Monday, 16 October 2017

Wholemeal Oat Loaf

This loaf, like most of the breads that I make is very easy to prepare. The time needed is in waiting for the mixture to prove, however, I use the time inbetween making and baking to shop, work on a something crafty, garden or just about anything. If I need to be away for a long time I put the dough in the fridge which slows down the proving time.



It is absolutely scrumptious slightly warm and makes good toast. Sometimes I add some sunflower and pumpkin seeds to the loaf.



Shape the loaf and slash with a blade or sharp knife. As it proves the slashes expand.



The cooked oats needs to be quite thick and ' claggy'. Allow the oats to cool before using, I have made the bread with just luke warm oats and cold from the fridge. 

Wholemeal Oat Bread

Dough
 1 cup cooked oats/porridge (thick)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
 2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon dried yeast
2 tablespoons milk powder
1 tablespoon oil
 1 cup warm water, approximately

Bread Glaze
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
Whisk egg with the water.

Optional
mixed grains/seeds if desired.

Oats to sprinkle on top of loaf

Combine flours, sugar, salt, yeast and milk powder in a large bowl. Add any seeds and grains at this point.

Mix oil and cooked oats and then add to flour mixture.

Pour most of the water into the flour mixture and mix thoroughly.  Add the remaining liquid, if necessary, to form a soft dough.  The dough should be moist and soft but not sticky.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board or bench top and knead until dough is smooth and elastic. Return dough to a clean and lightly oiled bowl. Use a mixer with a dough hook if you have one.

Cover with plastic film or enclose in a large plastic bag and leave to prove until dough has doubled in size.

Turn dough out onto board or bench and “knock back”.  Knead lightly, shape into a loaf shape and place in a greased tray or tray lined with baking paper. Slash loaf with a very sharp blade or knife. Glaze with bread glaze and leave to rise.

When the loaf has nearly doubled in size; sprinkle with the rolled oats. 


Bake bread in a hot oven (200 deg C) until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from tin and place on a cooling rack. 

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Crumpets

I have always enjoyed crumpets even the supermarket variety, particularly when well toasted and oozing butter and honey.



 When making sour dough bread I use a starter. The starter needs to divided and then fed. It seemed a waste to not use the discarded starter so I started to experiment. There have been many experiments with both a sourdough version and a regular style. I like the crumpets to have a porous texture and found that the addition of vinegar creates a crumpet with more holes. The science is simple the acid of the vinegar reacts with the alkali of the bicarbonate of soda to create carbon dioxide or gas bubbles in the batter. The gluten in the flour / batter also needs to be developed so the need to be beaten in much the same way as bread dough is kneaded. Fresh milk can be substituted for the water and powdered milk.



At the end of stage one the batter should be frothy and bubbly.



The various stages of being cooked before turning over. The bottom right photograph shows that the batter has basically cooked through.



Traditionally, crumpets are turned over ver in the ring and the top surface is barely coloured. I prefer them to be a little browner so remove the ring before turning them over so that the crumpet surface is in direct contact with the griddle or pan.


This is a crumpet cut through the middle to show the porous structure, plenty of holes for the butter and honey to sink into.



Sometimes I prefer a savoury version 








Crumpets
Regular Crumpets

Stage 1
2 cups plain flour*
2 teaspoons dried yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup powdered milk
1 egg
2 cups lukewarm water

*Substitute some wholemeal flour for some of the plain but no more than 1 cup

Stage 2
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon apple cider / white vinegar

Sour Dough Crumpets
1 cup sourdough starter
1 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon dried yeast (optional)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup powdered milk
1 egg
1 -1/2 cups lukewarm water

Make as for regular crumpets, the amount of water needed will depend on how liquid your starter is. Use 1 cup water and then add more as required.

