Over on my sourdough blog today…sourdough breadsticks…pop over if you fancy checking them out…
I’ll be sharing these at this week’s Fiesta Friday and hope there’s enough to go round…
As I mentioned in my previous post, there’s been a lot of sourdough action in my kitchen recently. I’ve been baking and drying and reviving and noting…and it’s all been for this…
I’m very happy to share with you that I have launched a brand new website this week, dedicated to sourdough. I have decanted every bit of my knowledge onto the site, including how to look after your starter, my master recipe, and my dried starter available to buy. I’ve included as much detail as possible, lots of photos, and links to my videos of me in action. I’ve already had great feedback from people using my recipe which makes me so very happy!
So, if you want to know how I make this happen…
…then visit my new website…
Please do have a look around and let me know what you think.
This blog will continue, but I will be sharing more of my sourdough experiments on the blog attached to my new site, so please do visit and follow xx
I will be sharing my news with everyone at this week’s Fiesta Friday, so many of whom have been so kind about my sourdough offerings in the past 🙂
I fancied some oat cakes recently, I have no idea why, I haven’t had an oat cake for years, but sometimes something just takes your fancy doesn’t it?
So I decided to look up some recipes and see how to make them myself. There’s many recipes if you search for them, all with their slight variations; I read a few, got the basic idea, and devised my own plan.
I have continued foraging for wild garlic this week, in particular for the flowers; the plants are now flowering like mad and I think they’re so very pretty, as well as being tasty. I’ve collected them to use raw in and over dishes, and I’ve dried some in the oven for other experiments, so when I was pondering oat cakes, wild garlic was still very much on my mind.
For the first batch I made, above and below, I added crumbled, dried wild garlic flowers to the oat dough, as well as pressing dried flowers into some of them.
In the second batch, below, I added some dried and crumbled wild garlic leaves and added some non dried flowers instead to see how they would fare..
I also made a version with added sesame and pumpkins seeds, which worked well too, just not as pretty 😉
So whether you fancy some plain or pimped, here’s the recipe I used:
200g oats (I’ve used thick Scottish oats)
1/2 – 1 tsp salt to taste
50ml olive/rapeseed oil
A few tablespoons of boiling water
Preheat your oven to 160C fan, 180C.
Line 1 large or 2 medium baking trays with baking parchment.
Put 100g of the oats into a mixing bowl, and the other 100g into a blender and run it to make a fine oat flour.
Add the oat flour & salt to the whole oats and add any extra ingredients that you want to add: a handful of seeds, some herbs, spices, chopped nuts…the possibilities are endless.
Drizzle over the oil.
Add 2-3 tablespoons of hot water and start to mix it all into a dough, add extra water as necessary to bring it into a usable dough.
Generously flour your work surface and roll the dough out to about 3mm thick.
*This is the point at which I pressed the flowers into the oat cakes.
Cut out the oat cakes with cookie cutters, I used 6cm and 8cm diameter ones.
Use a palette knife or fish slice to lift the cut rounds onto the parchment paper.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning once halfway through.
*The time required to bake them may change depending on how much water you’ve added and what additional ingredients you’ve included.
Assess the oat cakes yourself to ensure they are as cooked and crunchy as you want them to be.
Allow them to cool to harden further.
Enjoy them on their own or adorned with whatever topping you like.
Store them in an airtight container. Mine softened after a couple of days but they were still good and the wild garlic flavour worked well.
My weekend brunch.
I hope you have fun with some oats cakes!
This loaf came about from pure experiment because I had some lovely lively starter and wanted to do something different with it, plus I have always got various cartons of buttermilk to hand nowadays, and so this idea was born.
This recipe produced a lovely silky dough which baked into a crusty loaf with a wonderfully soft interior and a great flavour, and the smell was amazing! Due to the inclusion of plain all purpose flour the crumb is pillow soft rather than the usual chewy sourdough crumb, and the buttermilk only adds to that.
I made this loaf with a ‘sponge’ method…
The evening before you want to bake the loaf mix:
100g of very bubbly lively starter
284ml carton of buttermilk
150g of all purpose flour
Mix it all together really well, get it as smooth as you can, then cover it and leave it out on your kitchen counter overnight. (Top 2 photos below)
Next morning it should have grown and be spongelike. (Bottom 2 photos above – you can see how much it’s grown between the two sets of photos)
300g strong white flour
A splash or two of warm water
Mix it all together roughly, cover again and leave for an hour. (Top 2 photos below)After that hour, bring it into a dough, not too tight, not too sticky, performing some pulls and folds in the bowl to pull it into a smooth dough. (Bottom 2 photos show before and after pulls and folds)
Cover and leave on the counter again.
After a couple of hours you should already see this dough growing happily, the dough may even be starting to grow out of the bowl already; perform just enough pulls and folds to pull it into a ball with a smooth finish, don’t handle it too much.
Place the dough, smooth side down, into a well floured banneton.
Cover with a plastic bag or shower cap and place in the fridge to slow down the proving process and to increase the flavour. You should find that it keeps growing nicely over the next few hours, even in the fridge, as below. This was how the dough looked after only a few hours in the fridge. It grows very fast!
When you’re ready to bake, take the banneton from the fridge and leave the dough to warm up to room temperature whilst your oven warms up.
Heat the oven to 200C fan/230c non fan.
When the oven is ready, place a piece of baking parchment over the top of the banneton, then place the pan you are baking it in over the top and invert it all together to turn the dough out into the pan. You should have a lovely pale dough that holds a good shape.
Slash as you like, then put the lid on the pan and put it in the oven to bake for 50 minutes.
