Monthly Archives: October 2013

Sourdough Fruit Loaf

Feeling the need for something a little sweet, I decided I would make a sourdough fruit loaf. I did not use a particular recipe, but instead used my normal bread recipe and just added fruit.
Ingredients:

  1. 500g plain white flour
  2. 4 tablespoons of sourdough starter (leaven)
  3. 400ml of water
  4. 2 teaspoons of salt
  5. Chopped fruit; apricots, dates, and sultanas soaked overnight in cider

IMG_1940
Method:
I mixed all of the ingredients together for about 5 minutes, then added the dough mix to an oiled bowl, and covered with baking foil. Then I left it for 12 hours to prove.
After 12 hours I placed it in the oven at 220c, with a baking tray full of water on the bottom of the oven.
I then baked the sourdough fruit loaf for 40 minutes with the foil on, and then a further 20 minutes with the foil removed.
I then let it rest for 2 hours.
The result was a fruity, moist, and seriously tasty sourdough fruit loaf. :)

IMG_1925

By Richard Randall

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Beaphar Gentle Leader Review

Our rescue Lurcher, Barley can be a bit of a handful on the lead, so I decided to buy a Beaphar Gentle Leader. It is the best few £ I’ve spent on the Mutt. With it on, he walks perfectly to heel 99% of the time. It is only when he spots a running cat or galloping horse that he starts puling like a nutter. The one thing that I’ve noticed is that he does not like to go to the toilet while being controlled with the Beaphar Gentle Leader, so I just unclip the lead from it and clip it onto is normal collar just before reaching his regular/favorite toilet spots.
9/10
LurcherLurcher

By Richard Randall

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Easy Sourdough Bread – Tin/Pot Loaf

This is a super easy bread to make. In fact it is now going to be my new ‘go to’ bread when I’m not experimenting with new recipe ideas.

Ingredients:

  1. 250g Organic White Flour
  2. ½ teaspoon of good quality Fleur de sel or Himalayan Pink Salt or your choice of good quality Sea Salt.
  3. 2 tablespoons of sourdough leaven (starter), ideally fresh liverly.
  4. 200g of water
  5. I added a small amount of sunflower and fennel seeds, but they are not necessary.

Sourdough Bread
Pre-Baking Steps:

  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl for a few minutes.
  2. Oil an oven pot or tin.
  3. Pour the dough mixture in to the tin.
  4. Cover the tin with cling-film or a plastic bag.
  5. Store in a cool place overnight (10 hours+). If you store the dough in a fridge make sure you take it out and leave it at room temperature for a couple of hours before it goes in the oven.

Sourdough Bread
Baking:

  1. Preheat the oven at 240c, with a ramekin or baking tray filled with water, on the bottom of the oven.
  2. Cover the baking tin with foil, or place a lid on the oven pot (with your dough in it) and place it in the oven for 20 minutes at 220c.
  3. After 20 minutes remove the foil/lid and bake for a further 20 minutes at 190c.
  4. Test the bread to see if it is cooked by tapping the top. It should sound hollow. If it does not, or if you are not sure, recover with the foil/lid and bake for a further 10-15 minutes at 150c.
  5. Place on a wire rack to cool for 1-2 hours.
  6. Enjoy!

P.S. My starter is 30% Organic Rye Flour and and 70% Organic Wholemeal Flour.
By Richard Randall

Other Bread recipes from fellow bloggers:

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Sourdough Bread No.2

This is my second sourdough bread. The first one was O.K. (Sourdough Bread. My First Attempt) but it was a wet dough recipe which I made a tad too wet, and I slightly undercooked it.
Lesson learnt, my second attempt at a normal sourdough.
I used 175g of starter (30% rye flour and 70% wholemeal flour) and 250g of plain white flour.
To the flour I added a large pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt. I let it sit (Autolyse) for 30 minutes. I then added sunflower seeds to the dough and kneaded for 20 minutes on an oiled work surface.
I then shaped the dough roughly, added fennel seeds to the top, covered the dough, and left it to prove overnight (12 hours) on a backing tray.
Sourdough
The dough lost shape over night, but that was expected. I gently re-shaped and added the sourdough to a pre-heated oven at 220c.
Thirty minutes later I discovered I should have set the temperature a bit lower, and baked the bread for less time. Maybe 200c for 25 minutes.
The bread was a bit on the dark side, I reduced the temperature to 150c, and cooked for a further 20 minutes, but not before loosely covering it in kitchen foil to stop the top burning.
Sourdough Bread
The finished bread had a good texture and taste, with a nice springy crumb, and was only let down by the compacted crust due to the temperature being set too high and it being baked for too long.
By Richard Randall

Other Sourdough Recipes by Bloggers:

  1. Sourdough Bread Bowls: Jazz Up Your Soup
  2. From Sourdough to Banana Bread and beyond
  3. Rocky Road Bread
  4. Sourdough Pizza with Sausage, Onions & Mushrooms
  5. Sourdough Ginger Pear Quick Bread
  6. Sourdough Cranberry Walnut Bread
  7. Sourdough Bread for the Bread Maker

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Sourdough Bread. My First Attempt.

This is my first sourdough bread that I’ve made in a long while, and the first ever wet dough mix.
I think I made it a bit too wet because during proving I could see that it was starting to stick to the bowl. This was a bit of an issue because the idea was to put the dough mix directly on to a heated baking stone. I gave up on this idea, and instead put the dough in to a heated dish, trying not to knock out too much air.
Sourdough
It was far from an elegant process, but I did manage to get the dough in to the dish without too much damage to the dough.
In to the oven it went for 30 minutes. Although once it had cooled I realised a little longer in the oven would have been better.
I think the high water content made the finished bread a little doughy and lacking enough spring.
For a first attempt is was not bad. It tastes good, which is the main thing. My next attempt will be a lot better, I’m certain.
Sourdough Bread

By Richard Randall

Random Photos of the Week and a few Thoughts

A few random thoughts, and photos from the past week.
IMG_1784
The American government have been spying on the French. The NSA (National Security Agency) have been recording phone calls on a ‘massive’ scale. Apparently more than 70 million French phone calls were recorded in a 30-day period late last year.
I just hope the NSA overheard some good recipe ideas for their staff canteen.
IMG_1781
France was also in the news again this week. EDF plan on building two nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset. It will cost £80 billion +++ over the lifespan of the reactors.
China is also involved in financing the project. Yet another fine example of the incompetence of the British government. Putting our energy security in foreign hands, and expecting tax payers and consumers to foot the bill.
IMG_2860
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have issued a report saying that Drone strikes by the U.S. government are War Crimes. Well go figure, who would have thought dropping bombs on non-combatant women, men, and children was a War Crime. Needless to say this is one crime that will go unpunished.
IMG_1836
Energy suppliers in the United Kingdom are ripping off consumers by constantly upping the cost of electricity and gas.
The genius that is Sir John Major, has a solution. Increase the amount of tax the energy companies pay.
What about the consumers who are being overcharged? How does that solution help them?
Well, it seems extra money in government coffers is far more important than protecting consumers. This ‘solution’ of John Majors does not address fuel poverty, in fact it will just make it worse if actioned.
What is needed in a maximum set price companies are allowed to charge, and a far more simplified tariff structure.
Pork Pie
By Richard Randall