Posts Tagged ‘baking’

Rye bread revisited – again

February 22, 2011 9 comments
Preparation Time: 24 hours Cooking Time: 35 minutes Yield: a loaf

The ultimate light rye – great loft, slightly moist fine crumb

After about a year’s experimenting with rye bread, the ultimate loaf has finally emerged.

One of the biggest problems with a pure rye loaf is the lack of loft. Even using light pure rye flour, the loaf tends to be quite dense, the slices small. If sliced too thick, it is inclined to be stodgy, and it does not toast well.

Having started working with a poolish of late – a fermentation starter or pre-ferment – in my bread baking odyssey, the thought struck me that perhaps weaving a poolish into the conventional rye recipe may well make a difference.

The origins of the name poolish are not credibly determinable, but the word is used in French to describe a sponge pre-ferment, consisting of equal proportions of flour and lukewarm water, and a pinch of dry, or a thumb-sized piece of fresh yeast. Read more…


Sticky Chocolate Pudding & 2009 Fleur du Cap Noble Late Harvest

Preparation Time: 30 minutes Baking Time: 40 minutes Yield: 4-6

A yummy 'personal' chocolate pud with a sprinkling of castor sugar

Those of you who follow this column with any regularity will know that I am inclined to steer clear of baking, not because I don’t like to bake, but because I find it intimidating. It is a most precise undertaking, where small deviations in quantity or method can have catastrophic results.

Accordingly, I am inclined to find a recipe that works well and stick to it, rather than to “tweak” as I am so fond of doing in other branches of the culinary arts.

Dear Wife Eppie’s Gran, Mary Robertson, hailed from Orkney (oft incorrectly referred to as “The Orkneys”) just north of the Scottish mainland. Interestingly, when Orcadians speak of “The Mainland”, they refer to the largest island in the archipelago, “Mainland Island”, whereas the Scottish mainland is referred to as Scotland. But it’s perhaps understandable, considering that Orkney was only annexed to the Scottish Crown in 1472, having been a Norwegian possession since 875. Read more…

Shortbread with a difference

Preparation Time: 20 minutes Baking Time: 45 minutes Yield:Plenty!

The pursuit of physical perfection – well such as it is possible for those over 50 considering the inexorable effect of gravity – requires, other than regular physical exercise, a change in eating habits.

The first requirement is a healthy diet, and the second is a healthy eating plan. Neither comes easy, and personal experience reinforces the maxim that “too much, too soon, too fast” leads inevitably to disastrous backsliding. So, mixed metaphors aside, softly, softly catchy monkey helps to avoid the otherwise inevitable slip betwixt cup and lip. Read more…