No knead Lemon thyme and nigella seeds basic sourdough

Continuing my little love affair with no knead sourdoughs, I sort of back testing all my old recipe with the no knead method. This is absolutely fantastic, it is so quick to basically dump all the ingredients and do nothing (which is really what I do best). I am seeing the no knead light and running towards it.

So the “bakers percentage” which is basically the proportions of all the ingredients is the same as the rosemary loaf that I made a while back. I changed rosemary to lemon thyme (using what herbs I had in the fridge) and nigella seed (bought a huge bag for really cheap from a local Lebanese shop). These have both a light lemon zing taste that a very subtle to the bread.


I alos switch percentage betweem the wholemeale and white flour (was running out of white flour). This made it much more of a wholemeal bread. and so it is a much heavier bread but still really lovely and full of taste.



A bit of close up and you can see bubble and holes everywhere. So this is a denser bread.









  • 380g water
  • 100g sourdough starter
  • 400g of stoneground whole wheat flour
  • 100g organic strong white flour
  • 10g (1 Tbsp) salt
  • 2 sprigs of Rosemary
  • 2tbsp of nigella seeds


  1. In a small cup add 10g of hot water and dissolve the salt. Leave to cool.
  2. In a large bowl add 370g of water + the starter and mix to dissolve.
  3. + add the flour + nigella seeds + thyme + 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 shape your dough. The seams bottom down, push down and rotate your shaped dough to close the seams.
  7.  And leave the dough at room temperature for another 2 hours. Preheat the oven at 260C˚ with the Dutch Oven inside. Leave the dutch oven for a least 30 min at 260C˚.
  8. Slash the top and Bake at 260C˚ for about 30mins with the lid on. Take off the lid and lower the temperature to 230C˚ for another 15min.
  9. Take it out of the oven and let cool for an hour.

No knead workhorse loaf

Continuing my adventure in no knead land. I thought would the no knead method work for any sourdough recipe? Decided to put the workhorse loaf to the test.Using the same recipe proportion (cut it half to make only one loaf in case it all went belly up) but applying the no knead method. Conclusion is a most definitive yes you can!


So here is no knead workhorse bread.


  • 300g     White bread Flour
  • 150g       Whole Grain flour
  • 225g         Water
  • 100g        Starter
  • 10g            Salt


  1. In a small cup add 10g of hot water and dissolve the salt. Leave to cool.
  2. In a large bowl add 215g of water + the starter and mix to dissolve.
  3. + add the flour + 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 shape your dough. The seams bottom down, push down and rotate your shaped dough to close the seams.
  7.  And leave the dough at room temperature for another 2 hours. Preheat the oven at 260C˚ with the Dutch Oven inside. Leave the dutch oven for a least 30 min at 260C˚.
  8. Slash the top and Bake at 260C˚ for about 30mins with the lid on. Take off the lid and lower the temperature to 230C˚ for another 15min.
  9. Take it out of the oven and let cool for an hour.


This is amazing. I don’t think I am ever kneading dough ever again. I mean look at those holes and crumbs!







Who needs to knead? No knead sourdough

The kneading of the sourdough at 20 min interval for so many time is alway the most time-consuming and annoying part (I get flour and dough everywhere in the kitchen). I had heard about no knead technique, but I had a slight suspicion that it was mostly to make pun-ny book titles like “kneadlessly simple” and the title to this post. It is also the least used methods in sourdough recipes that I have seen. Although it’s a great for people who dont have a proofing basket as you don’t need one for this no knead recipe as the dough rises in a mixing bowl.

The biggest contention with no knead is the flavour. Many argue that it doesn’t taste as good, as the flavour has less depth. I slightly agree with that the no knead method did not taste bad but it was different, a bit more like normal white bread…. Here is a post that argues why kneaded bread is better not only because of the taste but other points I hadn’t thought about. I think though it is mostly comes down to personal preference. I am definitely going to try some more no knead breads.

