Tag Archives: baking

Semolina sourdough…

On Instagram I follow a lovely lady called Anita who bakes amazing bread and lots of sourdough which she shares as @sourdough_mania. Anita shares lots of recipes and tips and recently posted a semolina sourdough recipe which just tickled my fancy! So I made it, the loaf is in the photo above, and it was fab. The dough is lovely, beautifully smooth, wonderfully springy, and the baked outcome is really tasty. So I’m sharing my experience and recipe; I added some oil to Anita’s recipe to tighten up the crumb…

NOTE: this recipe is four days in the making, although not labour intensive during that time, and I do think it’s worth it. I tried making a shorter overnight version and the outcome wasn’t as good as the full four day version, although I will be experimenting with that further. All of the love and care does create a lovely, bouncy dough.

It is a VERY soft dough though and it does need to be cooked straight from the fridge. If you leave it out of the fridge for a while before cooking, my experience is that it will lose its form and spread as you bake it. 


Preparing your starter: 

Feed your starter. I know that if I feed Star with 1/4 cup of flour & 1/4 cup of water, she will yield the necessary 70g of bubbly starter. I increase this to 1/2 cups to generate the starter I need when I’m making 500g loafs. Once your starter is lovely and bubbly, begin..

Day one: mix together..

70g bubbly starter

70g ground semolina 

70g water

…and leave out overnight.

In a separate bowl mix together…

310g semolina flour

180g water 

1tbsp oil 

…and leave in fridge overnight.

Day two: remove the semolina/water/oil mixture from the fridge to soften up and make it easier to mix with the starter.

Your starter should be lovely and bubbly and alive now. Add 1tsp salt to it, then mix it into the semolina/water/oil mixture. You’ll need to get your hands in to mix it really well.

Keep it out of the fridge like this for 2-3 hours and during that time, perform a series of 5 stretches and folds on the dough. Then cover the bowl and return it to the fridge.

Day three: remove the bowl from the fridge and leave at room temperature and allow the dough to increase by about 60% (by eye). 

Then shape the dough. I stretch and fold the dough into a ball and place it into a floured banneton. 

Cover and put back into the fridge. 

Day four: Preheat oven to 275C.

Prepare your choice of bakeware – I bake mine in an enamel roaster on a round of parchment paper. Take the dough from the fridge and place directly into the roaster/on baking sheet, slash and put into the oven.

Reduce the oven to 245C (I use 220C fan), bake with the lid in the roaster for 25 mins, remove the lid and bake for a further 15 mins

Remove from oven and place on a rack to cool before slicing 

Since making this first loaf, I have made 3 more! For one of them I merely doubled everything and created a monster loaf (above)! It was a beauty though!! I’ve also calculated up the quantities to make a 500g (semolina) loaf which is my typical size, and it worked well too.

The quantities were: 

112g starter/semolina/water

500g semolina 

288g water 

1tbsp oil

1tsp salt 

Baked for 25 mins covered, 20 mins uncovered 

I highly recommend giving it a go! 

Wishing you all a great weekend, starting with this week’s Fiesta Friday with Lindy and Paula


Savoury buttermilk scones or ‘biscuits’…

I’ve seen many of my US blog pals post ‘biscuits’ and I’ve been curious to try them for a while. Jess, Suzanne and Gretchen, to name a few, have all posted recipes for biscuits. My understanding is that these are eaten with a main meal, which makes them even more interesting, and something completely new to me.

In the U.K. we’d call these scones, a savoury, non sweet version of scones, made with buttermilk and NO sugar…consequently, when I finally made these, my savoury loving boy LOVED them, but my sweet toothed husband couldn’t even contemplate trying one! To him, a scone is sweet and eaten with jam, not something dunked in soup or a stew, or used to house a burger!

They are incredibly easy to make, and as you’ll see, very easy to add various cheeses or other ingredients to. I’ve now made them three times in the last few weeks, and the boy has eaten them with relish. I’ve made them plain, with a mixture of cheddar cheese and Red Leicester cheese, with strong cheddar, and with smoked cheddar: all got a thumbs up 🙂 


350g self raising flour

85g butter, cut into chunks

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Tiny pinch of salt

284g pot of buttermilk 


Preheat the oven to 200C fan. Line a baking sheet with parchment or greaseproof paper. 

Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and butter in a bowl.

Using your fingertips, or using a food processor (as I do), rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Pour in all of the buttermilk and mix lightly to form a soft dough – this takes very little time. If using a food processor, mix until it has just about come together, then turn out and finish bringing it together to form a soft dough with your hands. 

