Over the Easter weekend the lovely people at John Lewis kindly sent me an Easter goodie basket filled with lots of egg related items. We keep our own chickens, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to use some our ladies’ eggs and give you a quick review of a couple of the items.
John Lewis Easter Gift Basket
One of the ladies responsible for our eggs
Now before we go any further, I have a couple of confessions:
Firstly, I’m not a big fan of eggs. I don’t mind egg in things (cakes, quiches, Yorkshire puddings etc.) but I don’t like them on their own. My wife on the other hand is a massive egg fan and will often have a smelly egg sandwich!
Which brings me neatly onto my second confession…
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Today I will be making a traditional Yorkshire Curd tart with a lemony twist. I already have my own tried and tested recipe for curd tart but when Karen from Lavender and Lovage told me that this month’s “Best of British” challenge was Yorkshire, I knew I had to come up with something a bit special.
Yorkshire Curd Tart with Lemon Curd
The challenge is kindly being sponsored by New World Appliances and each month the challenge moves around the country to showcase the “Best of British”. Have a look at the “Visit the Beautiful and Diverse County of Yorkshire for Great Food and the Best of British” post at Lavender and Lovage to see all the other entries for this month.
Best of British
So onto the recipe…
Click to see more…
Day four of my sourdough starter adventure and nothing much to report. It seems to be getting along nicely and looks about the same as it did yesterday.
Here is a photo looking down showing the foam which seems to be a bit more bubblier than yesterday.
The starter now has quite a vinegary smell which, if what I’ve read is to be believed, should now start to mellow out and become more refined.
I fed it again this evening by discarding half of it and adding 100g water and 75 flour.
Today is day 3 of my Sourdough adventure and we have action!
I checked on it this morning and there is a distinct layer of foam above the liquid layer so I think things are starting to get moving.
Day three action!
Looking down into the jar you can see loads of foam now.
Day 3, more bubbles
Now things are starting to happen, the “feeding” changes slightly. I got rid of about half the starter and added 100g of water and 75g of flour. However, from now on I am adding plain white flour rather than the wholemeal as I want this to be a plain starter. I only used wholemeal in the first place as I had read that it’s more likely to have the yeasts etc. that are needed.
I put the starter back in my office and checked on it an hour later and there was already a layer of foam (about 3mm high) so it looks like the yeast is starting to move into overdrive.
It will be interesting to see how much it grows overnight.
Today is day two of my Sourdough starter adventure. At some point my starter is supposed to start making bubbles which is the yeast starting to multiply and do it’s stuff. I checked on my starter late last night and there were a couple of tiny bubbles on the surface but I’m not sure if they were yeast bubbles or bits of trapped air.
This is what my starter looked like this morning:
Sourdough Starter overnight
As you can it has separated out a little bit. Here is a shot looking down into the starter, are they bubbles?
Sourdough Starter bubbles?
Anyway, I now need to give my starter it’s first “feed”. So, I added 75g of flour and another 100g of warm water. I then gave it a good stir up, put the clingfilm back on and put it back in my office. I’ll keep an eye on it overnight to see if any more bubbles start to appear.
Starter after first feeding
Recently I have been making more and more of my own bread and one type of bread that I’ve read a lot about is sourdough. I’ve been wanting to try my own for a while now and as you probably know, you can’t make sourdough without a starter.
A sourdough starter is a strange and mythical beast. Traditionally there is no yeast added, it just uses the natural yeasts that are in the air all around us.
So, to get me started on my adventure I read several of my bread books and loads of articles on the internet. From all of these, I found that there are lots of do’s and don’ts and it all seemed over complicated. Even though man has been making it for thousands of years, there is no “correct” recipe, the only thing that everyone agrees on is that no-one can agree on one recipe.
So here is the beginnings of my adventure to make a sourdough starter. Will it work? Stay tuned and we’ll find out!
To start with I got an old glass Kilner jar and put in 75g of strong stoneground wholemeal flour. To this I added 100g of warm water and mixed it all together with a fork until I ended up with a thickish batter. I covered the top with cling film and put it in my office (which usually stays around 20 degrees). And that’s it! I now need to leave it a day and see if anything happens and give it it’s first feed.
Sourdough starter - day one.
If you are going to try this yourself, make sure that you use a jar/tub/whatever that is big enough to hold at least 4 times what you add at the start otherwise it’s going to get messy.
If everything goes to plan and I end up with a usable sourdough starter then I’ll put everything together into a “How to make your own sourdough starter” post.
For a while now I’ve been looking for the perfect scone recipe. For me, a scone should be light, well risen (but not toweringly tall), slightly crumbly inside, nicely browned and above all taste delicious!
It shouldn’t be to “cakey” inside and it doesn’t have to be perfectly formed with dead straight sides. Scones should be rustic and slightly misshapen, they should look like they were made by hand, not in a factory.
In my quest for the perfect scone, I asked my friends on Twitter, Facebook and CIX for their recipes, tips and tricks. I searched the internet and looked through all my baking books, comparing all the different recipes. I combined everything together and baked several batches, trying different techniques and oven temperatures. I’m not saying the recipe below is perfect, but they are the best scones I’ve made so far!
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As I mentioned in this post, last week I took part in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2011. This involved baking 3 batches of 12 cookies and posting them out to fellow food bloggers.
Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies
After a lot of thought, I decided to go with some delicious Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies. I was going to try a new recipe for Coffee chocolate chip cookies but I know that a lot of people don’t like coffee flavoured cakes/biscuits so thought it best not to disappoint anyone.
Below is the recipe I used if you want to try baking some yourself. The recipe makes about 18 good size cookies but you can half the amounts if you don’t want that many.
Click to see the full recipe…
For a while now I’ve been looking for a good recipe for soft, light and fluffy bread buns. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE bread with a good crunchy crust, but you can’t beat light and soft bread baps for for sandwiches, burgers etc. So after months of searching and several batches later I’ve come up with what I think is a great recipe.
Soft Bread Rolls
The recipe shown here makes 6 large rolls but you could easily adjust the quantities to make more or less.
Click to see the full recipe…
I recently found out about a cool event being hosted by Lindsay of Love and Olive Oil and Julie of The Little Kitchen called the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2011.
The idea is that food bloggers make 3 batches of cookies, send them out to other food bloggers and get 3 different batches in return.
When I first went to sign up I was a bit disappointed as it said that it was US foodies only (I’m based in the UK). However, after reading on it said that if there was sufficient interest in other countries then they would expand it. As luck would have it, several other UK based foodies had already signed up so it was all systems go!
I’ve got myself all signed up and I now just need to decide which recipe to use and get ready for baking day.
Once the swap has been completed, everyone who took part will be posting their recipes on their blogs on the 12th December 2011. So come back then to see which flavour I went with!