The best book for the no knead method is My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method by Jim Lahey and Rick Flaste. Also for a bit more science and why the no knead method works a post can be found at serious eat. Or also on here, Bodnant welsh food website, which also did two loaves to compare kneading vs no knead. Basically, the dough as it rises kneads itself. Also what is crucial is that you use a dutch oven.

But it actually works! You don’t need to knead! I used the New York Times recipe and to see if it made any difference as a comparison I also made my workhorse loaf recipe which is very similar. I made two different loaves with my workhorse recipe and kneaded them to different degrees. I kneaded one loaf with 20 min  4 times and another 8 times. The best result was kneading it 4 times at 20 min intervals (which is what the standard practice seems to be in most recipes). Kneading it 8 times did not make any difference to the loaf compared to kneading it 4 times.

Here are the loaves just out of the oven


The left is 4 times, the bottom middle is no knead and the right is 8 times

here is an intersection of all three of the loaves. Can you tell which is which?

A couple thing I have discovered and have started to do is: one dissolve the salt in 15grams of water from the recipe and dissolving the starter in the water before adding it to the flour which makes everything easier to mix. I also have started using plastic bags to cover the dough while its rising which is really good to prevent the bread from drying out. After shaping  I have also started to twist the bread on itself on to close the seems on the bottom.


  • 300 grams white bread flour
  • 125 grams wholemeal bread flour
  • 300 grams water
  • 180 grams starter
  • 6 grams salt


  1. feed your starter 8 hours before.
  2. In a cup with 10 grams of hot water add the salt and mix to dissolve.
  3. With the rest of the water at luke warm temparature add the starter and mix.
  4. add the flour and the cup of salty water to water/starter mixture and mix until combined.
  5. Wrap the bowl using a plastic freezer bag or cling film.
  6. let it rise for 24 hours in the fridge
  7. On a well floured surface scoop out the dough and fold and shape into a loaf.
  8. Leave the dough for 2 hours for its final rise.
  9. Heat the oven to 260Cº and place your dutch oven inside for 30 in.
  10. Put your loaf in the dutch oven seams up.
  11. Bake for 30 min at 260Cº and take the top of and cook at 245Cº for another 10 min.
  12. take the bread out and leave to cool for 45 min at least

Aniseed macaroons with pastis &rose cream gelato

My dear readers, it has been a hectic couple months with work, excessive drinking, Christmas cooking, and family. But here we are dry January. No drinking to do and no hangover contemplating what it all means and what terrible mistakes I have done, and what is the meaning of it all really. I miss drinking. Anyways Christmas brought a new love in my life: a brand spanking new kitchen aid! And the kitchen aid ice cream maker! (slightly suspect this has been a self-serving gift from loved ones….)

Anyways after seeing these amazing unicorn macaroons, I thought I could totally do macaroons. And off I went to dig up my copy of Les Petit Plats Francais: Irresistible Macaroons by José Maréchal.


I can’t say I recommend the book, upon looking at the reviews now, I can see I am not alone. The recipe instructions are confusing and as you will see I am positive that the oven temperature is wrong. That being said they do have some nice flavour combination. I think it’s a good inspiration book maybe.

Instead, the macaroons became more of a journey than a destination, full of discoveries with high and lows and success grabbed from the jaw of defeat.

reality vs expectation

I have learned several things while making this. First is that I have been using the piping wrong and there is this super easy, obvious way to filling up your piping bag demonstrated wonderfully by thekitchn. Second, the oven should definitely be over 145ºC.



Left the macaroon for over 20 min (vs recommended 13min) and let them cool but unfortunately, as I tried to *gently* scrap them off they just completely disintegrated. The middle still a bit wet and undercooked.


I had a bowl full of macaroons deconstructed and wasn’t too sure what to do with them. Eton mess ran through my mind maybe but is January. Having Eton mess in January would have been obscene. The aniseed cream filling is also very close to gelato recipe. Hence this could be the macaroon version of cookie and cream ice cream! Genius! And perfect to go with Galette des Roi! (in which I decided to make my own puff pastry which I will not go into but it ended with the oven full of butter and a smoky kitchen, but that is another story maybe for another post…..)

