28 July 2011

How to ... give up coffee

If, like me, you know you drink too much coffee, why not give it a rest for a while and see how it floats.

I drink 4 - 5 mugs in the morning.  And feel the need to check how my blood pressure will react should I cut it out.

If you think nothing of warming up a nice bottle of sake in the morning, or lighting up a succession of cigarettes the moment daylight pricks your eyes, then the first method is called:

1. the Dr Stop!
That's it then.  No more coffee.  Ever.

2. the Half 'n half
Mix half your usual blend of coffee, with decaf for a while, to ease yourself gently into it.

3. the Switch to decaf

4. the Half arsed - I can't be arsed, approach
Resign yourself to giving up tomorrow/ next Monday/ some other time.

Me?  I'm going for the Dr Stop! today.

Say hello wave goodbye, to my last cup of coffee (black, no sugar).

17 July 2011

richard bertinet prawn on sourdough

I haven't got his book, nor have I been to his cookery school, and have only seen Richard Bertinet on the BBC.
However, I would like to perfect (his) Richard Bertinet's dough mixing technique

I've tried it a couple of times, half heartedly, and have succeeded in working the dough clumsily well.
If you are having trouble keeping your dough firm and shapely, this way of bringing the bread ingredients together will solve that for you.

So yesterday, I worked the sourdough in the RB fashion once again.  Not for too long, I slapped and pulled for about 2 minutes, while he recommends about 10mins, until the dough tightened up just enough for me.

Left to rise for 2 hours, I shaped the dough form into 2 tin loaves.

Rested for a further 2hrs 30.  Then baked at 220 for 40 minutes. 

One thing that I do like is, the easily identifiable traces of your work in the crumb.
You can clearly see the bakers' turn I've used.

 The "Zeb Bakes" slice, a photograph for display purposes only

And garnished with prawns, lemon, mayonnaise and dill.


150g rye flour & 450g white strong flour
350g water
sea salt

Further information on Richard Bertinet can be found at his website: http://www.thebertinetkitchen.com/