Stage 2
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon apple cider / white vinegar


Method
Combine the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, powdered milk, egg and water in a bowl and beat using an electric mixer for a minute or so or longer if using a wooden spoon. The batter should be smooth and thick. Add a little more water if necessary.
Cover batter and place in a warm spot until the batter is really ‘bubbly’. This could take an hour or longer depending on the warmth of the location.
Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the water and mix into the batter and then add the vinegar.
Heat the griddle / electric frypan to medium heat.
 Oil the crumpet rings and wipe a little oil over the frypan. Spoon the crumpet batter into the oiled crumpet rings until approximately half full.
Cook crumpet until the surface is dry / almost dry and not wet or shiny. Air bubbles should appear.
Turn crumpets over and cook a little further. I remove them from the rings first so that the tops get browned.
Remove crumpets from the pan. Serve immediately or cool on a wire rack.
Crumpets can be stored in the fridge and then toasted. They also freeze well.

Serve with butter and honey

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Caramel Brownies

There are many ways to include a twist to to your favourite recipes. Brownies are my most commonly baked or go to slice and a recipe that is so easily adapted. I have given the basic recipe for Brownies here. Recently I have been making the caramel version, same recipe but substituting white chocolate for the dark chocolate and dark brown sugar for the sugar. Adding some other flavours can be a good way to create your own version.  These two variations of the Caramel Brownie have been very popular. 



This is the basic caramel brownie with chopped or broken Oreo cookies mixed through. We love ours slightly underdone so the middle is still a bit gooey.

Caramel Oreo Brownie
Ingredients for full quantity

250 gms butter
400 gms white chocolate
4 eggs
2 cups dark brown sugar
2 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (not essence)
1 pkt Oreo Cookies, broken into small chunks

Ingredients for half quantity

125 gms butter
200 gms white chocolate
2 eggs
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup plain flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (not essence)
½ pkt Oreo cookies, broken into small chunks



Method
Place chocolate and butter in glass bowl and melt in microwave. Use the melt function or medium heat. It should take about 3 minutes. Alternative method, use a bowl over hot water. Stir regularly until mixture is smooth.

Add sugar to mixture and stir well, then add vanilla, eggs and flour. Mix well.

Stir through the Oreo chunks.

Place mixture into a greased and lined tin making sure the Oreo chunks are evenly distributed.

Bake at 1600 until firm on the edges and slightly soft in the middle. It will take about 40-60 minutes depending on the depth of the tin. See below.

Allow brownies to stand for a few minutes and then lift out and place on cooling rack.

Cut up brownie and place in an airtight container or jar.

Use a large slice tin for full quantity. I use a rectangular slice tin that is approximately 21 cm wide, 29 cm long and 3 cm deep. For a half quantity I use a square cake tin 18cm wide, 18cm long and 4cm deep.



For this variation I reduced the amount of dark brown sugar and added treacle along with some spices to give a gingerbread flavour. The Pfeffernusse cookies add a little texture.

Gingerbread Brownie
Ingredients for full quantity

250 gms butter
400 gms white chocolate
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
2 cups plain flour
2 tablespoons treacle
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1/2 - 1 teaspoon mixed spice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 pkt Pfeffernusse cookies, cut into small chunks

Ingredients for half quantity

125 gms butter
200 gms white chocolate
2 eggs
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup plain flour
1 tablespoon treacle
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg(generous pinch)
1/2  pkt Pfeffernusse cookies, cut into small chunks


Pfeffernusse cookies are a soft gingerbread cookie with a thin shell of white icing, available in supermarkets.

Method
Place chocolate and butter in glass bowl and melt in microwave. Use the melt function or medium heat. It should take about 3 minutes. Alternative method, use a bowl over hot water. Stir regularly until mixture is smooth.

Add sugar to mixture and stir well, then add vanilla, eggs and flour. Mix well.

Stir through the Pfeffernusse chunks.

Place mixture into a greased and lined tin making sure the Pfeffernusse chunks are evenly distributed.

Bake at 1600 until firm on the edges and slightly soft in the middle. It will take about 40-60 minutes depending on the depth of the tin. See below. It is best to undercook than overcook.

Allow brownies to stand for a few minutes and then lift out and place on cooling rack.

Cut up brownie and place in an airtight container or jar.

Use a large slice tin for full quantity. I use a rectangular slice tin that is approximately 21 cm wide, 29 cm long and 3 cm deep. For a half quantity I use a square cake tin 18cm wide, 18cm long and 4cm deep.