This recipe requires an ice cream maker (obviously). If you have something like the kitchen aid ice cream maker make sure the bowl has been in the freezer for at least 12 hours before using it.


  • 1 serving of fucked up undercook aniseed macaroons
  • 600ml milk
  • 5 eggs
  • 90 grams sugar
  • 10 grams honey
  • 1/4 tsp Pastis
  • 1/4 rose water


    1. Warm up the milk in a saucepan on a low -medium heat making sure is does not boil.
    2. Add the eggs + sugar +honey and whisk until it is well combine
    3. Take off the heat and add the pastis + rose water, whisk until well combine.
    4. Pour the mixture into a tupperware and put in the fridge for at least 4 hours. It can’t be sped up in the freezer, something to do about the fats forming according to Felicity Cloak.
    5. Pour your mixture into the kitchen ice cream frozen bowl and throw your chunks of macaroons in. Try to keep everything as cold as possible to prevent any melting – put the spatula and container you will saving your ice cream in the freezer while the gelato is being made.
    6. Put your kitchen aid speed 1 and watch in amazement the cream turning into gelato for 15 min.IMG_5702
    7. Scoop your gelato out into a cold container and put cling film on the surface. This helps stop the top from crystallisation. The gelato will be quite soft. To harden up it put in the freezer for 3-4 hours.

IMG_5709  1


Wish I had thought to add cardamon to cream with anise macaroons and had added a bit of pink food colouring to really make the green macaroon pop. But really enjoyed the macaroon and cream gelato.

The possibility of different combination are endless, may I never succeed to make a macaroon! Coffee macaroons with cardamon, cinnamon and nutmeg cream, or salted caramel macaroon with pollen and mascarpone cream or Chocolate macaroon with tahini cream…..

Rosemary-thyme oat sourdough bread

So I finally broke down and thought at this point I am invested in making bread and decided to splash some money. I ordered two bread proofing baskets ages ago but because of some kerfuffle I only received them this week.

 I tried two breads to celebrate the two bread proofing baskets. The first is a recipe from the ever wonderful bewitching kitchen blog. Although for the first time ever was not especially pleased with the rye cumin and orange sourdough. I could really taste the sweetness from the orange juice. The cumin also did not really mesh well. I did learn that to check whether the bread is proofing by poking it and it should bounce back. I never could  tell when the bread “doubled” in size.

Rye orange cumin bread

I also made another bread, which I made up the recipe for.  It was basically a way to get rid of the rosemary and thyme that had seen better days a week ago. I also added some oats to give it a bit of oumpf. It turned out surprisingly well. This is my most bubbliest of bubbly bread. I slashed it right down the middle and it sort of exploded and expended upwards which gave it a really cool shape.

Untitled     Ingredient:

  • 300g bread white flour
  • 100g wholmeal bread flour
  • 50g oatmeal
  • 50g rye flour
  • 375g water
  • 50g sourdough starter
  • 10g salt
  • sprigs of thyme and rosemary


  1. Mix flour+rye+water+starter+ Oats+salt+thyme +rosemary and let it rest for 40 min.
  2. Stretch and fold the dough every 15 min X5.
  3. Shape, let it proof for 20 hours in an proofing basket in the fridge.
  4. Pre heat the oven to 245ºC with the baking stone in and take the dough out of the fridge.
  5. Flour and score the loaves.
  6. Bake for 45 min.
  7. Cool on a wire rack for at least an hour.

This was an amazing bread! I really loved it. Having the bread basket made such a difference. Literally just popped on the baking stone, it’s amazing. Another reason why it might have been so bubbly is it was continuously at room temperature being feed for the last couple of days. I have had my starter for ages and I don’t make bread every week, so I usually keep it in the  fridge so I don’t have to feed it. This might affect its activity, something to test at some point.

Turmeric and caramelized onion sourdough bread

Dear readers, my new lover is a book called Tartine No. 3. It is amazing! Anyways I am back on sourdough.

I bought turmeric for one dish ages ago and they only had a massive bag on sale and I bought it.  There is really only so many dishes you can put turmeric in. It’s the fish sauce of the spice world I tell you.