After 50 minutes carefully turn the loaf out onto a rack to cool. Allow the loaf to cool for at least an hour before slicing.
As you will see, the crumb is closer than a standard sourdough, which is perfect for making my son’s school sandwiches. In fact, the interior of the loaf was softer than any bread of any type I’ve ever baked. I’ll definitely be baking loaves like this again and again.
And I have now made 3 loaves the same way, this was the third one, and again, the interior is beautifully soft…
I’ve also made a loaf with whole milk this week, but I’ll share that next time…in the meantime, I’ll take my loaves to this week’s Fiesta Friday and wish you a happy weekend!
NOTE: please always keep in mind that flours differ around the world, yours may need more or less liquid than mine, just as your oven may behave differently from mine.
I drink a lot of green tea, and I’ve tried many many types and flavours, and my favourite is definitely ‘genmaicha’, a Japanese green tea with ‘genmai’ or roasted rice. The smell when you make the tea is gorgeous, and the rice adds a wonderful flavour to it. Some makes call it popcorn green tea because of how good it smells, a bit like popcorn.
As happens, a lot, I wondered about roasting the rice myself and making my own version of the tea so that I can control the amount of rice and the flavour – added to which, genmaicha tea is never the cheapest green tea to buy so why not attempt my own??
I had some roasted leaf green tea in my cupboard and thought that the toasted rice would be a nice addition to it, so I set about the Internet to see if anyone else had made their own too. I found one site with some useful information and I made my own assessment of what they’d done and made my own plan…
In a perfect world you’d use proper Japanese rice, but failing that, I used what I had: weirdly, I used Spanish paella rice. The rice is white and plump and looks a bit like a Japanese rice so why not?
I soaked the rice in lots of water for 24 hours then drained and dried it.
I then toasted it in a wide non stick pan over a medium to high heat for about 20 mins, moving it constantly. As it started to brown, I kept a really keen eye on it and didn’t leave it alone at all to ensure none of it burnt.
I then poured it into a large piece of grease proof paper to cool before testing it in my tea.
And hey presto! It works!!! It tastes great! It’s so cool!
So, if you’ve never tried it before, how about making your own genmaicha?
UPDATE: I have now also soaked and toasted brown basmati rice which I added to loose sencha green tea – this works REALLY well. The rice smells so good and adds great flavour, and some even pop in the pan. And the sencha is a lovely smooth refreshing green tea…
I don’t have much imagery for this post, in fact, I can only offer you one photo; but I can elaborate verbally about this dish and hope that I capture your imagination…
Back in December, I came home from Costco with a box of persimmons, like you do, then realised that I was never going to be able to eat them all myself. I rarely eat fruit as it is, so 6 huge persimmons seemed like a mountain of fruit to me. Plus when I tried one, it wasn’t wholly ripe, or tasty. So I tried roasting some; why not, it works for vegetables, I thought it might perk up my persimmons.
And it did. The slices caramelised and sweetened. I tried some with some tahini sauce, a bit of yogurt and some toasted flaked almonds, and it made a perfect sweet treat…probably just a bit too sweet for me, so the yogurt and tahini were perfect ways to tone it down…
Following this experiment, over the festive period I decided to offer this as a dessert choice for my visiting family.
I cut the persimmons into segments, tossed them with a tiny amount of olive oil, then roasted them for 30-40 mins at 200C, moving them around the pan halfway through. Served with yoghurt, they provided a perfect alternative dessert.
The leftovers lasted a couple of days and were just as nice cold, again with yoghurt and another day with my porridge.
I highly recommend roasting your persimmons! I should imagine they are similar to roasted plums or peaches in consistency, and just provide something different 🙂
I’ve made falafels many times before, always oven baked because I could just never bring myself to fry them! I’ve also seen posts from people using a poffertjes pan to cook falafels, and other patties and Indian cutlets, and decided it was time for me to finally treat myself to one.
For me, I remember this type of pan from my childhood for making mini Dutch pancakes ‘poffertjes’, but to you it may be an aebelskiver pan, used for making similar Danish goodies. It makes total sense to use them for cooking falafels or patties on a hob/stove with minimal oil. You can see below the tiny drops of oil in each hollow which proved to be a perfect amount…
The recipe I’m sharing below is a pretty standard falafel recipe, it is simple to play with it and create your own versions however. Today I threw together chickpeas, spring onions, garlic, dried herbs, spices, chickpea flour and lemon juice and it worked a treat! I got in there with my hands and started making little balls of mix which I flattened slightly in preparation to cook them.
I have to tell you – I didn’t weigh or measure anything and I produced the perfect number of patties for the pan by pure luck….or sheer fluke!!!
250g dried chickpeas, placed in a large bowl of water and soaked overnight
1 medium red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 bunch flat leaf parsley
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cayenne pepper (optional)
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt to taste
Flour of your choice as needed – I used chickpea flour, but it can be any flour
Some people also add half a teaspoon of baking powder, I didn’t this time
Wash and drain the chickpeas
Put everything EXCEPT the flour in a blender and chop to a chunky crumb, then put it all into a large bowl
Add enough flour to bring the mixture together in your hands, then create small balls of the mix and flatten them slightly to make the falafel shape
Put your poffertjes pan over a low/medium heat and place a small amount of oil in each dip and allow it to heat up briefly
Place a falafel in each dip and cook for about 15 minutes depending on the size and the heat your using, I kept checking mine and moving the pan around as it doesn’t sit evenly over the gas on the hob/stove
I served mine on freshly made homous as is traditional, I highly recommend it!