If you are adding cheese, add a couple of handfuls of grafted cheese now as you bring the dough together. 

Knead the dough very briefly, then on a lightly floured surface, roll it out to about 2cm thick.

Cut out as many rounds as you can using a 5cm cutter. Keep bringing the leftover dough together and flattening to use it all up but handle it as little as possible. 

Place the rounds on the baking sheet with a little space in between each one, and bake for 12-15 minutes – mine have been taking about 13 minutes. 

Leave them to cool….OR just grab one and give it a try!!!!! 😄😄😄
They’re good immediately, or after about 3-4 minutes to save burning your mouth. They also store well in an airtight container. 

I haven’t brought anything to Fiesta Friday for a couple of week’s, so I’m bringing these along this week and I hope the party goers enjoy my biscuits 🙂 Join co hosts Diann and Monika to see what goodies are on offer..

Happy Weekend! 

Another sourdough loaf in pictures…

 Last weekend I put together two sourdoughs and, just like the other loaf, I photographed the process of this one too so I thought I’d share it…

This one is a mix of strong white, kamut/Khorason and spelt flours, with added pumpkin seeds and linseeds/flaxseeds. I put the dough together initially on Friday morning.

and so it began to come alive.. this was at 9.30am.. this was the growth by 1.00pm.

and then at 5.30pm.

I then folded the dough several times and covered it and put it in the fridge to slow the proving. Yesterday (Tuesday) morning it had grown again whilst in the fridge..

7.00am on Tuesday.

I knocked it back and folded it a few times then placed it into a floured banneton to come to room temperate and prove for one last time..

 By midday it had grown again and was ready to bake..

 I heated the oven to 250C then carefully tipped the dough into my enamel roaster..
 And slashed the dough..

Once the oven was up to temperature, I turned the heat down to 220C, put the lid on the roaster and cooked it for 45 minutes with the lid on, and 5 minutes without.. 

The dough spread more than rose as it baked, but the flavour and texture was GOOD! It’s quite chewy and the seeds are lovely, and it’s seriously sour – my mouth is still sore a day later! 
  My lovely boy has eaten 8 slices of this loaf today, I do love that he enjoys sourdough, it adds to the joy of making it. His mouth isn’t sore like mine though luckily 😉

Happy Wednesday! 

The lifecycle of a sourdough loaf…

Having shared these photos on Instagram over the last couple of days, and possibly bored people to tears, I thought I’d share them with you all too…!!! Hopefully I won’t bore you to tears too?! Or everyone at this week’s Fiesta Friday?! 

This is a loaf I put together yesterday morning and the photos chart it’s growth through to baking and eating..having used my lovely patterned Moroccan bowl again, you can literally see the growth. This is a sourdough loaf made with a mixture of my freshly fed bubbly starter, rye flour, kamut flour, strong white flour, pumpkin seeds and poppy seeds..

It began at 7am on Friday morning which is when I first put the dough together. 

This is the growth after 6 hours.

This is a later in the day at 5.30pm, hence the lack of light.

I then knocked back the dough, folded it several times and left it to prove again overnight.

This is what I woke up to at 6.30am on Saturday. Wow! The fact that it just keeps growing blows my mind 🙂

 All ready to bake. The dough was quite sloppy so difficult to shape and slash. 

The baked loaf 45 minutes later.

And the inside story…

Isn’t it cool to literally see a loaf of bread come alive?? I love it! And it tastes good, which is a bonus! 

Check out my loaf plus lots of other people’s amazing dishes/offerings at Fiesta Friday, co hosted this week by the lovely Steffi and Andrea

Happy Weekend!!! 

Handmade bread, focaccia and fresh yeast..

  I’ve been making bread daily for my boys in our breadmaker for the past couple of years, but you’ve all seen me making sourdough bread recently, and thoroughly enjoying myself, so now Ben demands sourdough EVERYDAY and the breadmaker has been collecting dust…but my husband doesn’t like sourdough fresh, he only likes it toasted, so I’ve decided it’s only fair to make sourdough alternate days and standard loaves inbetween, and with all the sourdough bread I’ve been making by hand, I wanted to now make non sourdough loaves by hand too. You know me, always liking a challenge, I decided it’s time to try out using fresh yeast too. 

This month, Delicious magazine included a recipe for a lovely looking handmade loaf…

   …which I decided to try out. At this point I only had dried yeast…

…but it still worked perfectly…I even replicated the photo in the magazine as I egg washed the dough…    …and the slashes…

  The loaf came out perfectly and as the recipe includes milk and egg, it makes a lovely rich loaf, almost like brioche minus the sweetness. 

