Tag Archives: Baking

Organic Spelt Flour Bread

The other week we paid a visit to Haswell’s Homer Hill Farm Shop in County Durham.
To my pleasant surprise they sold Spelt flour. I’ve not seen it for sale in this area before (County Durham) and I haven’t baked with it for several years.
In fact the last time I baked bread with Spelt flour was when we lived in the South of France.
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This flour is produced by Sharpham Park (Street, Somerset, United Kingdom BA16 9SA) and is a mix of 60% wholegrain and 40% white Spelt flour.
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I used my standard bread recipe, which is 500g of flour, 300ml of warm water, 7g of yeast, generous splash of Olive Oil, and a large pinch of Pink Himalayan Salt.
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The bread turned out extremely well, and was full of flavour.
I’ll have to buy Spelt flour online in the future though, because the shopping experience at Haswell’s Homer Hill Farm Shop was not one that I would want to repeat.
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Blog post by Richard Randall

Bread, Beer, Beach and Baloney

Breaking Bread
I’ve not baked any bread for a while. I’ve just not been in the mood. The other day I decided to change that and knocked up a couple of loaves.

Sun Dried Tomato Bread
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Olive BreadIMG_2286
Tiger,Tiger
This lager is a blast from the past. We drunk bucket loads (literally) of Tiger Lager while staying in Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur. I picked up this bottle of Tiger Lager from our local Co-Op in Easington Colliery and supped it at home.
Not quite the same as sitting in Petaling Street, enjoying a decent meal, a few cold beers and people watching, but it did bring back some fond memories.

Easington Colliery Tiger Lager
IMG_2278A Tiger Lager in Chinatown, Kuala Lumour

Tiger lager

Entrance to Petaling StreetChinatown, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Crimdon Beach
We have been heading down to Crimdon beach of late with a friend to exercise our dogs. I’ve taken loads of photos of the dogs running and playing, and blogged them. I thought I should redress the imbalance and post a few none doggy photos.
Crimdon Beach is fantastic. It is long, wide and sandy. Best of all, not many people use it. In fact at times we have had it entirely to ourselves.
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In the News
A little rant on a few stories that have caught my attention these last few days:
The Vicar of Billericay. Lee Stephens a Pentecostal priest got pissed out of his brain, crashed his car. He then told police he had IRA connection and was going to have them killed. What a twat, but I bet his sermons are a real hoot.

George Osborne is an idiot. He wants to turn the North of England into an economic “powerhouse”. The Chancellor is a deluded fool. Wasting £15 billion of tax payers money building new railway connection, roads and other infrastructure projects is missing the point. A no point does he mention job creation and you can bet all the contractors for these so called projects will not be from the North of England.

Lady Warsi. She resigns from government. She states it is because of David Cameron stance on the conflict in Gaza and Israel. I don’t think she made the decision on moral grounds like she is saying but rather it is a cold and calculated political move on her part.

The Union Street Guest House. A fine hotel. A $500 fine hotel if you write a negative review online. Union Street Guest House are so stupid. I’ve never heard of such a sure fire way to destroy your business. Apparently it was meant to be a joke, but putting it in your T&C’s which is a legal contract, is not that funny.

Blog post by Richard Randall

Frankenstein Bread

Today I made a fresh loaf of dread using dried yeast and had some dough left over. I also had a sourdough that had been proving overnight and was a sponge. It was a bit on the small side, so I decided to combine the two. I knocked out the sourdough sponge and the melded both together. I did not mix them, but rather introduced them to each other.
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The next step was the complex one. The sourdough needed 12 to prove and the regular dough only 2 hours. In the end I proved it for going for 8 hours. It proved well. Next step was to bake it. This was also an issue. Partly because the sourdough also included a good measure of olive oil. All was looking good, but in very short time the crust burnt slightly because it was made up of the sourdough. I managed to catch it before it was a complete write off.
I let it rest for an hour and then it was ‘taste test’ time. It tasted great once I cut off the burnt crust. I will try this idea again but next time have the wholemeal sourdough in the centre of the loaf.
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By Richard Randall

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

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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. :)

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By Richard Randall

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:

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.
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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

Flatbread with Fennel Seeds

Today I made a simple flatbread to go with lunch:

Ingredients:

  1. 125g of plain white flour
  2. 60g of Greek yogurt
  3. 20ml of coconut milk
  4. 1 teaspoon of honey
  5. 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  6. Pinch of salt
  7. 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  8. 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds

flatbread
Start by mixing the flour and baking powder in a bowl.
In another bowl mix the yogurt, milk, honey, and olive oil together.
Make a well in the flour and add the yogurt, milk, honey and olive oil mixture. Mix well everything together well until it forms a dough.
At this stage if the mixture is too runny, add more flour, or if it’s too dry add more coconut milk.
flatbread
Place the dough on a clean work surface, or large chopping board, and kneed for 10 minutes.
Then place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a clean tea towel for a minimum of 30 minutes (the dough can be left for several hours if you want to prepare it in advance to use later).

Baking:

Divide the dough into 4 balls.
Press the balls gently using your hand to flatten them.
Sprinkle a few fennel seeds on to the work surface, or chopping board, and place the dough disc onto the fennel seeds.
Then roll flat with a rolling pin.
Place a baking tray under a medium heated grill.
When the baking tray is hot, place the bread on it and place back under the grill for 1-2 minutes.
When the top side is brown, flip the bread over, brush on a little butter and put back under the grill for 30-45 seconds.
Serve warm.

Flat Bread, Homemade and Healthy

“Let them eat cake!” Good advice from Marie Antoinette, but only if you have a sweet tooth. For lunch I did not have a sweet tooth, so I decided to make some flat breads.
Flat bread was the only option because at the moment I do not have an oven. In fact I do not really have a kitchen to speak of.
I added flour to a bowl, then in went a pinch of salt, a dash of Chinese 5 Spice, a splash of olive oil, and a dollop of honey.
Then I added water and mixed by hand until it was a good dough texture.
I then tipped the dough out onto a board and kneaded it for a while (until I got bored).
I then set the dough aside in a warm place for an hour.
Dough and I both rested, it was time to start cooking.
I used my new Salter Heston Blumenthal Precision Adjustable Rolling Pin to roll a small ball of dough – flat.
This seemed a bit of an injustice to the rolling pin, given that it’s got clever gauges so you can get certain depths of pastry. Proper baking will have to wait until I have an oven.
Dough rolled flat, in to a dry frying pan it went, for a couple of minutes on each side.
Job done.
Fresh bread, even a simple flat bread is a million times better than the rubbish you buy at the supermarket.

BakingSalter Heston Blumenthal Precision Adjustable Rolling Pin and DoughFlat BreadFlat bread in a dry frying panFlat BreadFinish bread with a knob of butter