Caramel Brownie
Ingredients for full quantity

250 gms butter
400 gms white chocolate
4 eggs
2 cups dark brown sugar
2 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (not essence)

Ingredients for half quantity

125 gms butter
200 gms white chocolate
2 eggs
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup plain flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (not essence)



Method
Place chocolate and butter in glass bowl and melt in microwave. Use the melt function or medium heat. It should take about 3 minutes. Alternative method, use a bowl over hot water. Stir regularly until mixture is smooth.

Add sugar to mixture and stir well, then add vanilla, eggs and flour. Mix well.

Place mixture into a greased and lined tin.

Bake at 1600 until firm on the edges and slightly soft in the middle. It will take about 40-60 minutes depending on the depth of the tin. See below. It is better to undercook than overcook.

Allow brownies to stand for a few minutes and then lift out and place on cooling rack.

Cut up brownie and place in an airtight container or jar.

Use a large slice tin for full quantity. I use a rectangular slice tin that is approximately 21 cm wide, 29 cm long and 3 cm deep. For a half quantity I use a square cake tin 18cm wide, 18cm long and 4cm deep.














Monday, 25 September 2017

Little Books of Nudes

I like to make books, I like to go to my printmaking class and I like life drawing although I really struggle with perspective and proportion. These are some of the prints made into books.



Each book is a collection of prints using the same linocut and some experimenting. The books are five and a half inches wide and six and a half inches long. (imperial ruler used to cut out the prints)

Book One



The cover is not a print but a drawing onto interfacing that I used to transfer the image to the Lino. The surfaces have been brushed with encaustic wax which has made the bird bleed a little.



A first print



A ghost print, the plate run through the press a second time without re inking the plate.



Chine colle, the image printed onto Japanese tissue paper that is then glued to printmaking paper.



A mistake page, inadvertently printed onto damp paper which stuck to the plate. I like it.



Predominantly an embossing, the last of the ink squashed from the plate.



A mono print, a free hand drawing into the ink left on the inking surface and the paper placed on top. No wasted ink!


Each print cut out and mounted into onto heavy paper and made into a book.

Book Two

Some of the prints made with a Lino cut plate



Chine colle



Straight print



Ghost print, Chin Colle


Print made using a dry point plate and butchers paper. The paper was treated with encaustic wax, I liked the reverse of the image.



Same image, the right way round, waxed and the dry point image placed over the top. 



Friday, 15 September 2017

More from Milk Bar Life and Momofuku Milk Bar

A new cook book is always a source of inspiration and I really do enjoy trying out new recipes. My collection of cook books is extensive and collected over many years. I happily admit that some have never been cooked from or are purely reference type books and others may have been used once or twice. This year I added two books by Christina Toni to my collection. Momofuku Milk Bar and Milk Bar Life.  Momofuku Milk Bar has an interesting approach that breaks many of the cakes and desserts into components that can be easily swapped around. I love the idea of Layer cakes, perfect for a special occasion. Cookies or biscuits are a staple in my pantry, they generally keep quite well it is so easy to put out a plate for any visitors who pop in.



This is the Apple Pie Layer Cake, page 157 of Momofuku Milk Bar



The recipe lists these components; 1 recipe Barely Brown Butter Cake, 1 recipe Apple Juice Soak,
1 recipe Liquid Cheesecake, 1/2 recipe Pie Crumb, 1 recipe Apple Pie Filling and 1/2 recipe Pie Crumb Frosting.



This is the book


This is another cake from the book, I called it Bananarama and it was adapted from the Banana Layer Cake page 193. 



Chocolate-chocolate cookies page 88


Ritz cookies, page 59, Milk Bar Life


Snickerdoodles, page 58, Milk Bar Life




Monday, 11 September 2017

Waffle On

I will try not to, waffle on that is, but I am having a love affair with waffles at the moment. Sweet, savoury, breakfast, brunch, dessert - all have been covered. It is very easy to adapt the basic waffle mixture and though there is nothing wrong with a plain waffle, there is plenty of scope for some personalising to suit your tastes or whims. A basic waffle iron, the type that cook two waffles that are a square shape can be purchsed cheaply at most department stores and discount outlets. Waffles can be stored in the fridge for a day or two but I prefer to freeze them and then toast/reheat in a toaster.



