20min.
  9. Take it out of the oven and let cool for an hour.

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Sourdough Brioche 2017- que ce que √ßa cloche!

Brioche time. Brioche is basically super rich bread with eggs and butter. Sourdough brioches are pretty to easy to make but they do require time and patience. This recipe is not too sweet as it uses honey. You can use 35 grammes of sugar instead.  The inspiration for the recipe is from here and here.

I haven’t made¬†brioche¬†since last year.¬†Last year I used orange sugar which¬†I¬†think was a nice touch and really the only redeeming¬†feature of the brioches that I made. Looking back on the post there has definitely been great strides and progress made in 1 year.

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This year brioches are definitely looking a lot better and are much fluffier and just much more brioche-y.

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This recipe’s use of butter is definitely reminiscent of the chef Gary Rhodes whose oft-repeated¬†phrase is add another spoon of butter.

Eggwash notes: I used the egg white and milk for convenience since the recipe calls for one yolk. But if you want a different effect on the brioche you can go to epicurious or cooksinfo website that really get into the ins and out of all the different types of eggwash.

 

 

Ingredients

  • 230g bread flour
  • 270g all purpose flour
  • 50g honey
  • 10g¬†salt
  • 3 + 1yolk¬†eggs
  • 250g starter
  • 300g room temperature butter
  • 200g milk
  • 1/2 zest of lemon

Recipe

  1. Cut the butter in small 1cm pieces and leave out to soften
  2. Mix all ingredient in a bowl except the butter Р milk + lemon zest +honey+ eggs+ flour + starter. Keep the egg white from the 4th egg as you will use it later for the egg wash
  3. Mix well, let it rest for 15min and mix well again.
  4. +butter. Mix gently until all the butter is incorporated. You should massage it in but I ended up mixing it in the kitchen aid and it seem to be alright. The dough should have a nice shine to it.
  5. Put in a covered container and leave in the fridge to rise for 24 hours.
  6. On a lightly floured surface shape the dough and in your baking tins.
  7. Final rise should be at room temperature for 3 hours.IMG_6616IMG_6619
  8. preheat the oven at 215C¬ļ.
  9. prepare the egg wash 3 tablespoons of milk + egg white and mix vigorously.
  10. gently brush the egg wash on the brioche dough.
  11. Bake for 25min for medium shape brioche, until the top are nice and golden brown.brioche raising

Tadah!

brioch 2

No knead rosemary polenta bread

Gotten slightly obsessed with polenta this week for some reason. Maybe its spring and the weather turning around, and polenta is light but comforting. Anyways the perfectloaf, which is a fantastic and beautiful‚Äč little website, has the most amazing but slightly intimidating bread recipes. I took inspiration from its great rosemary and polenta bread post. They also have a great pizza dough recipe that looks marvellous‚Äč‚Äč but bit too complicated for me at the moment.

Anyways had some leftover polenta for dinner and guessed what happens to leftover/ food going off? Bread time!

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It’s not bad, quite enjoyed it toasted‚Äč with a bit of butter and blackberry jam. Decent‚Äč airy-ness as well as good crumb and texture.

Quick note – this recipe uses cooked polenta. Here is Felicity Cloaks polenta recipe as part of her how to make the perfect…. column. I am not going to lie to you, polenta is a bit of a faff to cook. I have used uncooked polenta in the past to bake bread, but I think the polenta doesn’t¬†quite cook through. The bread ends up a bit gritty from what I remember.

Recipe makes 2 medium boules

Ingredients

  • 550g white bread flour
  • 250g wholemeal flour
  • 335g water
  • 120g¬†starter
  • 22g¬†salt
  • 180 g cooked polenta
  • 100g milk
  • 335 water
  • handful rosemary

Recipe

  1. In a small cup add 10g of hot water and dissolve the salt. Leave to cool.
  2. In a large bowl add water + milk+ the starter and mix to dissolve.
  3. + add all the flour + polenta+ rosemary+ the now tepid 10g salt water 
  4. Mix until combined
  5. Cover with a plastic freezer bag and leave in the fridge for 20 hours.
  6. Scoop out your dough on a clean floured surface and shape your dough. With the seams bottom down, push and rotate your shaped dough to really close the seams.
  7. ¬†And leave the dough at¬†room temperature for another 2 hours. Preheat the¬†oven at 260Cňö¬†with the Dutch Oven¬†inside. Leave the dutch oven for a least 30 min at 260Cňö.
  8. Slash the top and Bake at 260Cňö¬†for about¬†35mins¬†with the lid on. Take off the lid and lower the temperature to¬†230Cňö¬†for another¬†15min.
  9. Take it out of the oven and let cool for an hour.

