29 July 2010

wasabi pea sourdough - and a day with my friend Joanna

on Dan Lepard's forum, there's always a Bake-Off challenge to catch the breadmakers' interest

& the latest challenge is to produce a recipe to reduce cholesterol.

So, with that brief in mind, I'm drifted back into my 20's.
When I worked for Chase Manhattan Bank with a Spanish chap called Jaime.
Jaime's family genetics was riddled with dangerously high cholesterol, some members had passed away for it.

So whenever Jaime's own readings reached 13, he used to eat a diet of peas, nothing more, until his levels reduced to an acceptable high of 10, or there abouts.

So, with the idea of peas rolling around in my mind like a topple frozen bag of green bullets, yesterday I compose the ingredients for a sourdough wasabi pea bread

It's the morning when I'm visiting fellow blogger, Joanna at Zeb Bakes, who also participates on Dan's site.
So I fold, and mash the beginnings of the loaf, until the resting time begins at 09:15, the exact moment when I'm heading off to the M5,
so the dough will have it's first rest for 1hr 30 in the boot of my car, Silly.

wasabi pea sourdough 

over night ferment of 50g leaven, 70g water, 35g/35g of white/rye flour both
340g water with infused 5g powdered wasabi
200g blitzed warm peas
250g white strong flour
100g soya flour
100g chickpea flour (or peasemeal if you can get it)
7g salt

 with the overnight ferment in your bowl, add the purée of peas & stir

add the remaining ingredients in their order & stir together to produce a wet sloppy mass

turn your mass 3 times every 10mins, and rest (in the boot of your car) for 1hr 45

fold/ turn, and rest for a further 1hr 30

shape and rest for 45mins

bake @ 220 for 30 - 40 mins

& cool in someone else's garden, preferably with poodles


thank you for a wonderful day, Joanna

& thank you for your beautifully turned out tangy sourdough loaf too.  It's splendid!


22 July 2010

Dan Lepard's Handmade Loaf - white leaven @ pg 28

Unlike the simple title & brief ingredients, for me this is not as easy a loaf as it may seem, requiring good shaping, and that long proving time needs a bit of judgment 

A few people on the Beeb food messageboard have tried this recipe but seemingly are struggling with the wetness of the process, & are not wholly sold by the results which can be achieved.

So let's see if we can convince them on wetter mixes, the power of shaping, and the need to get air into the dough

You've got the book!  You don't need the recipe from me.

I've got my 200g leaven fed at 80%, which is fine for ciabatta styles I believe.
Well I think it's 80

100g leaven, 200g water, 250g white flour, @ 1: 2: 2.5

leaven at 80%, 325g water to 500g flour
a wetter mix
bring together briefly
brief kneads according to the recipe & rest

I shortened the proves, for the warm temps
first prove rest

bubbles and aeration on the surface, good sign

shape into 2 loaves, firm and bubbly
one into a tin

one free form
risen after 3 hours

ready for the oven and puffing up already
2 delicious loaves from one recipe
with a crunchy form to the crust
sour taste coming through nicely, due to the longer proves
light & airy from that wet dough and those shapings

19 July 2010

wensleydale & garden chive muffins

I googled for quite a few savoury muffin ideas, after seeing my friends bake them at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial & Zeb Bakes

but thought I'd pass on the tinned tuna muffins I saw along the way, however
It looks as though you can make them any which way and still get a light, fluffy savoury bun for your limited efforts.

Future amemdments to these ( first time for me) afternoon tea treats - I need to cut down on that fat content, I think they only need 30 - 40g butter.  


150g wensleydale cheese
30 - 40g softened butter -  here I used 75g
2 beaten eggs

200mil milk - buttermilk ideally
snipped chives

100g plain flour
150g SR flour
1.5 teasp baking powder
(I didn't have any here but) a pinch of bicarbonate of soda
half teasp mustard powder
a little salt

Mix for moments but still leave it messy

spoon roughly into muffin cases,

and bake at 200 for 20 minutes

16 July 2010

painting poppy fields at Seven Springs on the road to Cirencester

last week, the day before an exhibition, my husband swings by my studio at 2pm as arranged to collect me in our little blue car, Silly.

Now Silly is highly impractical for carrying paintings, especially when wet, she's small, but she does the job.

I am promised a picnic by my husband, whilst I paint the dying poppies in a wheat field he's cycled past, tumbling down the embankment of a roundabout on the fast road to Cirencester.

So, on a bright hot summer afternoon, we park on a lay-by, carry a 24inch x 24inch canvas, easel, paints and one chair for Tony, over the waterlogged stile & make camp in the field.  The wheat is watery green coloured as far as I can see to the skyline.

& those poppies bob at the near horizon like proud buttons.
I've bought a tube of "poppy red" paint recently, so it will be interesting to see if the colour lives up to its name.  I'll mix up a colour match if not.

So I set my stand, as Tony shakes out his Scottish Heritage folding travel chair to begin to read his latest hardback purchase, 3 for 2 at Waterstones according to the label.

I've just mixed my yellow sky colour when I hear the rustling of a paper bag.
& Tony produces our picnic - bright yellow-green sweet grapes, seedless, still dripping from the wash they've had an hour earlier.
coupled with cooled bottles of vimto and diet coke.

So I work fast over the canvas, pill popping delicious grapes as I paint.
& in 3/4 hour, the oil painting is finished - Tony hasn't managed his first chapter as I fold down my travel easel, and wonder what's been at my feet.

I look down to see I've been standing in nettles, well trampled by now.

Back over the stile, wobbling somewhat with wet paint to think about, and tie the canvas to the back of the little blue car, homewards.
I hope there's not a sudden gust of wind.

An idyllic moment of painting, and I'm rather loath to put this one up for sale ............ but I have and it is gone now to another home.