Anyways which brings me to my mind point: TURMERIC BREAD! well added onion so really it feels like the absolute onion bahjis of bread. I looked around the internet, thinking I would not find a thing. I was wrong the internet is a wondrous place. So there is this amazing red lentil turmeric bread, and this turmeric bread or this onion quinoa turmeric sourdough. You wonderful internet people.

So after bit of internet research and really experimentation made my own recipe. I am not going to lie it looked alarmingly yellow as originally I put in 2 tablespoon.  The bread tasted okay in the end, but the turmeric was a bit too present. And although the taste of turmeric really does mellowed much more than I expected once cooked, I reduced to one tbsp in the recipe.


  • 1 onion
  • 185 grams starter
  • 150 grams white bread flour
  • 200 grams whole wheat bread flour
  • 35 grams rye flour
  • 225 grams water
  • 10 grams salt
  • 1 tbsp turmeric


  1. First thing first, caramelise the onion. Cut the onion into thin slices. Cooke the onion on medium low heat in skillet or cast iron pan with some olive oil, pinch of salt and pepper. Caramelising onions takes ages but not a lot of attention, I threw them on during dinner. It should take about 40 min gently moving them around every once in a while to prevent the onion from burning.
  2. Once the onions are caramelised let them cool. Meanwhile in a bowl add the starter +flours + water and mix.
  3. Once cooled add the onion + turmeric + salt and mix.25806503206_ebd9a3842a_k.jpg
  4. To avoid the the dough sticking to your hands just make sure your hands are wet.
  5. Leave to proof for 5 hours at room temperature (16ºC). Or overnight in the fridge.
  6. Heat the oven to 215ºC with a dutch oven inside.
  7. Once the oven and the dutch oven are heated to 215ºC cook your bread for 40min or until the internal temperature is 198ºC.
  8. Leave to cool on wire rack for an hour.

Turmeric and caramelized onion 2

Sunday cake: Halva and tahini cake.

Managed to find my old recipe book from 6 years ago.

buttermilk pancakes


To celebrate finding it and mothering Sunday made some buttermilk pancake. This absolutely my favourite pancake recipe in the world. They come out incredibly soft and fluffy. The  recipe from 2011 which seems I think it vaguely from Martha stewart. Love seeing my notes on there.

Really excited to have it back, so expect loads of baking recipes like clafouti, madeleines, biscottis and finiaciers soon.



Anyways, on a bit of bread break/rut. I have ordered some bread proofing basket so hopefully I will be back on my sourdough bread baking groove soon. In the mean time I have been doing some sunday cake baking, and found this wonderful tahini chocolate cake with halva frosting. I have modified slightly because it is a bit of a weird recipe. Well for me at least, never made sponge cake or frosting. The boiling water thing is quite weird but all in all it turned out quite well.


  • Cake:
    • 2 cups and 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 1 3/4 cup flour
    • 3/4 and 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup milk
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or coconut oil
    • 6 tablespoons tahini
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • Forsting:
    • 400 grams butter at room temperature
    • 1/2 cups powdered sugar
    • 500 grams halva (of any flavor)
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla


  1. Preheat the oven to 185ºC
  2. In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients: sugar+ flour+cocoa powder+baking powder+baking soda+salt.
  3. In a small bowl whisk all the wet ingredients: eggs+vegetable oil+tahini+vanilla.
  4. Mix the wet and dry ingredient in the large bowl while the water is boiling.
  5. Pour the boiling water in the cake mixture. Mix well and divide the mixture evenly into 2 cake tins.
  6. Bake for 30min or until cooked (when you stick a toothpick and it come out clean)
  7. leave the cake to cool
  8. Meanwhile for the frosting: cream the butter + sugar and then mix in the  halva+vanilla.
  9. when the cakes has completely cooled, frost the top of one of the cake and add the the second on top. Then frost the cake completely. I toped it off with dried rose petal and sesame seeds.


Tadah! my frosting skills need a little work. Little side note, left over frosting can be saved in an airtight container in the fridge for about 4 days or 3 months in the freezer. Enjoy.