Bons Bake!IMG_6480

No Knead Courgette sourdough Bread

Been wanting to redo the beetroot bread I did ages ago unfortunetaly I missed the season and so no beetroots until July here in the UK. Until then maybe I could try hibiscus sourdough bread at some point to get my red bread fix.

Anyways today instead I decided to experiment as well as celebrate the end of the dire courgette shortage we’ve been having with courgette sourdough bread. I more or less use the same recipes as the beetroot bread, but because courgette is much more watery, I added some wholemeal flour.

I slightly miss the bright red dough from when I make beetroot bread; the courgette bread dough is looking much more civilised, lot less murdery.

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There isn’t a taste of courgette per se, but it has this really nice freshness and it super soft and moist.

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As you can sort of see the texture and crumbs of it was really lovely, it is just light and airy.

It pairs especially well with savoury food. I had it with some gorgonzola which really brought out the flavours.I then proceeded to eat the entire humongous piece gorgonzola and half of the loaf which was not the greatest decision but super delicious nonetheless. And when life gives you a bad but delicious option, you take that option my fellow epicurean.

so all in all actually really happy with this bread even though it does not have a fantastic lurid hue of the beetroot bread.

Ingredients

  • 550g white bread flour
  • 100g wholemeal flour
  • 335g water
  • 200g¬†starter
  • 15g¬†salt
  • 1 medium courgette

Recipe

  1. In a small cup add 10g of hot water and dissolve the salt. Leave to cool.
  2. With a grater finely shred the courgette and set aside for the moment.
  3. In a large bowl add water + the starter and mix to dissolve.
  4. + add all the flour + courgette + the now tepid 10g salt water 
  5. Mix until combined
  6. Cover with a plastic freezer bag and leave in the fridge for 20 hours.
  7. Scoop out your dough on a clean floured surface and shape your dough. Withe the seams bottom down, push and rotate your shaped dough to really close the seams.
  8. ¬†And leave the dough at¬†room temperature for another 2 hours. Preheat the¬†oven at 260Cňö¬†with the Dutch Oven¬†inside. Leave the dutch oven for a least 30 min at 260Cňö.
  9. Slash the top and Bake at 260Cňö¬†for about¬†30mins¬†with the lid on. Take off the lid and lower the temperature to¬†230Cňö¬†for another¬†15min.
  10. Take it out of the oven and let cool for an hour.

No Knead seeded oatmeal sourdough

I have just totally given up on kneading. So this loaf is a no-knead variation of the seeded multigrain that I have done earlier. I also took a bit of inspiration from Ginger&bread’s rye and spelt recipe, those rye berries look really great.

I used unhulled hemp seed because I bought way too much and never used them. I have no idea in fact why I originally bought them. Unhulled hemp seeds are a bit weird, super hard and just no recipe uses them. They do work really well with this bread.

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The soaker ingredient aftre 30 min. The longer you leave them to soak the better. Soaker ingredients really pop up once mixed in the dough.

 The combination of the hempseed and linseed with the oats and the rye flour really makes this loaf hearty and delicious.

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The bread is still quite bubbly. The texture and taste of it is really enjoyable. The hempseed and linseed gives it a pleasurable crunch.

Soaker ingredients

  • 85g hemp seed and linseed
  • 70g oats
  • 90g hot boiling water

Final Dough Ingredients

  • 350g water
  • 180g starter
  • 240g white bread flour
  • 100 wholemeal flour
  • 175g rye flour
  • 12g salt
  • soaker ingredients

Recipe

  1. In a small bowl mix all the soaker ingredient and leave for at least 30min 
  2. In a small cup add 10g of hot water and dissolve the salt. Leave to cool.
  3. In a large bowl add the rest of the water + the starter and mix to dissolve.
  4. + add the flour + soaker ingredient + the now tepid 10g salt water 
  5. Mix until combined
  6. Cover with a plastic freezer bag and leave in the fridge for 20 hours.
  7. Scoop out your dough on a clean floured surface shape your dough. The seams bottom down, push down and rotate your shaped dough to close the seams on the bottom.
  8. ¬†And leave the dough at¬†room temperature for another 2 hours. Preheat the¬†oven at 260Cňö¬†with the Dutch Oven¬†inside. Leave the dutch oven for a least 30 min at 260Cňö.
  9. Slash the top and Bake at 260Cňö¬†for about¬†30mins¬†with the lid on. Take off the lid and lower the temperature to¬†230Cňö¬†for another¬†15min.
  10. Take it out of the oven and let cool for an hour.