Then it was time to try out fresh yeast. 

You can get fresh yeast from your local supermarket if they have an internal bakery – at Tesco they don’t charge you, they just give you a ‘cake’ of yeast 🙂 I split it into 15g portions and froze what I didn’t use as it only keeps for a couple of days in the fridge. I can then defrost the portions as I need them.

Note: the rule of thumb that I’ve read is that whatever weight of dried yeast a recipe asks for, you double it for fresh yeast. So replace 7g dried yeast with 14 – 15g fresh yeast. 

This was cake of yeast I was given, it almost looked like a cake of soap! 

  I made the magazine loaf again and it doubled in size with the inclusion of the fresh yeast, it was great to watch it grow! However, I do not have any photos for you, it got eaten too quickly!!! I decided to try the fresh yeast again and finally make some focaccia, I’ve seen so many of you make wonderful looking loaves of focaccia and after reading Sally’s post the other day, I decided yesterday was the day. I know that Ben likes rosemary and sea salt so decided to use those flavours in my first attempt. 

Once again, the dough grew really well and really quickly – I’m loving the fresh yeast!!! What great stuff! 

My Focaccia


500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for kneading 

300ml warm water

1 tsp fine salt 

15g fresh yeast or 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast 

2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing 

1 tbsp dried rosemary & chunky sea salt 



1. Crumble the yeast into a small bowl and mix with 50ml of the warm water. Stir to melt the yeast and create a milky solution.

2. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre, pour in the yeast solution and gradually mix in the remaining warm water plus the oil until the dough comes together – add a dash more water if it seems dry. 

3. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough for 5 minutes, until smooth. (The dough was quite sloppy and moist so I needed to keep adding some more flour to the table but it didn’t affect the texture of the bread.) 

4. Put into a large oiled bowl, cover with cling film and prove for 1 & 1/2 hours at room temperature. 

5. Knock out the air, shape into a large circle/oval depending on the shape and size of your tray, and put on an oiled/silicone paper lined baking sheet. Cover with oiled cling film and prove for 45 minutes. 

6. Press fingertips into the dough all over, stretching the dough out slightly as you do, drizzle with oil, scatter with sea salt and rosemary, then bake for 25 minutes. 

7. Drizzle with oil and serve warm.

Note: when ‘oiled cling film’ is required, I use spray olive oil or Lurpaks Cooks Range Cooking Mist – I use this a lot, it’s a light butter spray. I use it to ‘oil’ the bowl too. Selma reviewed the new Lurpaks Cooks Range recently and I’ve used it ever since, it works well for frying eggs too. 




 The verdict was thumbs up all round! Ben and Graham tucked into it last night and loved it. I rarely eat the bread I make, but today I decided to try some of my creation and made a focaccia sandwich with goats cheese and some baby plum toasties that I had roasted yesterday with garlic and olive oil…absolutely heavenly!! Definitely worth the bloated belly I am now sporting!  Bring on the bread making 🙂 

I’m sure I’ll be experimenting with even more bread recipes this week, I just love making my own bread and watching it develop, the sense of achievement is massive, and I have such appreciative taste testers, it’s a joy to make it, so if you’ve got any recipes you think I’d like, do send me your links, or share them in the comments section for everyone to see. 

I hope you are all having a good weekend 🙂 x

PS There has of course continued to be endless sourdough making too, this was today’s loaf…. 


In My Kitchen, April 2015…looking back at March…

My gosh, it’s April already!! Where did March go? Well, in this house, it flew by in a flurry of my sons birthday (2nd), my birthday (23rd), Mothers Day and a definite step towards Spring…so…along with the wonderful Celia and all of her In My Kitchen bloggers this month…

In my kitchen..


..I’ve only just burst the balloons that my husband hung around the kitchen for me. I just couldn’t bear to get rid of them! 

In my kitchen…


…are still the beautiful flowers sent to me by my lovely friend xx

In my kitchen…


…are sparkly toes!!!! Another lovely friend and I spent my birthday having pedicures and lunch out 🙂 

In my kitchen…


…is this garlic peeler and grater gifted to me by yet another lovely friend…I am so lucky to have such lovely people in my life 🙂  

Another friend forgot my birthday on the day so I took great pleasure in reminding him and hearing him cringe (hee hee, how mean am I?) so he left a bag full of garlic on my doorstep the next day…do you see a theme here…??

In my kitchen…

…I appear to have started a collection of china cup measures – oh the joy of TKMaxx. I just love all of these! And with all of my bread making and starter feeding I use them constantly. 