An indulgent breakfast treat - plain waffles, a little maple syrup, fresh fruit, a dust of cinnamon sugar and some fresh orange zest.

Some more ideas



Basic batter with some blueberries mixed through, all that is needed is a little butter


Or maybe some jam




They are great for brunch or lunch. This version has leftover cooked vegetables mixed into the batter and become 'bubble and squeak ' waffles topped with cream cheese and turmeric and ginger kraut.


Cheese and onion waffles topped with cream cheese, ham, tomato and chopped basil.



Something more substantial, vegetable waffle topped with cold roast beef, salad and some lightly spiced mayonnaise.


A savoury waffle, cheese an onion topped with mushrooms and tomatoes
























A pile of 'breakfast' waffles, choc full of oats and seeds and ready for the freezer. A delicious alternative to the morning toast. Note the odd one out - the batter made into a pancake.























Waffles

Waffle Batter

2 cups plain flour*
3 teaspoons baking powder
125 g butter, melted
2 eggs**
1 ½ cups milk

*Substitute some wholemeal flour for some of the plain but no more than 1 cup

**A lighter waffle can be achieved by separating the egg whites, beating them with a whisk or electric beater and then folding back into the waffle batter.
Savoury
Add any of the following to the basic batter
1 cup strong grated tasty cheese
1 cup ham, cooked bacon, pancetta cut into small pieces
1 cup leftover cooked vegetables
Chopped spinach – I use frozen, defrost and squeeze out
 Combine as you like

Sweet
Optional –
Add 1 tablespoon of caster sugar to the batter
Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract to the batter

Breakfast
Add some oats and seeds such as sunflower and pepitas, approximately 1 cup


Method
Combine the flour, baking powder, eggs, melted butter and most of the milk in a bowl and mix well. The batter should be smooth and thick. Add a little more milk if necessary. If batter seems to runny add a little more flour. 

A lighter waffle can be achieved by separating the egg whites, beating them with a whisk or electric beater and then folding back into the waffle batter.

If making variations add them to the basic batter.

Follow the instruction for your waffle machine or

Heat the waffle iron and brush with a little melted butter or cooking spray.

Ladle batter into the greased waffle compartments, do not overfill and smooth with a wet spoon or spatula.

Close the waffle maker and cook until waffles are golden brown

Remove waffles from the waffle iron. Serve immediately or cool on a wire rack. Cooked waffles reheat in a toaster very well/

Serve with toppings of your choice.

And a Demonstration on How to Cook

























Ladle some waffle batter into each compartment.

























Use a wet spoon or spatula to quickly spread the waffle batter. Close the waffle maker and cook until golden brown

























Remove waffles and serve. If not eaten immediately cool on a rack and then freeze or refrigerate.


 


Sunday, 3 September 2017

Afternoon Tea for the Workers

This weekend I visited Coryule, a magnificent old property at Curlewis on the picturesque Bellarine Peninsula. It was opened to launch the season of Open Gardens Victoria. The property was originally owned and developed by the Misses Drysdale and Newcomb and of significant historical interest. It was such a treat to be able to see both the house and garden.


The house is being painstakingly restored



The house and gardens are extensive, occupying only a fraction of vast property. 













The property has extensive vegetable gardens, and a postage or kitchen garden close to the kitchen.



An opening requires a lot of organisation and some last minute 'primping', raking of the stone and gravel paths and placing of the signs explaining the various features of the gardens.


The signs are extremely informative


I was asked to provide afternoon tea for the workers.



A selection of simple, family style treats. Lumberjack cake, tangelo cake, gluten free brownies, lamingtons and some salted peanut crisps / cookies.



The Peanut Crisps were adapted from a recipe in this book.


I love these sort of cookbooks, nothing fancy but full of simple, easily made and mostly inexpensive recipes.


This is the recipe



I usd this recipe as a starting point and made a few changes.


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