In my kitchen…


…is this set of forks I just somehow happened to bid for on eBay!! I just love the letter B; B has always been big in my life, it was the first letter of my maiden name – Butcher (yes, I know, mad name for a vegetarian!); the first letter of my married name, Boddy, and therefore the first letter of my husband surname; the first letter of my sons name, Ben; and the first letter my lovely puppys name, Bob; it was key in the name of my previous business, Green and Brown, and now of course in foodBod. I have also always had an interest in calligraohy and typography and B is a great letter so write and embellish. 

In my kitchen…


…is this bowl, plate and spoon (carved from a lemon tree) gifted to me by the amazing Linda from La Petit Paniere.

In my kitchen…


…is this walnut ‘lame’ for slashing bread dough prior to baking, plus new ‘banneton’ proving baskets that Ben gave me for my birthday.

And of course, in my kitchen….


…is endless loaves of sourdough! 


We didn’t have hot crossed buns for Easter in my house, we have a hot crossed loaf instead 🙂 


I hope you have had, or are having, a great Easter weekend, the sun is pouring into my kitchen right now and Bob is sunbathing in his own little sun trap in the garden. Have a great day 🙂


MORE sourdough activities in the foodbod kitchen..


I must stop photographing every loaf I make…I really must…but I’m just so proud of them!!! Each and every one! I’m endlessly amazed that I have created every bit of each loaf by hand, and like giving birth, I can’t help but want to celebrate every creation 🙂 


I’ve definitely been bitten by the sourdough bug: I currently have three starters on the go in my kitchen, my original Bodicea, my Bodicea III (from the Paul Hollywood recipe) and a wholemeal spelt one that I haven’t yet named. I feed them daily because I am now using them daily, literally, I am now making sourdough bread every day and the boys are eating it ALL!!  

When I first made the starters, they were so bubbly and healthy but my dough wasn’t really rising much; luckily a couple of my lovely fellow bloggers explained that the starters get stronger with age, that really helped me as I thought I was getting something wrong! They are definitely getting stronger daily and creating lovely rises. The spelt starter in particular has performed really well. I really must name her…!


I’ve been making bread daily for them in my breadmaker for a couple of years now, but now I’m making it by hand each day, and if I revert to the breadmaker, Ben complains that it’s BORING bread!! I think I’ve spoilt him…;) so my arm muscles are growing as I knead dough and then slice crusty loaves. Ben even bought me some proving baskets, ‘bannetons’, for my birthday last week, and after seeing Aunt Juju‘s walnut ‘lame’, for scoring the top of the dough prior to baking, I just had to have one…so I’m all set up.. 


I’ve continued to use Celia and Selmas overnight dough recipe for some of my loaves, but I’ve also been experimenting with utilising the method of making a ‘sponge’ to create the loaf. This method calls for mixing freshly fed starter with some of the flour and water and leaving it to grow and bubble overnight, or for 2-8 hours, then adding more flour and kneading and leaving to prove again, before punching down, leaving for the last prove before baking. 
I’ve used this recipe and this one and I’ve created my own version to create smaller daily loaves. I’ve also played around with the cooking temperature and times to get it right for us and I’ve developed my own plan based on my ovens.

So, based on the first link above, I’ve been doing this:

I’ve started off by making a sponge by mixing..

1/2 cup / 90g bubbly starter

1 1/2 cups / 240g white / brown strong bread flour

3/4 cup / 130g warm filtered water

Once roughly mixed, I’ve covered it and left it develop for anything from 2 hours to 12! 

Next I’ve added..

1/2 cup / 80g chosen bread flour

Mixed well and kneaded for 3-5 minutes until smooth. I’ve then covered again left to prove from, again, 2 to 12 hours, the longer you leave it, the deeper the flavour becomes. 

I’ve then punched the dough down and placed into a well floured proving basket and left to prove, covered, for another 1-2 hours.

I’ve then tipped the dough onto a baking sheet lined with silicone paper, scored the top with my lame, drizzled some drops of water across the top to boost rise and a good crust (another great tip from another lovely blogger, the Frugal Hausfrau, thank you x), and baked at 205-210C (this is based on my fan assisted oven) for 30 minutes. I’ve then propped the oven door open slightly, turned the heat off and left the dough for 5 more minutes, before removing and leaving to cool on a site rack.  

And it’s definitely working for me!!  And for Ben and Graham and every one of Ben’s friends that are forever at our dinner table! It makes me so proud. 
And no, I still don’t eat any 🙂 

I hope your week is starting well and you all had a good weekend. This week I am excited to bring you a guest post on Wednesday for my ‘What would you feed me?’ series from one of our most beloved blog friends..see you then..xx